Jimmy Patsos is a coach who is not intimidated by anybody.
He is not afraid of hollering at referees, his players, or his players' parents. In fact, sitting in the stands with the fans does not daunt Loyola Maryland's head coach—yes, he took a seat in the second row and watched his Greyhounds fall 82-72 to Cornell on Nov. 18.
Tonight's game at Manhattan wasn't even 30 seconds old, but Jimmy Patsos' voice was already hoarse—considering the way he coaches a game, it is hard to believe that his vocal chords are still functioning.
Loyola's star player, sophomore transfer Jamal Barney, scored eight straight points in the beginning of the first half, but he followed the streak with a fall-away three-pointer from the wing, which prompted Patsos to shout, "You disgust me! You're disgusting!"
Play stopped in the ensuing seconds and Patsos pulled Barney out of the game, grabbed his jersey, sat him down, and scolded him for taking one bad shot. Barney was clearly embarrassed.
The star player was punished for five minutes. The Greyhounds scored one basket in that span and Barney hit a trey as soon as he re-entered the game. Hmmm...Logic, Jimmy Patsos? (His substitution strategies deserve a separate article, but to get straight to the point, he changes his lineup every two minutes and does not let his team get into a rhythm.)
Barney's theme song at Loyola must be, "I hate you, you hate me." Unfortunately, he has to deal with Patsos for two more years. He already transferred from Providence, so the only way he can play college basketball and receive a college education is to remain at Loyola.
Well, I shouldn't be speaking for Jamal Barney.
In Barney's absence, Loyola struggled; however, they were lucky that Manhattan could not score from anywhere on the floor, including the foul line where they shot 13-28.
Patsos yelled at Barney throughout the game, but the sophomore was not the only player who took a scolding from his coach. A different player was rebuked during every timeout—on multiple occasions half the team was chastised.
Patsos' method is not like every other coach's. He doesn't just single a player out. He singles them out and then gets right in their faces and shouts. If you're having trouble picturing this, think about Lou Piniella and an umpire—only, at Loyola, the players are too afraid to shout back.
This tactic makes fans wonder why anyone would want to commit to play for Patsos—it also makes the players second-guess their choice to sign up.
Get this: A fan sitting near the Loyola bench claims to have heard Patsos shout, "I swear if you f*** this up," as Marquis Sullivan approached the foul line with a chance to ice the game. If the fan could hear it, you better believe that the words reached Sullivan's ears.
Luckily for the senior, both shots found their way through the rim, so coach Patsos was satisfied (for once).
I left the game incredulous as to how a player would want to sign up to play for Patsos.
The Associated Press wrote about the incident against Cornell, and said, "[Patsos] contends he's now a changed man who doesn't drink, wears a peace sign on his wrist, and has far more patience with his players."
I refute that statement based on what I witnessed tonight. The only changed aspect of Patsos is his slimmer stomach. That's it.