Jimmy Patsos is far from the conventional college basketball coach.
The combination of standing 6'3" and having a booming voice makes Patsos intimidating to his players, opponents, referees, and fans.
Patsos is college basketball's Rasheed Wallace. If he is on the floor, he is the favorite to pick up a technical foul.
During the course of most Loyola games, Patsos will sweat through his suit as the frown on his face becomes more parabolic.
Earlier in the season, the fifth-year head coach of Loyola Md. chose to sit in the stands instead of being ejected in an 82-72 loss against Cornell. The fan who sat next to Patsos must have been shocked because fans do not attend games to sit next to the head coach of one of the teams.
Fans were even more shocked when they saw Patsos' Greyhounds hold Stephen Curry to zero points last night. No, they did not hurt him—Bruce Bowen is on the Spurs. Curry only sat for eight minutes because of foul trouble, yet he could not get more than three shots—all three shots were misses.
Loyola became the first team to finish a game with the nation's leading scorer's stat line reading the same point total it read at tipoff. As big of a shock as the box score was to the college basketball world, more people were startled at the audacity that Patsos showed as he set up a triangle-and-two defense—the two man defenders were both assigned to Curry.
After a few minutes, Curry realized that the two Greyhounds were not going to let him escape for a shot, so he let his teammates take over as he watched from the corner. Davidson is deep enough that they can beat teams when they are given a four-on-three advantage, so that is what they did.
Despite trailing 39-17 at halftime, Patsos was obdurate and continued to double-team Curry.
It was clear that Patsos didn't care about winning the game, and that bothered the college basketball world. Analysts said that Patsos should have exhorted his players to back off of Curry, so the final score would be respectable.
Patsos, who was a history major at Catholic University, said after the game, "We had to play against an NBA player tonight. Anybody else ever hold him scoreless? I'm a history major. Are they going to remember we held him scoreless or lost by 30?"
Patsos must have been a successful student at Catholic, considering that he brushed up on his history of Stephen Curry enough to know that he had never been held scoreless at the college level.
That line in the quotation from Patsos tells us all about what his intentions were going into the game: Keep Curry's point total at zero.
Even though Patsos succeeded, Curry still leads the nation with 29.2 points per game.
Photo and quotation courtesy of www.sportsline.com
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