Schneider's problems keep mounting, and Loyola's season hasn't started


You have to feel a little sorry for Tom Schneider, Loyol College's basketball coach.

Here's a man who is in the last year of a four-year contract. He had already lost three key players from a year ago -- No. 2 all-time scorer Kevin Green, swing man Kevin Anderson and point guard Tracy Bergan.

And just before this season -- which officially begins tonight when the Greyhounds visit Towson State at 7:30 -- Schneider loses a man who would have been his best player this year, Michael Reese.

Reese, 6 feet 8, who was a starter at Boston College three years ago, could well have been the best player in Maryland outside College Park. Reese has been suspended from school for the remainder of the year because of a non-basketball, off-campus violation but could return next year.

That means poor ol' Tom Schneider has been stripped of 70 percent of his scoring from last year.

Towson is by no means the only toughie on a Loyola schedule that includes Princeton, Fordham, Rutgers and St. Joseph's.

"I'll know better after this game with Towson how we're going to be," Schneider says. "It could be a very, very difficult year, or we could surprise some people.

"We're pretty good inside, but we're inexperienced in the backcourt. These kids have been working hard."

Nevertheless, this is not the kind of squad a coach wants to take into the final year of his contract. Schneider is a pretty good guy, and the other coaches in the area say he knows how to coach basketball.

Still, he hasn't had a winning season yet at Loyola. He's 30-54 after three years, although last year he came as close to winning as you can get (14-14).

Joe Boylan, Loyola's athletic director, knows Schneider has his work cut out. Boylan, a former coach, again will do color with Scott Garceau on 14 Loyola games on WCAO radio (600 AM). The AD fears that a lack of quickness will be a problem for the Greyhounds.

"There's one good thing about having your AD do the games on the radio," says Schneider, who also has been coach at Lehigh and Penn. "You get a good idea where you stand. If around January he starts criticizing your defenses, you know it's time to get your resumes ready."

* Speaking of being on the mike at basketball games, Towson State's Devin Boyd -- who did that job on Tigers broadcasts last year -- is glad he's not doing it now. And that's not only because he's back on the court playing.

Boyd, who was the East Coast Conference Player of the Year two years ago, broke his elbow in the opener at Colorado last year, sat out the season and did color on the broadcasts with Spiro Morekas on WITH (1230 AM).

"I don't want any part of broadcasting," says Devin -- a rare statement for any athlete, let alone a mass communications major. "I like it behind the scenes."

He'll be anywhere but behind the scenes as Towson goes through its first season in the Big South. Before the season is over, Boyd could wind up as the school's all-time leader in points scored and assists.

* Another Loyola College coach in another sport, lacrosse assistant Don Zimmerman, is the new head coach of the Maryland Lacrosse Club. He'll succeed Arly Marshall, who is retiring after coaching the team since 1977.

Zimmerman coached three NCAA championship teams at Johns Hopkins before joining Dave Cottle's staff at Loyola.

How is Zimmerman going to find time to coach the Maryland Lacrosse Club while also working as Cottle's full-time assistant at Loyola? Answer: the same way Arly Marshall found time to coach MLC while he was working as Dick Watts' assistant at UMBC.

* Let the Washington Redskins lose a couple of games, as they did before playing Phoenix Sunday, and even some of their fanatic following will begin to lose heart. The Skins had 2,913 no-shows, most of them sorry now that they played hooky on a day when the Redskins walloped the Cardinals, 41-3.

* The Washington Bullets have a little losing streak of their own going, four games at the moment as they entertain San Antonio tonight at the Capital Centre.

It has to be disappointing to coach Wes Unseld when his team gets a career-high 35 points from Harvey Grant, as it did Saturday night in Milwaukee, only to lose.

The Bullets point to injuries to Michael Adams and Rex Chapman as reasons for their current slide. That's the trouble with the Bullets. They're always hurt, year after year.

* Maryland opens a new basketball era tonight with a home game against UMBC -- coach Gary Williams' post-sanction era -- and optimism reigns.

Don't expect the Terps to be much over .500 with so many freshmen playing. One change, as noted by former player Greg Manning, who is color man on radio broadcasts and has seen all the preseason scrimmages and exhibition games. "They have better athletes now," says Manning.

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