Men’s basketball prepares for post-season charge


Ryan Talley/The Maroon

Senior point guard and finance major Michael Harden dribbles the ball against Faulkner University on Feb. 2, 2023.

Alana Thompson, Assistant Sports Editor

The Loyola men’s basketball team has entered the final stretch of the 2022-23 regular season and is seeking to defend their National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship title. The team has a 19-5 record and is ranked No. 14 in the NAIA polls under first-year head coach Donald Reyes. 

Reyes has also led the team to a 14-3 conference record and a .824 win percentage. He described this season and the adjustments the team would need to implement going forward to reach their goals.

“I think it’s been great, honestly,” Reyes said on Jan 28. “Following up on any national championship is going to be tough. I think we’ve persevered this far.” 

Reyes added that there are still a few “bumps and bruises” the team needs to work on, like sharing the basketball a little better and getting more rebounds. 

“We’re not as big of a team as last year, so we got to do a better job on the boards,” Reyes said. “Sitting at 17-4 now, we’re in a great space.” 

Following their loss to the University of Mobile Rams on Jan. 28, senior forward Jalen Galloway said that the team has “exceeded expectations,” but he said he still thinks that there is room for improvement. 

“I think we need to come together, starting with myself,” Galloway said. “I think [that] I’ve been too selfish and not where the team needs me. I need to be better for the team on and off the court and help the other guys [to get] where we want to be.”

Junior guard Josh Tolbert also emphasized the importance of the team rebuilding and working together. 

“We just have to play together,” Tolbert said. “It’s a new team, so it takes some time but other than that we’re doing good right now and we’re staying focused.”

The same sentiment was expressed by senior guard Michael Harden who also addressed the “growing pains” the team endured. 

“We’re working towards being more sound on defense and completing possessions with rebounds,” Harden said. “We move the ball pretty well, so I’m happy with that. But we know the ultimate goal.” 

With a couple of games left in the regular season and the conference tournament approaching, the team is getting closer to the goal of reaching the NAIA National Championship in Kansas City, Missouri on March 13. 

(Editor’s note: this story has been updated with most recent win-loss record and to correct previous editing errors)