In the Gym with Jim- Spalding's Jason Loughry

Posted by Michael Glick on Nov 01 2003 at 04:00PM PST
James Quinn Magazine Staff November 2, 2003 For the last two seasons, Archbishop Spalding’s 6-11 Jason Loughry has patiently waited his turn to become the Cavalier’s starting center. When Loughry made the Spalding varsity as a rail thin 6-10. 200 pound sophomore in 2001-2002, 7-0 Will Bowers, now a freshman at the University of Maryland, was already a 6-11, 225 pound junior with a year of starting varsity experience under his belt. As a sophomore and junior, Loughry, who is from Odenton, Marylnd, was listed as a back-up center and power forward for Coach Mike Glick’s Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) powerhouse, but, in reality, with the arrival of superstar Rudy Gay via the transfer route and the emergence of talented sophomore Lawrence Dixon, there was even less opportunity for Loughry at the forward position in 2002-2003. Gus Durr Jr., now a freshman at Mt. St. Mary’s, was Spalding’s starting power forward the last two years. In addition to limited playing time, Loughry’s development was impeded by injuries and his inability to seriously undertake a much-needed weightlifting regimen. As a sophomore, Jason had back problems that kept him from weightlifting for part of the year. As a junior, Loughery suffered a severe ankle sprain late in the season that kept him out of the BCL Championship game, the Alhambra Tournament, and nagged him through Spring AAU events. Further, in his junior year, a heart condition, since corrected, limited Jason’s ability to lift weights and engage in intense cardiovascular work. All of these setbacks aside, Loughry occasionally had some bright moments during his first two seasons, most notably in Spalding’s hard fought 45-40 win over Georgetown prep at last year’s Slam Dunk to the Beach in Lewes, Delaware. With Bowers and Gay in foul trouble, Loughry came off the bench to score 4 points, grab 2 rebounds, and block a shot in an inspired 9 minute relief stint against against the huge Prep frontline of 7-1 Roy Hibbert, 6-9 Davis Nwankwo and 6-8 Aris Williams. After the game, Coach Glick said “Without Jason’s play off the bench, we wouldn’t have won tonight.” Earlier this week, nearly a year later, Prep Coach Dwayne Bryant recalled Loughry’s performance at the Slam Dunk to the Beach, “He (Jason) came in and played well against us. I’m not sure that they could have beat us without his help that night. Even though he is really thin, that kid is going to be a pretty decent college player at the right level.” The question of what is the “correct level” of college for Jason Loughry became a little more confusing this summer as he had a number of very good performances in Summer League action in the Ban The Brick League at St. Alban’s and as he gradually got his weight up to 225 pounds. Loughry turned a few heads one Sunday in July at St. Alban’s when he registered a 13 point, 8 rebound, 4 block, 2 assist effort against a tall and talented team from WCAC power Paul VI. He drained two long jumpers, one a three pointer. With his increased size and strength, Loughry was also playing tougher under the hoop and with increased confidence. After the game, Loughry told that he had offers from Mt. St. Mary’s, Kent State and Rice and was also hearing from two Ivy League schools, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. Loughry has a 3.2 GPA and 1200 + on his SATs. Earlier this Fall, Loughry gave a verbal commitment to Mt. St. Mary’s and their new head coach, former Howard University star and ex-William & Mary assistant coach Milan Brown. Brown is in his first year at the Mount, replacing the retired Hall of Fame legend Jim Phelan. Loughry will join Spalding stars Gus Durr Jr. and Landy Thompson at the Emmittsburg, Maryland, Catholic school. At the time, Spalding Coach Mike Glick told us that he was very pleased with Loughry’s decision. “It is a good academic school, Coach Brown is putting together some nice young talent, his personality and coaching style is a good fit for Jason. I think there is an opportunity for Jason to play there fairly soon if he keeps working hard – which, you know, he will.”, was on hand last month at Spalding HS for the annual BCL preseason All-Star Game. Loughry failed to score a point (in fairness, big men don’t get many “touches” in All- Star games), but he did have a game high five blocked shots. Last Thursday night, traveled to Severn, Maryland, to watch Rudy Gay and his Spalding teammates practice. We were impressed that Jason appeared to have gotten even bigger and more assertive in his inside play since we last saw him in September. “I’m up to 237 pounds now, Loughry told us after practice. I feel a lot stronger and able to compete inside than I did last year.” Regarding his decision to commit so early to Mt. St, Mary’s, Jason told us, “I liked Coach Brown. The previous coach, Coach Phelan, actually started recruiting me the year before. Landy and Gus were already there and it is a good academic school. I had other offers and I could have waited, but I liked what Mt. St. Mary’s had to offer, so I committed early.” Will he be playing right away or is he considering reshirting as a freshman? “I want to play right away. I don’t want to redshirt. I already had two seasons here (at Spalding) where I didn’t play much, so I can’t see sitting out a year as a redshirt. I’m really anxious to PLAY! One of the reasons I selected The Mount is that I think I can play pretty early there,” said Loughry. What are Jason’s goals for his senior year at Spalding? “I don’t really have any goals for myself except to keep getting better. I’m much more interested in the team doing well. It KILLED me to have to sit out injured and watch us lose (to Mt. St. Joe’s) in the BCL Championshp this year. I want to win the BCL. Also, we are playing in some big national games this year, I want to help Spalding build a National reputation.” Early in the 2001-2002 season, when Loughry was a painfully thin, awkward sophomore, Coach Glick predicted that Jason would be a Division One college recruit. “Jason is a great kid, he is a hard worker. He is also a great student and real team-oriented kid. Obviously, he needs to get a lot bigger and stronger and increase his stamina, but he is a 6-11 kid who can shoot, he has long arms, and he has a good feel for the game. With his height and his intangibles as a person and as a student, I guarantee you some D-I schools will want what he has to offer.” Two years later, Loughry has made a prophet of Coach Glick and made a bona fide player of himself. Site-specific editorial/photos Copyright 2002-2003


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