Let's all drink in some bean slingin' from the NCAA Tournament's most outstanding player.
For much of the 2012 season Eric Lusby seemed to take a back seat to Tewaaraton finalist, and teammate, Mike Sawyer. When the final stall warning was issued last year, though, Lusby stood out as Loyola's most dangerous asset: With respect to adjusted individual point production, Lusby ranked 19th nationally in points generated per 100 offensive possesions at 10.84. (Sawyer finished 35th -- a very respectable mark -- in the same metric.) Lusby's contributions to Loyola's success didn't permeate the national consciousness until the NCAA Tournament when the attack lost his mind. In just four games, Lusby:
- Scored 17 goals, a tournament record. This included a four-goal performance in the national championship game.
- Generated 22 points over four games, three shy of the record of 25 held by two guys -- Cornell's Eamon McEneaney (1977) and Cornell's Tim Goldstein (1987).
- Held a raw shooting percentage, over the course of the playoffs, of 42.5 percent. 42.5 percent. If that isn't a record, it has to be close to one.
- Accomplished this all on only 108 total Loyola offensive possesions. This is good for a raw individual offensive efficiency of 15.74. (In other words, Lusby would score almost 16 goals on a 100-possession basis.) If we look at this in terms of points per offensive possession, Lusby is dynamic, holding a 20.37 value. That's bonkers, son, especially considering the level of competition he was up against.
That is among the most dominant offensive efforts in the 40-year history of the NCAA Tournament. And the Greyhounds need to replace it for the 2013 season.
Now, Loyola isn't exactly hurting in the talent department for next season; this isn't the-little-school-from-nowhere-that-did-something-amazing. The 'Hounds have hammers in the tool box, and to address Lusby's absence Charley Toomey may turn to some youth:
And finally, replacing Lusby, the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Sophomore Nikko Pontrello, who pushed Justin Ward for his spot early last season, is the leader at this point. Pontrello, a dodger, brings a different dynamic to the unit that Lusby's dangerous set shot. With Sawyer's righty cannon spacing defenses and Ward distributing the ball, Pontrello is a slasher that can get inside opposing defenses. Another option that the staff said has looked good is freshman Zach Herreweyers, who wasn't at last Friday's practice because of class.