Gratuitous Eric Lusby Highlights? Gratuitous Eric Lusby Highlights!

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.

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