2 key components of Loyola (MD)’s offense
They have flown under the radar so far, but I have been impressed with the start by Loyola (MD), as they currently sit at 8-1, with their only loss coming in their opening game to Wake Forest. While they don’t have a signature win, they have 2-0 in MAAC conference play so far and look ready to challenge Iona and Fairfield for conference supremacy. While those two teams are still the favorite, the Greyhounds should be able to give them a run for their money.
Their adjusted offensive efficiency for all games is 102.0 (123rd in the country), while their efficiency through two conference games is 106.0, 4th in the conference. They rely on two aspects for their offense: scoring from Dylon Cormier and offensive rebounds.
Dylon Cormier dribble drives
Loyola (MD) has a near perfect allocation of possessions, as their most efficient player (who plays at least 60% of minutes), Cormier, uses the most possessions. Cormier takes 25.7% of shots and has the highest offensive rating on the team at 118.5, which is first in the conference for players using at least 24% of possessions.
Cormier averages 17.9 points per game, while posting a 57.7% effective field goal percentage, sixth in the conference. He gets a majority of his points by penetrating to the rim and finishing in traffic. The defense is surrounding him in the following frames as Cormier drives to the rim, yet he is able to finish the close range shot with several opponents surrounding him.
Cormier is able to break down his defender off the dribble and finish once he gets into the paint, which is useful for the offense when the play breaks down. He is really the only player on the team who can consistently create off the dribble and will need to continue to be able to attack the rim the entire season.
With an effective height of 1.7 (57th in the nation), the Greyhounds are able to grab 42.7% of their misses, good for 5th in the nation. While they sometimes send 3-4 players to the offensive glass, many of their rebounds come from their players knowing where the ball is going to come off the rim and getting in position to grab the loose ball.
In the following play, Cormier is in the far corner when the shot is taken from the right side of the court. Cormier streaks down the baseline and cuts in front of Travis McKie to grab the rebound. Cormier is the only player crashing the glass hard and he uses his basketball IQ to beat all the defensive players to the loose ball.
Loyola seems to get many of their offensive rebounds not by using their height advantage or overloading the offensive glass but by predicting where the ball will land after the missed shot and beating the defense to the spot. This helps them extend their possessions and get easy shots at the rim after their offensive rebounds.
Loyola doesn’t have a great offense but they will be in the top half of the MAAC, which will allow them to contend this season. They will continue to rely on Cormier to get to the rim and use their height and intelligence to grab offensive rebounds throughout the season.