Keys for Loyola

Manage the hype and stay present. Two years ago, the Hounds were submarined at home by the Jays on senior day, posing for photos and kissing mom 10 minutes before battle. The festivities weren't conducive for peak performance. They woke up trailing 5-0 and eventually lost in overtime. Loyola is living off its 14-7 one-hit wonder win over Duke and isn't battle-tested like the six teams in the ACC. Communicate on defense and stay in sync. Loyola has top-notch defensive personnel with Joe Fletcher (pictured) and Pat Laconi. Navigating the pitfalls that Hopkins creates using the pick-and-roll offense, and two-man games behind the goal, are the challenge. Former Boys' Latin player Wells Stanwick and Co. have had success causing chaos, changing matchups and getting the defense confused. The two-man games, in conjunction with off-ball movement, have worked well. The Hounds must decide to stay on their man, switch or jump the pick and double-team, while covering up inside. If they can keep Hopkins' shooters out of the paint, goalie Jack Runkel will have a big afternoon. Shoot high on Hopkins goalie Eric Schneider. He has been prone to dipping or dropping down low in favor of protecting the upper corners. High heat has been most effective against Schneider.
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun
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