Can Loyola Marymount Beat Colorado?

Tully Corcoran

Loyola Marymount hasn't played much of a schedule this year and hasn't done that well against that schedule. 

The Lions (3-4) head to Boulder to face No. 20 Colorado (6-0) on Wednesday, and it's tough to see much of a path to victory for a team that has losses to Nevada, Colorado State, Indiana State and Duquesne (the wins are over Westcliffe, Air Force and Southern Utah). 

For the sake of making this interesting, let's look at the Colorado State game. Loyola played the Rams to within 10, and had a seven-point lead at halftime after holding CSU to 29 percent field goal shooting in the first half while shooting 55 percent itself. 

That totally reversed in the second half, which accounts for the 17-point turnaround. But if you're looking for a reason to believe this upset could happen, that's about as good as you're going to do. 

Other than Colorado's offense, that is. 

Coach Tad Boyle is taking things all the way back to basics for the Buffaloes, focusing on getting paint touches and moving the ball on the perimeter. 

“It’s a couple of things,” Boyle told BuffZone Monday. “It’s moving the ball side to side, getting the ball swung from one side to the other. And getting the ball into the paint. When we do those two things, we usually have good offensive possessions. When we struggle is when we take quick jump shots, and we haven’t swung the ball, we haven’t gotten the ball inside. Because you collapse the defense. A lot of it is patience. But paint touches and ball swings is something we really emphasized today."

CU has been outstanding on defense, but is shooting just 41 percent from the floor. Evan Battey is the only Buffaloes rotation player shooting better than 50 percent -- even Tyler Bey is only at 46 percent.

So from that angle, the Lions have a chance. Colorado could always go cold. Colorado is pretty much always cold. It hasn't had a disastrous shooting night yet, but something like that seems bound to happen. 

And that's really Loyola's only chance. 

Prediction: Colorado actually gets hot on Wednesday, and finishes better than 50 percent from the field for the first time this year. Loyola gets in an early hole it can never dig out of and CU wins going away, 74-58. 

 

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