A deep dive into Tommy Lloyd's bounceback NCAA Tournament

How has 2024 NCAA Tournament Head Coach Tommy Lloyd grown from the 2023 NCAA Tournament Head Coach Tommy Lloyd?

Dayton v Arizona
Dayton v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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March Masterclass

Throughout the season, Lloyd remained loyal to his starters, even when their shots weren't falling. However, in the tournament, he displayed a willingness to make adjustments. When Caleb Love struggled with his shooting, Lloyd encouraged him to focus on defense and passing, and Love gained more confidence which led to a contribution of 18 points and 11 rebounds against Long Beach State in the first round.

Lloyd's adaptability was evident in his decision to substitute KJ Lewis and play more of Jaden Bradley in the second round when Kylan Boswell faced strong defensive pressure from Dayton. This adjustment paid off, with Bradley making crucial plays in the late stages of the game.

This year, Lloyd benefits from players with tournament experience, such as Love and Keshad Johnson, who have both participated in a Final Four. In-game decisions, such as playing the hot hand, pressing mid-game, and double-teaming among other things showcase Lloyd's willingness to adjust his strategy and tactics to maximize his team's chances of success.

With his extensive NCAA tournament experience, Lloyd understands the ins and outs of the competition. This year's Wildcats have shown a commitment to playing selflessly and for the team, a sentiment echoed in their post-game interviews. Lloyd has adapted his preparations and embraced in-game adjustments, setting a new path towards redemption.

As Lloyd himself stated, "Fortunately, I think this is my 25th time in the NCAA tournament, so I’ve been around it a little bit, some of our guys have been around it a little bit. To be quite honest, I think we’re built for it.” The team has embodied the spirit of being "Made for it," as coined by Arizona WBB head coach Adia Barnes. Wildcats fans feel a renewed confidence in their team and coach as they look ahead to their Elite 8 matchup against the Clemson Tigers in Los Angeles.

The redemption of Tommy Lloyd and the growth of the Arizona Wildcats throughout this tournament showcase the strength of adaptability and the impact of in-game adjustments. With their newfound confidence and the guidance of their coach, Arizona fans believe in their team's potential to compete for a championship title this year.

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