Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd opened his post-season press conference by saying he was aware the local media has “a million” questions in an attempt to look back and to look forward.
He said he wouldn’t “have a lot of specifics” but still offered up some tidbits without getting specific. He’s good that way, saying something without saying something. That was clear about the future as he’ll begin to start year two, given Thursday was his one-year anniversary for being on the job.
A month after Arizona’s elimination has seen one guy go – Bennedict Mathurin – with some possibly going (Christian Koloko, Dalen Terry).
Lloyd it’s what happens this time of year after a long season and people looking at options.
Departures could rock the roster.
“Everything’s in flux,” Lloyd said. “As I tell people, April in college basketball is a crazy time. Everybody takes a step back, and every coach wants to renegotiate, every player wants to know what their options are. Obviously, there’s no guarantees about anything, but I feel great that we’re gonna have a really good roster next year.”
What that will look like is anyone’s guess. With Mathurin gone, there’s a chance that Koloko will declare as well, and maybe even Terry. But the latter two are just speculation.
“I’m sure he’ll get drafted,” Lloyd said of Koloko if he decides to leave. “He’s had a great year, and he’s a great young man. It’s just, ‘choose wisely.’ These are big decisions that will impact the rest of your life and ultimately, whatever decision you make, it’s your responsibility to make it the right decision. Those are basically my messages to them.”
They have until April 24 to make their decisions public. Until then, it’s sit and wait. Then, Lloyd will either have to adjust or, well, still adjust depending on what he has left with scholarships and other players. As he said, everything is in flux.
“We’ve all seen college basketball has really changed the last 10 years, then last five years and then the last year there’s been significant changes,” he said. “So, I just think you buckle up, and you understand it’s gonna be a busy offseason and you try to look at the options available. For me, the number one options available are always the guys currently on the team, and I’m trying to do what’s right by them.”
And, of course, for the program. Season two will come soon enough.
“I think we’re in great shape,” he said of what he’d tell the rabid Arizona fans of the recruiting class. “I love where we’re at. People decide to do things for whatever reason, and this is how I operate. I think we’re in great position, and I think we’re gonna have a really good roster next year, and I think will be extremely competitive, and I’m excited about that.”
Still, improvements must be made, even for teams that finish 33-4 overall and short of its goal.
“The first step is everybody’s got to get better individually, and everybody in the coaching staff has to take a step forward, you know what I mean?” Lloyd said. “In those two things, you know, that’s where your first area of improvement is, improving the personnel. Secondly, how we play will be how our roster ends up looking. (Lastly) the last couple of games were extremely physical, and I didn’t think we were a soft team. They were physical. So you know, Can we can we find a ways to be a little bit more physical in some of those (games)? (It’s) easier said than done.”