Charley Toomey admits that he thinks about Loyola's NCAA tournament profile

Greyhounds coach understands team needs signature win on schedule, but also insists focus is on Hobart this Saturday

April 17, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Speculation persists that in order for Loyola to repeat as national champion, the team must defeat No. 13 Johns Hopkins on April 27 or win the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament (May 3-5) to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Charley Toomey is refreshingly candid in admitting that he has begun thinking about the No. 8 Greyhounds’ tournament profile.

“I try not to, but it’s kind of hard not to look at your own resume and look at resumes that are out there,” he said Wednesday morning. “We understand – and I’ve been on that [selection] committee – that we have opportunities, and we need to have another win on our schedule – whether that’s an Ohio State, a Denver, a Johns Hopkins. But more than that, you try not to look at that stuff because all you can do is prepare for the next opponent and that is something that I think our kids do a pretty good job of. They keep their head down and they keep focused. We’ve got to go out and win a tough game against Hobart [this Saturday]. That’s our focus right now.”

Loyola is 9-3 with losses to No. 1 Denver, No. 2 Duke and No. 6 Maryland. Those setbacks are by a combined four goals, but Toomey said the narrow margins don’t bother him.

“You can pull your hair out, but I’d probably be a lot more frustrated if they were 10-goal losses,” he said. “I can sleep knowing that we’re giving ourselves a chance and we have to fix a few small things. But I really believe it’s playing at full strength, it’s playing with a sense of urgency and playing with discipline. Some of the discipline plays are the ones that have hurt us. So that’s been our concentration over the last couple weeks, to play disciplined.”

Closing out the regular season with wins against Hobart and Johns Hopkins might be enough for the Greyhounds to strengthen their grip on one of the coveted at-large bids in the NCAA tournament. That discussion may have filtered down to the players and coaches, but Toomey said he has not heard anyone talking about that scenario.

“There’s no talk that we need to win out,” he said. “There’s enough on our schedule, and they know that. I won’t talk like that. I will say that my first comment after I walked into the locker room [after Saturday’s 13-12 overtime loss to Denver] was, ‘We might have put ourselves in a little bit of a pickle.’ They know what I meant by that. We’ve got to get one of these games, we’ve got to get two of these games. We just need to play better. Before you can worry about what anybody else is doing, we need to worry about ourselves.”

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