By Andres Waters
After inconsistent play lead to a 5-5 start, Loyola Academy found its stride at just the right time. The Ramblers are hoping to ride their current 8-game win streak into the upcoming Chicago Catholic League Tournament.
“We’ve won this league two of the last four years,” head coach Tom Livatino said. “I have faith in our guys.”
Here is a look at how Loyola has made significant improvements on both sides of the ball during the win streak.
8: Loyola boosted its record to 13-5 with the 8-game streak.
12/23: The teams’ last loss was to Taft on Dec. 23. The Ramblers fell 69-67 in overtime.
3.86: The increase in Loyola’s shooting percentage. Before the streak, Loyola was making 43.79 percent of its’ shots.
1.85: The increase in assists per game. The Ramblers have improved their average to nearly 16 assists per game.
1.63: The increase in the Ramblers’ three-point shooting percentage. Loyola improved its averaged to 36.62 from behind the arc.
3: The decrease in turnover per contest. Prior to the first win of the streak, the team was averaging over 13 turnovers per content.
1.62: The increase in fast-break points per game. Loyola is averaging over 11.12 transition points.
What it means: Livatino said he believes that for his team to win, they needed to make at least eight three-pointers; commit no more than 10 turnovers; and score at least nine points in transition. During the streak, the team has proven moving the ball well has led to better shots.
2.92: The difference in opponents scoring average. During the streak, opponents have averaged just 42.82 points per contest.
1.2: The increase in steals per game. Before the streak, the Ramblers were averaging 7.3 steals per game.
1.57: The increase in turnovers by opponents during the streak. The Ramblers opponents are averaging 16.37 turnovers per game.
0.9: The increase in deflections. During the streak, Loyola has deflected 23.8 passes per game.
What it means: Livatino said he believes his team needs to limit opponents to six offensive rebounds, six points in transition, and record at least 25 deflections and at least three charges. Those deflections and forcing turnovers has been the key to the surging Ramblers.