Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Loyola (MD) SG Dylon Cormier about switching from the MAAC to the Patriot League over the summer.
GG Smith was named head coach in April, what do you think of him so far, and how has he been able to connect with a group of new players? GG is a players’ coach and has done a great job so far: we can talk to him about anything.
Your program moved from the MAAC to the Patriot League over the summer, what impact has this had on your preseason preparation, if any? Not much, but we have tried to create a new identity.
Your non-conference road schedule includes trips to UConn, West Virginia, and Miami: which of these 3 games do you feel will present your biggest test? I think UConn might be ranked the highest, but all three will be tough so we will just go out there and try our hardest.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season? I would like us to be regular season champs and Patriot League tourney champs.
You started 27 games as a freshman, how were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? I had a great system and a great coach: he said if I played hard and played defense then I would get to start.
In the 2012 MAAC tourney title game you scored fve points in a four-point win over Fairfield. Where does that rank among the highlights of your career? It is definitely near the top, maybe just behind the Ohio State game in the NCAA tourney. Besides winning a national title, winning a conference title is the next best thing.
Last November you scored a career-high 27 points (11-12 FT) in a win at Coppin State. Was it just one of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were “in the zone”? Kind of: I had my whole family there since I was playing at home in Baltimore, and I just kept it going all night long.
You led your team in scoring last season, what is your secret for being a great scorer? I try to take easy shots when I can and find buckets that other people cannot get.
You also finished second in the MAAC with 62 steals and led your team in offensive rebounds, how do you balance your offense with your defense? Offensive rebounds and steals go hand-in-hand: a lot of my steals come from opposing big men after they get a rebound of their own.
In the 2013 CIT you scored 16 points in a win over Boston University and 18 points in a win over Kent State. What did you learn from your run in the tourney that you think will help you this year? I learned that you have to be smart on every possession in the postseason, and we got a lot of valuable experience.