Position: Guard Class: Sophomore Hometown: South Webster, Ohio
Austin Loop, already leading Conference USA in made 3-pointers, put on a shooting exhibition in Saturday’s home win over Western Kentucky. Loop canned six of his 10 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 23 points. In addition to his career-high six 3-pointers, Loop also went a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Loop has been a lethal 3-point threat all season, where he has made 69-177 3-pointers this season for a 39 percent clip. In fact, 78.4 percent of his made field goals and 83.1 percent of his total field goal attempts this season have come from behind the arc. The perimeter shooting has made Loop into a game-to-game scoring option this season as he ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.6 PPG.
Loop’s 3-point shooting prowess has been well-documented, but Loop’s team-leading 32.3 minutes per game is a strong indication that he has developed into a well-rounded and reliable overall player. Loop is a solid defender who showcases excellent effort and disciplined technique in terms of his stance and foot movement. He has worked on becoming more comfortable working off the dribble this season. However, Loop’s true value is as the sharpshooter he’s always been known for. In head coach Dan D’Antoni’s pace and space type offense, Loop’s shooting forces defenders to stay disciplined and not over help off of him which opens up space and driving lanes for his teammates.
Loop on his value as a floor spacer: “[Teams] have started shading me a little bit more and that opens up the floor for everyone else. If [teams] are guarding the middle hard then I’m getting shots and vice versa.”
Loop on his continued overall development: “Being a threat as a shooter is nice, but if I could add going off the dribble to my game, that makes me that much harder to guard. When you can’t just expect me to shoot a shot every time and know that I can go off the dribble, which I’m working on. I’m working on my pull-ups now, but if I can just get to where I can handle the ball a little better.”