After Sweet 16 loss, Arizona Wildcats’ coach Tommy Lloyd says ‘our day in the sun will come’

Mar 29, 2024, 7:10 AM

Tommy Lloyd...

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Head coach Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after losing the the Clemson Tigers during the second half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Arena on March 28, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. The Clemson Tigers won, 77-72. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona exited the NCAA Tournament after a 77-72 loss to Clemson in Los Angeles on Thursday in a Sweet 16 matchup.

Wildcats head coach Tommy Lloyd, while disappointed, thinks the program is in a good spot after his first three seasons in Tucson.

“I love the culture we’re starting to really build at Arizona,” Lloyd told reporters after the loss. “I feel like I’m real big on eventually getting some compound return on our investment. I think we’re going to do that. I think we’re doing all the right things.”

No. 2 seed Arizona did not do all the right things versus No. 6 Clemson.

The Wildcats trailed by eight points at halftime and despite tying the score 43-43 early in the second half, could never get into a rhythm against sixth-seeded Clemson.

Among the biggest issues was their accuracy from long range, going 5-of-28 (17.9%) from 3-point range.

“We dug deep and we got ourselves back in the game, but we were just never able to take that next step,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd was ousted in the Sweet 16 for the second time in his three seasons. Last season, the Wildcats lost to Princeton — a 15th seed — in the first round.

“We just want to be making progress,” Lloyd said. “So, I love where we’re at. I think I wasn’t ready to take a breath but I’m going to take a breath and we’ll re-evaluate, and we’re going to have another really good offseason and continue to build.”

He added, “We’re just going to continue to build on that foundation. We’re going to continue to get teams that are this competitive, and our day in the sun will come.”

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