(Photo Credit: @Stevewphoto)
In one of the most anticipated games scheduled for this season, Loyola Chicago visits Indianapolis and plays the Hoosiers in a closed scrimmage this Sunday. Porter Moser’s Ramblers come off of historical a final four run where they finished 32-6. After just joining the Valley in the 2014-2015 season, Moser has the Ramblers as the preseason favorite to win the conference.
These “secret scrimmages” have been popularized in recent years for a number of reasons. Coaches are able to adjust the rules to specifically work on key areas for their teams. For example, the coaches could agree that no three-point shots would be allowed in the first quarter. Division I teams are not allowed to have exhibition games against other Division I teams, so competing with a high-level midwestern team would not even be possible as an exhibition. The contest also takes place in a secluded environment, without media and fans, and coaches do not have to worry about impacts to their final tournament resume.
While there are financial impacts to not hosting a ticketed game at Assembly Hall, Fred Glass and Archie Miller hope that this game could be made up with additional games added to the back end of the season.
Loyola’s Last Season
Loyola was the Cinderella of the 2017-2018 season and reached final four for the first time in 55 years for its second total visit in program history. Taking down Miami, Tennessee, Nevada, and Kansas State before falling to a tough Michigan team has set up the team for strong expectations during the 2018-2019 campaign.
Meet the Ramblers
- Donte Ingram – Arguably the biggest departure for Loyola Chicago. The 6’6″ senior graduated. He averaged 11.0 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game last year.
- Aundre Jackson – Contributed 11.0 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game; however, he efficiently added to the box score averaging less than 19 minutes per game.
- Ben Richardson – The hero of the Kansas State game where he led all scorers at 23 points in 36 minutes. The 6’3″ guard from Kansas will be playing professionally overseas.
- Adarius Avery – Transferred to Central Oklahoma. The 6’5″ guard will look to get more playing time with a different program.
- Cameron Satterwhite – Transferred to Northern Arizona and moves closer to home. The 6’4″ Arizona native will not be with the Ramblers for his junior year.
- Other departures include Carson Shanks, Nick Dinardi,
- Clayton Custer – The 6’1″ guard returns as the undisputed leader of the team. The fifth year senior was named the MVC player of the year and also was awarded the Lou Henson Award (for the top mid-major player) after leading the team in scoring and assists.
- Marques Townes – The redshirt senior will be Custer’s backcourt partner. He was named in the preseason Missouri Valley second-team. A 6’4″ guard, he shot 51.4% from the field (38.7% from three). Fans remember Townes for draining the hero shot in the NCAA tournament game that sent the Ramblers to the Elite Eight.
- Cameron Krutwig – Sophomore Center standing at 6’9″, he averaged 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game. Named to Missouri Valley’s preseason second team for his skilled abilities as a big.
- Aher Uguak – The transfer from New Mexico will be debuting for Loyola Chicago this season and have three additional remaining years of eligibility. Porter Moser is already looking for unique ways to use Uguak and was responsible for Aher logging in the most minutes during the exhibition game.
- Lucas Williamson – Local star Lucas Williamson was a major rotation player for the Ramblers last year as he averaged over 20 minutes per game. The 6’4″ guard appeared in all 38 games.
- Bruno Skokna – Bruno also appeared in all 38 games. The 6’4″ native of Croatia will be looking to increase his usage during his junior season. He had a 47% field goal percentage.
- Other returners include: Christian Negron, Jake Baughman (W), Dylan Boehm (W)
- Franklin Aguananne – Three-star 6’8″ Center from La Lumiere (IN) preparatory school. He will help to add size in the paint and will provide minutes behind Cameron Krutwig.
- Cooper Kaifes – Three-star 6’3″ shooting guard from Shawnee, KS. He led all freshmen in scoring and in minutes during the exhibition game with Winona State.
- Isaiah Bujdoso – Three-star 6’2″ point guard from Hamilton, ON. He has an opportunity to be a rotation player and learn from one of the best guards in the conference.
- Others incoming include: Will Alcock (W), Tate Hall (transferred from University of Indianapolis and will sit out the 2018 season)
One Game in the Books
Continuing the topic of exhibition games, Loyola won their first preseason game of the year 82-52 over Winona State. Loyola Chicago shot an impressive 53.8% FG and 37.5% behind the arc. They held Winona State to 52 points with 33.8% FG and 25.8% 3FG.
Clayton Custer dropped 16 points in only 22 minutes of play. Cameron Krutwig and Cooper Kaifes each logged 12 points each in 17 and 21 minutes respectively.
Worth noting, the Ramblers only turned over the ball 8 times and assisted on 22 FGs.
What to “Watch” For
Now obviously we use the term “watch” lightly as the Ramblers battle the Hoosiers behind locked doors. Starting off the season in a neutral court scrimmage where our heavily recruited and much improved team is widely considered the underdog will show where we stand early on.
The public will not be able to know the finer details of the scrimmage but staff will find out if the team is able to keep up against Loyola’s strong, efficient offense reliant on crisp execution. Also unconfirmed: the attendance of Ramblers’ X-factor Sister Jean.
- Packline showdown: Archie Miller is going to put up his packline against Porter Moser’s when the two teams tip-off. Mosers brand of the packline where they are less emphatic on preventing the distribution into the paint. Both teams will walk away with defensive game tape that they can be studied in order to prepare for the beginning of the season.
- Experience versus talent: We saw last year that the freshmen surprisingly handled Archie’s coaching philosophies much better than some of the veterans. Partly due to not needing to unlearn old habits. Loyola, on the other hand, has 3-year and 4-year players under coach Porter Moser. Can high-level talent at least allow Indiana to keep the game respectable against matured system players?
- Duel of the guards: The key comparison for the exhibition game will be between fifth-year senior and experienced leader Clayton Custer versus freshman phenom Romeo Langford. Expect an epic duel between these two guards.
- Sizing up against one of the best: During a year where Indiana will have to play three power-five teams in the opening month of November (one of those being a road game in Durham against Duke), having the ability to practice against of the best teams in the region in such an early timeframe will pay dividends later in the season. Indiana will have the opportunity to learn very quickly where the gaps will be. Freshmen have the chance to play at the highest level of college ball and really gauge themselves to see if they are ready.
- Will shots go in? Last year, the team desperately needed shooting. As a result, the doctor prescribed a scoring machine from New Albany, Indiana and a 40%+ 3PG% grad transfer from California. Can these two operate in a traditionally slower paced team? Did the offseason help with Juwan Morgan’s shot form and consistency? We will have some initial rumblings on Sunday.
How to Watch
|Date||Sunday, October 28th|
|Tickets||None, you just need a way to break into Bankers Life Fieldhouse.|