Quick Loyola-Chicago Basketball Preview

Submitted by robbyt003 on March 26th, 2018 at 8:37 AM

I'm impatient and wanted to learn a little more about our Saturday opponent, so here is a quick snapshot.  If anyone else has any good information, feel free to share it.

Overall Record - 32-5 (15-3)

Common Opponents

None (well that's not helpful)

Starting Five (name links to ESPN profile)

Clayton Custer

6'1" 185 lbs. Junior

13.2 PPG. 45% 3PT (4.1 3PA/Game). 4.2 AST.

Ben Richardson 

6'3" 185 lbs. Senior

7.0 PPG. 40% 3PT (3.5 3PA/Game). 3.9 AST

Marques Townes

6'4" 210 lbs. Junior

11.2 PPG. 40% 3PT (2.0 3PA/Game). 3.9 REB

Donte Ingram

6'6" 215 LBS. Senior

11.3 PPG. 40% 3PT (5.1 3PA/Game). 6.3 REB

Cameron Krutwig

6'9" 260 lbs. Freshman

10.3 PPG. 60% FG. 6.1 REB

Main two off the bench

Lucas Williamson

6'4" 190 lbs. Freshman

20.1 MIN. 4.9 PPG. 42% 3PT (2.2 3PA/Game)

Aundre Jackson

6'5" 230 lbs. Senior

19.1 MIN. 11.0 PPG. 36% 3PT (1.5 3PA/Game)



Not a very big team, and not a very deep team.  They play a lot of small ball, and they can definitely shoot from the outside (DO NOT LET THEM SHOOT FROM THE OUTSIDE).  Their center has attempted 0 3-point shots all year, but he's a guy who is going to try and post you up (DO NOT GET IN FOUL TROUBLE WAGNER).  The good news, if Wagner does get in foul trouble I think Teske could have a huge day on the boards.  On paper they look a lot like the Beilein teams of the past.  The good news is the Beilein teams of the present are a lot more athletic, and play a lot better defense, and I think that is going to ultimately be the deciding factors.


Here is a link to a diary of a more in-depth version by Bambi.



March 26th, 2018 at 8:43 AM ^

I like this matchup, Krutwig is going to get abused by Mo and Teske. MAAR and Simpson will be able to drive the ball as well.


March 26th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

I mostly agree with you. But quite a few other teams have assumed that they would easily beat Loyola. Thankfully, Beilein, of all coaches, will not overlook them, but will have the team as ready as possible. I don't think Loyola is going to easily give up three point shots.

One Armed Bandit

March 26th, 2018 at 8:47 AM ^

Moritz Wagner: Tall, Can hit the 3, Lutheran

Muhammad Ali-Abdur Rahkman: Great slasher, Ice cold demeanor at the FT line, Muslim

Jordan Poole: Freshman, Has the Devil's hair, Likes to play the hero.


March 26th, 2018 at 8:52 AM ^

Seems like a well coached team with a few ice-in-the-viens shooters. Let's see how they deal with our defense. Our offense will decide if its a close game or not. 

Robbie Moore

March 26th, 2018 at 8:55 AM ^

To spread the floor and the drive to the basket. With Zavier, Rahk, Wagner and Matthews we certainly can. I see a lot of our threes coming from the corner off drives and kick outs.


March 26th, 2018 at 8:59 AM ^

Loyola Chicago has the 60th most efficient offense with the 18th more efficient defense (M is 31 and 4 by comparison).

As noted they are an excellent shooting team (40.2% from 3 and 56.8% from 2 for an eFG% of 58.0%) but they are prone to turnovers (18.9%, 218th) and woeful on the offensive glass (22.2%, 332/351) which drags down their overall offensive efficiency. They don't get to the foul line a lot, either. Interesting to note, even though they shoot a high percentage from deep, they don't shoot a ton of a threes, with only 35.8% of their attempts coming from beyond the arc.

Their defense is very solid, allowing low shooting numbers across the board. They aren't very tall so blocks won't be an issue. They allow a slightly below average amount of threes per game at a low clip, but as we know, the best way to not get bombed from three is to not allow them in the first place, which is where Michigan is uber elite.

Goggles Paisano

March 26th, 2018 at 8:58 AM ^

They look like a smaller version of us.  They have quite a few guys that can shoot it and they play good D.  I think they will struggle offensively against us as many of their open looks won't be there.  I think it comes down to how we shoot.  If we can be somewhere in the middle between the A&M game and the Fla St. game, we should be ok.  


March 26th, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

All these stats don't seem to adjust for their relatively weak opponents.  Granted they must be playing well now but its hard to compare their ability to stop the 3 for instance when they aren't playing good three point shooting teams.


March 26th, 2018 at 9:16 AM ^

This is a good primer, thanks for this. Also thanks for the diary shout out in the OP.

I just posted this as a comment in my diary but I'll repost it here, warning long as post ahead:

Admittedly I haven't watched much Loyola basketball this year, but I think the older versions of Michigan Beilein teams comparison is fairly accurate. They have generally have 4 shooters on the court with one traditional big. I think they do a good job of passing around the perimeter and moving off ball to get shooters open but also wing players for backcuts.

They're a very good 3 point shooting team even though they don't take a ton of them. They don't seem to force up a lot of looks, more that they'll wait for really good ones and if those aren't there they'll reset and run more offense, hence the slower pace. 

I think the best thing about their offense is the multitude of ways they get shooters open. I mentioned perimeter passing/movement like old Beilein teams, but their guards also do a good job of driving into the lane, collapsing the D and kicking out to open shooters. I generally think a less athletic Jordan Morgan comparison is good for Krutwig, but I think he's a much better passer out of the low post. He has a 15% assist rate which is really good for a big man and Loyola will often throw it down low to him so the D collpases and he can kick it back out to an open shooter.

Preventing them from getting 3 point looks is important, and luckily that's what this coaching staff will try to stop. Not helping off perimeter players is very important. Luckily I think we have the personel to do so. If they try to drive on Z, MAAR or Matthews I think all 3 should be able to prevent Loyola's guards from getting to the rim. All 3 are good to great defenders and while Loyola's guards are good, I don't think they're good enough or athletic enough to consistently beat these 3 off the dribble.

I mentioned on O that this could be a good game for Wagner with his 3 point shooting. The issue for him will be defending Krutwig down low. I think he should be able to hold his own here for the most part, but if he can't bring in Teske. I think this could actually be a big game for Teske on both sides of the ball if it does end up that way. He should definitely be able to conatin Krutwig one-on-one which will also shut down his ability to pass to open shooters out of the low post since we shouldn't have to help off. On O he'll have a 4 inch height advantage on Krutwig and 7+ on anyone else if they switch. At that point he should be able to feast on the boards with putbacks and 2nd chance opportunities for the rest of the team. Or we can just throw it down low if there's a switch and let him go to work.

The last two things I noticed about their O. One is that they run the pick and roll fairly well so that will be important to guard well. Secondly is they look to be pretty lethal in transition. All tournament they've pushed fairly often, even off missed shots, and when they push they do a great job of getting to the hoop and finding transition shooters. Our transition D is great, both at preventing opportunities and stopping the ones that happen, so continuing that is key. I feel confident we can though, especially when Teske's in and we can send 4 guys back on D when a shot goes up and we still might be able to get ORebs. Also like I said they don't force a ton of turnovers and we don't turn it over so we shouldn't give up many live ball steals and chances for transition points.

I think overall the game plan here might be similar to Purdue this year. Let Krutwig get his down low but don't let the outside shooters beat you. Their outside shooting is really good (40%, 10th nationally) but still worse than Purdue's (42%, 2nd nationally) so we've faced better in that regard and won. I also am not nearly as scared of Krutwig beating us down low as I was of Haas, so I think that matches well enough for us. If we execute a Purdue game plan well, and they're not hitting every 3 they jack up no matter how well contested, I think we're in a good spot here.


March 26th, 2018 at 9:17 AM ^

Lets not forget Yaklich is intimately familiar with Loyola from his time at Illinois State and actually owned them as their defensive coordinator. Not sure where this goes in this mini-preview but it’s definitely important.


March 26th, 2018 at 9:19 AM ^

Richardson and Custer both had some injuries early in the year. If you go back to the point when they were both healthy, Loyola is the #16 team on Bart Torvik's site. This team ain't no slouch, and it probably the 2nd best team we've played all tournament. 


March 26th, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

Yeah can’t help off of kutwig in this game, have to trust mo and teske and not their shooters get clean looks.

Should be interesting to see what happens when they go small. Livers is probably going to spend some time practicing at the 5 this week.


March 26th, 2018 at 9:52 AM ^

has lucked into the right side of the bracket and will now face a team that it is better on paper and on the court in terms of depth and personnel usage. Loyola plays Beilein ball. So Michigan is going up against a team it actually mirrors and it knows intimately inside and out from its own game. The difference for Michigan as we have come to learn about this team is not whether it shoots well or not, but how it defends Loyola.

And, quite honestly, we've seen Michigan take teams out that rely on the three, such as Purdue with its array of three point shooters, drivers and bigger inside threats. Zavier has a more even matchup with Cluster. MAAR has a perfect matchuup with Richardson. Matthews could again be Michigan's go-to threat along with Robinson, with Mo and Teske providing balance and rim protection while opening up the outside and driving lanes.

The reason Michigan is a diffcult defensive assignment for any team, isn't because of its relative size, it's because of its spacing, sets and abilty to get to the basket.

On the defensive end, Michigan doesn't even have to win the rebound battle or make a ton of three throws, it just has to overwhelm Loyola with transitioin baskets off the many turnovers I expect iLoyola will generate. Michigan's guard pressure I expect will be the major difference on Saturday.  I feel extremely confident about Michigan's chances this coming weekend.


Der Alte

March 26th, 2018 at 9:59 AM ^

Against K-State, Loyola-Chi shot 54.7% from the floor; 50% from outside the arc.

I’ve lived too long to guarantee much of anything, but I seriously doubt Loyola-Chi will shoot anywhere near those numbers on Saturday. This from the March 25th Tallahassee Democrat:

Michigan's defense is for real: Michigan came into the game boasting one of the best defenses in college basketball, and they lived up to the hype. Their on-ball pressure caused a lot of issues for the Seminoles, and they were never able to establish an offensive rhythm. FSU shot just 23.3 percent in the second half, and that wasn't because the Seminoles were missing easy shots. Every shot was contested, and FSU rarely got an open look.

FWIW, Loyola-Chi outrebounded K-State 36-28 --- rather remarkable for a small-ball team.

One other interesting stat is that against K-State, Loyola-Chi turned the ball over 15 times. Xavier Simpson probably can’t wait for Saturday.


March 26th, 2018 at 10:16 AM ^

I posted this over on 247 but figured I’d post here.

As a Loyola Student and life long Michigan fan who has seen nearly every single game of both teams this year, both teams are VERY similar. Like some have mentioned already, Loyola plays great defense, like Michigan, shoots the 3 very well, like Michigan, and has been overlooked all tournament, like Michigan.

Krutwig isn't someone who can jump out of the room (very bad at rebounding) but he has some of the best feet I've seen down low. Especially for a Freshman. He will give Wagner some problems with his post moves and if he isn't careful, could get into foul trouble quickly. HOWEVER, like I already mentioned with his rebounding, Wagner, and Teske for that matter, should feast with rebounds. He's a very serviceable defender as well though Wagner stretching the floor may give him some problems. Haven't seen him do too much defending around the arc so hard to really judge his abilities out there. Krutwig is also a post only type of guy so he doesn't really provide much threat to move away from the basket which should help Michigan's defense.

For the wing guys, while no one on Loyola has the athleticism that Charles Mathews has, they are all good enough defenders to make up for lacking in that department. Ben Richardson was the MVC defensive player of the year for a reason. Dude will give MAAR or Simpson problems when he guards them.

Like most games, this game is going to come down to who can shoot the 3 at a better clip. Also, Wagner and Teske will need to make sure they are being smart when defending Krutwig and not biting on his pump fakes and maintaining good positioning when he goes to work down low. Those two cannot get into foul trouble, which Krutwig has shown an ability to do to opposing big men. Ultimately, I do think Wagner being a better player than Krutwig and the athleticism advantage Michigan has will overcome Loyola but I don't think this will be a walk in the park that some seem to think it will be. The only way I see Michigan blowing Loyola out is if there is an insane discrepancy in the 3 %'s which I don't think will happen.


March 26th, 2018 at 10:22 AM ^

Michigan has done a fantastic job of limiting and contesting teams shooting threes, so on paper this looks like a good matchup. Without Ents patrolling the basket, this looks like a game where Michigan can drive and hopefully create good looks.

Nice to not have to worry about the defense in a game like this. Like football, it’s gotten to the point where you just know what to expect game in game out. Still doesn’t make it any less amazing to see what they’ve accomplished this season.

The Fan in Fargo

March 26th, 2018 at 11:57 AM ^

M handled Purdue's big guy and their 3 point specialists. No way in hell this Loyola team is better inside and out than Purdue. Not a chance. If Michigan brings their A game, title game baby!! Go Blue!!