OMAHA – There are a few ways to look at how “The Season After” went down for Porter Moser’s team.
There is disappointment sure.
Loyola went from the National Semifinals a year ago to a first round exit in the NIT, which ended for them quickly in a 70-61 loss to Creighton in Omaha Tuesday night. That’s about two weeks earlier than a year ago, when four-straight victories in the NCAA Tournament sent the Ramblers to their first Final Four since 1963.
It’s a tough thing for some seniors like Marques Townes and Clayton Custer to swallow, considering the team had hoped to appear in the tournament for a second-straight year. A loss to Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinals put those hopes to rest.
Yet at the same time, the season can be viewed as a tremendous success, considering what those remaining from the Final Four team were still able to accomplish.
They captured back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular season championships, a first in program history. For the first time since 1985, the Ramblers had back-to-back 20 win seasons as they finished the season at 20-14. They managed to do this despite losing key contributors to their Final Four run in guards Donte Ingram and Ben Richardson along with forward Aundre Jackson.
Marques Townes’ became the second-straight player to win the conference player of the year, joining Clayton Custer, who won it during the 2017-2018 season. Both are gone next season, but starters Cameron Krutwig, Lucas Williamson, and Aher Uguak will return to a Loyola team that will have the task of making it three-straight successful seasons.