CHICAGO – He won’t have every one of his seniors from this past season back, but it’s close.
While Cameron Krutwig is moving on with the next step of his basketball career, four other Loyola seniors are going to give it another goal next fall and winter under new head coach Drew Valentine.
On Friday morning, the team announced that guard Lucas Williamson, Keith Clemons, Tate Hall, along with forward Aher Uguak had all decided to return for the 2021-2022 season. This came just 24 hours after Krutwig, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, decided to pursue pro basketball.
“From the moment I was named head coach, we have been having conversations about what their next steps would look like and I’m unbelievably excited to have these four young men back,” said Valentine in a statement released by the school. “They are extremely great representatives of our program not only as players, but also as people. All four of them have meant so much to us sustaining the culture and competing for championships and the fact that they all feel like they’ve got more to accomplish as a college basketball player is very exciting for our program.
“The work we have already put in the last few weeks has validated the chip on their shoulders that they all still possess. We look forward to having them and their families along for one last ride!”
It’s a boost for Valentine, who gets a healthy amount of the core of his team that won an MVC regular season and tournament title before advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Williamson is the reigning MVC Defensive Player of the Year and has been a consistent contributor for the last four years, including the Ramblers’ 2018 Final Four run.
Clemons returns for his third season with the Ramblers after averaging 7.5 points along with 15 rebounds & assists during the 2020-2021 season. Uguak returns to Loyola for another season after he was an All-MVC Third Team selection last season with 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game.
A third-team selection himself in the 2019-2020 season, Hall will be back for his third season in Rogers park after averaging 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.