Loyola won the CBI Championship in 2014-2015, finishing the season with an impressive 24-13 record. Joe Crisman and Christian Thomas (top rebounder and second-leading scorer) were key losses to graduation, but Loyola returned several key rotation players and expectations were high for 2015-2016.
But Loyola finished 15-17, and a wave of players have exhausted their eligibility. Montel James, Loyola’s top big, is gone. As are key guards Earl Peterson, Devon Turk and Jeff White. Reserves Pernell Adgei and Jay Knuth elected to transfer. With so many slots to fill, head coach Porter Moser and his staff have made a whopping seven additions to the 2016-2017 roster, or eight if you include Clayton Custer, who sat out this past season after transferring to Loyola from Iowa State.
Here’s a breakdown of Loyola’s 2016-2017 roster:
Pernell Adgei (transfer)
- 1.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
Montel James (graduation)
- 12.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Jay Knuth (transfer)
- Missed 2015-16 season with torn labrum
Earl Peterson (graduation)
- 8.7 ppg, 2.2 apg, 44.2 3P%
Devon Turk (graduation)
- 11.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 36.7 3P%
Jeff White (graduation)
- 3.0 ppg, 1.8 apg
Clayton Custer; Redshirt Sophomore; 6-foot-1
2014-15 stats (at Iowa State): 1.1 ppg, 0.7 apg in 5.8 mpg
Custer was a four-star, top 100 recruit in the class of 2014, per Rivals. He went on to attend Iowa State, but transferred after his freshman year. He played minimally in 12 games off the bench. Custer reunites at Loyola with high school teammate Ben Richardson. Custer is a natural point guard who should compete for ample playing time as the lone true point guard on the roster.
Milton Doyle; Redshirt Senior; 6-foot-4
2015-2016 stats: 11.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg in 28.3 mpg
Doyle is listed as a point guard because he manned the position last year, but he could greatly benefit from playing alongside a true point guard like Custer. As a redshirt freshman, Doyle averaged 14.9 ppg as a two guard while Jeff White handled the point guard duties. Doyle brings great versatility with the ability to play all over the perimeter, and will need to provide scoring and leadership in his final season at Loyola.
Ben Richardson; Junior; 6-foot-3
2015-2016 stats: 4.9, 1.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg in 23.8 mpg
Richardson’s greatest strength will be spacing the floor as a strong 3-point threat. Add in the familiarity playing with Custer, and Richardson becomes all the more important.
Bruno Skokna; Freshman; 6-foot-3
Skokna has played well for Croatia in FIBA play, but will need to get acclimated to American basketball. He’s got good size and solid experience to add depth to the backcourt. In 16 games last season with KK Velika Gorica in Croatia’s top league, he averaged 8.2 points.
Tyson Smith; Junior; 6-foot-2
2015-2016 stats: 4.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.0 apg in 17.0 mpg
Smith started nine of the 25 games he appeared in, but suffered an injury late in the season that may prevent him from seeing game action until mid-season. He flashed the ability to score the ball, but his health is the main priority going forward.
Marques Townes; Redshirt Junior; 6-foot-4
2015-2016 stats (at Fairleigh Dickinson): 11.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 apg in 30.6 mpg
Townes will sit out the 2016-2017 season, but when he becomes eligible, he’ll provide Loyola with another scoring threat from the backcourt. With Doyle gone by then, Townes will be a key component. He’ll need to fine-tune his body and jump shot/free throws during his redshirt year.
Matt Chastain; Freshman; 6-foot-6
Chastain led Leroy to a Class 1A state championship and committed to Loyola in late April. The athletic, 3-star wing picked Loyola after several schools, including Utah, got involved in his recruitment. He’ll compete for playing time as a freshman.
Donte Ingram; Junior; 6-foot-6
2015-2016 stats: 7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg in 25.9 mpg
Ingram has primarily defended opposing power forwards in his tenure, as Loyola employed a combination of four guards/wings with a big. He still may play the four, but may also slide over to the wing spot, where he may be more effective.
Cameron Satterwhite; Freshman; 6-foot-4
A one-time Colorado commit, Satterwhite is an electric leaper who thrives in the open court. He also is lengthy in terms of his wingspan, and that makes him an ideal wing who can potentially play as an off-the-ball guard. The key will be recovering 100% from a knee injury that cost him his senior season, and subsequently led to his decommitment from Colorado.
Treyvon Andres; Junior; 6-foot-8
2015-2016 stats at Trinidad State Junior College: 16.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.5 bpg
Andres is an athletic face up four big man who was a strong rim protector for Trinidad State. He should step in and replace Montel James in the interior.
Vlatko Granic; Junior; 6-foot-9
2015-2016 stats at Weatherford College: 13.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.7 apg
Loyola hasn’t had a big man in the arsenal that can make threes — that’s where Granic is at his element. Granic made 1.9 3-pointers per game last season, at a 36 percent rate. He also rebounded very well. Granic brings a new dimension to the table.
Aundre Jackson; Junior; 6-foot-5
2015-2016 stats at McLennan Community College: 14.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 apg
He may not be the tallest big, but Jackson was productive despite only checking in at 6-foot-5. Jackson converted on an impressive 68 percent of his 2-point attempts, a strong indicator that he can finish in the paint. He also shot 38 percent from three, albeit a small sample size.
Maurice Kirby; Redshirt Junior; 6-foot-9
2015-2016 stats: 1.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg in 6.9 mpg
Kirby struggled in his first year at Loyola, and drew minimal playing time with Montel James handling the big man duties. There’s an opening for playing time, and Kirby has an advantage of playing a year already. But he’ll be pushed by the incoming JUCOs.
Julius Rajala; Junior; 6-foot-9
2015-2016 stats: 2.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg in 10.0 mpg
Rajala is on the same boat as Kirby. He has experience in Moser’s system, but with three incoming bigs he’ll need to improve to be ahead of them on the depth chart.