Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser speaks to the media at the Final Four in San Antonio and discusses how the recruitment process was the key to Rambler's success.
USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO – Loyola-Chicago is no average Cinderella. The 11-ranked Ramblers have reached the biggest stage of the sport by playing some sort of team basketball that is a great contrast to their Final Four counterparts.
"We have to be the first team in Final Four history to win all four games without dunks," coach Porter Moser joked on Thursday.
Moser also consciously recruited players he knew would fit into his culture and system, which he used with the stamp of the late coach Rick Majerus from his tenure as assistant to St. Louis. Seven players on Loyola's list have won state championships in high school. "That was intentional," said Moser.
Loyola, a team without superstars or future NBA lottery picks, has played a different role in all four NCAA tournaments. But who are these very players who have come into the national limelight? Here is a look at the Ramblers cast of 2018 Giant Killer.
Clayton Custer : The junior guard originally played for Iowa State as a freshman, but moved to little-time to join his classmate Ben Richardson, with whom he won a state championship at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan. Custer leads the Ramblers in scoring (13.2 ppg) and assists (4.2 apg) and was Player of the Year at the Missouri Valley Conference. His shot three seconds behind helped Loyola pass Tennessee in the second round.
Ben Richardson: The Senior Guardian is the only novice who has no double-digit numbers, but his role was invaluable to the Ramblers. He was the defensive player of the year in the Missouri Valley and he was the hero of Loyola's Elite Eight win over Kansas State – 23 points behind six-in-three.
At Blue Valley Northwest High School, Custer and Richardson went 94-6 and played in four consecutive Kansas state championship games, winning titles in their younger and older years.
Coach Bill Self said of Custer, "I saw him play a lot, I told him about the Kansas summer camp, when I went to his senior year, I said," Just so you know, you're good enough, but we can not recruit you. … We had Devonte & # 39; (Graham) and we had (Masters winner of the year) Frank Mason. So the chance for him to join our program would probably not have been that great.
"I asked (Custer) I said," How well did it feel to play K-State in the Elite Eight? "He indicated it would not feel as good as it did on Monday night."  Marques Townes : The hero of Loyola's Sweet 16 wins over Nevada, in which Townes has drilled a game. he defines a three-pointer with six seconds, which was broadcast by Fairleigh Dickinson, where he played in the 2016 NCAA tournament Townes, a native of New Jersey, has close ties with Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, with whom he has high – School Played Ball
Donte Ingram : The star of the first chapter of this Cinderella team, an exciting top-of-the-key summer bat that sank Miami (Fla.), Was Ingram The Team's Top Scorer Most While other Guardians (Custer and Townes) have played in larger roles, his athletic ability to reach the limit and the enormous outside shooting have proved invaluable to this team -6 against an opponent's 4s but holds itself. A Chicago product, Ingram played high school ball for Simeon Academy alongside Milwaukee Bucks star Jabari Parker. It's also the same Chicago Public League school where Derrick Rose shone.
Cameron Krutwig: The 6-9 freshman centerpiece with retro mails reminiscent of George Mikan or Jack Sikma addresses the kind of player Moser recruited with his mentor Majerus on his team. "He would not ask me, is he athletic, does he have good hands?" He asked me this question: "Does he love to play?" "
Krutwig is the example of a postman who does not beat you with athletic skills but has great skills in the post office, creates space in the paint – where he can end up with a jump hook or a great footwork He is the spearhead of the inside-out game for this perimeter-oriented team, he has excellent back-cut passport skills and open three-point shooters, and he's also against the big corps of the Power Conference teams to some degree four tournaments of the NCAA tournaments claimed.
MORE NCAA TOURNAMENT:
Villanova: Jalen Brunson Can Support You with the Best
Kansas: Devonte & Graham goes from 5-3 to Superstar with an Edge afterwards
Michigan: Moritz Wagner is Wolverines emotional Spark plug  Picks: Villanova, Michigan prefers the national semifinals