Former NJ High School Champ Marques Townes and his Loyola-Chicago team is Rambling on to the Final Four
Marques Townes (Junior, Guard) from Edison, NJ played on the 2014 St. Joseph’s team that was coached by Wade Baldwin and included Minnesota Timberwolves, and former University of Kentucky one and doner Karl-Anthony Towns. That team took home the championship and Townes is hoping that history repeats itself on Monday April 2. But, first Townes and the Ramblers will have to overcome a red-hot Michigan team that also seems somewhat destined, in the Final Four.
Let’s face it, all of us were caught off guard by this “spirited” team from the Midwest. Although, Loyola-Chicago has a large student body and over 85,000 alumni in the Chicago area, the Ramblers weren’t on the NCAA bracket radar. For other than being an alumnus, how would one pick this team to make it to the Final Four? Consider, that even the teams own connection with higher powers, had them exiting the tourney by now. Sister Jean, is providing us all with a breath of fresh air, as she lifts the spirit of the team and those that are watching.
Upon taking a deeper dive, here’s what we learn about the under the radar team:
5 – Players that averaged 10+ points
4 – Players with over 100 rebounds
9 – Players logged 360+ minutes or more
.509 – Team Field Goal Percentage
.454 – Clayton Custer 3-Pt FG percentage
The Ramblers clearly have the balance that’s caught their competitors by surprise. Head Coach, Porter Moser, who’s from the Rick Majerus school of coaching, has his team thinking they can beat anyone, and as each game passes, he’s making a believer out of all of us.
As many of the top-tier programs face the delicate challenge of developing “teams” in a one and done atmosphere, the door opens for mid-major teams to leverage their experience.
Loyola Chicago’s, formula includes that special blend of experience as they are led by senior, Donte Ingram, red-shirt junior sharpshooter Clayton Custer and Townes, also a junior. Manchild in the middle, freshman, Cameron Krutwig, has demonstrated extremely good footwork for a man his size and his poise is beyond that of your average freshman. If Krutwig continues to develop his game and body, he might end up playing at the next level.
Even though many of us have had their brackets busted (Why did I pick Purdue?) because of the uber-parody of this year’s tournament, teams like Loyola-Chicago unite us all, and isn’t that a good thing?
Loyola-Chicago will play Michigan on Saturday, March 31 for an opportunity to play in the championship game on Monday night.