Men's Basketball

Exhibition Provides In-Game Experience for Young Ramblers

Steve Woltmann | Loyola AthleticsRedshirt junior Marques Townes' 22 points helped lead the Ramblers to an 76-66 victory over Evansville Feb. 18.

The Loyola men’s basketball team played an exhibition game against Division II Lewis University in Gentile Arena Oct. 28. The Ramblers beat the Flyers with a final score of 79-63.

Although Lewis is a Division II school, according to Porter Moser, the team didn’t take this exhibition game lightly and thought the Flyers were a good team for them to play before the season.

“It only can help us, and our guys respected this game a lot,” Moser said. “They were excited to play and they know how much respect I have for Lewis and I thought we played at a good pace.”

The game marks the third time the Ramblers have taken on the Flyers in the past five seasons. This win gives Loyola a 7-2 record for their preseason meetings. Last season, Loyola opted out of an exhibition game but still continued their yearly tradition of a secret scrimmage against Northwestern University, in which no fans, media or school administrators are allowed to watch. The scrimmage game is a great opportunity for the athletes at both schools to learn what specific situations could be like during a game, according to Moser.

“You can control [the scrimmage],” Moser said. “I was so mad on one play [during the exhibition], I couldn’t walk out on the court and stop to teach right there. In a closed scrimmage you can do that … You can teach a lot more during a closed scrimmage.”

Even though Moser prefers a scrimmage, he thought having an exhibition game this preseason was good for his team. With many newcomers and the transition to “life without Milt,” which references the mark former guard Milton Doyle had on the program — Moser really wanted his new players to experience the distractions of what a real game is like.

“I wanted to have a game in front of people where the lights are on and you really have to focus and concentrate,” Moser said. “Having distractions is another element and sometimes you have a better team and sometimes you would just rather play closed scrimmages because you can get a lot out of those … It was something that we really wanted to play in and play a good team.”

One newcomer that stood out to Moser during this exhibition game was redshirt junior guard Marques Townes. Townes, who transferred from Fairleigh Dickinson University last year, was required to sit out one season per NCAA rules. After the Ramblers defeated the Flyers, Moser sat down in a press conference to discuss Townes, among other newcomers.   

“Marques is really good and he draws fouls,” Moser said. “I liked his demeanor. Sometimes [players] sit out a year and press a lot. I don’t think he pressed. I think he let it come to him. I thought he had great energy.”

While many coaches may prefer scrimmages, some athletes like the exhibition games better because it simulates a real game and the newcomers can really get a feel of what it is like to play in Gentile Arena.

“We got the crowd there [and] that gives us a boost of energy,” Townes said. “Just the whole environment. I just think exhibition [is better].”

Having preseason games gives the players the opportunity to practice against another school before it actually counts toward the team’s record. It also gets the players facing another team other than their own.

“[The exhibition] was great,” Loyola forward Aundre Jackson said. “We have been playing against each other for the whole summer and the beginning of school. It was great to play somebody else.”

The men’s basketball team is scheduled to open its season Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in Gentile Arena against Wright State University.

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