The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) announced its specialty awards and all-conference team members Tuesday morning. Ramblers earned three of the five specialty awards and five Ramblers earned all-conference team nominations.
Redshirt junior guard Clayton Custer was named the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year and to first team All-MVC. Senior forward Donte Ingram was named to second team All-MVC and first-year center Cameron Krutwig was named MVC Freshman of the Year and to third team All-MVC. Krutwig was also named to the MVC All-Newcomer and All-Freshman teams, with first-year guard Lucas Williamson also named to the All-Freshman Team. Senior guard Ben Richardson was named MVC Defensive MVP and to the MVC All-Defensive Team for the first time in his career.
Custer is coming off a solid year, averaging a team-best 14.2 ppg and 4.24 assists per game in 25 games this season. Custer is the first Loyola player to win Player of the Year and the second player in program history, after Milton Doyle, to be named first team All-MVC. Custer ran away with the Player of the Year voting, earning 40 first place votes. The closest finisher was Missouri State University’s Alize Johnson, who earned two first place votes.
Krutwig had a breakout season for Loyola, averaging 10.8 ppg on 60.3 percent shooting, while grabbing a team-best 6.5 rpg. Krutwig is the second player in Loyola history to win Freshman of the year.
Richardson is Loyola’s best defender, and the first Rambler to ever win Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 1.1 steals per game en route to also earning an All-Defensive Team nod. Richardson was given the task of guarding opponents’ best player all season.
After being named third team All-MVC last season, Ingram was named second team All-MVC this season after averaging 11.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg in 30 games.
Off the bench, Williamson was a solid piece for Loyola this season, averaging 4.7 ppg and 0.9 steals per game to pick up an All-Freshman Team nod.
The MVC Coach of the Year award will be announced March 1 at the Coach of the Year Luncheon in St. Louis. Loyola head coach Porter Moser is the favorite to win after leading the Ramblers to the regular season conference title with a four-game lead.
The Ramblers are scheduled to open play in the MVC tournament as the No. 1 seed March 2 at noon in St. Louis.