Sports

Men’s Basketball Signs Three First-Years and Three Transfers

Alanna Demetrius | The PhoenixThe Loyola men's basketball team breaks its huddle.

Paxson Wojcik

Position: Guard

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

AAU: Illinois Wolves

High School: La Lumiere 

Key Stats: He was ranked third on his team with 14.4 points per game and second with 4.8 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game as a junior.

Other Notes: Wojcik was a teammate of current Loyola first-year center Franklin Agunanne at La Lumiere. 

Wojcik Quote: “In my mind Loyola has the best combination of a high level basketball program, great academics and just the social scene in Chicago. There’s not many schools out there with a combination of so many great things and that’s what Loyola has.”

Porter Moser Quote: “A big, skilled extremely competitive guard, Paxson is the son of a college coach and his father Doug, was a teammate of David Robinson at Navy. Paxson can play multiple positions and is an exceptional shooter and passer who possesses a basketball IQ that is off the charts.”

Marquise Kennedy

Position: Guard

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

AAU: Illinois Wolves

High School: Brother Rice

Key Stats: He averaged 23.8 points per game and shot 60 percent from the floor during his senior season.

Other Notes: Kennedy is currently ranked fifth in the state of Illinois high school class of 2019, according to 247sports.com. He was Loyola’s first signee from the Chicago Catholic League since 2010.

Kennedy Quote: “Moser came to every game. He was at all my games. He was the coach that talked to me the most and he just showed that he really cared. I live in Chicago so going to school and just having friends and family that can go to my games was also a big thing.”

Porter Moser Quote: “Marquise brings ultra-athleticism and speed to our roster and he has the potential to develop into an elite defender. He can play multiple guard positions, brings another gear to our pace of play and can score from anywhere on the court — at the rim, from mid-range and from behind the three-point line.”

Tom Welch

Position: Forward

Hometown: Naperville, Illinois

AAU: Illinois Wolves

High School: Naperville North 

Key Stats: He averaged 22.9 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game as a senior.

Other Notes: Welch is currently ranked seventh in the state of Illinois high school class of 2019, according to 247sports.com. He was also a goalkeeper on the Naperville North soccer team and won three consecutive IHSA state championships.

Welch Quote: “The people there … the coaching staff was huge. I love Porter [Moser]. It’s just such a good environment and then it shows in the teammates. Hanging out with the guys so much, I felt like it was a family.”

Porter Moser Quote: “Tom is very versatile in the different positions that he can play and he is the prototypical mismatch player that we have had success with through the years. He can be physical in the paint because of his toughness and also has the athleticism and skill to bring the ball up the floor. A multi-sport athlete in high school, Tom was a standout goalkeeper who helped his soccer team to three straight state championships.”

Jalon Pipkins

Position: Guard

Hometown: Paris, Texas

Former School: Paris Community College

Key Stats: He averaged 21.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game and shot 46.6 percent from the field.

Other Notes: Pipkins spent the 2017-18 season at California State University, Northridge. He will be eligible to play immediately. 

Pipkins Quote: “Off the bat it’s the culture here. It’s a winning culture. All the guys … it’s like a big family. Porter Moser is a special man, a special coach. After a couple days I was down there I felt the vibe and felt a good feeling about it.”

Porter Moser Quote: “Jalon has the athleticism to be a great two-way player in the Valley. He’s long, competitive, has range from three and can finish at the rim. I love his grind and willingness to improve. He has scored at a high clip in junior college and I love how much he wanted to build on a winning culture.”

Keith Clemons

Position: Guard

Hometown: Norcross. Georgia

Previous College: Vincennes 

University

Key Stats: He averaged 15.1 points per game, 2.0 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists per game in his 2018-19 season. 

Other Notes: Clemons was the starting point guard for Vincennes in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national championship. He received All-Region 24 honors and was also named to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Team. He will be eligible immediately.

Clemons Quote: “I just felt like it was a good situation, a good fit for me. Obviously, [Loyola is] losing two of their main guards and I just felt that it could be a position where I could come in and pick up where they left off.”

Porter Moser Quote: “Keith is an absolute winner who was a state champion in high school and national champion at the junior college level. He’s an extremely competitive defender and has the speed to play the pace we like. He has a high basketball IQ and is the ultimate competitor.”
B

Braden Norris

Position: Guard

Hometown: Hilliard, Ohio

Previous College: Oakland University

Key Stats: Averaged 8.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game and 5.2 assists per game in 2018-19. 

Other Notes: Norris’ 48.6 percent from beyond the arc is the second best mark in Oakland University history. A two-star recruit coming out of high school, Norris started 30 games for Oakland and helped lead them to a third-place finish in the Horizon League. He was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team and ranked second in the league in total assists.

Norris Quote: “I picked Loyola because, first off, Coach Moser has a great reputation. I think he’s a great coach and when I came on my visit here, I fell in love with the campus. … Also the guys, when I hung out with them I think they share the same love for basketball.

Porter Moser Quote: “He is an ultra-competitor, with an extremely high basketball IQ, and was one of the top offensive efficiency players in the country last year. Braden has deep range and a quick release but also has a knack of getting the ball to guys when and where they need it. Despite all of that, what really excites me is his tenacity on defense.”

Correction: A previous version of this article listed the incorrect statistics for the rising first-years from their senior years of high school. This story has been updated to correct the error.

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