Men's Basketball

Missouri Valley Conference Releases Men’s Basketball Schedule to Complete Loyola’s Order of Competitors

Zack Miller | The PhoenixGraduate guard Lucas Williamson is one of the starters returning for the 2021-2022 season.

The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) schedule was released by the conference Sept. 14 and the Ramblers will be looking to defend their regular season and conference tournament titles.

Loyola released the team’s non-conference schedule on Aug. 17, which opens with a four game homestand — starting with the team’s season opener against Coppin State University Nov. 9.

Other highlights from the Ramblers’ non-conference schedule include matchups against four other Chicago based teams — Chicago State University Nov. 16, University of Illinois Chicago Nov. 20, DePaul University Dec. 4 and Roosevelt University Dec. 7. 

This season marks the first time the men’s basketball team will face “Red Line Rival” DePaul since 2012, which resulted in a 69-61 Rambler win over the Blue Demons. They will play DePaul on the road and host the other three Chicago teams at Gentile Arena. 

Loyola will also head to the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, where they will first face off against Michigan State University Nov. 24. 

The team will next play its MVC opener Dec. 1 at home against Indiana State University. According to the press release from the MVC, every team in the conference will play their MVC opener before Thanksgiving. They will then round out non-conference play before returning back to Valley play in the new year.

Loyola’s first game back in Valley play will be on the road Jan. 2, when they play Southern Illinois in Carbondale, IL.

During conference play, the Ramblers will face off against each MVC team twice — once at home and once on the road — before closing their regular season play on the road against University of Northern Iowa Feb. 26. 

They will then head to St. Louis for the MVC Arch Madness Tournament and seek to take home the title again after defeating Drake University in the 2021 championship game 75-65.

Head coach Drew Valentine spoke to The Phoenix over the summer about his excitement for the season to begin, saying he’s looking forward to having fans back in Gentile to cheer on the Ramblers.

“I hope everybody is super excited,” Valentine said. ”Let’s create the best home court atmosphere in the country. I hope people understand that they can’t take the opportunity to attend a game at such a high quality venue for granted.” 

Loyola is returning four out of its five starters, including graduate guard Lucas Williamson and graduate forward Aher Uguak — both of whom received All-Conference accolades last season.

The Ramblers will first play Coppin State Nov. 9 at Gentile. Time and broadcast details have yet to be announced. 

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