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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:02 pm
Posts: 1364
In the past 24-hours, the program has obviously been dealt a major blow. I, personally, am not so much disappointed that it happened (which was always a possibility), as much as I’m disappointed with the way it happened and how it happened. But instead of focusing on the negative, I thought it might be good to focus on a positive story about our program.

In 2017, Cameron Krutwig was a tall kid from Algonquin, Illinois, who dominated small-town high school basketball in his local area, but was a little on the chubby side, and not a highly touted recruit. Krutwig received ZERO offers from schools in Power 5 conferences. Cam’s choices were relatively limited, and he didn’t have any offers from “successful” programs. Despite not being highly recruited, it undoubtedly took Cam a ton of work and dedication to get to where he was in his high school basketball career.

One offer came from Loyola University Chicago, a local school near his hometown. Loyola had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1985. They were a perennial loser in the Horizon League and had yet to have a winning conference season in the MVC. Krutwig was recruited by a head coach who had been a journeyman his entire coaching career, and despite having 3 stints as a head coach, had an overall losing record. Cam decided to take the coach up on his offer and come to the North side of Chicago. Growing up in a small town and watching college basketball, it most certainly wasn’t Cam’s lifelong dream to be a “rambler.” Kids like Cam grow up playing basketball hoping to compete for national championships at Duke, Kansas, Kentucky…and locally, playing in the Big 10. Despite the disappointment of not making it to “the big time,” Cam decided to make the best of the situation he was given.

By the fall of 2017, Cam had worked himself into the starting position on a team that was picked to finish 5th place in the Missouri Valley Conference. It looked dismal.

Everyone knows what happened from there…

On March 31, 2018, less than a year after leaving Algonquin, an 18-year-old Cameron Krutwig stood at center court in front of 70,000+ fans to take the jump in the NCAA Final Four against one of the historic powerhouses of college basketball, the University of Michigan. The stage was massive. The competition was elite. It seemed impossible that the chubby kid with no P5 offers from Algonquin was going to compete on this level of play. Despite this, Cameron Krutwig rose to the occasion – 17 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes.

After that game, Cameron Krutwig’s stock had risen. Every major college coach had seen the 18-year-old play, hold his own, and show he was capable of playing on any team in America for the next three years. Bottom line – after the 2018 season, Cameron Krutwig had options.

Krutwig could have hit the transfer portal. His hard work paid off and he was getting the accolades and respect he most certainly thought he deserved. With three years of eligibility remaining, he could have transferred to ANY program in the country and would have been accepted on to the team: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, any Big 10 school, etc. All those schools would have found a roster spot for Cameron Krutwig. He had options.

Krutwig could have transferred to Duke and:

1) played for the winningest, most successful, coach in NCAA history (as opposed to a coach that was fired from Illinois State with an overall losing record);

2) played on a team that was almost guaranteed to make the tournament (and be a contender) every year he was there (as opposed to a program that hadn’t even made the tournament in 30 years prior to his arrival);

3) played on a team where every game is on national television (as opposed to ESPN3);

4) received a degree from one of the Top 10 universities in the country (as opposed to a university in the top 200).

Maybe he would have went to Duke and barely played… but he still would have been able to be there. Maybe he would have went to Duke or another Power 5 and made an instant impact. There would have been a lot of unknowns if he choose to leave, but several things would have been definite: He would have been at a more prestigious university (prestige), he would have been competing against the best (Power 5 conference), he would have went to the NCAA tournament and been part of a team that consistently competes for national titles (greater chance to win), the value of his free tuition would have been greater (more money). Sure, it would be risky – but the opportunity for a young kid who loves basketball and had no real loyalty to a school he’d only played one year for – why not make the jump and try to be the best? Loyola’s run was probably a fluke, right? It was the best time to capitalize off of his situation.

But Cameron Krutwig didn’t do that… He stayed at Loyola because he believed he could make history as opposed to riding in the wake of it. Loyola gave him a chance and opportunities, he made the most of it – and when it was over, he rededicated himself.

Krutwig is now a Loyola Rambler legend because he didn’t “run from happiness.” More recognition, better opportunities to compete for a national championship, a bigger school…. He didn’t jump ship.
I’m grateful for his loyalty to the program.

I hope he comes back and adds to what is already a stellar career.

Krutwig gave Loyola 3 conference titles, a final four, a sweet sixteen, and a player of the year award… I’ll be forever grateful. He also gave Porter Moser what Porter apparently really wanted. Had Krutwig left, I think we all know Porter doesn’t have his new gig. I hope Porter is grateful that he was able to convince Krutwig not to run from happiness in 2018… because it paved the way for Porter, himself, to do it in 2021.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:41 pm 

Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 806
Love this!

Obviously, for many coaches, this is a business. Some student athletes treat it as such, too.

Many of them, however, buy into the "culture building" business, get themselves a free education while playing a game that they love. Hopefully, along the way, they learn pertinent things, build some great friendships, create amazing memories and leave the university as better people ready to make their mark on the world. The rest of us get the benefit of living vicariously through them as we pridefully cheer for our alma mater / favorite team.

At the end of the day, Porter Moser was a great coach and a good man. He represented the university with class and his accomplishments are appreciated. Good luck to him and his family on their future endeavors.

For Krutwig, Lucas and others kids who stuck with this program through thick and thin...they will always be Ramblers!

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