Oct. 8, 2012
CHICAGO - Now that the calendar has turned to October, it can only mean one thing - the start of the basketball season is upon us. On Friday, October 12, Loyola University Chicago will celebrate the start of the official basketball practice season by hosting Midnight Madness at Gentile Arena. Admission to Midnight Madness is free, and the evening will feature a number of giveaways, including Nike gear and gift cards, free pizza and soft drinks, as well as interaction with the Loyola basketball teams.
Midnight Madness is part of a host of activities during Homecoming Weekend at Loyola. To start the night's schedule of events, free pizza and soft drinks will be available for Loyola students at 8:30 p.m., in the Rockstar Lounge in Gentile Arena.
Other noteworthy activities planned for the night include: free t-shirts for the first 1,000 students; the unveiling of the schedule of events for the season-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Loyola's 1963 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship; the random selection of three lucky students to participate in the "Shot for Tuition" contest; performances by the Loyola Spirit Teams; a dunk contest featuring select members of the Loyola men's basketball team; a three-point contest for both the Rambler men's and women's teams; the introduction of both the Loyola men's and women's basketball squads.
Second-year Loyola head coach Porter Moser welcomes in nine newcomers, including eligible University of Iowa transfer Cully Payne, to the 2012-13 men's basketball team. The Ramblers welcome back three starters from last season's team, highlighted by Second Team All-Horizon League senior forward Ben Averkamp, who averaged team highs of 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
The women's team, under the direction of fourth-year head coach Eric Simpson, returns four starters and its top five scorers from a year ago. Sophomore forward Simone Law led the Ramblers with 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last winter and was named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team, along with guard Patrice King (11.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg).
Kick off the start to Loyola's Homecoming Weekend on October 12 at 7 p.m. when the Rambler women's volleyball team, which is currently tied for first place in the Horizon League, hosts city and conference rival UIC at Gentile Arena prior to Midnight Madness. On Saturday (Oct. 13), the Loyola men's soccer team will host conference foe Green Bay at 7 p.m. at Loyola Soccer Park (6336 N. Hoyne Ave.)