Nov. 14, 2012
CHICAGO - After landing an acclaimed recruiting class for the 2012-13 season, Loyola University Chicago head coach Porter Moser has stockpiled more talent as the Ramblers look to make noise in the Horizon League. Today, Moser and his staff signed guards Quinten Payne (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) and Jordan Pickett (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) to National Letters of Intent to play at Loyola beginning next November.
"We continue to solidify our depth at the guard position with the signing of Quinten and Jordan," Moser said. "Both are high-character, extremely competitive kids. Competitiveness is the one characteristic that stood out to me because when you are looking to change the culture of a program, you have to start with competitive kids and these two players certainly fit that description."
As a junior at St. Charles North High School last year, Payne, the younger brother of current Loyola junior point guard Cully Payne, averaged 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game and collected a handful of awards, including First Team All-Upstate Eight Conference, all-area, as well as all-tournament accolades at the St. Charles East Thanksgiving Tournament and Jacobs Holiday Tournament.
During his sophomore campaign, the 6-foot-4 Payne contributed 15.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.2 spg en route to all-conference and all-area recognition. He is ranked as the No. 16 player in the state of Illinois by ESPN.
"Losing Jordan Hicks after this season, Quinten will give us a bigger guard," Moser said. "Quinten is a physical, tough-minded guard who knows how to play the game. He has a very high basketball IQ and wills himself to make plays."
Last season, Pickett, an explosive 6-foot-1 point guard, put up 26.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.5 apg and 3.0 spg, while hitting 76 percent of his free throw attempts at University High School. He has been rated as the No. 12 player in the state Indiana according to ESPN and was an all-sectional, and All-Hamilton County selection.
"Jordan will increase our athletic ability the instant he steps on campus," Moser said. "In addition to giving us depth at the point, Jordan can score and is a hard-nosed, chest-to-chest, 94-foot defender who will help in our pursuit to increase the tempo."
When Moser arrived at Loyola in April 2011, he established Illinois and Indiana as the focal points of his recruiting effort. Since then, he has added a combined nine scholarship players from those two states including the signings of Payne and Pickett and addition of transfer Cully Payne.
The Ramblers are back in action this weekend when they compete in the USF Invitational in Tampa, Fla., November 16-18.