Men's Basketball Blog #8: Joe Crisman
Ramblers begin final exams, prep for Mississippi State Saturday
Dec. 10, 2012
The past Saturday the boys and I made our way up to East Lansing to play Michigan State. Going into the game, we knew that Michigan State was big, strong, athletic, and had earned its ranking as the 19th best team in the country, so we prepared all week to match their size and toughness on the glass and in the paint. Cully Payne did a great job controlling the tempo of the game with the ball in his hands, and Ben Averkamp showed everyone why he will be one of the best players in the Horizon League this year by being a leader in all aspects of the game. Even though we came up a little short, losing 73-61, the way that this team showed confidence and determination left no doubts that we can play, compete against, and beat anybody. This team's arrow is pointing up. We have a few more games against BCS conference teams coming up in the next three weeks and are looking forward to showing the country that we can compete with and beat teams from the top conferences.
After the game, Coach Moser took us to the arena located on Michigan State's campus that has a great deal to do with Loyola history. Because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the "Game of Change," we went to Jenison Field House where on March 15, 1963, Loyola played a Mississippi State team that had snuck out of its state against all odds to play against a Loyola team that featured four African-Americans in the starting lineup. Coach talks to us about overcoming and fighting through adversity every day and on that visit he stressed the perseverance and strength that the 1963 Loyola team had to have in order to overcome those obstacles and compete in the game of basketball during those difficult times of racial tension. The struggle that the 1963 Loyola team had to go through will be in our thoughts as we prepare to face Mississippi State for the first time in 50 years at Gentile Arena Saturday night.
Recently the basketball world lost a great teacher and innovator of the game, Coach Rick Majerus. Now, I did not personally know Coach Majerus, but the team and I know the impact he had on our own coaches. The lessons Coach Majerus taught our staff on how to play the game and carry themselves as men are lessons that are passed on to us through our current staff. His memory is in our thoughts, and we will continue to work and learn the teachings of Coach Majerus each and every day at practice. Our thoughts are with Coach Majerus and his family, as well our own coaches.
Final exams begin this week so we will also be concentrating on our exams and final projects while we prepare for Mississippi State. We look forward to seeing everyone at Gentile Saturday for what should be a memorable night for everyone involved.