"I think that we, as a staff, put together a terrific schedule," said Simpson. "We have seven non-conference games against teams from the State of Illinois and the two games against UIC so we can see how we stack up against teams in our own backyard. The games against DePaul, Marquette and Northwestern will be a nice barometer for our team and will get us ready to play what is always a tough Horizon League schedule."
Loyola opens the season with a trip to Pennsylvania, tackling Lafayette on Nov. 9 in its season opener before making the trek into Philadelphia to tangle with former conference foe La Salle on Nov. 11. The Ramblers return to Chicago and take on Southern Illinois (Nov. 17) in its home opener before a Nov. 21 home game against Northern Kentucky, who is in its first year of Division I competition. Loyola then has four days to prepare for the short journey to Evanston to face Northwestern (Nov. 25) and the Ramblers close out the month with a Nov. 30 date at Northern Illinois.
December opens with a home game against Western Illinois (Dec. 5) and a road contest at Nebraska Omaha (Dec. 8) which takes the team into final exams. A big home game against DePaul on Dec. 18 signals a return to the floor and precedes a visit from Chicago State on Dec. 22. The Ramblers then close out the non-conference schedule with three tough games. A trip to Marquette (Dec. 29) starts the rugged stretch that also includes a home game against Eastern Illinois (Jan. 2) and a trip to Ypsilanti, Mich. to face defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Eastern Michigan on Jan. 5.
Due to Butler's departure, Loyola plays just 16 Horizon League games, opening conference play on Jan. 12 with a Saturday matinee against UIC. After a road game at Valparaiso (Jan. 16), the Ramblers return home to face Wright State (Jan. 19), who knocked them out of the Horizon League Tournament last winter, before a three-game road swing that takes LU to Detroit (Jan. 24), Youngstown State (Jan. 26) and Milwaukee (Jan. 31).
The Ramblers get their first look at defending champion Green Bay at Gentile Arena to open the month of February (Feb. 7) and Cleveland State (Feb. 9) and Valpo (Feb. 13) follow the Phoenix to the Windy City. A quick trip to Wright State (Feb. 16) comes before visits from Detroit (Feb. 21) and Youngstown State (Feb. 23) and the Ramblers wrap up the regular season with three of their last four on the road, including a season-ending date against UIC at the Pavilion on March 9.
Loyola returns its top five scorers from last year and welcomes a talented cast of newcomers as it looks to make the leap up the Horizon League standings.