What's that? You couldn't care less about The Loyola Ramblers?
No offense to you kind sir/mam, but this is Barstool Chicago, and as Chicago's only basketball program to see the Final Four this lifetime, I am obliged to keep tabs on the powerhouse Porter Moser is rebuilding up in Rogers Park.
And I'm an alum.
Going to a school where sports were pretty much irrelevant, outside of a deep run in the NCAA Volleyball tournament my senior year, the 2018 Final Four run was a pretty amazing experience. And a harsh reminder of how much I missed out on by not getting to enjoy a college experience that involved tailgating, traveling to a rival school's stadium/arena, or having people know what the hell you were talking about when you told them where you went to school.
So forgive me for being excited about the talent Coach Moser has been stockpiling this offseason. Covid be damned.
Chicago Sun Times - Ben Schwieger, who burst on the scene this past winter, committed to the Ramblers and coach Porter Moser on Thursday. Since the recruiting process began, Schwieger said Loyola was the school to beat. He admits everyone else was playing catch-up.
“I have always had a gut feeling about Loyola being the best fit for me,” Schwieger said. “They were at the top of my list throughout the process. But I did want to make sure I was 100 percent, so I took a little time. But Loyola checked off every single box for me.”
Schwieger says he found it all with Loyola, starting with the relationship he built with the coaching staff. He added that the current success of the program, a “great culture”, location and even some old family ties with Loyola helped seal it for him.
“I have a great relationship with the coaching staff,” Schwieger said. “They showed me constant love and it was completely genuine. They showed how excited they were to have a chance to coach me.
“Plus, the culture they have built there really fits me perfectly.”
Schwieger added that his grandfather was particularly pumped about his commitment. His grandfather, Jim Cronnin, is a 1962 Loyola graduate. A year later the Ramblers won the 1963 national championship.
“He was very proud and really excited about it when I told him, so having those family ties with Loyola is pretty cool,” Schwieger added.
“You could see how organized they were and the effort they put in,” Schwieger said of the first of several zoom conference calls. “It was impressive and really hit home. I think this process provided an even better opportunity to build a relationship with the coaches.”
The 45-mile trek from home to the Loyola campus was also appealing. “Being close to home and having the opportunity for my family to see me play is an added bonus,” Schwieger said.
Schwieger went from averaging 3.2 points as a sophomore to 16.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a junior. With outstanding athleticism, added production and a huge upside, Schwieger climbed into the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 10 prospect list over the course of his junior season.
“First, he’s a quality human with great character,” Waubonsie Valley coach Jason Mead said. “He’s earned this and deserves this. He cares more than just about how many points he scores. He cares about so many more things that matter, that help a team.”
The ceiling is enormous for a player who is just beginning to grow into his body and add to an already versatile game. A fluid athlete, Schwieger is an above-the-rim finisher who slashes to the rim off the drive and can step out and make a three-pointer with a smooth release.
As previously mentioned, Moser nabbed Indiana transfer Damezi Anderson earlier this year and has a highly-touted recruiting class heading into this season. So the next few years should be fun.