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The month of July has been a month of change for the men’s basketball team at Loyola. Back on July 1st, the Ramblers moved to the Missouri Valley Conference {essentially replacing Creighton} after spending 20 years in the Horizon League {formally the Midwestern Collegiate Conference}.

The program is hoping that a new conference will give the team a fresh start and possibly their first postseason bid in quite some time. While the atmosphere around the program is changing, their coach will not be. That’s because Loyola has given head coach Porter Moser a four-year contract extension which will keep him on the sidelines through 2018.

Moser took the reigns in Rogers Park back in 2011 after Jim Whitesell was fired. Whitesell’s firing came as a shock because in his seven years at the Gentile Center, he posted a record of 109-106. But despite his moderate success the Ramblers had never reached the postseason.

Porter Moser was brought in to change the culture at Loyola after spending four years as an assistant at St. Louis under the late Rick Majerus. While it has been an uphill battle, the Ramblers have seen slow but steady improvement under Moser’s watchful eye. After posting a dismal 7-23 record in his first season, Moser’s Ramblers improved to 15-16 last season. Moser is entering his third season at Loyola.

The Ramblers are looking to continue to build from here and they hope to be above the .500 mark for this upcoming season. The best part is that they do have the talent to compete and be successful in 2014. Despite losing forward Ben Averkamp and guard Jordan Hicks to graduation, the Ramblers are returning 10 players from last year’s squad.

Some of those 10 players include guards Cully Payne and Devon Turk along with forward Christian Thomas. These three players were the supporting cast to Averkamp and Hicks last year. Combine those 10 players with new recruits and the universities commitment to Moser, the Ramblers may finally have the pieces in place to make some noise in the college basketball world.

Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82



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