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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:09 am 
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 6:00 p.m.
Gentile Arena, Chicago, Ill.


Loyola welcomes Saint Louis University to Gentile Arena Wednesday night for their first meeting with their former conference foes since joining the A-10. Saint Louis and Loyola were conference mates in the MCC from 1982-1991. The Ramblers will be looking for their first W in conference play, and the first-place Billikens will look to get their starting lineup back in shape after a short-handed 76-69 victory at George Washington on Saturday.

Saint Louis makes their first trip to play the Ramblers in Chicago since the Billikens staged a late comeback to win 67-64 on Nov. 29, 2006 (Brad Soderberg's last season), and they suit up against each other for the first time since a Dec. 19, 2007 game at the Enterprise Center (Rick Majerus' first season) gave SLU a 60-47 win. On the sidelines in that game were Porter Moser as an assistant for Coach Majerus, and coaching the Ramblers was Jim Whitesell-- who would replace Moser as an assistant on the SLU sidelines in 2011.

Saint Louis Coach Travis Ford is in his seventh year after taking over from Jim Crews (yet another coach with MCC, MVC, and A-10 experience). He'll send out these likely starters: 6'0" senior point guard Yuri Collins, 6'5" sophomore guard Gibson Jimerson, 6'6" senior forward Javonte Perkins, 6'6" senior Javon Pickett, and 6'9" senior center Francis Okoro. Collins did not play in Saturday's win over GW due to an illness announced just before game time; the Billikens plugged in Larry Hughes, Jr. (son of the SLU legend) to start in Yuri's place. SLU's senior defensive star off the bench, Fred Thatch, went down with a torn ACL against UMass, and last week he announced that his career is over-- a tough break for a player who provided a lot of highlights in five years.

Yuri Collins is not only one of the most dynamic players in the A-10, he leads all of college basketball in assists (10.9 per game) while ranking second in scoring (12.0 per) for the Billikens. They're a different team when he's running the floor. Jimerson leads the team in scoring (12.6) as a killer three-point threat who can drive to the hoop; he shoots 38% from distance and grabs 3.3 rebounds. Pickett averages 11.4 points per game, and Perkins is a small forward who scores 10.8 on average. Okoro is the rim protector, leading the team in rebounds (8.2) and blocks (1.7) while chipping in 6.8 points on average.

The Billiken bench has less flexibility without the 6'5" Thatch and his combination of scoring and defensive skills, but big man Jake Forrester, 6'4" junior Terrance Hargrove, Hughes, Jr., and 6'3" sophomore guard Sincere Parker can eat up some minutes and give the starters a break.

Saint Louis was predicted to finish in second place in the A-10 preseason poll, and nearly as many folks had them finishing above Dayton. The only difference between predictions and reality is that most people who selected the top A-10 teams thought they’d be in or just below the AP Top 25 rankings. As things are, Dayton at KenPom 50, Saint Louis at KenPom 81, and VCU at KenPom 93 are tied atop the league, each with a 4-1 record. That is pretty much EXACTLY how most prognosticators had the A-10 shaping up back in October.

The biggest SURPRISE in the conference is that the team selected to finish fourth, Loyola, has not only lost every conference game, they’ve given up 85.4 points per game in their five A-10 contests after holding all opponents to 61.5 points last year (17th stingiest defense in D-1) and 56.1 (best defense in D-1) the year before that.


Loyola game notes: https://loyolaramblers.com/documents/20 ... _Notes.pdf

Saint Louis game notes: https://slubillikens.com/news/2023/1/17 ... icago.aspx

TV/Streaming video: CBS Sports Network https://www.cbssports.com/

Radio/Streaming audio: https://loyolaramblers.com/watch/?Live=136&type=Live

Live stats: https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=426265

Vegas odds: SLU by 5.5


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:41 am 
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I think there will be a lot of eyes on the bench tomorrow night.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:55 am 
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Sellout, right? Going to be a lot of SLU fans in the building. Hope our students show up and are loud.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:38 pm 
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Location: West Town, Chicago, IL
I'll be there praying for a win...a decent show of improvement would make me happy too


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 8:35 pm 
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My SLU source tells me Collins is “sick” as of yesterday. So either Collins or my source is Questionable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:24 pm 
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An article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch says Collins made the trip to Chicago but might not be able to play.

https://www.stltoday.com/sports/college ... d364e.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 7:47 am 
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looks like it may be an up tempo game.
"According to Kenpom, Saint Louis ranks as the 81st team overall in college basketball. The Billikens have the 49th-ranked offensive efficiency, 143rd-ranked defensive efficiency, and rank 88th in adjusted tempo. Expect Saint Louis to rely heavily on their offense in this one, as they simply look to work fast, and down right out score the opponent. This will be evident in a high number of possessions for the offense. On defense, the Billikens must look to get a better contest on shooters in general, and limit the opponents offensive rebounds to help in creating a lead."


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 12:46 pm 
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Sounding on Twitter like there will be a lot of SLU fans in attendance…let’s show up and be loud for the ‘Blers tonight.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:44 pm 
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Full student section….not so full rest of arena. Can we start a conversation about expanding the student section?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:45 pm 
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Seeing on Twitter that Dawson is out for a few weeks with a hand injury. And then Quise appeared to not be going through warm-ups and was stretching out his leg.

Tonight should be fun!


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