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Basketball Transfers

Loyola Chicago Eyes the Portal Prior to Conference Transition

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Loyola Chicago basketball player Philip Alston

As the youngest head coach at the Division I level, Drew Valentine took over for Loyola Chicago prior to the 2021-2022 season. The then-29 year old maintained the recent success for the Ramblers, earning their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Ramblers finished with a 25-8 record, clinching the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. Although Loyola would fall to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Round of 64, the Ramblers received back-to-back bids to the Big Dance for the first time since 1963-1964.

With Valentine returning and Loyola Chicago heading to the Atlantic 10, the Ramblers eyed the portal to compete in a star-studded league.

LOYALA CHICAGO’S TRANSFER PORTAL ADDITIONS:

BRYCE GOLDEN, BUTLER

8.8 PTS / 3.6 REB / 50.9 FG%

JEAMERIL WILSON, LEHIGH

11.2 PTS / 4.8 REB / 2.1 AST / 52.8% FG / 43.2% 3FG

SHELDON EDWARDS, VALPARAISO

11.4 PTS / 4.2 REB / 1.1 STL / 35.8% 3FG

PHILIP ALSTON, CALIFORNIA OF PENNSYLVANIA

21.0 PTS / 10.8 REB / 54% FG

If there’s one program who understands how to use the transfer portal, it’s Loyola Chicago. For the past six seasons, the Ramblers have placed a transfer on a Missouri Valley Conference all-conference team. This includes two Conference Player of the Year winners in Clayton Custer and Marques Townes.

As Drew Valentine brings aboard four transfers for the upcoming season, expect similar results for the future Ramblers. Golden and Wilson head to Chicago as fifth year seniors, while Edwards and Alston have two years of experience at the collegiate level.

A combination of experience and scoring ability will bring invaluable production to the Ramblers’ lineup. Bryce Golden is a seasoned veteran, appearing in 103 career games and starting the last 88 games for the Bulldogs. Jeameril Wilson heads to the Windy City after 108 career games with the Mountain Hawks, shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Coming from the Division II ranks, Philip Alston will look to leave his mark at the mid-major level following a dominant start to his career. Alston was named a Division II All-American, while finishing second in the country with 21 double-doubles this past season.

Joining Alston as a rising junior is Valparaiso transfer Sheldon Edwards. The 6-foot-4 guard earned MVC All-Freshman honors in 2021, before earning a spot on the MVC Most Improved Team in 2022. Edwards was a force on both ends of the floor, leading the Beacons in steals (36) and made threes (67).

With the Ramblers losing three of their top four scorers and transitioning to the Atlantic 10, there are question marks surrounding the expectations for Drew Valentine’s squad. Despite the uncertainties, the Ramblers will have a target on their back as one of the best mid-major programs in the country.

As Loyola Chicago exits the MVC following a nine year stint, here is TPR’s projected lineup for the Ramblers.

TPR’s PROJECTED LINEUP FOR LOYOLA CHICAGO:

BRADEN NORRIS, G

MARQUISE KENNEDY, G

JEAMERIL WILSON, F

BRYCE GOLDEN, F

JACOB HUTSON, C

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