By LARRY VAUGHT
I thought you might enjoy seeing what Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser had to say after his team’s Cinderella run ended with a loss to Michigan in the Final Four Saturday night:
“Congrats to Michigan. They played a great game. They did what great teams do. They capitalized on that run where we made six turnovers in a row. I want to congratulate them, but I also stand here, sit here, and cannot be more proud of a group than I am of this group,” Moser said.
“And when I walked off the floor I was asked what I said to them. And what I said to them was: The more you invest in something, the harder it is to give up. And they didn’t want to end it. And they have so much to be proud of. They changed the perception of a program. They changed the perception of when you say Loyola Chicago, for men’s basketball, they changed that, the perception of it.
“They impacted so many lives around not only starting with our campus and then it spread on high character kids playing their tails off unselfishly.
“I couldn’t be more proud and saddened that this is over with these kids. And this group, high character and fun group to be around, than I’ve ever been around.
“This is something that’s been developing over the past couple of years developing the culture of things, it’s the little things that separate us. We don’t have to be the most talented team, but I think we’re together. But just watching this team grow. The unselfishness of this team, the buy-in. Ben talked about the attention to detail. It’s a lot.
“And I’ve never seen — the guys are really receptive to a competitive advantage. And they bought in. They bought in. And I thank them for that because as coaches, the buy-in attitudinally, the buy-in effortwise, off the rails with this group. And that’s never — that’s where the direction’s been going. We just have been getting better and better players and winning kids.
“But, I tell ya, there’s a ton of love in this locker room and it’s very hard to — it’s very hard to end it but there’s no end.
“Like I told these guys, I said we’re going to be connected for life. I tell them in the recruiting process, you’re not making a four-year commitment at Loyola to play for us, you’re making a lifetime relationship. And that’s what we have. That’s what these guys have. It’s a lifetime relationship. And it’s not a four-year commitment. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud of that that they used the word “family” all the time. You hear that word all the time with this group. I love that. Means a lot to me.”