By Michael O'Brien

Examining Loyola's loss...

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The No. 2 ranked Ramblers were trounced by Indianapolis North Central on ESPN2 last night. They didn't even slightly resemble the team I've watched play numerous times this season.

The margin of victory demonstrates just how hard it is for a high school basketball team to play a high-profile game in another state. It puts Simeon's three-point loss to Rice (NY) at Madison Square Garden in proper perspective. Rice doesn't have a player as good as Eric Gordon, but they are a far better team than North Central.

As for Loyola, the loss brings up plenty of questions. Observers have already pointed out that Gordon tore up the Ramblers just like Marshall star Patrick Beverley did in the supersectionals last season. Loyola plays excellent team defense, but seems to have trouble holding down a superstar scorer.

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9 Comments

The only thing that bothers me is this is a dark-moment for the reputation of Illinois High School Basketball. I mean Loyola was rated 2nd in the Chicagoland area. They beat Conant, who beat St. Joseph's and Thornton. So yes, losing by 41 to an Indiana school has to hurt our reputation. That coupled with TF North losing a while back to East Chicago, Indiana. Although that one was a nail-biter. I realize Simeon beat Oak Hill, but may have had the benefit of 'home-cooking' from Chicago officials doing the game. Our reputation may have been tarnished by Loyola's terrible performance.

Truth is I've been watching Illinois High School basketball since Glenn Rivers (1980). I'm from Michigan and I'm constantly reminding others that the media here constantly overhypes their prep stars. Don't get me wrong, there's been quite a few that have been worth it and many who didn't get the praise and turned out better (Hardaway & Pargo for examples) but the overhyped ones (Nick Irvin, Brad Waller & Imari Sawyer) for more are the norm. Don't remember them? That's cool, watch this year's All Area & All State teams and see how many of them make impacts on the next level.

Pro teams sometimes get blown out by large numbers. But they play 48 minutes. To get blown out by more than a point a minute on what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many of those Loyola players... that has to be a combination complete mental breakdown as well as a definite weakness that got consistently exploited. I think Loyola will have difficulty in the tournament if they face any team with a star with the ability to drop 30 on them from all over the court.

As much as the New Trier graduate in me enjoys watching Loyola lose, this was just painful.

DaTruth,

To list Brad Waller in with those two is a shame. Academic All American with a 14 ppg scoring average at NIU maybe overhyped for Michigan; but it rounds off a solid college career. Don't list a guy with two thugs, come on!

Seems to me that everyone is avoiding the obvious, which is, Loyola was rated too high. How? Why? I don't know. Probably because their team has a couple of kids on it who shall remain nameless. I'm sure those kids are as good as the average high school basketball player, maybe a little better. I'm confident that even with their likely superior coaching that they'd be hard pressed to beat any of the top ten public league schools. So I ask again, why were they rated so high? Why were they sent to represent Illinois? Anyone could've saw that beating coming.

I agree with Mike P. and I have said that all along. However Mike, I don't think it's because of the Jordan boys. True they were undefeated and that does lend some credence although the teams that they have played are watered down in my opinion. I can think of a lot of reasons including a predominately white school being touted. As you stated, I personally do not think that they can beat any mediocre public league team including: Morgan Park, Julian, or Von Stuben.

to htf: I agree, Waller has had an honorable career. However, I'm surprised he didn't bring up the most overrated of all overrateds: Ronnie Fields ! He jumped like MJ but that was it. No outside shot, whatsoever. Very little ball-handling skills. Another vastly overrated: Raymond McCoy. Also, anybody who comes from the gangster of all high school programs, Hales Franciscan. Everytime I see them play there players are usually cheapshotting an opponent player(s). Sorry, thats the truth. Sportswriters won't say so because they are afraid they'll have the 'race card' thrown at them. But thats the only school were I've heard the asst. coaches yell, "foul him harder, hit him harder".

Loyola Academy had no business representing Chi on a national front with so many other qualifying teams in the Public League. I'm sure Mike had a little influence, just like he did when he selected Jeffrey J and the other top 20 All-American players in the country to play in his annually all-star game. Didn't Gordon light him 43-4 in their last game and they're considered to be on the same level? With Mike on the sideline seeing it first hand? Jeffrey isn't even in top 20 in Chi alone.

I WAS JUST READING ON THIS SITE I SEEN SOMETHING THAT WASNT RIGHT. I WATCH NICK IRVIN PLAY SINCE HIS JR. YEAR AND HE DIDNT GET THE RESPECT HE NEED TO GET. WHEN NICK IRVIN WAS AT CARVER HE AVG 30POINTS HIS SR YEAR AND 29POINTS HIS JR YEAR SO HOW CAN HE BE OVER HYPED AND THEY WAS WINNING HE MADE 1ST TEAM ALL-CITY 3 YEARS IN A ROW AND ALL-STATE ONLY A FEW DID THAT SO LET NOT HATE ON HIM HE WAS A GREAT BALL PLAYER THAT WON BALL GAMES FOR HIS TEAM

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on February 2, 2007 10:11 AM.

Simeon takes a leap was the previous entry in this blog.

The Public League Tournament is the next entry in this blog.

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