Game PreviewsLoyola

Game Preview 5 – Texas A&M

Is it Backwards Day?

If I told you that Loyola had a matchup with Texas A&M 3 days ago, many if not all of you would have taken it. Many college basketball junkies and writers I think would have picked this game to happen on the complete opposite end of the bracket, the Championship Game. But alas, the sky is still up, water is indeed still wet, and Loyola will be taking on Texas A&M in the 7th place game. These two teams have never played each other before Sunday’s game.


Main Storyline For This Game:

Can Loyola salvage a “quality win” at Myrtle Beach? Neither loss has been to a bad team, although they have lost substantially in both cases. Adding a win against a ranked team in the SEC bolsters the resume. Even though we haven’t looked great in any of the 4 games this season, who’s to say that this game can’t jumpstart the team? We still have some quality opponents on the schedule and lots of time to figure things out. Don’t forget that come conference season we have at least 3-4 more opportunities to pick up quality wins than we did in years past. Can Loyola take Thursday’s 1st half shooting performance – 46% FG, 36% 3FG, 100% FT – and pair it with their ball security from Friday against Boise St – 14 TOs. Although those numbers aren’t spectacular, I do think it will be enough to get it done against this Aggie squad. Hold on to the ball, take smart shots, and make free throws, that is the recipe.


Hot or Not and Whom to Watch:

HOT: Phil Alston has been a bright spot for Loyola this year. When his teammates have been struggling to get going, Alston can get his own buckets and get to the free throw line to slow the game down. Phil is averaging 13.5 points and 6 rebounds this season. I would love for him to take a step forward on the defensive end on Sunday. Loyola will need him to do just that in order to win.


NOT: Braden Norris has struggled to get going this year. His efficiency numbers have been poor 27.3/17.4/66.7 from FG/3FG/FT. But I have full confidence in him to figure it out in this game. Why? Because he needs to. Your clutch players, your senior leaders, and your best returning player needs to step up in this game. We’ve seen time and time again that Braden steps up in these moments, and there’s no reason to doubt him this time.


Game Time, Broadcast Info, Ticket Availability 

  • Sunday November 20 at 3:30pm
  • ESPN+ (link to come when available)
  • Tickets


Probable Starting Lineups:



G: Braden Norris

G: Jalen Quinn

F: Saint Thomas

F: Phil Alston

C: Tom Welch


Texas A&M:

G: Radford

G: Dennis

G: Taylor IV

F: Washington

F: Coleman III


Recently injured/unavailable: Ben Schwieger (didn’t play Friday, undisclosed)


By The Numbers:

  • Points Per Game
    • Loyola: 68 points/game
    • Texas A&M: 79.5 points/game
  • Points Allowed Per Game
    • Loyola: 75 points/game
    • Texas A&M: 75.8 points/game
  • Interesting third stat
    • Loyola has won 4 of their last 5 games against the SEC
    • Texas A&M hasn’t played an A10 opponent since 2014 when they lost to Dayton