The Loyola men lost a key role player earlier this week with the announcement that 6-foot-4 sophomore guard guard Justin Drummond has told school officials of his intention to transfer to another school. The perception, according to news reports, is that Drummond will seek to play at a higher level.
This one is a little bit of a head scratcher. From observations, it doesn't appear that Drummond will be a significant factor at a higher level. Not if, in his first two years, he couldn't break into the Greyhounds' starting lineup. And, not after averaging just 37.5 percent shooting from the floor (25.4 percent on 3-point attempts) and committing nearly three times as many turnovers (63) as assists (23).
Then, again, he did average 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as Loyola's fourth leading scorer.
But, with starters Dylon Cormier, Robert Olson and R.J. Williams back at the team's perimeter positions the likelihood is that Drummond would have been facing another season of coming off the bench.
In the era where personal situations often become more important than team goals (i.e. ... who's getting playing time), the guess here is that Drummond's departure has more to do about finding a place where he can be a starter and get more minutes than anything else.
Drummond was named the MAAC's Sixth Player of the Year for this past season.
"We would like to thank Justin for his contributions to the program," said Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos, in a statement released by the school's sports information area. "We met with Justin and his family, and we offered to redshirt Justin to help him continue his development as a top-level player. Justin, however, expressed his desire to play at the highest level of college basketball in an effort to continue his career beyond college.
"Justin helped us to do something special this year (Loyola won the MAAC's post-season tournament and advanced to the NCAA's), and we want to support him in his decision to move on to another school ... He will always be part of the Loyola basketball family."
There is no indication what schools Drummond is considering for his next location.