This is the seventh in a series of profiles of potential candidates for Indiana’s vacant basketball head coaching position.
Candidate: Porter Moser
Current Position/Tenure: Loyola-Chicago head coach since 2011.
Previous Jobs: Saint Louis assistant coach 2007-11; Illinois State head coach 2003-07; Arkansas-Little Rock head coach 2000-03; Arkansas-Little Rock assistant coach 1998-2000; Texas A&M assistant coach 1996-98, 1991-95; Milwaukee assistant coach 1995-96; Creighton assistant coach 1990-91.
Career Accomplishments: Has Loyola in the Sweet 16 this season as a No. 8 seed with a 26-4 record. Took Loyola to the Final Four in 2018 with a 32-6 record. Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2018. Was 7-23 in first season at Loyola, is 99-35 in the last four seasons. Never finished better than fifth in whatever conference he was coaching in before 2017-18. Hasn’t finished lower than second in the last four seasons and has a share of three MVC regular season titles.
Statistical Hallmarks: In each of Loyola’s last four seasons, it finished in the top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. It was No. 17 in 2018 and is No. 1 this season. The Ramblers have been in the top 100 in adjusted offensive efficiency three of the past five years, peaking at No. 35 this year. They have ranked in the top 21 in effective field goal percentage in each of the last five seasons and in the top 10 in three of the last four seasons. They have ranked in the top 70 in 3-point field goal percentage in six of the past seven seasons. They have never ranked higher than 284th in tempo in Moser’s tenure and have been 307th or lower in each of the last four years.
Why it Might Work: Moser is in the midst of his second deep tournament run with a mid-major in four years and this one doesn’t even feel like a Cinderella story. The Ramblers were clearly underseeded after a dominant performance in the MVC that put them in the top 10 of the KenPom.com rankings, and they handled an Illinois team in the second round that had national title aspirations. Another Final Four run doesn’t seem out of the question at all for this group. Moser has built a mid-major powerhouse on Lake Michigan, and that’s way too close for Indiana not to take notice.
Why It Might Not Work/Not Happen: Presumably, Sister Jean wouldn’t follow Moser to Bloomington, and it’s hard to say whether or not he’d be able to recreate the magic he has going at Loyola. Moser had 10 seasons as a head coach under his belt before he finally won 20 games and he coached 13 before he finally had a team that finished better than fifth in its conference. A Naperville, Ill., native, he’s turned Loyola into what it is by keeping underrated Chicago players in Chicago. It’s hard to say whether he’d be able to get the right players to come to Bloomington. He might have an easier time getting them to go up North a bit to Marquette, another Catholic school that also has an opening.
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