Porter Moser's first recruit at Loyola is a really good one. Iowa transfer Cully Payne won't help the team this season, but he should make a big impact in 2012-13 and beyond. The Ramblers also hope that they'll be able to have in the system for three seasons because Payne only played in five games this season after being diagnosed with a sports hernia.
Loyola signs Payne
It also appears that he felt like he didn't really fit in with the team that new head coach Fran McCaffery was building at Iowa.
Most of Payne's numbers don't really stand out from his freshman season on a per possession level. He put up an offensive rating of 83.3 while using 21.1% of the team's possessions when he was on the court. What does stand out is that he had an excellent assist rate of 26.0, 195th in the nation, that season. Unfortunately, like most young point guards, he also had a turnover problem. Payne also didn't commit many fouls that season either.
Add it all together, and assuming a bit of development over the two seasons when he hasn't played much, and Payne certainly has the statistics and pedigree to suggest that he could be the Ramblers' answer at point guard after the departure of Courtney Stanley next season. Instead of having to groom a prep successor, Moser should have a steady capable hand ready to go in his second season.
The trick now is going to be for Moser to find some size in his next recruiting class. (Lindsey Willhite did a good job laying out the current situation.) Jonathan Gac should be able to fill out a bit and Loyola still has two season's of Ben Averkamp remaining, but the Ramblers are going to be pretty thin up front once John Benkoske and Walt Gibler graduate. If Gibler gets hurt again in 2011-12 then Loyola could be in a world of trouble as well.
Ideally Loyola would find some prep players that can be here four seasons, but the need for size that can contribute immediately might lead Moser to look for a junior college player or a possibly even a midseason transfer. It'll be interesting to see how everything shakes out.