Maybe coming home to play in the new Gentile Arena will get Porter Moser and the Ramblers out of their 0-4 funk. From the tweets and pictures out so far, the stadium is up to other elite college basketball venue standards and looks like a top tier place to call home. I know it may seem that highlighting the Gentile Arena has been overly excessive, but for longtime Loyola basketball fans this marks a big moment in their basketball history.
After having the opportunity to get in a couple practices in the new gym, the Ramblers should feel at ease with the court and start to develop the ever touted, “home court advantage.” Home court advantage will be ultimately put to the test this Saturday at 3:00 PM, a game in which the 2011-12 campaign can be turned into the proper direction.
Six of the first seven games on the Ramblers schedule are slated away, with the home opener being the only game Loyola gets to play for their hometown fans. Ben Averkamp must rally his teammates to make sure they lock down a home court victory and carry the momentum for the subsequent road trip.
Loyola’s standing in the Horizon League is beginning to dwindle. Falling behind in the standings early can be devastating and will have the wrong type of lasting impact for the remainder of the season. I predict that the Ramblers do turn the season around starting Saturday at home, with a win over Fordham.