Boys Basketball: Loyola’s Morrissey becoming more stingy with ball
Marty McClure of St. Ignatius (left) guards Loyola's Jack Morrissey in the Jesuit Cup game in Chicago. | Shauna Bittle~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:31PM
Jack Morrissey already has showed this summer how he’s capable of playing.
Known as one of the best spot-up shooters in the area, the Loyola rising junior is adding more ways to put the ball in the basket.
The 6-foot-1 guard proved that at Riverside-Brookfield’s tournament, where he was the top scorer during pool play. He scored 38 points in a win over St. Rita, with four three-pointers and 26 points coming from inside the arc.
“When we sat down at the end of last season, one area we addressed and I thought he needed to improve was being able to score off the dribble,” Loyola coach Tom Livatino said. “He’s doing that. He’s always been a great shooter, but he’s now a scorer. He can flat-out score in a lot of different ways, and he understands he has to be more of a complete player.”
Called up to varsity as a freshman, Morrissey finished his first full season with the Ramblers last winter.
“Jack’s a sponge,” Livatino said. “You tell him to do something, and he will do it. We got to see that at Riverside-Brookfield.”
An all-Catholic League selection as a sophomore, Morrissey is one of four starters to return to the Ramblers. The lone graduate was Jack Richmond, who will play baseball at Iowa.
“He understands the scorer’s mentality now,” Livatino said. “For us to be successful, he has to score. He’s been too unselfish.”
Loyola struggled last year to finish 9-18, losing in the regional semifinals for the second season in a row.
But Livatino is hopeful for the future, especially with so many experienced players back to the team, including Peter Pujals, Richie Wehman and James Clarke.
“We were very disappointed with how we finished up last year,” Livatino said. “But we are playing well right now, and we are excited for the summer and the season. The guys are doing a great job.”
Livatino also is looking forward to fielding a team with more true post players. Richmond was the Ramblers’ tallest starter at 6-3 last season.
Austin Morton (6-6), Matt Sullivan (6-6), Barrett Busscher (6-7) all will be seniors this season.
“We have a post presence now,” Livatino said. “It’s nice to have some size, and we are able depth there.”
Senior Matt Bauer, senior Jack Byrne, junior Chris Sullivan and junior Kevin Kucera all are expected to pad their roles.
“We had a really good spring, and now we have to build on that,” Livatino said. “Everyone is more comfortable with things, especially our offense. This summer, we will turn to our defensive philosophy.
“It’s a little bit of a process, but that is what the summer is for.”