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Coaching search profile: Porter Moser

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The Loyola-Chicago coach, who brought the Missouri Valley team to the Final Four last season — seems to be a legitimate candidate. What now? Huh?

Loyola v Michigan Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Name: Porter Moser

Age: 50

Current job: Head Coach Loyola-Chicago

Previous jobs: Assistant Saint Louis, Head Coach Illinois State, Head Coach Arkansas-Little Rock, Assistant Arkansas Little Rock, Assistant Texas A&M (x2), Assistant Milwaukee, Assistant Creighton

Career head coaching record (conference record): 246-226 (107-148)

NCAA Tournament Appearances (record): 1 (4-1)

Evidence of recruiting skills: In the Missouri Valley conference and with Saint Louis as an assistant, Moser brought in some solid players. One freshman, Cameron Krutwig, powered the run to the Final Four.

Items of interest: Played at Creighton. Coached under Rick Majerus. Known to be affable and energetic. Praised for precision and for recruiting, where he improved the talent base after taking over the Loyola job from Jim Whitesell, now coach at Buffalo (and former St. John’s assistant).

On court: Moser’s teams focus on slowing the pace, forcing turnovers on defense and, recently, rebounding on the defensive end. They have been good at not fouling on defense. On offense, they share the ball and tend to work the ball inside the arc.

Why he’d be a good fit: Moser is known as a strong coach, one who had received accolades as a smart assistant before taking on the job on the northside of Chicago. He built Loyola up from a 1-17 conference record to a Final Four contender last season and an NIT berth this season.

A note from a Sports Illustrated article on Moser after last season:

...it’s clear he is held in high regard in the business because he built the Loyola-Chicago program and because his teams win using a formula (excellent offensive spacing and disciplined defense) that can be replicated on any level with the right roster. The fact that Moser assembled this team from the ground up is especially attractive.

Moser already has proven he can take an underperforming program and turn it into a winner, so he would be a less risky hire.

Is that true?

Will St. John’s find out?

Why it wouldn’t work: As mentioned this morning, Porter Moser is very Chicago (suburbs). He’s born in Chicago, did high school in Chicago, went to school in the Midwest, stayed mostly in the Midwest (and South), and now lives with his wife and four kids, ages 12-17, in a tony suburb of Chicago (his home was sold to his family last season by the Cubs’ owner).

Bringing in Moser is a gamble that coaching is more important than local ties, or that those ties can be made with a hardworking coach and a local staff.

Additionally: there’s a gamble being made going with a coach who has built his team into regular winning seasons only in the past three years; Loyola was patient with his build, far more patient than St. John’s fans might be. He’ll need support.

Can he recruit higher-level players — or, conversely, get the right kind of players to execute his vision at a high level?

What’s getting in the way: We do not know what his buyout is, but Moser’s contract lasts until the 2026 season.

We do not know whether Moser is an actual front runner or just a candidate. We also don’t know what Moser’s “make me move” dollar amount is going to be.

Final word: He’s actually meeting with St. John’s tonight, per the local scribes, so we have to take it seriously.