CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Loyola Ramblers' chances at going to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five years got a big boost on Friday, when guard Lucas Williamson and three other seniors – guard Keith Clemons, forward Aher Uguak, and guard Tate Hall – announced they're coming back.
The NCAA made the unprecedented move to allow student athletes an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic.
"After the season, I kind of took a few days to think about what my next steps would be, and I took my time with the decision. It's not something that I took lightly," he said. "I just listed all the pros and cons of coming back here and leaving. But I'm excited. I'm happy that I made the decision to come back."
Williamson described some of the factors that weighed into his decision.
"It was either come back or start my life, so it wasn't a very easy decision," Williamson said. "Some of the things that I thought about was, like, coming back to a great culture, a great group of guys, and guys that I actually genuinely love, for one. For two, you know, Drew [Valentine] being the head coach is super exciting. You know, me and Drew have always been super close ever since we both got here at the same time four years ago."
"The city, of course," he added. "You know, there were just so many things about Loyola is the reason why it has such a special place in my heart. I mean, I just couldn't pass that up."
Senior center Cameron Krutwig is not coming back, instead trying to pursue a professional career.
Williamson said it was a tough decision for Krutwig, but everyone on the team understands. Williamson also said he can also understand the desire to try going pro, as part of him felt it was time to move on from Loyola.
"We've done a lot in our four years here. I mean, Final Four, Sweet Sixteen, three out of four championships in the [Missouri Valley Conference]. Part of me did feel like I could wrap up my career with a Sweet Sixteen run. So I completely understand feeling like it's time for you to move on," he said. "People really don't know half of it. I mean, the locker room that we have here, I mean, we really do create a bond that's going to last a lifetime here. So, I mean, it's not an easy decision for Krut to leave."
"But, for him, in his mind, it was like 'What else can I do?' Nobody has any ill will for him. I mean, everybody understands that, you know, it's time for him to move on," he added.
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