On Sunday, night Munster senior Joe Crisman spoke with Loyola men's basketball coach Jim Whitesell. All seemed OK.
Surely the Ramblers' coach for the past seven seasons was pleased with the way Crisman led Class 4A No. 1 Munster to the Michigan City Regional championship on Saturday night.
"We talked the night before and it was all good," Crisman said of the school he verbally committed to last summer and signed his National Letter of Intent in November.
On Monday, Whitesell was released from his duties at Loyola, where he went 109-107 overall and 50-70 in the Horizon League.
"It was definitely a shock to me," Crisman said, "and it was a shock to him, too."
Loyola Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics, Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said the following in a release:
"After extensively assessing the future of the program, including input from student-athletes and other key stakeholders, I felt a change was in the best interest of the program," she said. "Allowing Coach Whitesell to coach in the last year of his contract would prevent him from recruiting effectively, while extending his contract would send a false signal of the level of competitive success that will merit a contract extension going forward."
Loyola started this past season 7-0, but finished 16-15 overall and 7-11 in conference play.
Crisman said he spoke to Calhoun and she told him they were very happy to have him. NCAA rules say that he is committed to Loyola and not Whitesell.
But often when coaches are fired, the universities allow students to change their mind if they wish.
Today, Crisman is only concerned about playing Kokomo on Saturday in the Lafayette Jeff Semistate.
"For the next two weeks I'm going to focus only on Munster basketball," Crisman said. "Not too many basketball players get to experience playing this deep into March. So this is all I'm thinking about right now."
Crisman said that Kokomo (22-2) is very strong, athletic and aggressive. He knows his Mustangs will have to be ready.
"They are aggressive and they attack the boards," he said. "They're a good, strong, athletic team. But we've played East Chicago and South Bend Riley and they're a lot like them.
"And we beat those teams. If we keep playing Munster basketball no one can beat us."