Loyola’s Cameron Krutwig wins Missouri Valley Conference player of the year honors

Loyola’s Cameron Krutwig stands atop the Missouri Valley Conference.

The 2017 Jacobs graduate earned the Larry Bird Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award on Tuesday. He becomes the third Rambler to win the award in the past four years, joining Clayton Custer in 2017-18 and Marques Townes in 2018-19.

Krutwig also earned All-MVC first-team honors for the third consecutive year. Loyola will open the MVC tournament in the quarterfinal round Friday. It awaits the winner of Thursday’s game between Bradley and Southern Illinois.

Loyola is the first team to produce three MVC players of the year over a four-year period since Southern Illinois players took home the award in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Krutwig had finished in the top three in the MVC player of the year voting in each of the previous two seasons.

Krutwig is the fourth MVC player to total 1,500 points, 800 rebounds and 300 assists in his career, joining a list that includes Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati), Larry Bird (Indiana State) and Hersey Hawkins (Bradley). Krutwig is the only player in Ramblers history to rank in the school’s all-time top 10 in scoring (1,744), rebounding (894) and assists (353). The 6-foot-9 senior center, who helped Loyola reach the Final Four in 2018, has scored double-digits in 22 games this season.

Loyola sports a 21-4 overall record and won the MVC regular-season championship with a 16-2 conference record. The Ramblers moved up to No. 20 in the latest AP rankings this week and are likely to earn an at-large NCAA tournament berth even if they don’t win the MVC tournament this week. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them projected as a No. 8-seed in the NCAA tournament.

Krutwig’s teammate Lucas Williamson, who went to Whitney Young in Chicago, earned MVC Defensive MVP and All-MVC second-team honors.