Senior Kris Lampley’s statistics don’t tell the whole story of his impact on the Ramblers. The 6-foot-3 forward averages 2.7 points and 1.2 rebounds, but his contributions go beyond the numbers. A part-time starter and regular in the rotation, Lampley focuses his efforts on setting screens, boxing out and all-around hustling, which are some of the intangibles that Loyola head coach Tom Livatino breathlessly preaches to his players.
Maroon & Gold: What was your role as a junior, and how has it evolved this season?
Kris Lampley: Last year, it was about being on time, coming with perfect effort and attitude and always be coachable. I was asked to set screens, roll hard, make open shots, play unbelievable defense and lose weight. This year, a lot of the stuff is the same. But I am using my voice more. I am getting more minutes, so it’s also important for me to pay attention to the details and understand my assignments on offense and defense.
M&G: Even though you are undersized at 6-3, you play the 5 position. Have you always been a post player?
KL: I was a point guard in grade school and as a freshman. But I moved to the 5 spot my sophomore year because I was not in good enough shape to play guard. But over three seasons, it’s been a good position for me. It’s made my game more versatile. I know that a screen I set early in a play can make a huge difference in our offense.
M&G: What’s the best part about playing basketball at Loyola?
KL: The guys. I can’t believe it’s almost over. In the locker room, we have pictures of us seniors from our freshman year. It’s crazy to think that was four years ago. We are a close group, and we’ve only gotten closer. Being in the locker room just talking after a hard practice or getting ready for a game. Team dinners. Those are the things that are absolutely amazing.
M&G: What’s the toughest part about playing basketball at Loyola?
KL: My sophomore year I didn’t play a single second. Last year, I didn’t play much due to injuries, and my work ethic wasn’t where it needed to be. The hardest part for me was to look myself in the mirror and tell myself to step it up. I knew I wouldn’t be a big part of the team this year if I didn’t do that.
M&G: Who is the funniest player on the team?
KL: I don’t know that I can pick one person. Ramar [Evans], Matt Sechman, Julian [DeGuzman], Peter Mangan, Matt Lynch. I could keep going. We have a lot of funny guys. It’s a pretty lively group.
M&G: Who is the most serious or most intense teammate?
KL: Everybody is pretty loose. But some say I might be that player. In my eyes, it’s Ramar, especially before games. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Same with me. That’s when you want to get in the zone.
M&G: What is something people outside of the basketball program and your circle friends might not know about you?
KL: I love the Chicago Blackhawks. A lot of people are surprised when I say that. I’ve been paying attention to them since 2011, maybe 2012. One day I was watching them on TV, and I just fell in love with them. When they won in 2015, I watched every single game. But the game they won the Stanley Cup my power went out. That was very upsetting. I never been to a game, and I would do anything to go to one.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola