When you talk about successful basketball teams, the old thought process is that you need to have a deep roster to be elite. Maybe seven, or so, strong players.
Loyola has that, anchored by junior forward Chelsea Johnson. It is a big reason why this team entered Wednesday at 19-2.
Here's the thing, though: they go seven players strong...but that's it. They legitimately do not have more than that on the roster.
"It can be tough but it also is fun, as well. I think it has helped us all grow a little bit. We all have a really good sense of mental toughness. That's probably the best thing we do as a team," Johnson said
To put things in perspective, the average team can have 12 to 15 kids. Despite having basically half of that, Chelsea, who carries a 4.0 GPA, shows pride in her team showing off a whole-sized heart.
"That's the only way to do it! We don't always have the 'luxury' in some of the games to sit but the extra reps can really help even if the game is a blowout or decided or anything like that."
In the process, establishing themselves as one of the best squads in town. In order to do that, it goes beyond talent.
"We're just really all on the same page about everything and the good thing is most of the team is just a junior. We're all character people."
That major character will lead to even more major results coming down the home stretch with the playoffs drawing close.