Porter Moser recognizes a court-savvy, cognizant player when he sees one.
And the first-year Loyola coach caught an up-close, extended look at one Saturday when Butler senior guard Ronald Nored contributed mightily to the Bulldogs' 63-57 victory over Moser's Ramblers.
"I am pleased that we were better; we were better in a lot of areas," Moser said. "But if you want to learn how to win, if you want to be a player, I'd get your notebook, your pen and paper and sit down there and watch Ronald Nored every single game. He is totally in-tuned to every single play."
Butler (12-9, 6-3) came to Chicago this week and grabbed a pair of victories over Horizon League foes UIC and Loyola (5-14, 0-9).
Walt Gibler and Joe Crisman led the Ramblers with 14 points apiece.
Butler forward Khyle Marshall had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. Center Andrew Smith added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
"We know all of the open spots, and we did a great job of running it," Marshall said.
Loyola trailed 53-50 after a basket by Crisman with 2 minutes, 8 seconds remaining. But Marshall stuffed an alley-oop feed from Nored for a 55-50 lead with 1:42 left.
Nored hit six clutch free throws in the last 54 seconds as Butler showed poise while closing out the victory.
"That (Loyola) team is not going to be winless long. We all know that," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. "Gibler and (Ben) Averkamp are good scoring and doing different things as well as anybody around."