Loyola Academy's Jack Morrissey

Loyola Academy's Jack Morrissey (25) drives on Niles North's Malachi Nix at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Thursday, December 27, 2012. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune / December 27, 2012)

Tom Izzo arrived just before tipoff, and the Michigan State coach plopped down next to Marquette's Buzz Williams.

Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard showed up a few minutes later. Northwestern coach Chris Collins and his father Doug already were courtside, a few rows below Illinois assistant Paris Parham.

Jack Morrissey did not pretend they were in attendance Tuesday for Loyola's game at St. Rita see him and his victorious Ramblers, and he even tried to imply that he didn't notice.

"You're so focused on the game and what you need to do as a team," Morrissey said. "I don't get too caught up in that."

The smile on his face told a different story.

Limited by size and/or athleticism, players like Morrissey and fellow senior guards Kevin Kucera and James Clarke simply don't fit the profile of the prospects the coaching luminaries were on hand to see, St. Rita's Charles Matthews and Vic Law.

But they beat players like Matthews and Law, improving to 13-2 and 6-0 in the Catholic League with the 67-57 victory, which has made coaching them at once exhilarating and frustrating for Loyola's Tom Livatino.

"It has been a really rewarding year because they're such great kids to work with," Livatino said. "But it has been really frustrating to try to get people at the next level to appreciate what they've been doing."

Livatino, whose adaptation of a hybrid Princeton/John Beilein offense has fit the trio perfectly, believes all three are being under-recruited.

He is disheartened by the lack of Division I interest in Morrissey.

The 6-foot-2 Morrissey may be a bit underwhelming physically, but he looks great shooting the ball.

He took seven 3-point attempts against St. Rita and made five, increasing his percentage beyond the arc to 46.6 (55-for-118) this season.

Morrissey has taken 606 3-pointers since being called up to varsity midway through his freshman season and connected 267 times, a healthy 44.1 percent.

He has made 52 more 3-pointers than Colin Falls did at Loyola before becoming Notre Dame's all-time leader.

"I know in every college system there is a need for shooters," Livatino said. "You always hear college coaches when tournament time comes around talk about the value of the shooter, and it's always about kids who are undersized.

"I do think he's a system fit, but I don't know if it has to be a system like the Princeton offense or a four-guard system like Michigan."

Livatino believes Kucera and Clarke also are being overlooked.

"It has been baffling. Kucera has the grades and ACT score to play in the Ivy League," Livatino said. "There was some interest but it has dissipated. James Clarke has great scoring ability and quickness. I spend a lot of time with it, and it is frustrating when your guys don't get the response you think they deserve.

"I said the other night that Jack doesn't have an AAU game. I didn't mean there is anything wrong with AAU. I just meant he really only cares about his high school basketball team. That is how they all are. They are really selfless. They don't get caught up in, 'Why is this school or that school not recruiting me? '

"It helps that they are best friends. That doesn't happen every day. Sometimes the AAU stuff fragments some teams. Our guys have stayed true to Loyola. It is cool and it shows when we play. That is unique."

Jack Morrissey file

High school: Loyola.

Class: Senior.

Position: Guard.

College: Undecided.

Height: 6-2.

Numbers: 17.1 points, 46.6 percent (55-for-118) 3-point shooting; 44.1 percent (267-for-606) career.