CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — From his great personality to his consistently high-level play on the court, Cameron Krutwig made quite an impact at Loyola.

That included, of course, leading the Ramblers on two magical runs in the NCAA Tournament in four years – to the Final Four in 2018, and to the Sweet 16 this year.

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On Thursday, in a message on social media, the senior announced he won’t be using the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility to return to the Ramblers next season. He will be turning pro instead.

In a YouTube video, Krutwig offered a heartfelt thanks to former Coach Porter Moser and the other coaches, his teammates, and the loyal Loyola fans.

“After a great four years here, a great career here, I feel that it’s in my best interest and the right move is to go professional and move on and try to pursue my dreams to play professional basketball whether that be in the NBA or overseas in Europe,” he said. “I think the time is right for me to go out and venture out and kind of start my life.”

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Krutwig is the second major departure for Loyola since a loss to Oregon State in the Midwest Region semifinals. Coach Moser left for Oklahoma and assistant Drew Valentine was promoted to replace him.

Known for his versatility and passing ability in the post, the 6-foot-9 Krutwig was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year last season. He averaged a team-leading 15 points along with seven rounds and three assists.

The Ramblers returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their surprising Final Four run in 2018 and finished with a 26-5 record. They were ranked 17th in the final AP poll.

Krutwig played a huge role in Loyola’s upset of top-seeded Illinois in the second round last month with 19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals. He and fellow Chicago-area senior Lucas Williamson led the Ramblers to 99 victories the last four years, the most wins over a four-year period in school history. Williamson has not announced if he will return.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBS 2 Chicago Staff