Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valparaiso at Miami Men's Basketball Game Notes
Jake Diebler leads the Crusaders with 13 steals on the season.
Jake Diebler leads the Crusaders with 13 steals on the season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Game #9 - Valparaiso at Miami - Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 3 p.m. CST

The Matchup: Valparaiso plays its first non-league road game of the 2008-09 campaign on Saturday afternoon, traveling to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami in a return game from last year’s epic ESPNU BracketBusters matchup.  The Crusaders have lost in four of their last five games, while Miami has won four of its last five.

Last Time Out: Valparaiso never led Wednesday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center, as IPFW used an early 14-3 run to jump out to a double-digit lead on its way to a 63-46 victory over the Crusaders.  The teams were tied at six just four minutes in before the Mastodons went on their run.  IPFW’s lead remained in double figures into the second half, but a 10-2 run by the Crusaders to start the second stanza cut the edge to 33-28 with 16:40 to play.  The Mastodons went on an 18-5 surge over the next eight minutes to take control for good.  Howard Little led the Crusaders with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, but was the only Valpo player to reach double figures, as they shot just 31.1% from the floor and 19.0% behind the arc on the game.  Jake Diebler added eight points, three assists and two steals while not committing a turnover.

Series History:
Valpo and Miami never met until last season at the ARC, when senior Shawn Huff scored 26 of his career-best 32 points after halftime and fellow senior Jarryd Loyd scored the Crusaders’ last seven points in the final two minutes of the second overtime period as the Crusaders earned an epic 99-94 victory in double overtime.  The game was broadcast live nationwide on ESPN Classic on part of the O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters event.

Following the Crusaders: 
Today’s game can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network, a four-station entity carrying Crusader athletics all over Northwest Indiana.  Originiating from WVUR, 95.1 FM in Valparaiso, the VSRN also includes WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso; and WWLO, 89.1 FM, Lowell.  Veteran broadcaster Todd Ickow returns for his 18th season on play-by-play for the Crusaders, while WVUR’s David Schroeder will handle the color commentary.  The audio is also available online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have links for live stats.

Either Hot or Cold: The Valparaiso offense hasn’t had much in-between so far in the 2008-09 season.  Four out of their first eight games, the Crusaders have hit better than 45% of their shots from the field, going 3-1 in those contests.  But three times, Valpo has shot worse than 32%, including last time out against IPFW, resulting in its three double-digit losses.

Spreading Out the Scoring:
The Crusaders have had a variety of different players contribute in the scoring column during the early stages of the season.  Seven different players are averaging between 6.0 and 10.1 points per game for Valpo.  In addition, eight players have also scored in double figures at least once so far this year for Valpo, including four players (Buggs, Fumey, Haskins, Witt) who are in their first season on the court and two more (Little, Rogers) who are in just their second season.

Success Right Around the Corner?: While the Crusaders have dropped five of their last six contests, there is recent precedent for a sustained string of success immediately following a rough stretch.  Last season, Valpo lost six of seven games from Jan. 26-Feb. 20 before reeling off six consecutive victories, while the year prior, the Crusaders fell eight straight times (Nov. 21-Dec. 22) and rebounded to win seven of their next nine games.

Postseason Trips: Valparaiso’s trip to the inaugural College Basketball Invitational last season was its first postseason berth since the 2003-2004 campaign and extended an impressive streak.  16 consecutive classes of Crusader basketball players have experienced at least one postseason tournament.

Drew Closing In on 600: In his 32nd season as a collegiate head coach and his 20th year at Valpo, Crusader head coach Homer Drew is just four wins shy of his 600th career win.  Drew would become just the seventh active coach in Division I with at least 600 wins and just the 33rd coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the milestone.

Tabbed Seventh: The Crusader men’s basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Horizon League for the 2008-09 season, according to polling of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and media members.  Cleveland State has been tabbed the preseason favorite with 40 of the possible 49 first-place votes.  Wright State was picked second with UIC third and Green Bay fourth.  2007-08 league champion Butler was selected fifth, while Milwaukee was picked just ahead of the Crusaders in sixth.  Loyola, Detroit and Youngstown State rounded out the polling.

Which Line Are We Using?: The men’s college 3-point line has been moved back a foot this year, from the previous distance of 19’9” to the current distance of 20’9”.  Many courts, such as the ARC, now have multiple 3-point lines on the hardwood, as the women’s 3-point distance remained the same, but the relevant line on the ARC court for the men’s games is the more distant, light brown line.

Big Man With a Career High: Preseason Second Team All-Horizon League selection Urule Igbavboa was placed on the preseason All-Horizon League Second Team after his stellar junior campaign.  The senior forward showed his proficiency at both ends of the floor last time out at Youngstown State, helping the Crusaders rally from a 14-point deficit with a career-high 27 point effort, also grabbing nine rebounds.  Igbavboa hit nine of his 15 attempts from the floor and drained 9-of-11 free throws on the game.  This year, the senior leads Valparaiso in both scoring (10.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg).  Last time out against IPFW, Igbavboa passed the 900-point barrier and moved into 13th on Valpo’s all-time rebounding chart with 578 caroms.

The Un-Masked Man: Playing without his trademark mask this season, senior guard Jake Diebler has continued to play his trademark style of basketball in his final year.  Diebler nearly put up a new career high last Thursday at Youngstown State, matching his career best with four triples on his way to 15 points.  The Upper Sandusky, Ohio native currently has an assist/turnover ratio of 1.8 on the season and owns the team lead with 13 steals.

Little Registers New Career Best: Sophomore guard Howard Little became the fifth different player to lead Valpo in scoring in its first six games and the seventh different Crusader to reach double figures at Cleveland State last Tuesday.  Little knocked down a career-high six field goals en route to a new career-best 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half.  The sophomore is currently third on the team in scoring (8.4 ppg) after putting up a team-high 11 points last time out against IPFW and second in rebounding (5.0 rpg)

Rogers Produces Night After Night:
Sophomore guard Michael Rogers has stepped into a regular starting role this year after starting each of the last nine games of the season as a freshman.  The 6’5” Jamaican is currently second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.6 ppg, and has scored at least eight points in seven of Valpo’s eight games.  He also has been a force on the boards, currently ranking third on the Crusaders with 4.8 rpg.

B-Mac Recovering: Valpo senior guard Brandon McPherson is the only Crusader not to see playing time yet this season as he continues to recuperate from offseason surgery.  McPherson averaged double figures in scoring for the second straight year last season, putting up 10.1 points per game, and currently ranks ninth in Valpo history in 3-point percentage and 17th in assists.
News Categories
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana