Thursday, March 04, 2004
Valpo, the Mid-Continent Conference regular season champion, placed Joaquim "Kikas" Gomes, Dan Oppland and Ali Berdiel on the All-Mid-Con Second Team.
Gomes, a senior forward from Luanda, Angola, finished the regular season as the Mid-Con's leader in blocked shots per game (1.89, 51 in 27 games) and ranked 2nd in rebounding (9.0 pg.). An Honorable Mention All-Mid-Con selection a year ago, Gomes has averaged 12.6 ppg., while shooting .479 overall and leading the league in defensive rebounding (6.89 pg.). He has recorded 12 double-doubles (points,rebounds) this season - the second most in the Mid-Con. Gomes, who has 988 career points, was chosen as the league's player of the week on Dec. 15.
Oppland, a sophomore from St. Louis, Mo./Whitfield, has been the model of consistency. The 6'8" forward has tallied double-figure points in 25 of the 27 games. Oppland leads Valpo in scoring (15.4 ppg.), ranking 9th in the Mid-Con. An Academic All-District V selection, Oppland stands 2nd in the league in offensive rebounding (3.22 pg.), 3rd in field goal percentage (.541), 6th in rebounding (7.2 pg.) and 8th in free throw percentage (.776). He was particularly effective in Mid-Con games, averaging 17.1 ppg. and 7.3 rpg., while shooting .568 from the field. Oppland has recorded six double-doubles this season.
Berdiel, a junior from Ponce, Puerto Rico, stands 2nd in the Mid-Con and 16th nationally in assists (5.96 pg., 161 in 27 games). The Crusaders' point guard, Berdiel ranks 3rd in the league in steals (1.81 pg.) and 6th in assist/turnover ratio. He has averaged 11.0 ppg. and made .372 from 3-point range. On Valpo's all-time lists, Berdiel ranks 4th in assists (365) and 9th in steals (137).
Valpo (15-12, 11-5 Mid-Con) captured its ninth Mid-Con regular season title - all in the last 10 years. The Crusaders, the #1 seed, will oppose #8 seed Oakland on Sunday at noon in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament quarterfinals in Kansas City's Kemper Arena.