Valpo Begins Busy Stretch Tuesday At Arizona State Hoops Classic
Sunday, December 26, 2004

Tuesday, Dec. 28
Valpo vs. Penn State - 4:30 p.m. MST (5:30 CT)
Long Island vs. Arizona State - 7 p.m. MST (8 p.m. CT)

Wednesday, Dec. 29
Consolation - 4:30 p.m. MST (5:30 CT)
Championship - 7 p.m. MST (8 p.m. CT)

WHERE: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Arizona

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Brent Whitlock announcing.

TV: None

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 525-325 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 256-203 in his 16th season. Penn State is led by Ed DeChellis, who has a career mark of 119-117 in his 9th season and a record at Illinois of 14-24 in his 2nd season.

SERIES RECORDS: Penn State leads 1-0
Arizona State: 0-0; Long Island leads 3-2

LAST MEETINGS: Penn State - 1985-86 - PSU won 52-40; Arizona State - none; Long Island - 1970-71 - LUI won 73-52.

Valpo will be the busiest basketball team in the nation from Dec. 28-31. The Crusaders will play four games in four days beginning with Tuesday's opener of the Arizona State Hoops Classic against Penn State (5-5). Following that contest, Valpo will play either Arizona State or Long Island in the championship or consolation game on Wednesday.

Immediately after the Dec. 29 game, the Crusaders travel to Las Vegas to oppose Northern Iowa Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. PT in the third game of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic at Valley High School. Twelve hours upon the completion of the Northern Iowa tilt, Valpo finishes the trek and the calendar year against Longwood at 11 a.m. PT.

VALPO's SCHEDULE: 2nd TOUGHEST IN THE NATION: According to the Sagarin Ratings through games of Dec. 22, Valpo's schedule is the 2nd most difficult in the nation.

VALPO M.A.S.H. UNIT: Homer Drew has been forced to juggle a unit that has been besieged with injuries this season. Three players - senior point guard Ali Berdiel (6), freshman Shawn Huff (3) and sophomore Kenny Harris (2) have missed a total of 11 games due to injuries. Berdiel and Harris are out of action indefinitely. Valpo played with eight scholarship players three straight games from Dec. 11-19.

MILES LEADS MID-CON IN FREE THROW %; LOYD 2nd IN ASSISTS; OPPLAND 3rd IN SCORING: Sophomore Jimmie Miles leads the Mid-Continent Conference in free throw percentage through games of Dec. 22. Miles has converted .897 of his charity tosses (26-29). Jarryd Loyd ranks 2nd in assists (4.4 pg.). Dan Oppland stands 3rd in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and 7th in rebounding (7.0 pg.). Seth Colclasure is 4th in 3-point field goal percentage (.462). As a team, Valpo leads the Mid-Con and is 16th nationally in free throw % (.765).