VALPO (6-10, 2-2) at CHICAGO STATE (3-11, 2-2)
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 20 - 7 p.m. CT
WHERE: Jacoby D. Dickens Center, Chicago, Illinois
RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andy Viano announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 529-329 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 260-207 in his 16th season. Chicago State is led by Kevin Jones, who has a career mark of 15-43 in his 3rd season and a record at CSU of 15-43 in his 3rd season.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 24-1
LAST MEETING: 2003-04: Valpo won 74-66 on March 2, 2004 in Valparaiso.
COMCAST SPORTS NET TO TELEVISE SATURDAY'S GAME LIVE: Valpo's road game on Saturday against Western Illinois will be televised live on Comcast Sports Net at 4 p.m. CT. The game time is a change from the original schedule in order to accommodate live television.
Valpo begins a two-game road swing on Thursday when it travels to play Chicago State. Both teams own 2-2 records in the Mid-Continent Conference. The Crusaders (6-10 overall) will play four of their next five games on the road.
After falling to UMKC last Thursday, Valpo will have had a full week between games. Chicago State (3-11 overall) lost two straight road games after winning two consecutive games (1 road, 1 home) to begin the Mid-Con slate.
OPPLAND STAYS HOT: Dan Oppland, who has scored in double figures in 14 straight games, is averaging 21.0 ppg. over the last five games. The 6'8" junior has scored 912 career points.
HOWARD STEPS INTO SCORING ROLE: Ron Howard has proven to be a productive part of a scoring tandem with Dan Oppland. Over the last three games, the 6'5" junior swingman has averaged 21.3 ppg. to complement Oppland's 23.3 ppg. over the same span. Howard, who averages 11.9 ppg. overall, has dished out five assists in each of the last two games.
VALPO M.A.S.H. UNIT: Homer Drew has been forced to juggle a unit that has been besieged with injuries this season. Five players - senior point guard Ali Berdiel (14), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (1) have missed a total of 34 games due to injuries. Berdiel is out of action indefinitely. Miles is not expected to play again Thursday after suffering an injury against Oakland Jan. 10. Valpo has played with eight scholarship players in nine games this season.
VALPO's SCHEDULE: 27th TOUGHEST IN THE NATION: According to the Sagarin Ratings through games of Jan.17, Valpo's schedule is the 27th most difficult in the nation.
VALPO 10th NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW%; OPPLAND 2nd IN MID-CON FREE THROW%, RANKS 3rd IN SCORING: As a team, Valpo leads the Mid-Con and is 10th nationally in free throw % (.756). Dan Oppland ranks 2nd in the Mid-Con in free throw percentage (.813) and 3rd in scoring (17.6 ppg.). Jimmie Miles is 3rd in free throw percentage (.811). Seth Colclasure ranks 2nd in the league in 3-point percentage (.471), 7th in 3-point field goals (2.0 pg.) and 9th in assists (3.0 pg.). Jarryd Loyd stands 5th in assists (3.8 pg.) and Ron Howard is 9th in free throw percentage (.745).