VALPO (12-11, 8-3) vs. IUPUI (12-10, 6-5)
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 12 - 7:05 p.m. CT
WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana
RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andrew Stem announcing.
TV: live - WYIN 56 - Dick Harlan and Joe Arredondo announcing. Todd Medland sidelines.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 535-330 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 266-208 in his 16th season. IUPUI is led by Ron Hunter, who has a career mark of 169-145 in his 11th season and a record at IUPUI of 169-145 in his 11th season.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 14-3
LAST MEETING: Feb. 3, 2005 - Valpo won 64-61 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
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 (21), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (5) have missed a total of 45 games due to injuries. Berdiel is out of action indefinitely. Valpo has played with eight scholarship players in nine games this season.
COLCLASURE 3rd IN MID-CON IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Seth Colclasure stands 3rd in the Mid-Continent Conference in 3-point percentage (.462). A junior, Colclasure has made 49 of 106 from beyond the arc.
Currently owning a five-game win streak, Valpo concludes a three-game homestand on Saturday against IUPUI. The Crusaders (12-11, 8-3 Mid-Con) are coming off a 76-69 victory over Chicago State on Monday. Ron Howard led Valpo with 21 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Dan Oppland tallied 16 points and eight boards, and Jimmie Miles and Seth Colclasure added 10 points each.
IUPUI (12-10, 6-5 Mid-Con) owns a two-game win streak after losing to the Crusaders 64-61 on Feb. 3 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Valpo featured a balanced attack in the first meeting with the Jaguars as Howard led four players in double figures with 14 points. Brandon Cole topped IUPUI with 18 points. The Jaguars defeated Western Illinois 66-63 on Monday in Macomb, Illinois.
VALPO RANKS 3rd NATIONALLY IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Valpo ranks 3rd in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage through games of Feb. 7. The Crusaders, who led the nation for three straight weeks, own a 42.6 percentage. Oklahoma State has vaulted to the top spot, shooting 42.8 percent. North Carolina stands 2nd (42.7). Valpo also stands 19th nationally in free throw percentage (.746).
VALPO TO HOST BUTLER IN NOVEMBER, 2006: Valpo and Butler have agreed to play in Valparaiso on Nov. 29, 2006. The game serves as a return date for this year's contest between the schools, which will be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Bracket Buster Saturday Feb. 19 beginning at 2 p.m. EST. Valpo and Butler, which have not played since the 1994-95 season, will compete on the hardwood for the 90th time.
HOWARD BLANKETS MID-CON CATEGORIES: Junior Ron Howard has elevated his game to a higher level this season. Valpo's second-leading scorer (13.4 ppg.), Howard ranks among the Mid-Con leaders in assists (5th, 4.1), free throw % (5th, .777), steals (10th, 1.6 pg.) and assist/turnover ratio (10th, 1.42).
OPPLAND MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY: Dan Oppland ranks 3rd in the Mid-Con in scoring with 18.2 ppg. The 6'8" junior reached the 1,000-career point milestone and has scored 1,048 points. In addition to scoring in double figures in 21 of the 23 games, Oppland is averaging 19.9 ppg. in Mid-Continent Conference games (ranks 3rd). He also stands 4th in the league in free throw percentage (.788) and 10th in field goal percentage (.516).