VALPO (9-11, 5-3) vs. IUPUI (10-9, 4-4)
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 3 - 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT)
WHERE: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
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 532-330 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 263-208 in his 16th season. IUPUI is led by Ron Hunter, who has a career mark of 167-144 in his 11th season and a record at IUPUI of 167-144 in his 11th season.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 13-3
LAST MEETING: March 9, 2004 - Valpo won 75-70 in the Mid-Con Tournament Championship Game in Kansas City, Missouri
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 (18), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (5) have missed a total of 42 games due to injuries. Berdiel is out of action indefinitely. Valpo has played with eight scholarship players in nine games this season.
COLCLASURE 2nd IN MID-CON IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Seth Colclasure stands 2nd in the Mid-Continent Conference in 3-point percentage (.478). A junior, Colclasure has made 44 of 92 from beyond the arc.
Currently owning a two-game win streak, Valpo travels to play IUPUI on Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Crusaders (9-11, 5-3 Mid-Con) are coming off a 93-77 road victory over Southern Utah last Thursday. Dan Oppland scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Ron Howard netted a career-high 25 points and dished out seven assists. Valpo shot 61 percent overall, making 11 of 23 from 3-point territory. IUPUI (10-9, 4-4) has dropped two straight after losing at Chicago State (71-63) on Saturday.
CONSECO MEMORIES: Valpo, which is 3-1 in Mid-Con road games, played at Conseco Fieldhouse during the 2000 Hoosier Classic hosted by Indiana University. Valpo defeated Colorado State before narrowly falling to Indiana (63-60) in the championship game.
VALPO CONTINUES TO LEAD NATION IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: For the third straight week, Valpo leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage through games of Jan. 31. The Crusaders are currently shooting 44.3 percent from 3-point territory (145-327). Furman stands 2nd at 42.9 and North Carolina is 3rd at 42.8. The Crusaders also stand 12th in the nation in free throw percentage (.755).
OPPLAND LEADS MID-CON IN SCORING; REACHES 1,000-CAREER POINT MILESTONE: Through games of Feb. 2, Dan Oppland leads the Mid-Con in scoring with 18.8 ppg. With 27 points at Southern Utah, Oppland reached the 1,000-career point milestone. The 6'8" junior has scored 1,005 career points. In addition to scoring in double figures in 18 straight games, Oppland is averaging 23.3 ppg. over the last seven games.
HOWARD ON ASSIST RAMPAGE: Junior Ron Howard has become a complete player as evidenced by his increase in assists. Valpo's second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg.), Howard has averaged 7.5 assists over the last six games, including a career-high 11 vs. Western Illinois and 10 vs. Oakland in consecutive games. Howard ranks 4th in the Mid-Con with 4.1 assists per game and Jarryd Loyd (3.8) and Seth Colclasure (3.2) are 6th and 9th.