VALPO (0-1) at CENTRAL MICHIGAN (0-1)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 23 - 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. CT)
WHERE: Rose Arena, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andy Viano announcing.
TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso. Dick Harlan announcing. Airs Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 523-320 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 254-198 in his 16th season. Central Michigan is led by Jay Smith, who has a career mark of 104-125 in his 9th season and a record at CMU of 81-119 in his 8th season.
SERIES RECORD: Tied 3-3
LAST MEETING: 2002-03 - Valpo won 65-51
Valpo concludes a two-game road swing on Tuesday by playing Central Michigan beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 CT). In the season opener Friday at Cincinnati, Valpo led by one point with under 10 minutes left before the Bearcats won 88-70. Ron Howard led Valpo with 17 points, while Dan Oppland added 14 points and six rebounds. Jimmie Miles tallied 13 points and grabbed a team-high seven boards from his guard position. Ali Berdiel dished out a game-high seven assists.
Central Michigan lost its season opener to Evansville 100-85 on the road. Kevin Nelson led the Chippewas with 24 points, while Giordan Watson added 16 points and a game-high nine assists. CMU drained 11 of 20 from 3-point range.
CONFERENCE CHAMPS FLOOD VALPO SCHEDULE: As defending champions of the Mid-Continent Conference, Valpo is facing its share of conference champion opponents. Through their first eight games, the Crusaders oppose five league champions - Cincinnati, Charlotte (both shared Conference USA title in 2004), Duke (ACC, Dec. 4, 1 p.m., United Center), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon League, Dec. 11, 7:05 p.m. at ARC) and Illinois (Big 10, Dec. 19, 4 p.m. in Urbana-Champaign).
BERDIEL, OPPLAND RECEIVE PRESEASON MID-CON HONORS: Ali Berdiel and Dan Oppland were selected to the Preseason Mid-Continent Conference First Team. Berdiel, a senior guard who earned Second Team All-Mid-Con honors last season, finished second in the league in assists (6.0 pg.) and third in steals (1.7 pg.). He ranks 3rd on Valpo's all-time assists list with 396 and 8th in steals with 140. Oppland, a junior forward, was also named Second Team All-Mid-Con a year ago.
DAN OPPLAND - MR. CONSISTENCY: Junior Dan Oppland, a Second Team All-Mid-Con and All-Tournament selection last season, has been the model of consistency. The 6'8" forward, who led the team in scoring (15.7 ppg.), tallied double-figure points in 28 of the 31 games and grabbed twin-digit rebounds six times. He was impressive in Mid-Con games, averaging 17.1 ppg. and shooting .568 from the field. In 2003-04, Oppland finished 2nd overall in the Mid-Con in offensive rebounding (3.2 pg.), 3rd in field goal percentage (.546), 6th in rebounding (7.2 pg.), 9th in free throw percentage (.781) and 9th in scoring.