VALPO (6-9, 2-1) vs. UMKC (4-7, 3-0)
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 13 - 7:05 p.m. CT
WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana
RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Baron Brendel announcing.
TV: live - WYIN 56 - Dick Harlan and Joe Arredondo announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 529-328 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 260-206 in his 16th season. UMKC is led by Rich Zvosec who has a career mark of 149-200 in his 13th season and a record at UMKC of 46-52 in his 4th season.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 19-4
LAST MEETING: 2003-04: Valpo won 90-78 in the Mid-Con Tournament Semifinals on March 8, 2004 in Kansas City.
WYIN 56 TO TELEVISE THURSDAY'S GAME LIVE: Thursday's game between Valpo and UMKC will be televised live on WYIN 56 at 7 p.m. CT. The game is the third of eight involving Valpo as part of a partnership between VU and WYIN 56 in accordance with the Mid-Continent Conference.
Following an impressive 87-78 road victory over Oakland Monday night, Valpo on Thursday hosts UMKC, which is undefeated and in first place in the Mid-Continent Conference. The Crusaders (6-9, 2-1 Mid-Con) scorched the nets at a 60 percent clip in producing their season-high point total. Four Valpo players scored in double figures, led by Dan Oppland's 23 points and seven rebounds. Ron Howard tallied 18 points and five assists, while Seth Colclasure had a double-double with 10 points and a career high 10 assists. Jarryd Loyd added a career-high 10 points and five assists.
UMKC (4-7, 3-0) and Chicago State (2-0) are the only undefeated teams remaining in conference play. The Kangaroos, who were winless after their first seven games, have won four straight since transfers Quinton Day and Tim Blackwell became eligible following Fall Semester. Day, a sophomore guard who transferred from USC, is averaging 14.1 points, 5.1 assists and 2.0 steals. Blackwell, a redshirt freshman guard, is scoring 9.7 points after transferring from Creighton. Center Carlton Aaron was named Mid-Con Player of the Week last week.
OPPLAND RACKING UP THE POINTS: Dan Oppland, who has scored in double figures in 13 straight games, is averaging 20.3 ppg. over the last four games. The 6'8" junior has scored 888 career points.
VALPO M.A.S.H. UNIT: Homer Drew has been forced to juggle a unit that has been besieged with injuries this season. Four players - senior point guard Ali Berdiel (13), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (9) and freshmen Jarryd Loyd (4) have missed a total of 31 games due to injuries. Berdiel and Harris are out of action indefinitely. Jimmie Miles will not play Thursday after suffering an injury against Oakland. Valpo played with eight scholarship players eight straight games from Dec. 11-Jan. 4 and is slated to play with eight Thursday.
VALPO's SCHEDULE: 20th TOUGHEST IN THE NATION: According to the Sagarin Ratings through games of Jan.11, Valpo's schedule is the 20th most difficult in the nation.
VALPO 7th NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW%; OPPLAND LEADS MID-CON IN FREE THROW%, RANKS 3rd IN SCORING: As a team, Valpo leads the Mid-Con and is 7th nationally in free throw % (.764). Dan Oppland leads the Mid-Con in free throw percentage through games of Jan. 12. Oppland has converted .835 of his charity tosses (76-91). He stands 3rd in scoring (17.2 ppg.) and 9th in rebounding (6.4 pg.). Jimmie Miles is 4th in free throw percentage (.811). Seth Colclasure ranks 3rd in the league in 3-point percentage (.460).