Valpo Travels To Play Butler On Bracket Buster Saturday
Friday, February 18, 2005
VALPO (14-12) at BUTLER (10-14)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CT)

WHERE: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andrew Stem announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 537-331 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 268-209 in his 16th season. Butler is led by Todd Lickliter, who has a career mark of 79-40 in his 4th season and a record at Butler of 79-40 in his 4th season.

SERIES RECORD: Butler leads 57-32
LAST MEETING: Dec. 1, 1994 - Butler won 82-80 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

OPPLAND MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY: Dan Oppland ranks 3rd in the Mid-Con in scoring with 18.2 ppg. The 6'8" junior has scored 1,103 points. In addition to scoring in double figures in 23 of the 26 games, Oppland is averaging 19.6 ppg. in Mid-Continent Conference games (ranks 4th). Overall, he also stands 5th in the league in free throw percentage (.788).

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 (24), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (5) have missed a total of 48 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. Colclasure owns a .452 mark, making 57 of 126 from beyond the arc.

On Bracket Buster Saturday, Valpo (14-12) renews an old rivalry against Butler (10-14) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game marks the 90th between the schools. The Crusaders and Bulldogs last played on Dec. 1, 1994 at Hinkle Fieldhouse with Butler edging Valpo 82-80.

Valpo, winners of seven of its last eight, won a hard-fought game against Southern Utah on Thursday. Dan Oppland scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds. Seth Colclasure netted 16 and Jimmie Miles added 14 points and six assists.

Butler (5-9 in Horizon League) is led by 6'6" junior Brandon Polk with 12.0 ppg. and 4.2 rpg. Freshman A.J. Graves adds 10.6 ppg. and junior Bruce Horan tallies 10.2 ppg., while topping the Bulldogs with 75, 3-pointers (.412). Butler is 8-4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Valpo will host Butler on Nov. 29, 2006 as a return date for Saturday's game.

OPPLAND NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT V TEAM: Valparaiso University's Dan Oppland was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Team by the district's sports information directors. Oppland also earned Academic All-District V honors as a sophomore. One of five players named to the All-District V Team, Oppland will now appear on the ballot for Academic All-America. A junior forward from St. Louis, Mo./Whitfield, Oppland has earned a 3.490 cumulative grade point average in physical education/sports management. Oppland leads Valpo and ranks 3rd in the Mid-Continent Conference in scoring with 18.2 points per game.

VALPO RANKS 4th NATIONALLY IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Valpo ranks 4th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage through games of Feb. 14. The Crusaders, who led the nation for three straight weeks, own a 41.5 percentage. Texas Tech has vaulted to the top spot, shooting 43.8 percent. Oklahoma State is 2nd (42.8) and Samford is 3rd (42.0). Southern Utah ranked 5th.

HOWARD BLANKETS MID-CON CATEGORIES: Junior Ron Howard has elevated his game to a higher level this season. Valpo's second-leading scorer (13.8 ppg.), Howard ranks among the Mid-Con leaders in assists (8th, 3.8), free throw % (8th, .752), and assist/turnover ratio (10th, 1.32). Howard averages 17.5 ppg. in Mid-Con games, ranking 7th.