VALPO (12-12, 8-4) at CENTENARY (3-20, 1-11)
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 14 - 7:05 p.m. CT
WHERE: Gold Dome, Shreveport, Louisiana
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 535-331 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 266-209 in his 16th season. Centenary is led by Kevin Johnson, who has a career mark of 65-96 in his 6th season and a record at Centenary of 65-96 in his 6th season.
SERIES RECORD: Centenary leads 4-3
LAST MEETING: Feb. 5, 2005 - Valpo won 81-75 in overtime in Valparaiso.
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 (22), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (5) have missed a total of 46 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 (.465). A junior, Colclasure has made 53 of 114 from beyond the arc.
Valpo travels to Shreveport, Louisiana to oppose Centenary on Monday beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Valentine's Day game provides the Crusaders the opportunity to rebound from Saturday's 63-57 home loss to IUPUI. Ron Howard led Valpo with 22 points and nine rebounds. Centenary will have made the journey from Cedar City, Utah after suffering a 70-63 loss to Southern Utah. Chad Maclies topped the Gents with 21 points and seven rebounds. In the earlier meeting, Valpo defeated Centenary 81-75 in overtime as Dan Oppland and Howard scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.
VALPO RANKS 2nd NATIONALLY IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Valpo ranks 2nd in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage through games of Feb. 11. The Crusaders, who led the nation for three straight weeks, own a 42.3 percentage. Oklahoma State has vaulted to the top spot, shooting 42.8 percent. Samford is 3rd (42.2). Valpo also stands 19th nationally in free throw percentage (.741).
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 (13.8 ppg.), Howard ranks among the Mid-Con leaders in assists (5th, 4.0), free throw % (5th, .764), steals (9th, 1.6 pg.) and assist/turnover ratio (10th, 1.42).
OPPLAND MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY: Dan Oppland ranks 3rd in the Mid-Con in scoring with 17.8 ppg. The 6'8" junior reached the 1,000-career point milestone and has scored 1,056 points. In addition to scoring in double figures in 21 of the 24 games, Oppland is averaging 18.9 ppg. in Mid-Continent Conference games (ranks 4th). Overall, he also stands 4th in the league in free throw percentage (.779) and 10th in field goal percentage (.510).