Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
CRUSADERS SEEKING CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BERTH MONDAY

Monday, March 06, 2006

#1 ORAL ROBERTS (19-11, 13-3 Mid-Con) vs. #4 VALPARAISO (17-11, 8-8 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Monday, March 5, 2006 ? 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Tulsa, Okla. ? John Q. Hammons Arena at the UMAC (5,662)

RADIO: Valpo Sports Radio Network (95.1 FM, WVUR, 95.9 FM, WEFM, 1230 AM, WWCA, and 1500 AM, WAKE). Todd Ickow will handle the play-by-play with Brent Whitlock providing the color commentary.

TV: Live throughout Chicagoland on WYIN 56.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Homer Drew, who is in his 29th season of coaching, and 17th with the Crusaders. He is 555-346 overall and 286-224 at Valpo. Oral Roberts is led by Scott Sutton who is 119-90 in his 7th season overall and with the Golden Eagles.

BEHIND THE SERIES: While the Crusaders and Golden Eagles have split their 22 all-time meetings, their games in Tulsa are not quite as even. The Brown and Gold have dropped all 10 meetings in the Oklahoma city, including a 87-78 loss just over one week ago at the nearby Mabee Center. Monday's meeting is their third in the conference tournament for the two rivals, with the Crusaders coming out on top in the previous two meetings. Valpo knocked off Oral Roberts 71-56 in the 2000 Mid-Con tourney semis after dropping the Golden Eagles 73-69 in the 1999 title game.

LAST TIME OUT: Valpo won for the first time in 12 games in the city of Tulsa, Okla., dropping the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 77-66 Sunday night in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. All five Crusader starters finished in double-figures, led by Dan Oppland's game highs of 17 points and nine rebounds. Jimmie Miles had an outstanding all-around ballgame, finishing with 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds, four assists and only one turnover. Jarryd Loyd matched a career-high with 14 points, as did Mohamed Kone who blocked five SUU shots.

THREE'S COMPANY: The Crusaders placed three players on the 2006 All-Conference teams, more than any other school in the Mid-Con. Oppland earned First Team All-Conference honors for the second straight year, and Howard repeated on the Second Team. Mohamed Kone, who transferred from the College of Southern Idaho, placed on the Honorable Mention and All-Newcomer teams.

MUSCLING UP: The Crusaders have dominated their last six opponents on the glass, out-rebounding each team by an average of 7.7 caroms per night. Over that stretch, Oppland has been particularly proficient underneath, averaging 10.5 rebounds including 3.8 on the offensive end. The Crusaders, who are 4-2 over that stretch, have a +4.1 rebounding margin overall this season and boast two of the Mid-Con's top four rebounders (Oppland and Kone). Valpo out-rebounded Southern Utah 36-30 in Sunday's quarterfinal game.

NO, YOU SHOOT IT: The best passing team in the Mid-Con, Valpo leads the league with an 17.9 assist per game average. That average also puts the Crusaders among the nation's elite, ranking eighth in the country, less than two assists behind national leader Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Ali Berdiel, one of three Crusaders with over 500 career assists, leads the team with 109 helpers (3.9 per game), which ranks fifth in the league. Ron Howard is next at 3.5 per contest, with Jarryd Loyd chipping in 2.6 each night.

THE ONE AND ONLY: Already one of the most decorated players in Valpo basketball history, Dan Oppland was selected First Team All-Mid-Con earlier this week, the second straight First Team nod for the senior, and the third all-conference commendation of his career. One of only six Valpo players to earn All-Conference honors three or more times, Oppland is the only player in Crusader history with 1,700 and 700 rebounds in his career, and one of only two players in Mid-Con history to do so. The Saint Louis native is averaging career-highs of 19.8 points and 8.1 boards this year, and has scored in double-figures 55 times in his last 59 games.

HOWARD'S END: The Crusaders' other repeat all-conference selection, Ron Howard is second on the team in scoring this season at 13.5 points per game. A terrific man-to-man defender, Howard has 41 steals this season, tops on the team, and 101 in his collegiate career. One of the best shooters on the team at 48.5% on the season, the Marquette transfer picked up his game in the final month of the regular season, scoring in double-figures all eight games and averaging 14.6 points and 4.4 rebounds, and making an impressive 43-of-76 field goals (56.6%). The senior posted a double-double, 13 pts. and 10 rebs., against SUU February 4.

MILES AWAY: Junior guard Jimmie Miles missed 10 games this season with various ailments, but the Chicagoland native is back now and playing some of the best basketball of his career. Miles had an outstanding game Sunday night, playing 28 minutes and racking up 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds and four assists. The Crusaders' most secure guard with the ball, Miles had only one turnover Sunday and has just 17 turnovers in 255 minutes this season. Miles is also heating up from the outside, making 7 of his last 18 triples after starting the season a lowly 2-of-18 from long range.

FEELING REJECTED?: Senior Mohamed Kone matched a career-high with five blocked shots Sunday night against Southern Utah, altering dozens more. The 6'11" juco transfer now has 55 swats this season, the third highest single-year total in Crusader history. His total this year is tied for 19th most in Mid-Con history, and helped earn the big man a spot on both the All-Newcomer and Honorable Mention All-Mid-Con teams.

IT'S 14, AGAIN: Jarryd Loyd's 14-point effort Sunday night was the fourth time in the sophomore's career he scored 14. Loyd's never reached the 15 point mark, however, in his two seasons with the Crusaders.

GOLDEN EAGLE NOTES: Ken Tutt missed ten games during the regular season, but now the preseason all-conference choice looks like he's rounded into form. Tutt has 29 points in Oral Roberts' quarterfinal win, single-handedly carrying his club to victory. In 20 games this season, the junior is shooting 40% from three-point range and averaging 14.0 points per game.

Caleb Green captured the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year Award, winning the honor for the second straight season. Green, who leads the Mid-Con with averages of 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, is one of only four players to win the award twice. No player has ever won it three times, something the junior will shoot for next season.

The best rebounding team in the conference and one of the top 20 rebounding teams in the country, the Golden Eagles have two of the league's top three players on the glass. ORU boasts a +5.6 edge on the glass this season.
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay