Crusader senior Dan Oppland (Saint Louis, Mo./Whitfield) has been named the Mid-Continent Conference's co-Men's Athlete of the Month for December 2005, the league announced today.
Oppland led Valpo to a 4-4 month spent mostly away from home, averaging 19.9 points and 8.0 rebounds. The Brown and Gold went 4-3 on the road in December, falling at #1 Duke, #14 Iowa and Marquette, and picking up a road win over Charlotte.
At the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa Oppland earned All-Tournament Honors, going for 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals in a first round win over Tulane before scoring 23 points, on 11-of-19 shooting, and pulling down seven rebounds against Iowa in the Championship Game.
Against #1 Duke and 2005 National Defensive Player of the Year Sheldon Williams, Oppland scored 25 points, on 11-of-18 shooting, and had six rebounds. When conference play opened December 27, Oppland recorded a double-double against UMKC (19 points and 11 rebounds) and narrowly missed a second two days later at Centenary (22 points and nine rebounds).
For Oppland, a preseason First Team All-Conference selection, this is his first Mid-Con Athlete of the Month Award. Oppland shares the honor for December with Oral Roberts' Caleb Green. Western Illinois' Zane Teilane was named the Women's Athlete of the Month.
Oppland and the Crusaders return to the hardwood Saturday night for a 7:00 p.m. game at Western Illinois. That game can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.