Valparaiso (2-2, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #5 - Wednesday, November 20 - 8 p.m.
at Evansville (3-0, 0-0 MVC)
Ford Center (10,000) - Evansville, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso closes out a stretch of three challenging road games Wednesday evening when it travels to southern Indiana to face off against Evansville. The Crusaders return home for four straight games following Wednesday’s contest.
Last Time Out: Valparaiso erased a 16-point second-half deficit to take the lead for the first time with 2:49 to play, but could not come out with the victory, as Ohio earned the 76-72 win Sunday afternoon in Athens, Ohio. The Crusaders trailed by 12 points just 4:45 into the game and were down 16 with 9:49 to go, but following a 26-8 run which gave them a two-point lead with 2:17 to play, Ohio scored the game’s final six points.
Following the Crusaders: Audio - Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City) - Todd Ickow (PxP) and Aaron Leavitt (Color)
Video - Pay, via Evansville’s website
Links for the audio, as well as live stats, will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Bryce Drew: Bryce Drew (50-22) is in his third season at the helm of the Valparaiso men’s basketball program in 2013-14. Over his first two-plus seasons, Drew has led the Crusaders to 50 victories, including a school-record 26 last season, as well as two Horizon League regular season titles and one tournament championship. The 2012 HL Coach of the Year, Drew ascended to the head coaching position on May 17, 2011 after spending six seasons as an assistant and associate head coach with the Crusaders.
Series Notes: A long-time series between in-state foes, Evansville holds a 65-17 advantage over the Crusaders in a series which dates back to 1932. The two squads have matched up 21 times since Valpo joined Division I, with the Purple Aces holding an 18-3 edge in those games. In the last matchup, Valpo snapped an eight-game losing streak to Evansville, winning 75-67 at the ARC on Dec. 11, 2007. Samuel Haanpaa paced the Crusaders in that victory with 20 points, while Urule Igbavboa poured in 18 points and Jarryd Loyd added 15 points off the bench.
...and the @HorizonLeague
- @ValpoBasketball has won the #HLMBB regular season title each of the last two years and claimed the tournament title last year.
- The Crusaders were picked to finish in sixth place in the league standings in 2013-14 in preseason polling.
- After having a pair of All-League honorees the last two years, Valpo was one of just two teams not to have a preseason All-League choice.
...looking back at last year
- @ValpoBasketball won its first #HLMBB tournament championship last year and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.
- The Crusaders claimed their second straight Horizon League regular season title in 2012-13, going 13-3 in league play.
- Valpo earned a 14 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Michigan State in second round action, 65-54.
- The Crusaders set new program records for total wins (26), home wins (16) and Division I true road wins (10) last year.
- Ryan Broekhoff was a First Team All-League and All-Region honoree, while Kevin Van Wijk earned Second Team honors both places.
- LaVonte Dority was tabbed the Horizon League’s Sixth Man of the Year.
- @ValpoBasketball returns home Saturday, opening a stretch of four straight home games with an afternoon tip against James Madison.
- The Crusaders then face off against UCF, Mercer and Cincinnati Christian at the ARC the following week.
...on the road
- @ValpoBasketball is coming off a season in which it went 10-5 in true road games - the program’s first .500 season on the road since 2001-02.
- The Crusaders have dropped two straight true road games to open this season.
- Four of Valpo’s six true road games in the non-league slate are against teams which won at least 20 games a season ago.
- Three of the six are against programs which went to the postseason last year as well.
The Ohio Classic
- Wednesday’s game is the second of four that @ValpoBasketball will play as part of the Ohio Classic.
- The Crusaders opened event play Sunday at Ohio, and will also face Mercer and Cincinnati Christian as part of the event.
- Valpo, Ohio, Mercer and Evansville all play against each of the other three schools, while all three also play a different non D-I to round out their four games.
Second Half Rallies
- In each of its last two games, @ValpoBasketball has rallied from double-digit second-half deficits.
- At Illinois, the Crusaders cut a 10-point deficit with 8:30 to play to two points with an 8-0 run over a two-minute stretch.
- Then, at Ohio, Valpo trailed by 16 with 9:49 remaining before taking the lead at the 2:49 mark with a 24-7 run.
- On the flip side, the Crusaders have faced double-digit deficits early in both games (6:13 in at Illinois, 4:19 in at Ohio).
Fastest to #50
- With the win over North Park, head coach Bryce Drew has now won 50 games in his coaching career.
- Drew is the ninth coach in @ValpoBasketball history to lead the Crusaders to at least 50 victories.
- Drew, who is now 50-21, became the quickest Crusader coach to 50 wins, surpassing Loren Ellis and Gene Bartow, both of whom were 50-29.
- The 63-point win over North Park last Sunday was the fourth-largest margin of victory in @ValpoBasketball history.
- The Crusaders’ only bigger win since moving to Division I came in November of 2005, a 70-point win over IU-South Bend.
- The 113 points was the most scored by a Crusader squad since a 118-83 win over Chicago State in March of 1996.
- Valpo shot 70.2% (40-of-57) from the floor in the win over the Vikings, the team’s best single-game shooting pct. in at least 20 years.
Freshmen Getting Minutes
- Valpo’s five freshmen have combined for 41.4% of the Crusaders’ total minutes played so far this season.
- Three of the five (Peters, Williams, Yeo) are averaging at least 22 minutes per game through three games.
- The trio combined to play 77 minutes last time out at Ohio.
Brand New Lineup
- The Crusaders have used a starting lineup of Dority, Coleman, Peters, Capobianco and Gueye in their first three games.
- The three returnees had started just five games combined in a Valpo uniform prior to the Murray State game - Dority 4 and Capobianco 1.
- For comparison, last year’s starting lineup in the season opener had totaled 245 starts in a Crusader uniform.
- Six Crusaders in all made their first appearance for @ValpoBasketball against Murray State.
- Gueye (4 pts, 6 reb) and Peters (12 pts, 8 reb) both earned starting spots.
- Yeo (5 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast), Williams (8 pts), Chadwick (1 ast) and Adekoya all made their Crusader debuts off the bench in the opener.
- Davidson became the seventh new Crusader to play this season, playing 15 minutes in the win against North Park.
Connecting From Inside
- @ValpoBasketball has ranked among the top-5 in the nation in 2-point pct. each of the last 3 years, hitting above 55% all 3 years.
- The Crusaders have ranked in the top-5 in the nation in 2-point pct. despite not having a starter taller than 6'8" during that stretch.
- Valpo is shooting at a 49.3% clip from inside the arc through this season’s first four games.
Looking to Reload
- @ValpoBasketball enters this season with eight newcomers after losing seven players, including six seniors, from last year’s team.
- In all, only 22.8% of the scoring, 27.3% of the rebounding and 24.2% of the minutes played from last year’s squad return in 2013-14.
- Among the losses were 2012 #HLMBB Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff and two-time All-League honoree Kevin Van Wijk.
- Only four players on this year’s roster have played for the Crusaders, all of whom started playing for Valpo just last year.
- The 8 newcomers include 5 freshmen and 3 transfers - one eligible immediately, one eligible after sitting out and one eligible in December.
- This marks the first time in the last three seasons that the Crusaders have had a true freshman play for them.
In the Crusaders’ Future...
- Valpo inked a pair of Canadian guards to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period this week.
- Max Joseph and Tevonn Walker are currently teammates at Vanier College in the St. Laurent borough of Montreal, Quebec.
- Walker was a First Team All-RSEQ All-Star last season after averaging 16.4 ppg, while Joseph is in his first year at the school.
- Walker has been ranked among the top-10 nationally in his class by Hoopstars Canada and North Pole Hoops, while Joseph has been ranked 22nd by NPH.
- Evansville is 3-0 this year, with home wins over Mercer and Martin Methodist and a road win at IUPUI.
- D.J. Balentine has scored 29 points in each of the Aces’ first three games and is 35-of-38 from the foul line so far this season.
- Evansville won 21 games a season ago and advanced to the semifinals of the CIT.
- Bryce Drew is in his third season as head coach of @ValpoBasketball and is in his ninth season overall on the coaching staff.
- Last season, Drew guided Valpo to its second straight regular season title, its first tournament title and a school record 26 wins.
- Drew was named #HLMBB Coach of the Year in 2011-12 in his first season as head coach.
- Drew was the first Crusader men’s basketball Coach of the Year since 2001-02, when dad Homer won the honor in the Mid-Con.
- Drew led the Crusaders to 22 wins and the Horizon League regular season title in his first year at the helm.
- Prior to coaching, Drew spent seven seasons playing professionally, including six seasons in the NBA.
- Drew was a two-time Mid-Con MVP in his playing days with Valparaiso, helping the team to three NCAA tournament appearances.
- Drew hit “The Shot”, a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament, to lift the Crusaders over Ole Miss.
- “The Shot” was named one of the top-35 All-Time Madness Moments by the NCAA as part of the celebration of 75 Years of March Madness.
- Bryce is the third member of the Drew family to serve as head coach of @ValpoBasketball.
- Father Homer was head coach from 1988-2002, and then returned to lead Valpo from 2003-11.
- Brother Scott (current head coach of @BaylorMBB) led the Crusaders during the 2002-03 season after nine seasons as an assistant under Homer.
- A Drew has been at the helm of the Crusaders for the last 25 years. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- The Drew family has combined to lead @ValpoBasketball to 441 victories and 11 postseason appearances. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- Overall, the trio of Drews owns 891 collegiate victories over a combined 45+ seasons of head coaching. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- @ValpoBasketball boasts one of the nation’s highest-scoring staffs, as a trio of coaches combined for 4,211 points during their D-I careers.
- The Crusaders’ coaching staff ranks fifth in the nation for most points scored on the Division I level as players.
- Head coach Bryce Drew scored 2,142 points during his four-year career with the Crusaders.
- Assistant coach Roger Powell Jr. tallied 1,178 points during his four-year career with Illinois.
- Assistant coach Matt Lottich poured in 891 points over his four-year career at Stanford.
- Assistant coach Luke Gore also played collegiately at NAIA Bethel [Tenn.] College.
- Dority was named the Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year last year.
- Dority scored a team-high 20 points last time out at Ohio.
- Dority went 7-of-8 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, for a career-best 21 points against North Park.
- Dority secured the Crusaders’ season-opening win over Murray State with a layup with less than nine seconds to play.
- Dority appeared in each of Valpo’s last 25 games after becoming eligible last season, averaging 8.6 ppg, third-most on the team.
- Dority earned Valpo’s Homer W. Drew Sr. Memorial Award, honoring the program’s most improved player.
- Dority scored in double figures nine times and led Valpo in scoring on three occasions.
- Dority was named Horizon League Newcomer of the Week following a 20-point game at Missouri State in his Crusader debut.
- Dority transferred to Valpo from South Florida, where he appeared in 35 games, at the semester break in 2011-12.
- Capobianco totaled 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in just 17 minutes in Valpo’s win over North Park.
- Capobianco enters his senior year after averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last year in his first season as a Crusader.
- Capobianco traveled with an Athletes in Action squad to Jamaica this past summer.
- Capobianco shot at a 55.1% clip from the field and scored in double figures six times last season.
- Capobianco was twice named Horizon League Newcomer of the Week.
- Capobianco approached a triple-double off the bench (10 pts/9 reb/9 ast) against UIC, becoming first player in NCAA to post that stat line off the bench in nearly 5 years.
- Capobianco played his first two seasons at Indiana and sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring to Valpo.
- Coleman went 9-of-10 from the free throw line en route to 11 points and seven rebounds last time out at Ohio.
- Coleman led Valpo at Illinois with 15 points and eight rebounds.
- Coleman threw down a pair of fast-break dunks in 14-point performance vs. North Park.
- Coleman set a new career high with 16 points in season-opening win over Murray State, including a perfect 8-of-8 effort from the foul line.
- Coleman also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds against the Racers.
- Coleman appeared in 29 games off the bench in his first season as a Crusader, averaging 14.9 minutes and 4.4 points per game.
- Coleman scored a season-high 15 points in his Crusader debut against Georgia Southern.
- Coleman was immediately eligible to play for Valpo after transferring from Southwestern Illinois College.
- Coleman was an All-Conference selection for SWIC during the 2011-12 season, finishing second on the team with 10.2 ppg.
- Coleman started his collegiate career as a freshman at Hawai’i.
- Fernandez led Valpo with a career-best eight rebounds and matched his career high with four blocked shots against North Park.
- Fernandez went 5-of-7 from the floor in a 14-point, 7-rebound effort off the bench in Valpo’s season-opening victory.
- Fernandez set new career highs for points, field goals made and free throws made (4) in the win against Murray State.
- Fernandez played for Jamaica in its first-ever appearance at the FIBA Americas Championship in September.
- Fernandez appeared in four games, including a victory over Argentina, the world’s third-ranked team.
- Fernandez also traveled with an Athletes in Action squad to New Zealand this past August.
- Fernandez made 27 appearances off the bench last season in his first season of action, totaling 30 points and 38 rebounds.
- Fernandez averaged one blocked shot per 11 minutes of playing time last season.
- Fernandez made his senior international debut in the summer of 2012 for Jamaica at the FIBA Centrobasket tournament.
- Fernandez helped Jamaica to a 3rd place finish, its best ever at Centrobasket.
- Gueye picked up seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots last time out at Ohio.
- Gueye blocked three shots for the second straight game at Illinois.
- Gueye went 4-of-6 from the floor for nine points, four rebounds and three blocks in the win over North Park.
- Gueye is eligible to play immediately at Valpo as a fifth-year senior after earning his bachelor’s degree from Alabama.
- Gueye started 27 games as a junior last season for the Crimson Tide, helping Alabama to 23 wins and a spot in the NIT quarterfinals.
- Gueye averaged 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, and posted 1.9 blocks per game within SEC play, ranking third in the league.
- Gueye appeared in 12 games for Alabama as a sophomore in 2011-12 after recovering from an offseason injury.
- Gueye, a consensus pick as one of the top JuCo centers in the nation, was Conference Freshman of the Year at Lake Land [Ill.] College in 2009-10.
- Chadwick scored nine points off the bench in the win over North Park.
- Chadwick made his regular season Crusader debut against Murray State, picking up an assist in four minutes of play.
- Chadwick is eligible to play this season after sitting out last year as a transfer from Rice, and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
- Chadwick traveled with an Athletes in Action squad on a tour of Lithuania this past summer.
- Chadwick appeared in 52 games over his two seasons at Rice.
- Chadwick was a starter at Hargrave Military Academy for a squad which reached the #1 ranking nationally.
- Adekoya knocked down all four of his field goal attempts for 11 points in win over North Park.
- Adekoya picked up three points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Valpo’s pair of exhibition victories.
- Adekoya was a Third Team All-State honoree as a senior at Andrew [Ill.] H.S.
- Adekoya finished his career with the Thunderbolts as the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounds.
- Davidson debuted for Valpo last Sunday against North Park, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds.
- Davidson was named Area Player of the Year by both the NWI Times and the Post-Tribune as a senior.
- Davidson helped Andrean [Ind.] H.S. to the regional title in 2013 as a senior.
- Peters posted his first career double-double at Ohio, going for 16 points and 13 rebounds, including a go-ahead basket late.
- Peters was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week for the opening weekend of play.
- Peters tallied nine points, four rebounds and three assists in the win over North Park.
- Peters went for 12 points and tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds in the win over Murray State to open the season.
- 12 points was the most by a Crusader freshman in their first game since 2008.
- Peters finished fifth in Illinois Mr. Basketball voting as a senior at Washington H.S.
- Peters was a two-time First Team All-State honoree and led the Panthers to a spot in the regional finals as a senior.
- Williams scored five points and grabbed four rebounds at Illinois, while not turning the ball over for a second straight game.
- Williams dished out four assists without a turnover and also tallied a team-high four steals in the win over North Park.
- Williams scored eight points in his Crusader debut, the season-opening win over Murray State.
- Williams was an All-Conference honoree at Marist [Ill.] H.S. as a senior.
- Williams led Marist to regional final during his final season after helping program capture the regional championship as a junior.
- Last time out, the Crusaders out-scored Ohio by 13 points with Yeo on the floor.
- Yeo went 6-of-8 from the floor for 15 points and also handed out a team-best five assists in win over North Park.
- Yeo contributed five points, three rebounds and a team-best three assists in his debut against Murray State.
- Yeo was named an Indiana All-Star as a senior after earning Junior All-Star recognition the previous season.
- Yeo led Triton [Ind.] H.S. to the 1A state championship game as a senior.
- Carter will be eligible to play Dec. 21 for the Crusaders and will have three seasons of eligibility at Valpo.
- Carter transferred to Valpo from Saint Louis at the semester break last season.
- Carter was runner-up for Illinois Mr. Basketball 2012 at Proviso East H.S. to Jabari Parker, who now plays for Duke.