Valparaiso (6-4, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #11 - Saturday, Dec. 7 - 7:05 p.m.
Saint Louis (7-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso returns home to the ARC Saturday evening for one of the toughest tests on the early-season schedule, as the Crusaders host Saint Louis. Valpo is in search of its third consecutive victory.
Last Time Out: The Valparaiso men’s basketball team limited Ball State to just 26.2% shooting from the floor Wednesday evening as the Crusaders won in Muncie for the first time since 1967 with a 69-50 final. The win was the Crusaders’ first road victory of the season as well. LaVonte Dority scored a team-high 16 points, while Jubril Adekoya set a new career best with 12 points.
Following the Crusaders: Audio - Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City) - Todd Ickow (PxP) and David Huseman (Color)
Video - Horizon League Network
Links for the audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Bryce Drew: Bryce Drew (54-24) 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 53 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: Valpo and Saint Louis have met on the hardwood eight times in program history, with the Crusaders holding a slight 5-3 edge. Four of those eight meetings came in the early 1920s, however. Most recently, the two sides met last December in St. Louis, a 62-49 Billikens victory in a game in which the Crusaders shot just 32.6% from the floor. Only three players who played in that game (Capobianco, Coleman, Fernandez) are back this season for Valpo, though.
...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.
- The game vs. Saint Louis marks the 11th for @ValpoBasketball in the first 30 days of the regular season.
- The Crusaders will play just once over the next two weeks, hosting Loyola Marymount next Saturday afternoon.
...at the ARC
- @ValpoBasketball has 16 regular season home games scheduled for the ARC in 2013-14. #ValpoGameday
- The Crusaders set a new record for home victories in 2012-13, going 16-2 at the ARC last season.
- Valpo has opened the season 5-1 at home, with the lone loss at the ARC coming in triple overtime to Mercer.
- Over the last 19+ years, @ValpoBasketball owns a 227-51 (.817) record on its home court.
- There are a number of familiar foes on both sides of the Crusaders’ matchup with Saint Louis on Saturday.
- Valpo’s LaVonte Dority and SLU’s Mike McCall Jr., both seniors, were teammates at Foreman H.S. in Chicago.
- Valpo’s Lexus Williams and SLU walk-on Royce Simpson, both freshmen, were teammates at Marist H.S. in Chicago as well.
- Valpo’s Jordan Coleman and SLU’s Austin McBroom both hail from North Hollywood, Calif.
- In addition, Keith Carter started his career at SLU last year before transferring to Valpo at the semester break.
Defense Stands Out
- While most of the Crusaders’ wins this year have been defined by offensive efficiency, Valpo shut down Ball State on the defensive end.
- The Crusaders limited BSU to just 26.9% (14-of-52) shooting from the field, including just four 3-pointers.
- It was the best single-game field goal pct. defense from Valpo since holding Cleveland St. to 25.9% shooting in a win on 2/9/12.
- @ValpoBasketball matched the longest game in program history, going triple-overtime last Friday in the 117-108 loss to Mercer.
- The Crusaders had two previous triple-overtime games in program history: 1/28/85 vs. SW Missouri St. and 3/7/94 vs. Western Illinois.
- Valpo won both its previous 3OT games, with the win over WIU coming in the Mid-Con championship game.
- The 117-108 loss to Mercer marked a number of scoring milestones @ValpoBasketball fans haven’t seen for a while.
- It was the first time both teams have reached triple figures in a Valpo game since a 103-102 win at Oakland on 12/21/10.
- It marked the most points by the Crusaders against a D-I opponent since a 118-83 victory over Chicago State on 3/3/96.
- It matched the most combined points in a Valpo game since a 121-104 victory over Wheaton on 3/1/69.
- The 108 points was the most by the Crusaders in a loss since falling at Ball State, 117-116, on 2/19/64.
Career Highs All Around
- Over the last three games, seven different Crusaders have set new career bests in the scoring column.
- LaVonte Dority (31), Bobby Capobianco (23) and Lexus Williams (15) set career highs while playing 52, 38 and 51 minutes, respectively, vs. Mercer.
- The next night saw David Chadwick (14), Moussa Gueye (10) and Nick Davidson (7) set new career bests against Cincinnati Christian.
- Jubril Adekoya scored a career-best 12 points last time out against Ball State.
Power Conference Win
- @ValpoBasketball led start-to-finish in its win over UCF,the Crusaders’ first meeting against a school from the newly-formed American Athletic Conference.
- The American is currently ranked sixth in the KenPom rankings, ahead of the SEC.
- Valpo’s last win over a power-conference team came at Washington in March of 2008 in the opening round of the CBI.
Fastest to #50
- With the win over North Park, head coach Bryce Drew has won 50 games in his coaching career, needing just 70 games to get there.
- Drew is the ninth coach in @ValpoBasketball history to lead the Crusaders to at least 50 victories.
- Drew became the quickest Crusader coach to 50 wins, surpassing Loren Ellis and Gene Bartow, both of whom earned it in their 79th game.
Change to the Lineup
- For the first time this year, @ValpoBasketball ran out a different starting five against James Madison, which it has used the last five games.
- Adekoya and Williams joined Peters, Dority and Gueye in the lineup.
- It marked the first time the Crusaders had started three freshmen since Dec. 9, 2009 at Purdue (Broekhoff, Kenney, Kurth).
- The Crusaders had used a starting lineup of Dority, Coleman, Peters, Capobianco and Gueye in their first five games.
- That starting five had started just five games combined in a Valpo uniform prior to this season - Dority 4 and Capobianco 1.
Freshmen Getting Minutes
- Valpo’s five freshmen have combined for 46.5% of the Crusaders’ total minutes played so far this season.
- Four of the five (Jubril Adekoya, Alec Peters, Lexus Williams, Clay Yeo) are averaging at least 16 minutes per game.
- The freshmen combined for 98 minutes against Ball State last time out, scoring 38 of Valpo’s 69 points..
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 58.3% clip from inside the arc through this season’s first nine games, hitting less than 50% just twice.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Saint Louis enters Saturday’s game at 7-2 on the season, with both their losses coming to ranked foes - Wisconsin and Wichita St.
- Five different players average at least eight PPG for the Billikens, led by 15.1 PPG from senior forward Dwayne Evans.
- SLU set a school record with 28 victories last season, won the A-10 title and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
- 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 445 victories and 11 postseason appearances. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- Overall, the trio of Drews owns 899 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 paced the Crusaders last time out in the win at Ball State with 16 points.
- Dority played 52 minutes in the 3OT game vs. Mercer, setting new career highs with 31 points (7-14 FG; 14-15 FT), 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
- Dority scored a team-high 20 points at Ohio.
- Dority went 7-of-8 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, for a career-best 21 points against North Park.
- 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 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 played 38 minutes off the bench in the 3OT game vs. Mercer, posting his first double-double with a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds.
- Capobianco tallied 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in the Crusaders’ win over UCF.
- 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 returned to the lineup with nine points and seven rebounds last time out in the win at Ball State.
- Coleman scored in double figures each of Valpo’s first seven games, ending the streak with a 15-point effort in the win over UCF.
- Coleman came off the bench for the first time this year vs. JMU and went 6-of-7 from the floor, matching his career high with 16 points.
- Coleman led Valpo at Illinois with 15 points and eight rebounds.
- 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 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 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 posted his first career double-double in the win over CCU, tallying 11 points and a career-best 12 rebounds.
- Fernandez led Valpo with 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 over 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 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 scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 10 points in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Gueye ripped down a new career-best 11 rebounds in Valpo’s win over James Madison.
- Gueye chipped in six points, four rebounds and a season-best four blocked shots at Evansville.
- 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 paced the Crusaders in scoring after missing four games, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win over CCU.
- 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 set a new career high with 12 points and also led the Crusaders with eight boards last time out in the win at Ball State.
- Adekoya tallied seven points and eight rebounds in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Adekoya went hit all four of his field goal attempts from inside the arc in an eight-point effort in the win over UCF.
- Adekoya played 14 second-half minutes at Evansville, registering four points, three rebounds and a Valpo-season best six assists.
- Adekoya knocked down all four of his field goal attempts for 11 points in win over North Park.
- 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 tallied seven points, including his first career 3-pointer, and handed out five assists in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Davidson debuted for Valpo 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 hit all five of his field goal attempts vs. CCU for 13 points in just 16 minutes.
- Peters totaled 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 49 minutes in the triple-overtime game against Mercer.
- Peters scored a Valpo season-high 30 points at Evansville, including seven 3-pointers.
- The 30 points was the most by a Crusader freshman since Raitis Grafs scored 30 against Belmont in January of 2000.
- Peters earned his second #HLMBB Freshman of the Week honor of the season for his efforts against Evansville and JMU.
- Peters posted his first career double-double at Ohio, going for 16 points and 13 rebounds.
- Peters was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week following the opening weekend of play.
- 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 was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week Dec. 2.
- Williams tallied 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win over CCU.
- Williams set a new career high with 15 points in 51 minutes against Mercer, all of which came in the first half.
- Williams scored nine points in the first six minutes in the win over UCF, ending the night with 10 points and four assists.
- Williams earned his first career start against JMU, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and also tallying four steals.
- Williams played 29 minutes at Evansville off the bench, registering eight points and four assists.
- 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.
- Yeo tallied nine points and six rebounds off the bench in the win at Ball State.
- Yeo played a team-high 30 minutes in the win over CCU, totaling 11 points and five assists.
- 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.