Valparaiso (13-10, 5-3 Horizon)
Game #24 - Saturday, Feb. 1 - 3 p.m.
at UIC (5-17, 0-8 Horizon)
UIC Pavilion (8,000) - Chicago, Ill.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso kicks off the second half of Horizon League play with its shortest road trip of the league slate, heading up to Chicago Saturday afternoon to face off with UIC. At the halfway point, the Crusaders sit in a tie for second place in the league standings.
Last Time Out: The Valparaiso men’s basketball team came out on fire from the floor Wednesday evening at the ARC, hitting over 70% of its shots from the floor in the first half and controlling the game the rest of the way in handing Green Bay its first league loss, 75-60. Lavonte Dority scored 14 of his game-high 26 points in the first seven-plus minutes to stake Valpo to an early double-digit advantage. Lexus Williams added a career-high eight assists.
Following the Crusaders: Audio - Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WJOB, 1230 AM, Hammond) - Todd Ickow (PxP) and David Huseman (Color)
Television - Comcast SportsNet Chicago - Jordan Bernfield and David Kaplan
Links for the live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Bryce Drew: Bryce Drew (61-30) 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 61 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: UIC leads the all-time series against the Crusaders, 29-19, but Valpo owns a 10-3 advantage in the series since joining the Horizon League. In fact, the Crusaders have won nine consecutive meetings with the Flames and haven’t lost to UIC since February of 2009. Earlier this season, Valpo overcame an eight-point halftime deficit for an 87-72 win at the ARC as four players scored in double figures, led by a career-best 19 points from Keith Carter. Lavonte Dority added 14 points and six assists as well.
...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 for a nationally televised game against Detroit at the ARC next Friday, February 7.
- Two days later, the Crusaders wrap up a home weekend with an afternoon game versus Oakland.
...away from home
- @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.
- Valpo is just 3-7 in true road games so far this year.
- The Crusaders have split their four road games in league play, however, winning at Detroit and Youngstown State.
Dority on a Roll
- Senior guard Lavonte Dority has strung together a series of impressive performances as his career starts to wind down.
- Over the last five games, Dority is averaging 22 points per game while leading @ValpoBasketball to a 4-1 record in that stretch.
- Dority is shooting 58.9% from the floor, 54.2% from behind the 3-point line and 91.2% from the foul line over the last five games.
- He has scored 20+ points in four of those five games, the first Crusader to do that since Brandon Wood at the start of the 2009-10 season.
- Dority is tied with Green Bay’s Keifer Sykes with five 20+ point efforts in Horizon League play so far this season.
A Homecoming of Sorts
- Saturday will serve as a quasi-homecoming for a number of Crusaders, as four players hail from in or around Chicago.
- Lavonte Dority and Lexus Williams both live in Chicago.
- Dority actually scored 18 points last year at UIC, his first collegiate game in Chicago.
- Meanwhile, Keith Carter (Maywood - west suburb) and Jubril Adekoya (Tinley Park - south suburb) both are from Chicago suburbs.
- The Crusaders continued their league-best effort on the glass in the win over Green Bay last time out, holding a 38-28 edge on the boards.
- Over their last four wins, the Crusaders have been a combined +51 on the boards.
- The Crusaders own an average rebound margin of +7.3 so far this year, easily the best in the Horizon League.
- Valpo has not been out-rebounded in a league game yet this year, although it has been even on the glass in losses to WSU and CSU.
- Thanks mainly to the presence of Vashil Fernandez and Moussa Gueye, @ValpoBasketball has averaged nearly 5 blocks/game this year.
- Both rank among the top-four in the league in blocks and are just 2 (Gueye) and 3 (Fernandez) blocks away from Valpo’s single-season top-10.
- Fernandez is averaging 2.6 blocks/game in league play, good for second in the league.
- The Crusaders have tallied 113 blocks already this season, just two blocks shy of their most rejections in the last decade.
- @ValpoBasketball ranks among the top-90 teams in the nation in three out of the offensive “four factors” in advanced stats.
- The Crusaders rank 39th in FT rate (49.3), 50th in offensive rebounding pct. (36.0%) and 82nd in effective FG pct. (51.7%).
- However, Valpo is 342nd in turnover pct. (22.8%) and defensively ranks 340th in forced turnover pct. (14.5%).
- Individually, Moussa Gueye ranks sixth nationally in offensive rebounding pct. (17.9%), while both Gueye (46th) and Vashil Fernandez (63rd) rank among the best in block pct.
Drew Gets New Contract, Sees Jersey Retired
- @ValpoBasketball announced in December that it had reached an agreement with Bryce Drew on a new, 10-year contract.
- The deal would keep Drew as the Crusaders’ head coach through the 2022-23 campaign.
- Drew is one of just three coaches in #HLMBB history to win regular season titles in each of their first two seasons as a head coach.
- Drew currently sits as the fourth-winningest coach in #HLMBB history in terms of career winning percentage as well.
- Then, in late January, the #24 jersey became the first in Crusader history to be retired, in honor of both Drew and Bruce Lindner.
Mixing and Matching Lineups
- @ValpoBasketball has started six different lineups this year.
- The Crusaders have used a starting lineup of Fernandez, Adekoya, Peters, Dority and Williams in each of the last five games.
- 10 of the 12 players on the Crusaders’ roster have started at least one game this season, including four of five freshmen.
- Dority and Peters have started all 23 games to date for Valpo.
- This year’s roster had just five combined starts in a Crusader uniform entering the season - Dority (4) and Capobianco (1).
Freshmen Getting Minutes
- Valpo’s five freshmen have combined for 42.4% of the Crusaders’ total minutes played so far this season.
- Three of the five (Jubril Adekoya, Alec Peters, Lexus Williams) have played every game and are averaging at least 19 mpg, while Clay Yeo is averaging 14.1 mpg in 19 games.
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 53.0% clip from inside the arc through this season’s first 22 games.
Reloading This Year
- @ValpoBasketball entered 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 returned in 2013-14.
- Only four players on this year’s roster played for the Crusaders prior to this season, and all played just last year at Valpo.
- The 8 newcomers include 5 freshmen and 3 transfers - one eligible immediately, one eligible after sitting out and one who became eligible in Dec.
- 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.
- UIC enters Saturday’s game at 5-17 overall and looking for its first #HLMBB win of the year, at 0-8 in league play.
- Five of the Flames’ eight league losses have been by single digits, however, including a 74-68 loss last time out at Detroit.
- The Flames are led by fifth-year senior Kelsey Barlow, who paces the team with 15.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 3.9 apg.
- 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 452 victories and 11 postseason appearances. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- Overall, the trio of Drews owns 912 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 continued his strong recent play last time out in the win over Green Bay, scoring 26 points on 9-12 FG (2-3 3PT) and 6-6 FT.
- Dority made it back-to-back 27-point efforts in the win at YSU, going 8-12 FG (3-4 3PT) and 8-8 FT.
- Dority has led the Crusaders in scoring eight of the last ten games and 13 times total this season.
- Dority earned #HLMBB Player of the Week honors for his efforts in Valpo’s two wins at Detroit and against Milwaukee.
- Dority scored 19 of his 27 points in the first half of Valpo’s win over Milwaukee, helping the Crusaders to a 10-point halftime lead.
- Dority scored 20 points, including 13-of-16 shooting from the foul line, in the win at Detroit.
- Dority tied for game-high honors against Saint Louis with 21 points, including the game-tying layup with 3.8 seconds to play.
- 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 was named the Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year last year.
- 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 scored 10 points, including 8-of-10 from the foul line, in 21 minutes off the bench in the Crusaders’ win at Detroit.
- Capobianco tallied 14 points and eight rebounds Dec. 7 against Saint Louis.
- 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 totaled 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in the Crusaders’ home win over UCF.
- 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 led the Crusaders in scoring for the fourth time this year with 10 points against Wright State.
- Coleman returned to the starting lineup with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists in the win over UIC.
- 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 against James Madison 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 blocked four shots while chipping in five points and six rebounds last time out in the win over Green Bay.
- Fernandez combined for 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in Valpo’s pair of wins over Detroit and Milwaukee.
- Fernandez set a new career best with five blocked shots and also chipped in six points and seven rebounds against Wright State.
- Fernandez tallied his second career double-double at ETSU, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds.
- Fernandez posted his first career double-double in the win over Cincinnati Christian, tallying 11 points and 12 rebounds.
- 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 a career-high 11 points in the win at YSU, hitting all five of his free throw attempts and also grabbing six boards.
- Gueye tallied 12 rebounds to go with four points and two blocked shots in the win over Milwaukee.
- Gueye registered a career-high 13 rebounds to go with six points and four blocked shots Dec. 7 against Saint Louis.
- Gueye scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 10 points in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Gueye ripped down 11 rebounds in Valpo’s win over James Madison.
- 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 started the second half at ETSU and played eight minutes, finishing with two points and three rebounds.
- Chadwick tallied seven points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes in the win over Southeastern.
- 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 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 hit all five of his 2-point attempts in a 12-point, 5-rebound effort last time out in the win over Green Bay.
- Adekoya scored a career-best 13 points and added five rebounds in the win at YSU.
- Adekoya narrowly missed a double-double in the win at Detroit, posting 11 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes.
- Adekoya picked up a career-high four steals, all in the first half, at Oakland.
- Adekoya scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting at UCF.
- Adekoya set a new career high with 12 points and also led the Crusaders with eight boards in the win at Ball State.
- Adekoya tallied seven points and eight rebounds in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Adekoya knocked down all four of his field goal attempts for 11 points in a 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 hit a pair of shots for four points in four minutes of action last time out at Cleveland State.
- 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 knocked down all six of his 2-point attempts for 12 points at Oakland.
- Peters matched his career high with 30 points in the win over LMU.
- Peters went 9-16 from the floor, including 4-7 from 3-point range, and 8-9 from the foul line.
- Peters was named #HLMBB Player of the Week by College Sports Madness and Freshman of the Week for the third time by the HL.
- Peters totaled 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 49 minutes in the triple-overtime game against Mercer.
- Peters scored 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.
- 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 handed out a career-best eight assists last time out in the win over Green Bay.
- Williams earned #HLMBB Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 17 points, four rebounds and three assists per game in a pair of wins over Detroit and Milwaukee.
-Williams scored a career-best 22 points in the win at Detroit, going 5-of-7 from the field and 10-of-12 from the foul line.
- Williams scored 11 points, including eight in the first two minutes of the second half, in the win over UIC.
- 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 scored 15 points in 51 minutes against Mercer, all of which came in the first half.
- 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 hit three of four shots, including both of his 3-point attempts, for eight points off the bench at Cleveland State.
- Yeo scored five key second-half points to give Valpo the lead for good in the win at Detroit.
- 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 scored all eight of his points in the final six minutes in the win at YSU.
- Carter hit all three of his field goal attempts, including two 3’s, and dished out five assists in the win over Milwaukee.
- Carter scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds at Oakland.
- Carter scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 13 (5-5) in the second half, in the win over UIC.
- Carter kicked off his Valpo career with eight points and five assists in the win over Southeastern.
- Carter debuted for the Crusaders in December and has 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.