Valparaiso University men’s basketball senior Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) reached a pinnacle on Friday that only one other Crusader in the last 50 years has achieved, as Peters was named a Third Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) – one of just 15 players in the nation to be honored on the NABC’s three All-America teams.
Peters was joined on the NABC’s Third Team by Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen. Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Josh Hart (Villanova), Justin Jackson (North Carolina), Frank Mason III (Kansas) and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) comprised the NABC’s First Team, while the Second Team consisted of Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Luke Kennard (Duke), Malik Monk (Kentucky), Johnathan Motley (Baylor) and Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga).
Peters was dominant for the Crusaders throughout the season, leading the way as Valpo earned a third consecutive Horizon League regular season title. The Horizon League Player of the Year and a U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-Region honoree, Peters averaged 23 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, both tops in the Horizon League and ranking eighth and 16th, respectively, in the nation. Peters was the only player in the nation to rank among the top-20 in both scoring and rebounding. He posted 16 double-doubles on the year, good for 21st nationally, and also ranked 21st in the nation in free throw percentage (88.7%).
In the process, Peters rewrote the Valpo record books this year. The three-time First Team All-League honoree finished the season third in a single season in program history in scoring (666 points) and seventh in rebounding (293 rebounds) despite missing the last four games of the year. He finished his senior campaign second in program history in single-season scoring average and eighth in single-season rebounding average, as well as second in free throws made (172) and sixth in free throw percentage.
Over the course of the season, Peters broke five of the program’s career benchmarks, including breaking the team’s career rebounding and scoring records in back-to-back games. He also broke the program marks for field goals made, free throws made and games started, ranks second in 3-pointers made and games played, and ranks fourth all-time at Valpo in free throw percentage. Peters also left his mark on the Horizon League record book, as he ranks third in league history with 2,348 career points scored – the most by any Horizon League player since 1988 – and also is tied for third all-time with nine career league Player of the Week honors.
Peters, who was selected as an Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press last season, is the first Crusader to earn a spot on an All-America squad since Bryce Drew was tabbed a Third Team All-American by Basketball Times in 1998. Prior to Drew, the last Valpo All-American came back in 1968, as Dick Jones earned Third Team College Division recognition from the NABC. Bob Metcalf (1949, 1950) and Bob Dille (1944) round out the Crusaders’ all-time All-America honorees, while John Meyne (1983, 1984), Lubos Barton (2002) and Ryan Broekhoff (2012) each earned Honorable Mention All-American recognition from various outlets as well.