November 01, 20231st2ndFinal
St. Mary-Woods403171
Stats at a GlanceSMVALPO
FG Percentage.350 (21-60) .458 (33-72)
3P FG Percentage.333 (6-18) .240 (6-25)
FT Percentage.697 (23-33) .714 (10-14)
Offensive Rebounds1516
Defensive Rebounds2728
Total Rebounds4244
Bench Points3422
PointsHale - 12
Dixon - 12
Stafford - 26
ReboundsJenkins - 8
Edwards - 8
AssistsHale - 3
DeAveiro - 8
StealsDixon - 2
Weatherspoon - 1
Ajiboye - 1
DeAveiro - 1
Stafford - 1
BlocksJohnson - 1
Welle - 1
Birchfield - 1
Palm - 2
Preview: Men’s Basketball Season is Upon Us as Powell Era Tips off with Wednesday Exhibition
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Preview: Men’s Basketball Season is Upon Us as Powell Era Tips off with Wednesday Exhibition

The time has come.

After months of anticipation, a new era of Valparaiso University men’s basketball will tip off on Wednesday night as the Beacons welcome Saint Mary-of-the-Woods at 7 p.m. for an exhibition game. This will serve as a final tune-up before the regular season begins on Monday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The start of the season represents new beginnings as Roger Powell Jr. gets set to embrace his first game as a collegiate head coach.

“The adjustment has been great,” Powell said. “I took my time; I didn’t rush into the first opportunity. I took the job that fits me, and Valpo fits me. With (Director of Athletics Dr.) Charles (Small), President (Jose) Padilla and the community, I’ve been really comfortable in this position. God sets that up; I can’t take credit for something like that. I was ready and it was time. I have a great staff, and I’m expecting to win at a high level. With that confidence, a clear vision and a clear plan, that makes the adjustment a lot smoother.”

The return to Northwest Indiana has been a homecoming of sorts for the Joliet, Ill. native, who was part of Bryce Drew’s staff at Valpo from 2011-2016, helping lead the team to 124 wins in five seasons. Since taking over the top spot in Valpo’s program, Powell has been omnipresent in the community with appearances including the Popcorn Fest, IBCA State Wide Clinic, Valpo Kiwanis, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, Big Shoulders NWI, the Valpo Athletics Coaches Tour and many more.

“It was important for me to get out in the community,” he said. “It’s part of who I am. Being the ‘Rev’ is not just a nickname, it’s part of my calling. Sharing my faith and being able to inspire people is something I’ve done everywhere I’ve been. It’s been seven years since I’ve lived here, so to be able to come back home has been awesome.”

The program features a trio of returning scholarship players – junior Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep), senior Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands [Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) and senior Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy).

“They’ve been great,” Powell said. “Darius has stood out with his leadership ability. I’ve named him a captain; he’s earned it. From Day 1, he came into my office and said, ‘Coach, one of my goals is to be a captain.’ I said, ‘You’re going to have to earn it.’ He has. He’s playing at a high level and I think people are going to be surprised to see how much growth he’s had over the last five months. Jerome is playing with a ton of confidence. His goal was also to be a captain, and he’s earned it. Connor has been awesome too; I think he was considering transferring, but he fell in love with our culture. I want those three players to experience winning in college. That is my motivation.”

The roster features five freshmen who played in either high school or prep school last season – Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]), Jahari Williamson (Pickering, Ontario, Canada / Royal Crown Academy), Lucas Scroggins (Woodbridge, Va. / Hylton [Bosco Institute]), Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) and Kaspar Sepp (Tartu, Estonia, Fairmont Academy).

“I wanted to build a class that was going to be here for a while that we can develop and grow with,” Powell said. “I’m excited about the young guys we were able to get. While everyone was doing the portal madness, I was able to get some really good prep school freshmen who I think are going to be names and faces that fans will grow to love. They’re going to see us building with them. I’m a builder, so it’s fun to see these young guys mature. They’ve matured a ton even over the last few months.”

The team brought in a quartet of transfers – sophomore Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Murray State]), sophomore Ola Ajiboye (Chicago, Ill. / Evanston Township [Central Michigan / Bosco Institute]), junior Isaiah Stafford (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Crispus Attucks [John A. Logan / Southern Indiana) and redshirt freshman Lual Manyang (Twic, South Sudan / Blair Academy [Hofstra]). The roster also features walk-ons Anthony Sciarroni (Columbus, Ohio / St. Francis DeSales [Alderson Broaddus at Findlay]), Joe Vick (Kouts, Ind. / Kouts) and Luke Carroll (Westfield, Ind. / Hamilton Heights [Lake Land]).

“I want to be gritty,” Powell said. “I want our guys to play with a lot of passion. I want our guys to come out and take pride in getting stops defensively. Offensively, I want to play with a lot of pace. Hopefully we’ll be able to score at a high clip.”

About the Exhibition Opponent

St. Mary-of-the-Woods, an NAIA program from Terre Haute, Ind. that plays in the River States Conference, features numerous transfers including Cobie Barnes, who previously played against Valpo when he was at Indiana State. The Pomeroys will face another Missouri Valley Conference team on Monday when they clash with Indiana State. The team is under the direction of first-year head coach Jesse McClung.

Following the Beacons

There will be no ESPN+ video feed for the exhibition game, but all regular-season contests will be streamed or televised again this season. Wednesday’s exhibition will air on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR, and the TuneIn Radio app. Legendary Valpo Voice Todd Ickow will have the play-by-play alongside Valpo women’s basketball student-athlete Olivia Brown. A link to live stats will also be available on

Ticket Information

Visit to purchase tickets for Wednesday’s exhibition or any contest throughout the season.