December 16, 20231st2ndFinal
Chicago St.333063
Stats at a GlanceCSUVALPO
FG Percentage.465 (20-43) .407 (24-59)
3P FG Percentage.429 (6-14) .250 (6-24)
FT Percentage.773 (17-22) .727 (8-11)
Offensive Rebounds1015
Defensive Rebounds2015
Total Rebounds3030
Bench Points533
PointsCardet - 28
Williamson - 20
ReboundsCorbett - 8
Edwards - 9
AssistsGreen - 5
DeAveiro - 6
StealsDavis - 2
Corbett - 2
DeAveiro - 3
BlocksDavis - 1
Crawford - 1
Jernigan - 1
Corbett - 1
Ajiboye - 1
Men's Hoops Returns to Action on Saturday vs. Chicago State
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Men's Hoops Returns to Action on Saturday vs. Chicago State
Walk-on Anthony Sciarroni has logged minutes in each of the last two games.

Chicago State (4-9, Independent)
at Valparaiso (4-6, 0-2 MVC) 

Game No. 11 – Saturday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: After six days without a game due to final exams, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will be back in action on Saturday as Chicago State visits the Athletics-Recreation Center for a mid-afternoon clash. The Beacons are back home – where they are 4-2 this season – for the first time since Nov. 29 after a stretch that featured road games at Belmont, Central Michigan and Virginia Tech. This will mark the first of a set of back-to-back home games to close out the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule as Valpo hosts Samford on Tuesday, Dec. 19 in the final game before the holiday.

Last Time Out: Freshman Kaspar Sepp continued a breakout week with 10 points and five rebounds, while Jaxon Edwards contributed 13 points and five boards, but Valpo fell 71-50 on Dec. 9 at Virginia Tech. Isaiah Stafford scored a team-high 14 points while also coming up with four steals and two blocks. The 3-point arc was a key factor in the game as Valpo went just 3-of-24 (12.5 percent) and was outscored by 21 on 3s in a game the Beacons lost by 21.

Following the Beacons: Streaming – ESPN+ – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Jamie Stangel (analyst)

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR,, TuneIn Radio App – Noah Godsell (play-by-play)

Twitter updates - @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at

Head Coach Roger Powell Jr.: Roger Powell Jr. (4-6) is in his first season as the head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program. After helping guide Gonzaga to a 121-13 record during his four seasons as an assistant coach, Powell returned to Valpo, where he was part of head coach Bryce Drew’s staff from 2011-2016 and led the team to 124 wins in five seasons, including a program-record 30 victories and a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) title game appearance in 2015-16. He was part of head coach Mark Few’s Gonzaga staff as the Bulldogs reached the 2021 national championship game after winning their first 31 games of the season. During Powell’s first season on staff in 2019-20, Gonzaga was 31-2 at the time the NCAA college basketball season was halted due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs reached the Sweet Sixteen in each of his final three seasons on staff, including two Elite Eight appearances and the aforementioned trip to the 2021 national title game. Prior to his arrival at Gonzaga, Powell served as the associate head coach at Vanderbilt University under Bryce Drew from 2016-2019. During his stint as an assistant at Valpo, he was part of four Horizon League regular-season championships in a five-year period while also leading the 2012-13 and 2014-15 squads to Horizon League tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. A product of Joliet West High School and a native of Joliet, Ill., Powell capped a prolific collegiate playing career at Illinois with a national title game appearance in 2005 before going on to a successful professional playing career.

Series Notes: Valpo and Chicago State will get together for the 38th time with Valpo holding a 33-4 advantage in the all-time series. The Cougars snapped Valpo’s seven-game head-to-head winning streak by prevailing 87-74 last season on Chicago’s south side. The Beacons have never lost to Chicago State at home, entering Saturday with a 16-0 ARC mark against the Cougars. Valpo and Chicago State shared Mid-Continent Conference affiliation from 1994-2006. This marks the fourth and final former conference foe that Valpo has faced during the nonconference slate, joining IUPUI, Green Bay and Western Illinois.

Scouting the Cougars

  • Most recent game was a 75-73 upset win at No. 25 Northwestern on Wednesday. Chicago State was 0-38 vs. Top-25 teams since 1984.
  • Defeated Stetson 77-54 on Dec. 3 at the Jones Convocation Center and also own wins over Morgan State (84-83) and Southern Indiana (78-67).
  • This will mark their second game against Missouri Valley Conference competition after falling 71-55 at Southern Illinois on Nov. 16.
  • Went 11-20 last season with an 8-0 home mark and 3-20 road record. Valpo head coach Roger Powell Jr. beat the Cougars 104-65 on March 1 while at Gonzaga, making Chicago State the lone team that Powell faced last year while at Gonzaga and this year while at Valpo.
  • The Cougars are the nation’s only Division-I independent school as they currently do not have a conference. They will join the Northeast Conference (NEC) beginning next season.

Edwards Back in Double Figures

  • Jaxon Edwards returned to double figures on Dec. 9 at Virginia Tech with 13 points, his first double-figure performance since scoring 19 on Nov. 14 vs. Green Bay.
  • Edwards started the season with three straight double-figure outputs before six straight single-figure showings.
  • He has scored eight points or more in four straight games after a stretch of three straight where he scored five points or fewer including two where he played and did not score.
  • Edwards has grabbed five or more rebounds in each of the last two games and four of his last five.

Sepp’s Breakout Showing

  • Valpo freshman Kaspar Sepp burst onto the scene last week, averaging 8.0 points and 8.5 rebounds over two road games against Central Michigan and Virginia Tech.
  • He became just the third different Valpo player with a double-figure rebounding effort this season when he hauled in 12 boards in 22 minutes of action at Central Michigan.
  • Sepp entered the week with eight total points this season and none against Division-I opponents. He had six total rebounds this season before notching 17 over two games last week.
  • Sepp scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting on Wednesday at Central Michigan before following with his first double-figure scoring effort with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in a game at Virginia Tech.
  • Before this past week, Sepp had not scored in any of the team’s previous seven games, three where he played and did not score and four where he did not play (coach’s decision).

Stafford’s Steady Scoring

  • Isaiah Stafford has scored 14 points or more in five straight games and has tallied double figures in nine of his 10 contests this season.
  • The junior college transfer has led the team in scoring (outright or tied) in eight of the 10 games this season.
  • Stafford, who ranks fourth in the MVC in scoring at 18.3 points per game, had a season-high two blocks in the Dec. 9 game at Virginia Tech to go along with four steals, matching a personal best that was set in the Nov. 6 opener vs. Trinity Christian.
  • In the Dec. 9 game at Virginia Tech, Stafford became the first Valpo player with 14+ points, four or more steals and multiple blocks in a game since Ryan Broekhoff on Feb. 10, 2011 vs. Detroit Mercy.
  • Stafford has scored 17 points or more in four of his last five and 20+ points in three of his last four. He has five games with 20+ points this season.

Do-It-All Darius

  • Valpo starting point guard Darius DeAveiro has thrived in the assist department of late, giving out five or more helpers in each of the last six games, including seven on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan to tie a season best. He’s tallied five or more assists on eight occasions this season, including Nov. 21 vs. Western Illinois, when he originally established his season watermark of seven.
  • The Valpo junior dished out his 50th assist of the season on Dec. 9 at Virginia Tech, already securing his third straight season with 50 or more assists.
  • DeAveiro has knocked down a 3-pointer in each of his last four games and has six total triples in that four-game span.
  • Entering the Nov. 21 game vs. Western Illinois, DeAveiro had played 58 career games and owned a career high of eight points, achieved twice (Jan. 15, 2022 vs. Missouri State and Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan). After that, he scored at least eight points in three straight games including a personal-best 11 on Nov. 21 vs. Western Illinois and Nov. 29 vs. Drake.
  • DeAveiro made three 3-pointers on Nov. 29 vs. Drake after having entered the game with no more than one 3-point make in any of his first 60 career games. For further comparison, he made three 3s all of last season in 25 games.
  • The junior entered this season with seven career made 3s over 54 games and has surpassed that with eight made 3s in the first 10 contests this year.
  • DeAveiro busted out of a shooting slump as he entered the Nov. 21 game against the Leathernecks having gone 0-for-10 from the field over his previous three games and 2-for-17 shooting for the season. He had scored seven total points over his first four games this season before scoring 30 points in a three-game span.
  • DeAveiro became just the third Valpo player in the last decade to shoot 80 percent or better from the field (minimum five attempts) while handing out at least seven assists in the game against the Leathernecks. He was the first to do it since Max Joseph on Jan. 10, 2018 vs. Drake. Before that, the most recent was Erik Buggs on March 2, 2013 against Green Bay.

The Rookie Report

  • Cooper Schwieger is averaging 10.8 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game this season. The last Valpo freshman to finish a season with over 10.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg was current Valpo Director of Recruiting & Player Development Lubos Barton in 1998-99 (13.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg).
  • Missouri Valley Conference freshmen to average above 10 ppg and 5 rpg since 2005 are as follows: Doug McDermott (Creighton, 2010-11), Cameron Krutwig (Loyola, 2017-18) and Marcus Domask (Southern Illinois, 2019-20).
  • Schwieger had scored 12 points or more in five consecutive games and in six of his eight games this season before Dec. 6 at Central Michigan, when he was tagged with foul trouble and had a season-low four points in a season-low 19 minutes, his first game this season with fewer than eight points. He was then held to two points on Dec. 9 at Virginia Tech.
  • The CMU game came right after the rookie achieved a season-best 18 points on Dec. 2 at Belmont.
  • Schwieger had made five or more field goals in five straight games before being held to one on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan.
  • Schwieger has blocked at least one shot in seven of his 10 games.
  • The Overland Park, Kan. native ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring average among freshmen at 10.8 points per game. He is one of two rookies averaging double figures, joining Drake’s Kevin Overton (13.9 ppg).
  • Schwieger ranks second among MVC freshmen with 1.1 blocks per game and leads all MVC rookies with 5.1 rebounds per game.
  • The last Valpo freshman to average above 5.0 rebounds per game was Raitis Grafs in 1999-2000.

Team Trends

  • The Beacons had 15 or more free-throw attempts in each of their first seven games before having fewer than 15 in each of their last three games.
  • Valpo has won the turnover battle in seven of the team’s 10 games this season including each of the team’s four victories. The Beacons have lost the turnover battle just twice as they tied it against Central Michigan.
  • Valpo opponents have committed 14 turnovers or more in five of the last six games.
  • Valpo ranks fifth in the conference in fewest turnovers committed per game at 11.3, second in turnovers forced per game at 14.3 and third in turnover margin at +3.0 per game. The team ranks 56th nationally in turnover margin.
  • The Beacons rank third in the league and 76th nationally in blocks per game at 4.4.
  • Valpo ranks second in the MVC in offensive rebounds per game at 10.7.
  • Valpo has had the same starting lineup in all 10 games this year – Jerome Palm, Cooper Schwieger, Jaxon Edwards, Darius DeAveiro and Isaiah Stafford.

Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 9: Virginia Tech 71, Valpo 50

  • This game aired on nationally on The CW, Valpo’s first ever game on the network. Valpo hoops has aired on the following national TV networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, ESPN Classic, CBS, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1, Big Ten Network, PAC-12 Network, TNT and SEC Network. This was Valpo’s 72nd nationally televised game since 2010 and 118th TV game overall (regional and national) since 2010.
  • The 3-point arc was one of the major differences in the game as Valpo went just 3-of-24 (12.5 percent) while Virginia Tech was 10-of-27 (37 percent), outscoring the Beacons by 21 on 3-point shots in a game the Hokies won by 21.
  • Virginia Tech outrebounded Valpo 41-22 including a 13-5 edge on the offensive glass. Virginia Tech squeezed 11 offensive rebounds in the second half against just one for Valpo.
  • The Beacons swiped nine steals and held a 15-14 edge in the turnover battle.
  • Virginia Tech entered the game ranked 69th in the NET, making it a Quad 1 game for the Beacons.
  • Valpo played without point guard Jahari Williamson (illness), who was sidelined for a second straight contest.

Going Deep

  • With Cooper Schwieger limited by foul trouble, Jahari Williamson out due to an illness and Connor Barrett and Lual Manyang still sidelined by injuries, Valpo’s depth was tested on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan.
  • Former Valpo football player turned basketball walk-on Anthony Sciarroni logged seven minutes, his first action this season against Division-I competition outside of playing the final 1:24 at No. 23 Illinois. Sciarroni was a three-year defensive back on Valpo’s football team before joining the basketball team as a walk-on this year.
  • Freshman Sherman Weatherspoon IV had a season-high 13 points on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He outdid his previous personal best of eight that had occurred on Nov. 25 vs. Southern.
  • Freshman Kaspar Sepp gobbled up a team-high 12 rebounds in the game against the Chippewas while also scoring six points on 3-of-5 shooting. He entered the game with six total rebounds in his first four appearances this year before exploding for a dozen. He had just eight total points in four games and none against Division-I competition. Before the six on Dec. 6, Sepp hadn’t scored since eight in the Nov. 6 season opener vs. Trinity Christian. He became the third different Beacon with a double-figure rebounding effort this year, joining Jerome Palm (twice) and Jaxon Edwards.
  • Ola Ajiboye came off the bench to contribute five points and seven rebounds, his highest totals in both categories since scoring 21 points and gobbling up eight rebounds on Nov. 21 vs. Western Illinois. The Dec. 6 game was a return to Ajiboye’s old stomping grounds as he played at Central Michigan last season.

A Tale of Two Halves

  • In the Dec. 6 game at Central Michigan, Valpo outscored the hosts 45-34 after halftime but trailed 37-22 at the break.
  • In the first half, Valpo was outrebounded 27-14 including a 12-2 differential on the offensive glass. In the second half, Valpo flipped that to a 22-17 rebounding edge including a 10-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
  • Valpo uncharacteristically committed 11 first-half turnovers before making only three after halftime.
  • Valpo did not attempt a free throw in the first half before going 10-of-12 at the line after the break.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 6: Central Michigan 71, Valpo 67

  • ­Valpo outscored Central Michigan 24-9 over the final 8:15 of the game.
  • The Chippewas struggled to hit free throws, going 8-of-18 (47.1 percent).
  • Valpo cut what had been a 22-point lead to three in the final minute. If the Beacons had completed the rally, it would have been the team’s biggest comeback since Jan. 17, 2013 at Detroit Mercy, when Valpo rallied from down 22 to win.
  • Central Michigan got a game-high 24 points from Derrick Butler, who entered the game with 16 points in six games all season. He was 1-of-7 from 3 for the season before going 4-of-7 from long range against the Beacons.
  • Valpo fell to 0-5 all-time at Central Michigan.
  • Ola Ajiboye had a team-best +11 in the plus/minus category. Valpo was +9 when Sherman Weatherspoon IV was on the court as both reserves made a positive impact.

Welcome to The Valley

  • Valpo newcomers have achieved Missouri Valley Conference recognition in back-to-back weeks as Isaiah Stafford was tabbed MVC Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 20 before Cooper Schwieger earned MVC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 27.
  • Valpo has already won two MVC weekly awards in the first three weeks this season, one away from the team’s season total from last year and already only two away from the team’s highest total number of weekly awards in a season since joining The Valley.
  • Schwieger’s honor came after he averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, going 4-of-6 from 3-point range in a pair of wins over Western Illinois and Southern.
  • Stafford averaged 24.0 points per game during the week of his award, tallying 18 in a home win over Green Bay before exploding for 30 at No. 23 Illinois.

Bench Boost

  • In the Nov. 21 win over Western Illinois, Valpo held the upper hand in bench points, 41-8. Three players – all underclassmen – combined for the 41 bench points as Ola Ajiboye (21), Jahari Williamson (13) and Sherman Weatherspoon IV (seven) all made key contributions.
  • Ajiboye’s career-high 21 points came on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist.
  • Ajiboye over doubled his previous career high of 10 points, which came on Nov. 6 of this season vs. Trinity Christian.
  • He became the first Valpo player to shoot 80 percent or better at the ARC (with a minimum of 10 attempts) in a game against a Division-I opponent since Alec Peters on March 4, 2014 vs. UIC. He became just the 10th Valpo player in the last decade to shoot at an 80 percent clip or better with at least 10 shots.
  • Ajiboye became the first Valpo player to come off the bench and score 20 points or more against a Division-I opponent since Sheldon Edwards on Feb. 16, 2022 vs. Loyola.
  • This marked quite the turnaround for Ajiboye as he played but did not score in the previous game on Nov. 17 at No. 23 Illinois.
  • Ajiboye became just the fourth Valpo player in the last decade to come off the bench and score 20+ points while pulling down 8+ rebounds. He joined Sheldon Edwards (Dec. 9, 2020 vs. SIUE), Darien Walker (Nov. 14, 2014 vs. East Tennessee State) and Bobby Capobianco (Nov. 29, 2013 vs. Mercer).
  • Williamson hit three 3s en route to his 13 points while also swiping three steals. He became the first Valpo freshman to achieve that combo since Connor Barrett on Jan. 9, 2021 vs. Missouri State.

 “I” Stands for Isaiah

  • As Paul Oren of “The Victory Bell” put it, the “I” on the center of the court in Champaign stood for Isaiah – as in Valpo’s Isaiah Stafford – rather than Illinois on Nov. 17 as the Beacons clashed with the No. 23 Fighting Illini.
  • Stafford scored 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting, 3-of-8 from 3 and 5-of-7 at the free-throw line. He finished one point shy of a career high that was set on Feb. 26, 2022 while playing for Southern Indiana vs. Lindenwood.
  • Stafford’s performance against the Illini coupled with his 18 points on Nov. 14 vs. Green Bay helped him earn MVC Newcomer of the Week honors on Nov. 20.
  • The 30 points at Illinois marked the most points scored by a Beacon since Ben Krikke tallied 34 at UIC on Feb. 19 of last season.
  • Stafford joined Krikke (3x), Javon Freeman-Liberty (twice), Bakari Evelyn, Alec Peters (10x) and Lavone Dority (twice) as the only Valpo players in the last decade with a 30-point performance.
  • Stafford had the most points scored by a non-power conference opponent against Illinois since Ohio’s Jason Preston in 2020.
  • The bulk of Stafford’s damage came before the break as he had 23 first-half points. This marked the highest scoring half by a Beacon since Javon Freeman-Liberty had 23 on March 7, 2020 vs. Missouri State in the MVC semifinals. However, that included points scored in overtime so Freeman-Liberty’s total came in 25 minutes rather than 20.
  • The last time a Valpo player scored more than 23 in a half was Alec Peters on Dec. 22, 2016, but that included double overtime.
  • Stafford had Valpo’s biggest first half and biggest half that did not include OT by a Valpo player since Peters scored 23 in the opening half on Dec. 17, 2016 vs. Indiana State.

Hats Off for Half 1

  • Valpo led for the entirety of a brilliant first half and held a 45-38 advantage at No. 23 Illinois at the break after owning a cushion as big as 10.
  • The program was hoping to record its fifth all-time victory against a nationally-ranked opponent and its first true road win against an AP Top-25 foe. The Brown & Gold fell to 0-44 all-time on the road against nationally-ranked opponents, with three of the program’s four ranked wins coming at home and one on a neutral floor.
  • Each of the last two road games against Top-25 teams and three of the last six have seen Valpo own the halftime lead. In addition to the Nov. 17 game at No. 23 Illinois, Valpo led No. 22 Loyola 29-26 at the break on Feb. 17, 2021 and held a 35-33 edge at No. 25 Oregon midway through the Nov. 22, 2015 matchup.
  • Valpo was also seeking its first power-conference win since 2016 vs. Alabama and was hoping to snap a 15-game skid against Big Ten Conference competition that dates back to Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Penn State.

The Game’s Biggest Stage

  • Valpo head coach Roger Powell Jr. owns the unique distinction of having played and coached in the national championship game.
  • Just 12 coaches in the last 25 years have coached in the national title game after previously playing in the national title game, and two others have coached in the national championship game after being a rostered player but not seeing action in the national title game as a student-athlete.
  • In the last quarter of a century, only two coaches have coached in the national title game after previously playing in the national title game at a different school – Roger Powell Jr. and Kenny Payne.

Name                          Year, Team as Player             Year, Team as Coach

Sean May                    2005, UNC                              2022, UNC
Roger Powell Jr.        2005, Illinois                          2021, Gonzaga
Jeff Capel                    1994, Duke                             2015, Duke
Nate James                  1999 & 2001, Duke                2015, Duke
Jon Scheyer                2010, Duke                             2015, Duke
Ricky Moore               1999, UConn                           2014, UConn
Kenny Payne              1986, Louisville                     2014, Kentucky
Danny Manning          1988, Kansas                          2008 & 2012, Kansas
Chris Collins               1994, Duke                             2010, Duke
Jim Thomas                1981, Indiana                          2002, Indiana
Johnny Dawkins         1986, Duke                             2001, Duke
David Henderson        1986, Duke                             1999, Duke
Quin Snyder                1986, Duke                              1999, Duke - DNP
Jeremy Case               2008, Kansas                          2022, Kansas - DNP

“The Rev” in the Community

  • Since head coach Roger Powell Jr. was hired to lead Valpo’s program, he has made numerous community engagement appearances including IBCA State Wide Clinic, Popcorn Fest, Valpo Kiwanis, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, Big Shoulders NWI, the Valpo Athletics Coaches Tour and many more.
  • An engaging speaker with an active social media presence, Powell has launched a video series featuring local restaurants called “Powell Party of Six,” showcasing the Powell family meals in the community. Episode 1 featuring Burgerhaus was released prior to the season with more editions to come.
  • Nicknamed “The Rev” because of his strong faith and calling as a preacher, Powell’s hire as Valpo head coach made an immediate media splash. The news was featured prominently in the Chicago Sun-Times, on CBS 2 Chicago’s 4 p.m. news and WGN-TV’s GN Sports. He appeared on the Mully & Haugh morning show on 670 The Score in Chicago and Indiana Sports Talk with Bob Lovell out of Indianapolis.

What They’re Saying About Coach Powell

  • Bryce Drew, Valpo Legend, Former Valpo Head Coach, GCU Head Coach: “I am very excited for Roger to be a head coach. He is more than ready to lead his own program, so this is perfect timing for him. I will be cheering for Roger and the Beacons!”
  • Homer Drew, Legendary Valpo Head Coach: “We’re really happy and thrilled to see Roger return to Valparaiso University. His love for the University and the community of Valparaiso makes him a great fit. Roger is an excellent teacher; he has tremendous knowledge of the game of basketball. He has been part of the Drew family since he arrived on campus and was an assistant coach for Bryce. He is a dedicated and hard recruiter, and being from the Chicago area, he has a lot of friends and contacts in that area.”
  • Mark Few, Gonzaga Head Coach: “Roger has been a very instrumental part of our program these past four years. He is the total package as a coach, and one of the best human beings I have ever been around. He will not only be a great addition to the University, but a positive force in the surrounding community. We look forward to watching his teams grow not only on the floor, but also in their life away from basketball.”
  • Chris Standiford, Gonzaga Athletic Director: “I am happy for Roger and his family. His positive energy and winning attitude will serve him well as a head coach. Valpo is getting a great coach, and more importantly, a terrific person.”
  • Scott Drew, Baylor Head Coach: “Roger is not only an outstanding basketball coach, but an even better person and representative of Valparaiso University. The community will welcome him as they already know him and his family. He will do a tremendous job.”
  • Tommy Lloyd, Arizona Head Coach: “Roger Powell is a first-class individual. He is well liked by the players he coaches and his colleagues in the business. I have no doubt that Roger’s passion, energy and fire will help bring back the glory days of Valpo Basketball!”
  • Alec Peters, Valpo’s All-Time Leading Scorer: “The amount of love and passion that Coach Powell is going to put into the program is going to be unmatched. His energy, competitiveness and character are going to show up every day and everyone will feel it.”

Inside the Assistants

  • Valpo’s staff features two coaches who have played in the national title game – Powell and A.J. Moye. Powell has also coached in the national title game.
  • Powell, Moye and Matt Gordon have all either coached or played in the Final Four.
  • Powell, Moye, Gordon, Pat Baldwin and Lubos Barton have all either coached or played in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Assistant coach Pat Baldwin brings head coaching experience to the staff as he spent five seasons at the helm at Milwaukee before serving as an assistant coach under Patrick Ewing at Georgetown during the 2022-23 season. He also worked under Chris Collins as an assistant during a successful run at Northwestern, so he has recent stops in the Big Ten and Big East to go along with head coaching experience.
  • Assistant coach Matt Gordon spent the last two years in the Big 12 Conference at Oklahoma as Director of Recruiting and Special Assistant to head coach Porter Moser. He joined Moser in Norman, Okla. after they previously worked together for a decade at Loyola. Gordon knows what it takes to win in the Missouri Valley Conference as he played a key role in a turnaround that saw the Ramblers post a 156-80 (.661) record during his seven seasons as an assistant coach. He helped the team to two Sweet Sixteen appearances in a four-year period including a historic run to the Final Four.
  • Assistant coach J. Moye was a standout during his playing days at Indiana, where he took the Hoosiers to the 2002 national title game before beginning a professional playing career. He trained professional and collegiate players from 2011-2023 as part of Rising Talent Development (Mamba Sports Academy), serving as the Master Basketball Trainer for Kobe Bryant’s academy. Moye played against Powell in the Big Ten and they later finished out their playing careers as teammates with Skyliners Frankfurt in Germany in 2010-11.
  • Director of Recruiting & Player Development Lubos Barton returns to Valpo over two decades after wrapping up his storied career donning the brown and gold. After retiring from his professional playing career, Barton stayed in the game of basketball by beginning his coaching career overseas in 2016. A member of the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Barton was a standout on the court from 1998-2002, leading the team to three Mid-Continent Conference regular-season titles, three conference tournament championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Special Assistant to the Head Coach Quintin Garrison served as the associate head coach at Trinity International University from 2018-2023.
  • Video coordinator / Director of Basketball Operations Sean Taylor served as SIUE’s graduate assistant/video coordinator from August 2021 to May 2023.
  • Associate Director of Sports Performance Vijay Blackmon is in his second season as the strength & conditioning coach for Valpo men’s basketball. He previously worked with strength & conditioning as part of Bryce Drew’s Grand Canyon program.

Inside the Roster

  • The 2023-24 roster features four returning letterwinners and 11 newcomers. The team lost 11 letterwinners from last season including all five starters.
  • This marks the first time since the 2013-14 season that Valpo has no starters returning from the previous season. The 2012-13 NCAA Tournament team started all seniors – Ryan Broekhoff, Kevin Van Wijk, Erik Buggs, Will Bogan and Ben Boggs. The 2013-14 season featured a five-member freshmen class led by Alec Peters.
  • Prior to this season, Valpo had at least two returning starters in nine consecutive years.
  • The 12 scholarship players on the roster include three returners, five true freshmen and four transfers. Valpo also has three walk-ons – one returner, one former Valpo football player and one transfer.
  • The 12 scholarship players are comprised of two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and six freshmen (five true; one redshirt).
  • The half dozen freshmen represent the team’s most since 2008-09, when the team also had six on the roster – De’Andre Haskins, Cameron Witt, Nick Shelton, Andrew Ferry, Erik Buggs and Logan Jones.
  • This year’s roster features players from five different countries – The Netherlands, Canada, Estonia, South Sudan and the United States. In addition, six states are represented – Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and Kansas.

Returnee Rundown

  • Junior guard Darius DeAveiro ranked 14th in the Missouri Valley Conference in assists per game last season. He ranked fifth in the league in assist to turnover ratio at 1.89. During his rookie year in 2021-22, he finished the season as one of two freshmen nationally with 50 or more assists and fewer than 25 turnovers. He was named a captain by head coach Roger Powell Jr. prior to the season.
  • Senior guard/forward Connor Barrett is the team’s leading returning scorer and the longest-tenured member of the program. Now in his fourth season at Valpo, Barrett saw action in 31 of the team’s 32 games a year ago and scored a season-high 13 points including three made 3s on Dec. 18 vs. Elon.
  • Senior forward Jerome Palm was named a captain by head coach Roger Powell Jr. prior to the season. He joined Valpo last year after a pair of junior college seasons. He had a season-high 11 points to go along with nine rebounds on Dec. 1 at Belmont.

Newcomer Notes

  • Sophomore guard Jaxon Edwards has experience in the Missouri Valley Conference after playing in 11 games during the 2022-23 season as a freshman at Murray State. He led Cathedral to the 2021-22 Indiana 4A state championship in high school.
  • Freshman guard Sherman Weatherspoon IV played at Golden State Prep in Napa Valley, Calif. in 2022-23, averaging 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • Sophomore forward Ola Ajiobye played in 30 of 31 games with 14 starts at Central Michigan as a true freshman in 2022-23.
  • Freshman guard Jahari Williamson played for Canada’s U19 World Cup Team in Summer 2023 after participating in the U18 2022 Canada Games for Team Ontario.
  • Freshman forward Lucas Scroggins spent the 2022-23 season at Bosco Institute in Crown Point.
  • Freshman forward Cooper Schwieger averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists at Link Year Prep in Branson, Mo. last season.
  • Junior guard Isaiah Stafford averaged 12.5 points per game to help John A. Logan to the junior college national title and a 33-2 mark in 2022-23 after spending his freshman season at Southern Indiana in 2021-22.
  • Freshman forward Kaspar Sepp played for the Estonian national team during the 2023 summer after helping Estonia beat Finland to earn a promotion to the “A” division during the 2022 summer.
  • Redshirt freshman Lual Manyang received a medical redshirt in 2022-23 due to a preseason injury at Hofstra.

The Dot Farewell Tour

  • Longtime Valpo men’s basketball official scorekeeper Dot Nuechterlein has announced that she will retire from her duties at the scorer’s table following the 2023-24 season.
  • Nuechterlein, age 86, began as the official scorer at Valpo in 1984. Her four-decade long tenure as the holder of an official scorebook featured two seasons doing so at Columbia while she lived in New York City during a brief hiatus from Valpo.
  • According to Nuechterlein, she was the first female to serve as full-time official scorer for a Division-I men’s college basketball team when she took over the post at Valpo in 1984.

Beacon Bits

Random facts on each Valpo player.

  • #0 Jaxon Edwards – Played football up until high school but stopped after eighth grade when he injured his hand.
  • #1 Jerome Palm – Started playing basketball at age 15.
  • #2 Connor Barrett – Is an avid golfer.
  • #3 Anthony Sciarroni – Spent three years on the Valpo football team before joining the men’s basketball program as a walk-on.
  • #4 Sherman Weatherspoon IV – Father Sherman Weatherspoon III is a Northwest Indiana native and Gary Roosevelt product... Enjoys clothes, going on walks, nature and hiking.
  • #5 Ola Ajiboye – Enjoys meeting new people, playing table tennis, swimming and being around people.
  • #6 Darius DeAveiro – Played soccer until his freshman year of high school, when he gave up the sport to focus on basketball. Played on the state team for soccer at age 13 and traveled significantly for the sport, including a trip to England.
  • #7 Jahari Williamson – Owns numerous golf medals.
  • #10 Lucas Scroggins – Loves to draw and hopes to pursue an art-related career.
  • #13 Cooper Schwieger – Twin brother Carson plays at Wright State. A lot of people think they are identical, but they are fraternal twins.
  • #19 Isaiah Stafford – Enjoys spending time with family as well as playing board games, card games and video games.
  • #20 Joe Vick – Walk-on whose favorite sports memory is playing in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (now Gainbridge Fieldhouse).
  • #21 Kaspar Sepp – His national team coach is former teammates with Valpo assistant coach A.J. Moye and his prep coach is Moye’s former roommate.
  • #34 Lual Manyang – Favorite TV show is Shark Tank and his favorite athletes are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kobe Bryant.
  • #35 Luke Carroll – Walk-on who enjoys golfing and fishing in his spare time.

Tradition of Excellence

  • Valpo has 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and four NIT berths in the program’s proud history, with the team’s postseason success highlighted by a Sweet Sixteen run in 1998.
  • The program has produced nine All-Americans, won 15 regular season conference championships and 10 conference tournament crowns.
  • Valpo also boasts eight NBA players, 10 conference players of the year and 20 20-win seasons.
  • Nine of the team’s NCAA appearances have come since 1996.
  • Valpo has developed a myriad of professional basketball players over the last quarter century, most notably a pair of recent NBA players. Ryan Broekhoff (class of 2013) signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2018 after spending five seasons playing internationally in Russia and Turkey. Alec Peters (class of 2017) was the 54th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Peters appeared in 20 games for the Suns in 2017-18, highlighted by a 36-point performance in the season finale against Dallas – a new single-game high by a Valpo alum in the NBA. He has gone on to a successful career overseas with CSKA Moscow (2018-2019), Anadolu Efes (2019-2020) and Kirolbet Baskonia (2020-2022) and Olympiacos (2022-present).
  • Valpo has produced over 50 professional players in the last three decades.