February 24, 20241st2ndFinal
Murray St.364480
Stats at a GlanceVALPOMUR
FG Percentage.446 (25-56) .526 (30-57)
3P FG Percentage.417 (10-24) .300 (6-20)
FT Percentage.727 (8-11) .875 (14-16)
Offensive Rebounds711
Defensive Rebounds1726
Total Rebounds2437
Bench Points2330
PointsSchwieger - 26
Wood - 24
ReboundsPalm - 5
Ellington - 11
AssistsDeAveiro - 9
Wood - 3
StealsStafford - 2
Morgan - 3
BlocksEdwards - 2
Ellington - 1
Wood - 1
Valpo to Play Murray State for First Time This Season
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Valpo to Play Murray State for First Time This Season
Jerome Palm threw down two dunks on Wednesday vs. Indiana State.

Valparaiso (6-22, 2-15 MVC)
at Murray State (11-17, 8-9 MVC) 

Game No. 29 – Saturday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m. CT
CFSB Center (8,600) – Murray, Ky.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: As the regular season winds down, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will engage in its first and only matchup with Murray State of the 2023-24 regular season on Saturday afternoon in Murray, Ky. This will mark the first of back-to-back road games as the team will face a quick turnaround with a visit to Cedar Falls, Iowa upcoming for a Tuesday night tilt with the Panthers. These two games will mark the final regular-season road trips for the Beacons.

Last Time Out: Jerome Palm poured in a career-high 14 points and Isaiah Stafford tallied 23 for his third straight contest with 20 or more, but visiting Indiana State pulled away late for an 83-64 victory. This marked a step forward from the first matchup between the two teams, when Valpo lost by 40 in Terre Haute. The Beacons were down by only three midway through the second half, but a 14-1 burst helped the Sycamores break it open.  

Following the Beacons: Streaming – ESPN+

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (analyst)

Twitter updates - @ValpoBasketball

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

Head Coach Roger Powell Jr.: Roger Powell Jr. (6-22) 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: These two teams have met on only seven prior occasions with Valpo holding a 3-4 record in those matchups. Three of those games took place last season, when the Racers won all three meetings in their first season of Missouri Valley Conference affiliation. Both regular-season clashes went to overtime, including a 77-76 victory for Murray State in the regular-season finale in Kentucky. The conference tournament clash was not as close as the regular-season matchups, as Murray State ended Valpo’s season with a 78-50 victory on March 2 in St. Louis. Prior to last season, the two teams had not met since Nov. 29, 2014, a 93-58 Valpo victory at the Challenge in Music City multi-team event in Nashville.  

Seeding Scenarios

  • If you’re planning ahead to Arch Madness, the No. 12 seed is looking increasingly likely for the Beacons. Valpo trails UIC by two games for the No. 11 seed and would need to win all three remaining games and have UIC lose out to finish with a higher win total than the Flames.
  • If the two teams finish tied, the tiebreaker will be NET ranking. UIC is expected to have the NET tiebreaker, meaning the Beacons would need to finish ahead of the Flames.
  • If Valpo indeed finishes as the No. 12 seed, the Beacons will play the No. 5 seed at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7 in St. Louis to open the 2024 State Farm MVC Tournament. If Valpo continues to win, the Beacons would continue to play at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday prior to a 1 p.m. tipoff in Sunday’s title game.

Scouting the Racers

  • Tied for seventh in the MVC standings at 8-9 and part of a middle of the pack that features a lot of teams bunched up. The Racers are one game out of fifth and two games out of fourth.
  • Picked seventh in the league’s preseason poll.
  • Led in scoring by Quincy Anderson at 12.6 points per game and followed closely by JaCobi Wood at 12.5. Rob Perry and Nick Ellington also average 12.0 ppg or more as part of a balanced scoring effort.
  • Have dropped their last two games, 72-68 at Southern Illinois on Wednesday and 95-72 at Drake on Sunday.

DeAveiro in the Record Book

  • Valpo’s Darius DeAveiro climbed into the top 20 in program history on Feb. 10 vs. Belmont. He dished out four assists in that contest before adding 10 on Feb. 14 vs. UNI.
  • On Feb. 21 vs. Indiana State, DeAveiro gave out four assists to boost his career total to 271. That helped him surpass Daniel Sackey (2018-2021- 269) for 19th in program history. Greg Tonagel (1998-2004) is 18th at 280 and Tim Hostetler is 17th at 284.
  • DeAveiro entered the program’s single-season top 10 in assists on Feb. 17 vs. Missouri State, when he dished out nine helpers and after adding four on Feb. 21, he sits at 153 for the season. He recently surpassed Ali Berdiel (2002-03), who was 10th at 146, and is close to climbing over Bryce Drew (1997-98), who is ninth at 155. He is also within striking distance of Nick Edwards’ 2022-23 campaign (160) for eighth.

Taking the Takeaway Battle

  • Valpo’s young team has done a solid job of avoiding giveaways, as the Beacons have turned it over 12 times or fewer in 10 straight games.
  • Most recently, Valpo held a 14-11 edge in the turnover battle on Feb. 21 vs. Indiana State.
  • Valpo had just one first-half giveaway and eight for the game on Feb. 17 at Missouri State.
  • Head coach Roger Powell Jr.’s team has won the turnover battle in eight straight outings and has won or tied the turnover battle in nine straight.
  • The Beacons are third in the MVC in turnover margin at +1.6, second in turnovers forced at 12.61 per game and fourth in turnovers per game at 11.0.

Looking to Rebound

  • On the flip side of the turnover battle, Valpo has been outrebounded in each of the nine games during the current skid.
  • The team’s last game owning the edge on the glass corresponds with the team’s last victory – Jan. 20 vs. UIC.
  • Valpo is 4-2 this season when outrebounding the opponent, but 3-19 when being outrebounded or tied on the glass. It comes as no surprise that the boards play a key role in the outcome for the Beacons, whose coaching staff stresses rebounding as a key for each contest.
  • Valpo is giving up a height disadvantage in most matchups as the Beacons are the second shortest team in the MVC, per KenPom, and rank 322nd nationally in height.
  • Another key for Valpo to get back on track on Saturday will be the defensive end. The team has permitted 80 points or more in seven of its last eight games. Valpo is 5-4 when holding opponents under 70 points but 1-18 when opponents score at least 70.

Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 21: Indiana State 83, Valpo 64

  • Jerome Palm scored 14 points, usurping his previous personal best of 12, which came on Nov. 17 of this season at No. 23 Illinois. His two highest scoring outputs have come against teams that were nationally ranked at some point this year. Palm went 7-of-11 from the field.
  • Sherman Weatherspoon IV knocked down four of his five field-goal attempts including 3-of-4 from 3, totaling 11 points. This marked his third double-figure scoring output of the season, his first in conference play and his first since Dec. 19 vs. Samford.
  • Isaiah Stafford’s team-high 23 points came on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-7 at the foul line. He has surpassed 20 points in three straight games. He scored 19 of his points after halftime.
  • Cooper Schwieger battled foul trouble, the third time in the last four games that he’s either fouled out or finished with four. He’s had at least four fouls in five of his last eight games.
  • The 3-point arc was not friendly to either team after halftime as the two teams went a combined 0-for-15 from long range after the break.

Darius Delivering

  • Darius DeAveiro ranks 23rd nationally and second in the MVC with 153 total assists and ranks 29th in the country and second in the league at 5.5 assists per game.
  • DeAveiro has scored seven points or more in 15 of his last 16 games and is averaging 10.8 points per game in MVC play. This comes after he averaged 1.4 points per game in conference action last season.
  • Overall, the Valpo point guard is averaging 8.7 points per game this season after averaging 1.8 ppg a year ago.
  • His 10 assists in this season’s game vs. Samford tied a career high set on Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan. He matched that mark again by dishing out 10 more on Feb. 14 vs. UNI.
  • DeAveiro has scored in double figure 12 times this season. Prior to this year, he had played 54 collegiate games over his first two seasons and scored no higher than eight points.

Coop Can Hoop

  • Cooper Schwieger snapped a stretch of 12 straight games with nine points or more when he was held to six due to foul trouble on Feb. 21 vs. Indiana State.
  • Schwieger is one of five freshmen in the country averaging at least 13.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg in conference play. He joins George Washington’s Darren Buchanan, Old Dominion’s Vasean Allette, Tulsa’s PJ Haggerty and Saint Francis’ Eli Wilborn.
  • Schwieger is trying to become the first MVC freshman since Creighton’s Doug McDermott in 2010-11 to average over 13.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg in league play. He is currently just below that rebounding threshold at 5.9 rpg.
  • Schwieger is one of two freshmen in the country averaging the following numbers in conference games – 49 percent from the field, 80 percent from the free-throw line and 10.0 points per game. He joins Troy’s Myles Rigsby.
  • There are only six total players in the MVC shooting 49 percent from the field, 80 percent from the free-throw line and averaging double figures in scoring in league play – Schwieger, Indiana State’s Robbie Avila, Bradley’s Malevy Leons, Murray State’s JaCobi Wood, Belmont’s Ja’Kobi Gillespie and Evansville Ben Humrichous.
  • Schwieger enjoyed his first collegiate double-double with a 16-point, 13-rebound effort on Jan. 14 at Illinois State before following with another double-double on Jan. 17 at Evansville, turning in 12 points and 10 boards.
  • In the game at Illinois State, Schwieger notched the first double-double by a Valpo freshman since Javon Freeman-Liberty on Jan. 29, 2019 vs. Missouri State. He collected the most rebounds by a Valpo player in an MVC game since Donovan Clay had 14 on Feb. 7, 2021 vs. Drake.
  • Schwieger became the first Valpo player with back-to-back double-doubles since Sheldon Edwards on Feb. 19, 2022 at Evansville and Feb. 21, 2022 vs. Evansville. Before that, it was Alec Peters on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, 2017 (vs. Wright State, vs. Northern Kentucky).

Rookie Rankings

  • Cooper Schwieger leads all MVC freshmen in conference-only scoring at 13.1 points per game. Drake’s Kevin Overton is second at 10.8 ppg and Evansville’s Chuck Bailey III is third at 8.9.
  • In league-only games, Schwieger is also atop The Valley in rebounding average by a freshman (5.9 rpg), well ahead of Evansville’s Joshua Hughes, who is second at 3.8.
  • In league only games among freshmen, Schwieger ranks third in the MVC with 1.4 assists per game and tied for second in blocks per game at 0.8.
  • In terms of overall numbers, the Overland Park, Kan. native is first in the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring average among freshmen at 12.3. He is ahead of Drake’s Kevin Overton at 12.0.
  • Schwieger leads the league in rebounds per game among freshmen at 5.4, well ahead of Evansville’s Joshua Hughes, who is second at 4.3.
  • Schwieger is one of 11 freshmen nationally averaging at least 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
  • Schwieger’s overall rebounding average of 5.4 per game is third among Valpo freshmen in the last 30 years behind only Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2024 member Raitis Grafs (5.8, 1999-00) and Valpo Athletics Hall of Famer and current member of the coaching staff, Lubos Barton (5.6).

Stafford Shines

  • Isaiah Stafford has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 13 games, most recently three straight outputs of 20 points or more.
  • On Jan. 31 at Drake, Stafford poured in 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting while drilling four 3s.
  • Stafford surpassed his previous career high of 31 that was established while playing for Southern Indiana vs. Lindenwood on Feb. 26, 2022 and matched on Jan. 17, 2024 at Evansville.
  • Stafford became the first visiting player to go to Des Moines and score at least 32 points against Drake since Illinois State’s Zach Copeland on Jan. 16, 2020. Copeland and Stafford are the only visiting players in the last 15 years to score 32 points or more at the Knapp Center.
  • Stafford has scored at least 30 points in three different road games this season (at Illinois, at Evansville, at Drake). He became just the fifth player in the nation with at least three true road games with 30+ points this season, joining Shahada Wells (McNeese State), Zach Edey (Purdue), Dalton Knecht (Tennessee) and Drew Pember (UNC Ashville).
  • Stafford, who was seven points shy of cracking the program’s single-game all-time top 10 in terms of individual scoring efforts, became just the fourth different Valpo player with 32 points or more in a single game over the last decade, joining Ben Krikke, Javon Freeman-Liberty and Alec Peters (five times).
  • Stafford had the second-highest scoring output by a Valpo player in a league game since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, behind only Krikke’s 34 last season at UIC. Besides Stafford and Krikke, the last Valpo player to score 32 or more in a road game was Peters on Jan. 10, 2016 with 39 at Detroit Mercy.

Stafford Going Strong

  • Isaiah Stafford has led the team in scoring (outright or tied) on 16 occasions this season.
  • Stafford, who ranks seventh in the MVC in scoring at 17.1 points per game, has scored 15 points or more in nine of his last 13 contests.
  • Stafford is averaging 18.3 points per game in MVC play, which would be Valpo’s third highest league-only scoring average in the last 15 years behind Ben Krikke’s 2022-23 (21.0 ppg) and Alec Peters’ 2016-17 (20.9). Stafford ranks third in the MVC in league-only scoring average this year.
  • Although points scored at the junior college level are not officially recognized, Stafford surpassed 1,000 points as a college basketball player on Feb. 14 vs. UNI if those scored last season at John A. Logan College are considered.
  • He scored 436 points for the Vols to go along with 203 as a freshman at Southern Indiana and 427 this year with the Beacons. All told, he has scored 1,066 points as a college basketball player.

Crashing the O-Boards

  • Despite the team’s overall rebounding struggles this season, Valpo put together a valiant effort on the offensive boards on Feb. 17 vs. Missouri State.
  • The Beacons pulled down a season-high 18 offensive rebounds, the team’s highest offensive rebound total since Nov. 21, 2017 vs. Samford.
  • Valpo parlayed that into a 21-13 advantage on second-chance points. Missouri State still owned a 42-39 overall edge on the boards.
  • This marked the most offensive rebounds given up by Missouri State since Nov. 15, 2017 at Southern (20).

Other Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 17: Missouri State 82, Valpo 74

  • Valpo switched up the starting lineup as Jerome Palm made his first start since Dec. 16 after coming off the bench in 10 straight contests. He scored six points on 2-of-3 shooting and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line on Saturday.
  • Foul trouble plagued the Beacons as Cooper Schwieger fouled out while Palm and Ola Ajiboye had four apiece.
  • In addition to Isaiah Stafford’s 24 points and Schwieger’s career-high-tying 22, Jaxon Edwards tallied 12 points and nine rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting. He scored in double figures for the third time in the last five games.
  • Missouri State’s Chance Moore led all scorers with 25 points, while N.J. Benson had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds. A big second-half propelled Matthew Lee to a 19-point afternoon.

Darius’ Double-Double Details

  • Junior point guard Darius DeAveiro delivered his first collegiate double-double on Feb. 14 vs. UNI, scoring 11 points while dishing out 10 assists. He was 3-of-6 shooting, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 at the free-throw line. DeAveiro added two rebounds and two steals to a productive outing.
  • DeAveiro became just the second Valpo player in the last 15 years to notch a points-assists double-double, joining Nick Edwards on Dec. 21, 2022 vs. Stonehill. He was the first to do so in a league game since Valpo joined the MVC.
  • This was the first time any player achieved a points-assists double-double in a game against UNI since Jacob Gilyard of Richmond on Dec. 9, 2020.
  • DeAveiro’s 10 assists matched a career high that was set on Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan and tied on Dec. 19 of this season vs. Samford.
  • DeAveiro played all 40 minutes in the game, becoming the first Beacon to do so in a regulation contest since Dec. 29, 2022, Nick Edwards at Drake.

Schwieger Spotlighted for Fourth Time

  • Cooper Schwieger was named the MVC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season on Feb. 12 after he averaged a team-high 16.5 points per game to go along with 3.5 rebounds per contest and shot at a 53.6 percent clip over two games for the Beacons, making 15 of his 28 field-goal attempts against Indiana State and Belmont.
  • This was the sixth time a Beacon has captured an MVC weekly honor this season. Schwieger was previously named MVC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 27, Jan. 15 and Jan. 22, while Jahari Williamson earned that award on Jan. 2. Isaiah Stafford was tabbed MVC Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 20.
  • Valpo has secured its highest total of MVC weekly awards since joining the league.

The Baby Beacs

  • You’ve likely heard of the 2004-05 “Baby Bulls,” but it’s time to officially dub the 2023-24 Valpo basketball team the “Baby Beacs.” Like the 2004-05 Chicago Bulls featuring rookies Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon and Andres Nocioni, this year’s version of the Beacons is filled with promising young players.
  • On Jan. 27 vs. Missouri State, four true freshmen were part of the Valpo starting lineup – Sherman Weatherspoon IV, Kaspar Sepp, Cooper Schwieger and Jahari Williamson. This marked the first time in 40 years that Valpo had started four freshmen.
  • Valpo’s 2023-24 roster is a new-look group that is among the nation’s most inexperienced teams. The Beacons rank 356 of 362 in the KenPom “experience factor” at 0.54. The experience factor is calculated using eligibility class weighted by minutes played.
  • This marks Valpo’s least experienced group since the farthest back KenPom data in 2006-07. Valpo’s two most experienced teams in that time period were the 2012-13 team, which ranked 15th nationally at 2.30 in experience and went to the NCAA Tournament, and the 2015-16 group, which ranked 48th nationally at 2.01 and went to the NIT title game.
  • The season most similar to this one in terms of KenPom experience factor was the 2013-14 campaign, when Valpo ranked 338th nationally at 0.66 during Alec Peters’ freshman year.
  • The only more inexperienced teams nationally, per KenPom, are Notre Dame, Boston, Saint Francis, Siena, Northwestern State and Idaho.
  • Valpo has four freshmen with multiple double-figure scoring outputs this season – Jahari Williamson, Kaspar Sepp, Cooper Schwieger and Sherman Weatherspoon IV. The last time that occurred was 2013-14 – Alec Peters, Clay Yeo, Lexus Williams and Jubril Adekoya.

Sciarroni on Scholarship

  • Head coach Roger Powell Jr. presented former walk-on Anthony Sciarroni with scholarship papers on Jan. 16 as part of “Team Time.” He has earned an athletic scholarship for the Spring 2024 semester.
  • Sciarroni spent three seasons on the Valpo football team, a member of the Division-I, nonscholarship Pioneer Football League, before joining the basketball program – first as a manager, then as a walk-on and now as a scholarship player.
  • At St. Francis de Sales High School, Sciarroni was a four-year letter winner in basketball and was a team captain each of his final two seasons.

Who’s Next?

  • Justus McNair signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at Valpo during the November signing period.
  • The Joliet West senior and Joliet, Ill. native has a deep connection to head coach Roger Powell Jr. His parents grew up with Powell in Joliet.
  • McNair, a 6-foot-3 guard, lists going to state in eighth grade as a favorite basketball memory. He also highlighted last season’s Joliet West sectional championship appearance, fueled by a late-season, 14-game winning streak and a 29-6 record.
  • Powell on McNair: “I’m extremely excited about this young man from Joliet, Ill., my hometown. He’s a tough, physical and athletic guard who will add even more athleticism and ability to shoot the ball to our team next year. I’m fired up and can’t wait to get him here and help us continue to build a winning tradition.”

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.