March 03, 20241st2ndFinal
Illinois St.314172
Stats at a GlanceILSVALPO
FG Percentage.536 (30-56) .525 (31-59)
3P FG Percentage.381 (8-21) .400 (10-25)
FT Percentage.800 (4-5) .500 (3-6)
Offensive Rebounds48
Defensive Rebounds2223
Total Rebounds2631
Bench Points616
PointsPoindexter - 17
Lewis - 17
Schwieger - 28
ReboundsLewis - 9
Stafford - 8
AssistsPoindexter - 5
Banks - 5
Palm - 4
StealsPoindexter - 2
Williamson - 2
Stafford - 2
BlocksFoster - 1
Kinziger - 1
Lewis - 1
Men's Basketball to Host Illinois State for Sunday's Senior Day
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Men's Basketball to Host Illinois State for Sunday's Senior Day

Illinois State (15-15, 9-10 MVC)
at Valparaiso (6-24, 2-17 MVC)

Game No. 31 – Sunday, March 3, 1 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will finish out the regular season on Sunday by hosting Illinois State at 1 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center. This will be Senior Day for the Beacons as the program will celebrate Connor Barrett, Jerome Palm and Anthony Sciarroni as well as student manager Nate Maxwell and cheer/dance seniors, all of whom will be recognized prior to the game. Head coach Roger Powell Jr. and senior players will address the crowd following the game. Valpo has hopes of sweeping the season series from the Redbirds and continuing the program’s dominance in head-to-head matchups since joining the Missouri Valley Conference. The Senior Day pregame ceremony will begin at 12:44 p.m. 

Last Time Out: The Beacons were shorthanded as Cooper Schwieger and Connor Barrett did not play due to illness in a 68-54 loss at UNI on Tuesday night. Jerome Palm tied a career high with 14 points, while Kaspar Sepp was a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds, his best effort on the glass in league play. The Panthers outscored the Beacons 42-16 in the paint and led by as many as 25 before Valpo battled back late to cut the final margin to 14.

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

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR,, TuneIn Radio App – Noah Godsell (all roles)

Twitter updates - @ValpoBasketball

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

Head Coach Roger Powell Jr.: Roger Powell Jr. (6-23) 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.

Jan. 14 – Valpo 59, Illinois State 50: Cooper Schwieger had his first collegiate double-double with 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds to help Valpo to a 59-50 victory last month at Illinois State, snapping a 10-game skid with the young team’s first road win and first Missouri Valley Conference triumph in 2023-24. It was Valpo’s best statistical defensive performance in a road game in eight years, holding Illinois State to 32 percent shooting and 5.6 percent from 3-point range.

Series Notes: Valpo holds a 15-9 lead in an all-time series that dates all the way back to the 1939-40 campaign. The Beacons have had great success against the Redbirds since joining the Missouri Valley Conference as they own an 11-2 record and have won 10 of the last 11 with the only defeat in that 11-game stretch coming in overtime. Prior to this year’s nine-point win in Bloomington-Normal, four of the last five games had been decided by five points or fewer with two of those contests requiring OT. Valpo swept last season’s series, blowing out the Redbirds 71-51 on Jan. 21 in Normal before winning 81-76 on Feb. 11 at the ARC.

Arch Madness Plans

  • If you’re planning ahead to Arch Madness, the No. 12 seed is locked in for the Beacons.
  • Valpo 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. Friday’s game would be against the No. 4 seed.
  • Valpo will play either Southern Illinois, UNI or Belmont in the first round. If Belmont beats Evansville, Valpo will play the loser of the NET tiebreaker between Belmont and the winner of UNI/SIU. If Belmont loses to Evansville, Valpo will play the winner of the NET tiebreaker between Belmont and the loser of UNI/SIU.
  • Current NET rankings through Feb. 28 – Southern Illinois 107, UNI 121, Belmont 123.

Scouting the Redbirds

  • Have won four of their last five games with wins over Indiana State, Evansville, UNI and Missouri State.
  • Knocked off Missouri State 75-74 on Wednesday, Feb. 28 thanks to a buzzer-beating jumper by freshman Johnny Kinzinger with 0.5 seconds remaining.
  • Led in scoring by Darius Burford (13.2 ppg) who has not played since Feb. 3, while Myles Foster (12.1 ppg) is the other Redbird averaging in double figures.
  • Picked to finish eighth of 12 in the MVC preseason poll.

Sepp’s Solid Showing

  • Freshman Kaspar Sepp played nearly the full 40 minutes on Feb. 27 at UNI, and was a single point shy of a double-double.
  • Sepp’s nine points against the Panthers came after he had scored eight points in his previous five games combined.
  • The freshman forward squeezed 11 rebounds – all on the defensive glass – to own his highest rebounding total in league play this year. This marked his third double-figure rebounding output of the season and was one shy of his season high of 12 on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan.

Palm Producing Points

  • Senior Jerome Palm tied a career high with 14 points on Feb. 27 at UNI.
  • That marked his second 14-point effort in his last three games as his previous personal best had come on Feb. 21 vs. Indiana State.
  • Palm has shot 50 percent or better in the last seven games in which he’s attempted a shot.
  • Palm played 28 minutes, 57 seconds on Feb. 27 against the Panthers, his second highest minute total of the season.
  • Palm started the season by tallying double figures in two of the first four games. He has tallied double figures in two of his last three. In between those two stretches, he had 18 straight games with six points or fewer.
  • Palm has started each of the last four games after coming off the bench in each of his previous 10.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 27: UNI 68, Valpo 54

  • Cooper Schwieger and Connor Barrett did not make the trip to Cedar Falls due to illness. Schwieger had started each of the first 29 games of his freshman season prior to this absence.
  • Isaiah Stafford grabbed seven rebounds, his highest total in his last 20 games.
  • Darius DeAveiro tied a career high with four steals.
  • Jerome Palm tied a career high with 14 points and was joined in double figures by Jahari Williamson, who put together his best showing of the last four games with 13 points.
  • Kaspar Sepp had nine points and 11 rebounds. He played over 39 minutes and went 4-of-5 from 2-point territory.
  • Valpo was just 1-of-11 from 3 in the first half but knocked down 6-of-13 from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes.
  • UNI outscored Valpo 42-16 in the paint and 23-5 on the fastbreak. The Beacons made an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers, the team’s highest total since Jan. 3 and second highest of the season.

Sharing is Caring

  • Valpo dished out 17 assists on Feb. 24 at Murray State, the team’s highest total since the season opener on Nov. 6 vs. Trinity Christian and the squad’s highest total against a Division-I opponent this season.
  • This marked the team’s highest helper total against a Division-I opponent since Feb. 19, 2023 at UIC.
  • The Beacons last handed out more than 17 assists on Jan. 28, 2023 vs. Evansville.
  • Darius DeAveiro led the way with nine assists, while Isaiah Stafford gave out a personal-best five in the game against the Racers.

DeAveiro in the Record Book

  • Valpo’s Darius DeAveiro gave out nine assists on Feb. 24 at Murray State, continuing to climb in the program record book. He followed with three more on Feb. 27 at UNI.
  • He is up to 165 assists on the season, most recently moving past Scott Anselm (1988-89, 163), Bryce Drew (1995-96, 164) and into a tie with John McIlvain (1983-84, 165) for third in program history on Feb. 27 at UNI.
  • The top two spots on the program’s single-season assist list belong to John McIlvain (1982-83, 197) and Ali Berdiel (2003-04, 185).
  • In the game against the Bears, DeAveiro moved up to 283 career assists, breaking a tie with Greg Tonagel (1998-04) to gain sole possession of 18th in program history. Tim Hostetler (1974-78, 284, 17th) and Jared Nuness (1997-02, 290, 16th) are next in order on the career assists list.

Cooper’s Career High

  • Freshman Cooper Schwieger tallied a season-best 26 points on Feb. 24 at Murray State, outdoing his previous best of 22, which was established on Feb. 3 vs. Evansville and tied on Feb. 17 at Missouri State.
  • Schwieger’s big day marked the highest scoring output by a Valpo freshman since Javon Freeman-Liberty on Feb. 5, 2019 at Illinois State (27).
  • There was a parallel between those two performances as Schwieger had 20 first-half points, while Freeman-Liberty also had a 20-point first half in the aforementioned game in Bloomington-Normal.
  • Schwieger’s half was not the biggest by a Beacon this season as Isaiah Stafford had a 23-point first half on Nov. 17 at No. 23 Illinois.

Rising Rookie Ranks

  • Cooper Schwieger is up to 369 points this season. During the Feb. 24 game at Murray State, he secured the highest season point total by a Valpo freshman since joining the Missouri Valley Conference. He surpassed Javon Freeman-Liberty’s total of 364 from 2018-19.
  • Schwieger ranks 18th in points by an MVC freshman since 2000.
  • He is 31 points away from becoming just the 26th Missouri Valley Conference freshman all-time to reach 400 points.
  • Schwieger is up to 155 rebounds this season. He needs to get to 188 to crack the top 20 in conference history for rebounds by a rookie.

Taking the Takeaway Battle

  • Valpo’s young team has done a solid job of avoiding giveaways, as the Beacons had turned it over 12 times or fewer in 11 straight games prior to the rare high turnover total (18) on Feb. 27 at UNI.
  • Head coach Roger Powell Jr.’s team had won the turnover battle in nine straight outings and has won or tied the turnover battle in 10 straight before the game against the Panthers.
  • The Beacons are third in the MVC in turnover margin at +1.4, second in turnovers forced at 12.57 per game and fourth in turnovers per game at 11.1.

Looking to Rebound

  • On the flip side of the turnover battle, Valpo has been outrebounded in each of the 11 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 3-21 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 Sunday will be the defensive end. The team has permitted 80 points or more in eight of its last 10 games. Valpo is 5-5 when holding opponents under 70 points but 1-19 when opponents score at least 70.

Darius Delivering

  • Darius DeAveiro ranks 25th nationally and second in the MVC with 165 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 18 games and is averaging 9.7 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 8.2 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 has scored nine points or more in 13 of his last 14 games, most recently a personal-best 26 on Feb. 24 at Murray State.
  • Schwieger is one of four 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 and Tulsa’s PJ Haggerty.
  • 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 5.8 rpg.
  • Schwieger is one of three freshmen in the country averaging the following numbers in conference games – 50 percent from the field, 80 percent from the free-throw line and 10.0 points per game. He joins Troy’s Myles Rigsby and Lipscomb’s Cody Head.
  • There are only six total players in the MVC shooting 50 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 Indiana State’s Julian Larry.
  • 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 13.8 points per game. Drake’s Kevin Overton is second at 10.8 ppg and Illinois State’s Johnny Kinziger is third at 9.4.
  • In league-only games, Schwieger is also atop The Valley in rebounding average by a freshman (5.8 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 1.3 assists per game and 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 12.7. He is ahead of Drake’s Kevin Overton at 12.0.
  • Schwieger leads the league in rebounds per game among freshmen at 5.3, well ahead of Evansville’s Joshua Hughes, who is second at 4.2.
  • Schwieger is one of 12 freshmen nationally averaging at least 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
  • Schwieger’s overall rebounding average of 5.3 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 Going Strong

  • Isaiah Stafford has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 games, including a stretch that featured three straight outputs of 20 points or more.
  • Stafford has 10 games this season with 20 points or more. He is one of four players in the MVC with 10 or more 20-point games, joining Drake’s Tucker DeVries, Southern Illinois’ Xavier Johnson and Belmont’s Malik Dia.
  • Isaiah Stafford has led the team in scoring (outright or tied) on 16 occasions this season.
  • Stafford ranks tied for eighth in the MVC in scoring at 16.6 points per game, and ranks fifth in the MVC in league-only scoring average at 17.4.
  • 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 449 this year with the Beacons. All told, he has scored 1,088 points as a college basketball player.

Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 24: Murray State 80, Valpo 68

  • Senior Connor Barrett made his first start of the season. He started exactly one game during both his sophomore year and his junior year as well. Coincidently, his lone start last season also occurred at Murray State. This was his 16th career start, 13 of which came during his rookie campaign.
  • Isaiah Stafford finished in double figures for the fifth straight game with his 13 points.
  • Cooper Schwieger established a career high with 26 points, 20 of which came in the first half.
  • Sherman Weatherspoon IV made four 3s and had 12 points. This was his highest scoring output in conference play and his second highest of the season. He scored 13 on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan. He has scored in double figures in back-to-back games.
  • Weatherspoon became the first Valpo player to go 100 percent from 3 with four or more attempts since Feb. 22, 2020 vs. Bradley.
  • Weatherspoon became the first Valpo player to go 100 percent from 3 with four or more attempts in a road game since Alec Peters on Jan. 18, 2016 at Youngstown State.
  • Valpo had a double-figure lead in the second half and led 52-46 midway through the second stanza.

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.