Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
NEW ERA BEGINS SUNDAY; Valpo Travels To Syracuse As Scott Drew Makes Coaching Debut

Friday, November 22, 2002

VALPO (0-0) at SYRACUSE (0-1)

WHEN: Sunday, November 24 - noon CST (1 p.m. EST)

WHERE: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

TV: (tape-delay) - AT&T Cable - Channel 43 - in Valparaiso. Dick Harlan announcing.

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Tim Harwood announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Scott Drew, who is beginning his first season. Syracuse is led by Jim Boeheim, who has a career mark of 623-222 in his 27th season.

SERIES RECORD: Syracuse leads 1-0
LAST MEETING: 1963-64 - Syracuse won 100-66

LAST GAME: Valpo is playing its season opener Sunday. Syracuse lost to Memphis 70-63 Nov. 14 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

NEXT UP: Valpo begins a two-game homestand on Tuesday against Indiana State at 7:05 p.m. CST.

Sunday's game at Syracuse is not an ordinary season opener for Valpo. For the first time in 15 seasons, the Crusaders will be under the guidance of a new coach. After 14 seasons, which included seven Mid-Continent Conference Regular Season & Tournament Championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances, Homer Drew has passed the reins to his son, Scott, who served as an associate head coach/assistant at Valpo for nine seasons. At 31, Scott Drew is one of the youngest Division I head basketball coaches in the nation.

EXHIBITION NUMBERS: In two exhibition wins over International Select (73-62, Nov. 3) and Northwest Sports (108-74, Nov. 9), the Crusaders displayed a well-balanced attack. Raitis Grafs averaged 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, while Joaquim Gomes added 13.5 ppg. and 8.0 rpg. Freshman Dan Oppland (12.0 ppg., 7.5 rpg.) scored 12 points in each of the games. Stalin Ortiz missed the International Select game, but led Valpo with 20 points against Northwest Sports. The backcourt played complete games as Ali Berdiel averaged 9.0 ppg., 4.5 assists, 4.5 rpg. and 2.0 steals and Greg Tonagel recorded 8.0 ppg., 5.5 apg., 4.5 rpg. and 2.0 spg. Roberto Nieves, a junior college transfer, scored 15 points against Northwest Sports.

VALPO PICKED TO WIN MID-CONTINENT: Valpo, the defending Mid-Continent Conference Champion, is the favorite to repeat as conference champion in a preseason poll of Mid-Con coaches, sports information directors and media members. The Crusaders, 25-8 in 2001-02, received 17 first-place votes. Oral Roberts, which finished second, garnered 11 first-place votes. IUPUI was picked third, followed by Oakland, UMKC, Southern Utah, Western Illinois and Chicago State. Raitis Grafs was named to the Mid-Con Preseason First Team. A two-time First Team All-Mid-Con selection and the school's all-time blocked shots leader, Grafs averaged 12.6 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. as a junior. Stalin Ortiz was named to the Mid-Con Preseason Second Team. A member of the Mid-Con's All-Newcomer Team last season, Ortiz averaged 11.2 ppg. and 4.1 rpg. in 2001-02.

CHAMPIONSHIP LEGACY CONTINUES: After capturing the Mid-Con Regular Season and Tournament Championships last season, Valpo has won a Mid-Con record seven conference regular season and tournament titles in the last eight years.

ROARING 20s: Last season, Valpo set a school record for wins (25-8), reaching the 20-win plateau for the eighth time in nine years.
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo 2 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24 #21/21 Notre Dame 7
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo