March 02, 20231st2ndFinal
Murray St.384078
Stats at a GlanceVALPOMUR
FG Percentage.327 (18-55) .426 (29-68)
3P FG Percentage.087 (2-23) .370 (10-27)
FT Percentage.750 (12-16) .714 (10-14)
Offensive Rebounds79
Defensive Rebounds3030
Total Rebounds3739
Bench Points821
PointsKrikke - 14
Smith - 19
ReboundsGreen - 7
King - 7
Burns - 8
Assists Edwards - 3
Green - 3
King - 3
Wood - 11
StealsBarrett - 1
DeAveiro - 1
Bayu - 1
Wood - 3
BlocksBayu - 2
White Jr. - 1
Moore, Jr. - 1
Beacons, Racers to Rematch in MVC Tournament Opener
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Beacons, Racers to Rematch in MVC Tournament Opener
Kobe King scored in double figures in every regular-season game.

Valparaiso (11-20, 5-15 MVC)
vs. Murray State (16-14, 11-9 MVC)

Game No. 32 – Thursday, March 2, 6 p.m. CT
Enterprise Center (8,476 lower bowl; 16,502 full) – St. Louis, Mo.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will open the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday night in St. Louis in a rematch with Murray State after the two teams closed out the regular season against one another. Valpo is the No. 10 seed in the 12-team event, while Murray State is the No. 7 seed. Both of the regular-season matchups between these two teams required overtime to determine a victor. 

Dec. 4 – Murray State 77, Valpo 70 (OT): Valpo received a then career-high 31 points from Ben Krikke and led by as many as 10 during the first home conference game of the season, but visiting Murray State raced back for a 77-70 overtime victory. Valpo led for much of the first half, but the second half was a seesaw battle in a game that featured 10 ties and 14 lead changes. Jerome Palm had a career-high 10 rebounds off the bench, while Quinton Green (18) and Kobe King (11) also tallied in double figures in the scoring column.

Feb. 26 – Murray State 77, Valpo 76 (OT): In a game that unfolded in similar fashion to the first matchup between the two teams, Valpo led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Murray State rallied to take a slim lead by the break. After a Kobe King dunk, the Beacons were up by five at 63-58 with 1:44 to go in regulation. The Racers eventually tied the game on a second-chance triple with seven seconds remaining, and scored the first five points of overtime. Valpo tied the game late in the extra session, but Ben Krikke was whistled for his fifth foul with 0.5 seconds remaining in OT, and Murray State made the first before missing the second intentionally to win the game. Krikke posted a game-high 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting.

Following the Beacons: Television – MVC TV Network (Bally Sports Midwest-Kansas City Extra, Bally Sports Indiana Extra, Bally Sports Extra in Kentucky, Bally Sports Southeast and NBC Sports Chicago Plus) – Scott Warmann (play-by-play) and Kevin Lehman (analyst)

Streaming – ESPN+ – available is some states but subject to local blackouts  

MVC Radio – KTRS 550 AM St. Louis – Brendan Wiese (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst)

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR,, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Paul Oren (analyst)

Twitter updates - @ValpoBasketball

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

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (108-116) is in his seventh season as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2022-2023. Twice during his tenure, Valpo has upset Top-25 opponents, defeating Drake and Rhode Island at the ARC. Valpo has four wins over AP Top 25 teams in program history, and two have come under Lottich. In 2019-2020, Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness, the annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, to reach the title game after playing in the opening round by winning three games in three days. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.

Series Notes: This will mark the seventh all-time matchup between the two teams with the squads splitting the first six right down the middle. Murray State won both regular season matchups in overtime. Prior to the Racers joining The Valley this year, the most recent showdown between the two teams was Nov. 29, 2014, a 93-58 Valpo win as part of the Challenge in Music City in Nashville, Tenn.

Ain’t Nothin But a Heartache

  • Valpo went 0-7 in Missouri Valley Conference games that were decided by fewer than five points or went to overtime this season.
  • Nearly half of Valpo’s 15 Valley defeats came in those aforementioned close calls.
  • Valpo closed the regular season by losing seven of its last eight games, but five of those seven losses came by fewer than five points or in overtime.
  • Two of Valpo’s last three regular-season games were one-point road defeats – 74-73 at UIC on Feb. 19 and 77-76 in overtime at Murray State on Feb. 26.
  • The Beacons have been no stranger to overtime over the last two seasons, playing 11 OT affairs in that time including five this year. Valpo has dropped four straight games that have gone to the extra session and went 0-4 in OT games in Valley play.
  • Both matchups with Murray State went to overtime this season, making it the second straight year that Valpo had both showdowns with an opponent go to the extra session as it happened last year between Valpo and Illinois State. Prior to that, Valpo had not played multiple overtime games against the same opponent in a season since 1992-93 (UIC).
  • This marks the first time in program history Valpo has had two overtime losses to the same opponent in the same season.

Awards Keep Coming

  • Ben Krikke has added to his ever-growing trophy case over the past two weeks.
  • On Monday, Feb. 20, he was named MVC Player of the Week after averaging 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists over two games the previous week, shooting 61.1 percent from the floor (22-of-36), 40 percent from 3-point range (2-of-5) and 80 percent from the free-throw line (12-of-25).
  • This marked the second time this season and the third time in his career that Krikke has earned MVC Player of the Week laurels.
  • The big week continued on Tuesday, Feb. 21 when Krikke was named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District Team. He holds a 3.78 cumulative grade point average in finance. This marks the second time in his career that Krikke has earned Academic All-District from CSC, previously known as CoSIDA.
  • Speaking of academic accolades, Krikke was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team on Monday. He was the only member of the squad to earn the honor for the third consecutive year and was one of just five MVC players on the first team. The squad is selected based on voting from the league’s sports information directors, who consider both academic and athletic credentials.

The Conference’s Leading Scorer

  • Ben Krikke finished as the Missouri Valley Conference scoring king in league-only games at 21.0 points per game. Entering the league tournament, he also leads The Valley in overall scoring average at 19.6 ppg.
  • Krikke ranks among the league leaders in the following categories as well – rebounds per game (5.9, t-11th), field goal percentage (55.3, second), free-throw percentage (78.7, ninth) and blocked shots per game (0.9, ninth).
  • Krikke is the first Valpo player to lead the MVC in scoring and the first Valpo player to sit atop any league in scoring since Alec Peters paced the Horizon League at 23.0 ppg in 2016-17.
  • Kobe King ranks eighth in the league at 16.4 points per game, making Valpo the lone team in the league with two players who rank in the top 10 in scoring.

Krikke in the Record Book

  • With his first basket on Feb. 18 at UIC, Ben Krikke joined the top 10 in program history in career scoring by usurping Harry Bell (1984-88; 1,508). During that game, he also overtook Dick Jones (1965-68; 1,520) and Bruce Lindner (1967-70; 1,539) to move into eighth in program lore.
  • Entering March 2 vs. Murray State, Krikke is nine points away from tying and 10 from passing Ryan Broekhoff (2009-2013) for seventh in program history. Krikke has 1,582 career points.
  • On Feb. 14 vs. Southern Illinois, Ben Krikke became the 11th player in program history to reach 1,500 career points.
  • On Feb. 22 vs. Bradley, Krikke entered the program’s single-season top 10. On Feb. 26 vs. Murray State, he surpassed the 600-point threshold for the season, becoming the eighth player in program history to do so.
  • Krikke has scored 608 points this season, most recently passing Tracy Gipson’s 1992-93 season (595) for eighth in program history.
  • Krikke’s next targets on the single-season list are Bryce Drew’s 1997-98 season (613) and Drew’s 1996-97 season (617). He could vault all the way to the top 5 in single-season program history on Thursday, as Javon Freeman-Liberty’s 2019-20 accumulation of 628 currently ranks fifth.
  • Krikke has knocked down 240 field goals this season. During the Feb. 26 game vs. Murray State, he moved into a tie for fourth in program history with Anthony Allison (1995-96) in that category. With his first field goal on March 2 vs. Murray State, Krikke will have the most field goals by a Valpo player since the 1971-72 season. He needs eight to tie Dick Jones (1966-67; 248) for third and 13 to tie John Wolfenberg (1991-72) for second.
  • Entering March 2 vs. Murray State, Krikke has 628 career made field goals, a mark that ranks sixth in program history. He recently passed Harry Bell (1985-88; 606) on that list, and the threshold to get into the top five is 634 (John Wolfenberg; 1970-73).
  • Krikke hit another milestone on Feb. 11 vs. Illinois State as he pulled down his 500th career rebound.

Single Season Points

  1. Bruce Lindner 1969-70 725
  2. Alec Peters 2015-16     679
  3. Alec Peters 2016-17     666
  4. Dick Jones 1966-67     662
  5. Freeman-Liberty 2019-20 628
  6. Bryce Drew 1996-97     617
  7. Bryce Drew 1997-98     613
  8. Ben Krikke 2022-23 608
  9. Tracy Gipson 1992-93 595
  10. Dan Oppland 2004-05 577

Single Season Scoring Average

  1. Bruce Lindner 1969-70 27.8
  2. Alec Peters 2016-17     23.0
  3. Dick Jones 1966-67     22.8
  4. John Wolfenberg 1971-72 21.4
  5. Tracy Gipson 1992-93 21.3
  6. Chuck Kriston 1962-63 21.2
  7. Jim Zweifel 1960-61     20.9
  8. Bryce Drew 1996-97     19.9
  9. Bryce Drew 1997-98     19.8

     Dan Oppland 2005-06     19.8
NR. Ben Krikke 2022-23     19.6

Single Season Field Goals

  1. Bruce Lindner         1969-70     274
  2. John Wolfenberg 1971-72     253
  3. Dick Jones         1966-67     248

T-4. Anthony Allison       1995-96     240

t-4. Ben Krikke                2022-23     240

  1. Dan Oppland         2005-06     231
  2. John Wolfenberg 1972-73     230
  3. Javon Freeman-Liberty 2019-20 227
  4. Alec Peters         2015-16     223
  5. Alec Peters 2016-17     218

Career Points

  1. Alec Peters 2013-17    2,348
  2. Bryce Drew 1994-98    2,142
  3. Tracy Gipson 1989-93 1,785
  4. Dan Oppland 2002-06 1,780
  5. Lubos Barton 1998-02 1,675
  6. Raitis Grafs 1999-03    1,621
  7. Ryan Broekhoff 2009-13 1,591
  8. Ben Krikke 2019-pres. 1,582
  9. Bruce Lindner 1967-70 1,539
  10. Dick Jones 1965-68 1,520

Career Field Goals

  1. Alec Peters 2013-17     790
  2. Bryce Drew 1994-98     696
  3. Tracy Gipson 1989-93 682
  4. Dan Oppland 2002-06 673
  5. John Wolfenberg 1970-73 634
  6. Ben Krikke 2019-pres. 628
  7. Harry Bell 1984-88     606
  8. Raitis Grafs 1999-03     592
  9. Bruce Lindner 1967-70 575
  10. Lubos Barton 1998-02 566

Career Field Goal Percentage

  1. Kevin Van Wijk 2010-13 60.8%
  2. Zoran Viskovic 1996-99 59.5%
  3. Derrik Smits 2016-19 56.4%
  4. Ivan Vujic 1998-00   56.3%
  5. Raitis Grafs 1999-03   55.7%
  6. Ben Krikke 2019-pres. 54.1%
  7. Urule Igbavboa 2005-09 53.6%
  8. Chris Ensminger 1992-96 52.3%
  9. Morris Smith* 1979-81 52.2%
  10. Cory Johnson 2009-11 51.9%

King in Doubles Figures... Every Single Game

  • The only player in the Missouri Valley Conference who scored in double figures in each of his team’s regular season games was Kobe King, who has scored 10+ in 31 straight entering Arch Madness.
  • Thanks to his 10-point output on Feb. 22 vs. Bradley, King has set a program record for consecutive double-figure scoring outputs within the same season with 30. He added his 31st straight double-figure output in the Feb. 26 regular-season finale vs. Murray State.
  • Javon Freeman-Liberty scored in double figures in all 29 regular season games that he played during the 2019-20 season before seeing his streak snapped in the first MVC Tournament game. Alec Peters scored in double figures in all 29 games he played in 2016-17 before seeing his season cut short by an injury. Freeman-Liberty and Peters shared the program record for consecutive double-figure scoring outputs within the same season before King shattered it this year.
  • King has scored in double figures in 50 of his 54 games in a Valpo uniform.
  • The former Wisconsin Mr. Basketball has scored 15 points or more in 19 of his 31 games this season. He has eight 20-point outputs this year.
  • King is up to 55 career double-figure scoring efforts including his tenure at Wisconsin.
  • At the end of last season, King became Valpo’s second All-Newcomer Team choice since joining the league and first since Bakari Evelyn in 2017-18.
  • He appeared on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays after a three-quarter court buzzer-beater on Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte, a play that ranked No. 9 on the popular countdown that evening.

Edwards Anecdotes

  • Valpo point guard Nick Edwards ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference and 20th nationally with 157 total assists.
  • On Feb. 22 vs. Bradley, Edwards joined the program’s single-season top 10, surpassing Bryce Drew’s 1996-97 output of 145 and Ali Berdiel’s 2002-03 number of 146.
  • Entering Feb. 26 at Murray State, Edwards passed Drew’s 1997-98 season for seventh in program history. He could move up as many as five more spots in the MVC Tournament opener as he would climb into a tie for third if he hands out eight assists.
  • Edwards is averaging 7.6 points per game and 5.1 assists per game. Just two Valpo players in the last 30 years have finished a season with 7.0 ppg and better than 5.1 apg – Ali Berdiel (2003-04) and Bryce Drew (three times, 1994-1998).
  • Edwards is in line to post Valpo’s highest apg number since Berdiel’s 6.0 in 2003-2004.
  1. John McIlvain 1982-83 197
  2. Ali Berdiel 2003-04     185
  3. John McIlvain 1983-84 165
  4. Bryce Drew 1995-96     164
  5. Scott Anselm 1988-89 163
  6. Bryce Drew 1994-95     162
  7. Keith Carter 2015-16     161
  8. Nick Edwards 2022-23 157
  9. Bryce Drew 1997-98     155
  10. Ali Berdiel 2002-03 146

More Ben Bits

  • Ben Krikke has reached double figures in 29 of his 31 games this season including 13 outputs of 20 points or more.
  • Krikke has scored 15+ points in 26 out of 31 contests.
  • Krikke has tallied double figures in 19 consecutive games and all 20 league contests this season.
  • Krikke has scored 17 points or more in 10 consecutive games and is averaging 24.3 points per game during that stretch. He has scored 20 points or more in six of his last seven.

Krikke in Select Company

  • Ben Krikke is one of three players in the country who is averaging at least 19.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting better than 75 percent from the free-throw line and better than 50 percent from the field.
  • He joins Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis and Chattanooga’s Jake Stephens.
  • Krikke is on pace to become just the third different Missouri Valley Conference player since 2005 to average at least 17 points and five boards while shooting better than 75 percent from the free-throw line and 50 percent from the field. He would join Missouri State’s Isiaih Mosley and Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who did so twice each.
  • Krikke was the only player in the Missouri Valley Conference to average 19.0 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game this year.

Rare Starter Switches

  • Valpo had used the same starting lineup in 14 straight games, but entering Arch Madness, the Beacons have used three different starting lineup combos in the last three games.
  • Ben Krikke and Kobe King have been fixtures in the starting lineup this season as they have started each of the first 31 games.
  • Maximus Nelson (21 starts) has served as Krikke’s front court mate for 15 of the last 16 games, but he came off the bench on Feb. 22 vs. Bradley so that walk-on Luke Morrill could receive a senior night start.
  • Nick Edwards (22 total starts) has started 20 straight games at point guard.
  • Quinton Green had started 30 consecutive games prior to the regular-season finale on Feb. 26 at Murray State, when he was sidelined due to concussion protocol. Green is questionable for the MVC Tournament opener.
  • Connor Barrett started in Green’s place, making his first start of the season and the 15th of his collegiate career. His last start prior to that game was Nov. 17, 2021 at Stanford.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 26: Murray State 77, Valpo 76

  • Kobe King had just two first-half points on 1-of-7 shooting before going 6-of-8 for 14 points in the second half. He added two more in overtime to finish with 18 points.
  • Ben Krikke led all scorers with 24 points, while Nick Edwards was Valpo’s third double-figure scorer with 16.
  • The 16 points by Edwards was his highest scoring output in league play this year and highest in any game since scoring 20 on Dec. 21 vs. Stonehill.
  • Edwards was active in the other statistical categories as well, recording six rebounds, five assists and two steals. He tied season highs for made field goals (seven) and made 3s (two).
  • Ibra Bayu tallied a season-high nine points.
  • Nelson led Valpo on the glass, grabbing seven caroms. He paced Valpo in rebounds for the third time this season.
  • Valpo went 6-of-23 (26.1 percent) from 3 for the game after going 1-of-9 in the second half and overtime. Despite the 3-point struggles, the Beacons shot 51.7 percent from the field in the second half and 62.5 percent from the field in OT.
  • Murray State attempted 20 free throws to Valpo’s six.

Arch Madness History

  • In 2020, Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to win three games in three days to reach the MVC title game. As a No. 7 seed, Valpo became the lowest seed to ever play in the title game. The Beacons led Bradley 38-36 at halftime of the title game and were 20 minutes from clinching an NCAA Tournament berth, but the Braves eventually prevailed 80-66.
  • Valpo entered Arch Madness as the No. 10 seed in 2017-18, No. 9 seed in 2018-19, No. 7 in 2019-20, No. 6 in 2020-21, No. 7 in 2021-2022 and now No. 10 in the league’s first year with 12 teams in 2022-23.
  • Valpo is 5-5 all-time in 10 Arch Madness games. Three of the four victories came during the 2019-20 run to the title game, which featured wins over Evansville, Loyola and Missouri State.
  • Valpo was the newest member of the MVC prior to this season, but for the first time in Valpo’s six-year stay in the league, the program is no longer the newcomer. The Beacons have served as a welcoming committee of sorts, as they played at Belmont for Belmont’s first-ever MVC game, hosted Murray State’s first-ever MVC road game and now will be the opponent for the Racers’ first Arch Madness contest.  

Valpo in St. Louis

  • The program’s history in the building now known as the Enterprise Center goes beyond the team’s four MVC Tournament appearances.
  • Valpo’s Sweet Sixteen game against Rhode Island in 1998 was played in the building, which was then known as the Kiel Center.
  • Valpo also appeared in the 2002 NCAA Tournament in St. Louis, but the first-round date with Kentucky was played at the Edward Jones Dome.
  • Head coach Matt Lottich played at Stanford from 2000-2004 and was part of the Cardinal team that participated in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the Edwards Jones Dome in 2002. His squad joined Valpo as two of the eight teams competing in St. Louis in the opening round of the tournament that year.

Scouting the Racers

  • Picked to finish eighth in the MVC Preseason poll, and exceeded expectations by finishing seventh.
  • Led in scoring by Rob Perry at 14.1 points per game.
  • Won three of their final four regular-season games with wins over Illinois State, Evansville and Valpo.
  • Under the direction of Steve Prohm, who is in the first season of his second stint at the helm.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Feb. 22: Bradley 76, Valpo 66

  • Valpo led by four with 10:36 remaining in the first half and outscored Bradley 36-34 after halftime, but it was the final 10:36 of the first half where the game was decided.
  • The Beacons raced out to a 9-2 lead early in the game, the second straight game where they sprinted ahead after grabbing a 9-0 lead on UIC.
  • Bradley held a 12-3 edge on the offensive glass.
  • Nick Edwards had a balanced stat line of eight points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
  • Ben Krikke (17), Quinton Green (16) and Kobe King (10) all scored in double figures.

Lottich Leaps J.M. Christiansen

  • Valpo head coach Matt Lottich moved into sole possession of third in program history when he garnered his 103rd career victory on Dec. 21 vs. Stonehill. That triumph helped him snap a tie with J.M. Christiansen (1929-1941) for third all-time.
  • Lottich reached the 100-win milestone with an 81-79 overtime victory over James Madison on Nov. 27 in Savannah, Ga.
  • The former Stanford sharpshooter became just the fourth head coach in program history to get to 100 wins, joining Homer Drew, Bryce Drew and J.M. Christiansen.
  • Lottich is now trailing only the Drews on the program’s all-time wins list.

Name                          Years                                      Wins

Homer Drew               1988-2002; 2003-2011           371

Bryce Drew                 2011-2016                               124

Matt Lottich                2017-pres.                               108

J.M. Christiansen       1929-1941                               102

Top Two Scorers Back

  • With both Ben Krikke (14.2 ppg) and Kobe King (14.0 ppg) back, Valpo returns its top two scorers from last season.
  • The last time the program had its top two scorers back from the previous year was 2015-2016, when Alec Peters and Darien Walker both returned after finishing as the team’s top two scorers in 2014-15. The 2015-16 season was a historic one, as the Brown & Gold reached the NIT championship game.
  • Only four of the 12 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference have their top two scorers back from last season, as Valpo joins Drake, Southern Illinois and Indiana State.

Looking Back at 2021-2022

  • The team boasted two MVC Scholar-Athlete team selections, the captain of the All-Bench Team, an MVC Most-Improved Team honoree, an All-MVC Third Team performer, an All-Newcomer team member and an All-Freshman team honoree. Valpo had seven different MVC postseason honors won by five different players.
  • Valpo went a combined 5-0 against instate foes Indiana State and Evansville, sweeping the Hoosier State for the first time since joining the MVC.
  • Valpo finished with a home record of .500 or better for the 30th consecutive season.
  • Eight of Valpo’s 18 MVC games were decided by three points or fewer or required overtime.
  • The Beacons overcame double-figure deficits to win on three occasions (Tulane, Eastern Michigan and Evansville), something that has occurred 19 times during the Matt Lottich Era.
  • The team finished fourth in the MVC in both free-throw percentage (.759) and field-goal percentage (.459) while also finishing fourth in assists per game (12.5), steals per game (6.4) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
  • Valpo played six overtime games, the program’s most since tying a Division-I record with eight in 1993.

Preseason Picks

  • Ben Krikke was tabbed to the Preseason All-MVC First Team, becoming the first player to earn that honor in Valpo’s time in the conference.
  • Prior to this season, Valpo had five preseason all-conference selections since joining The Valley in 2017-18, all second team honorees.
  • Kobe King was named to the Preseason All-MVC Third Team, making this the second time in the team’s six years in The Valley that Valpo has boasted a pair of preseason all-league choices.
  • Krikke, also a Preseason All-MVC Second Team choice last year, became the first Valpo player to earn Preseason All-MVC honors on multiple occasions.
  • Valpo was picked to finish ninth of 12 in the preseason poll, ahead of Illinois State, UIC and Evansville.
  • Drake hauled in 52 of the 54 first-place votes and finished a heavy preseason favorite, while Drake’s Tucker DeVries was named MVC Preseason Player of the Year.
  • In addition to the conference’s honor, Krikke was named to the Preseason All-MVC First Team by Blue Ribbon Magazine

Roster Rundown

  • The 2022-23 roster features eight returning letter winners, one returning player who redshirted last season and six newcomers (three freshmen, three transfers).
  • Five Valpo players hail from outside of the United States – two from The Netherlands, two from Canada and one from Denmark.
  • Four members of the roster are natives of the state of Wisconsin, while two call Illinois home and one has remained in his home state of Indiana. The remaining players come from Georgia, Minnesota and Ohio.
  • Nick Edwards is the first Georgia native to play for the program since E. Victor Nickerson in 2015-16.

Newcomer Notes

  • Nick Edwards had a triple-double while playing at Glenville last season, one of eight Division-II players in the nation to achieve that feat.
  • Quinton Green earned All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) honors for three straight seasons. He finished with 1,288 points over four seasons at Cedarville and knocked down a team-high 59 3-point field goals last year.
  • Ibra Bayu spent three years in the United States playing high school basketball before arriving at Valpo. He dealt with a serious medical issue during his junior season before being sidelined by two separate fractured ankles as a senior.
  • Jerome Palm comes to Valpo after two junior college seasons at Hillsborough CC and Daytona State. He competed for the championship-winning Netherlands national team in the 2021 3x3 national tournament.
  • Maximus Nelson was a unanimous first team all-conference and first-team all-state selection after his senior season at Appleton North High School in Appleton, Wis.

Beacon Bits

Random off-the-court facts on each Valpo player.

  • #1 Cam Palesse – Enjoys building fish-tank ecosystems.
  • #2 Preston Ruedinger – Is an avid golfer in his spare time... Has an interest in coaching in the future.
  • #3 Connor Barrett – Is also an avid golfer.
  • #4 Darius DeAveiro – Father David is the former head coach at McGill University in Montreal and is now the head coach of the Ryerson Rams... Played on the state soccer team at age 13 and traveled significantly for the sport, including a trip to England.
  • #5 Nick Edwards – Describes himself as a “wing fanatic” with his preference being either honey barbeque or lemon pepper... Cousin is Champ Bailey, who was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection during his NFL career that spanned from 1999-2014.
  • #11 Emil Freese-Vilien – Civil engineering major who spends a lot of time drawing blueprints and houses... His first basketball practice came at age 14... Played serious badminton growing up... Is teaching himself how to cook.
  • #12 Ibra Bayu – Played soccer during his youth but was advised to try basketball at age 10 during a gym class... Describes himself as a very social person who enjoys talking, making jokes and laughing.
  • #13 Maximus Nelson – Enjoys working kids camp and teaching young children how to play the sport of basketball.
  • #14 Quinton Green – Married his wife Liana English on Aug. 20, 2022. They met at Cedarville, where she was a member of the women's tennis team... Has four younger brothers and sisters... His roommate for five years at Cedarville was Conner TenHove, a Valparaiso, Ind. native... Scored 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds against Valpo in an exhibition game on Oct. 19, 2019 while playing for Cedarville...
  • #15 Luke Morrill – Walk-on who enjoys wakesurfing.
  • #20 Joe Vick – Walk-on who is the son of Julie Vick, the administrative assistant for Valpo Basketball.
  • #23 Ben Krikke – Spent over 100 days in quarantine before and during the 2020-2021 season... Enjoys mountain biking and chess, which he learned from his grandfather... Credits his father’s Michael Jordon DVD set for helping hone his skills.
  • #32 Joe Hedstrom – Is an avid fisherman and Valpo’s proximity to Lake Michigan added to his desire to play at Valpo... Grandfather Burt Hedstrom played basketball, football and baseball at Northwestern University (1944-47) and both of his parents played college basketball, mother Sharon (Bethel) and father Peter (St. Olaf).
  • #33 Jerome Palm – Enjoys cutting hair for fun as a makeshift barber as he cuts hair for friends and family members in addition to his own.
  • #35 Kobe King –Enjoys making music and writing song lyrics.

Staff Sidebars

  • Associate head coach Luke Gore is in his 21st year on staff and has served under four different head coaches. The Valpo veteran has helped the team to eight postseason berths in the last 12 years and was on staff for the three winningest seasons in program history. He serves as the team’s defensive coordinator in addition to leading Valpo’s scheduling and scouting efforts.
  • Assistant coach Matt Bowen returned to Valpo’s staff in 2018-19 after previously spending four seasons with the Brown & Gold from 2002-2006. He was the head coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 2012-2018. Bowen coordinates the team’s offense.
  • Assistant coach Rob Holloway is back for his fifth season after spending the previous two years on staff at Eastern Illinois, his alma mater.
  • Director of Basketball Operations Peter Funk is in his second season in that role after spending the previous two years as a graduate assistant and the three years prior to that as a student manager.
  • Vijay Blackmon joined the Valpo staff this summer, leading the program’s strength & conditioning efforts. He arrived at Valpo after serving as the head strength & conditioning coach at Bella Vista College Prep School in Phoenix, Ariz. from October 2021 to April 2022. During that time, he also served as a strength coach intern for the Grand Canyon men’s basketball program, which is under the direction of Valpo legend Bryce Drew.
  • Former Valpo basketball standout Tevonn Walker has rejoined the program as a graduate assistant. He scored 1,405 career points with the Brown & Gold, a total that ranks 14th in program history. He went on to play professionally in Germany and Canada.
  • After starting his career at Michigan State, Thomas Kithier was a key player for the Beacons last season. Due to a career-ending back injury, he has transitioned into a graduate assistant role.
  • Sam Back is in his fifth season as a student manager and third as head manager. The North Judson, Ind. native was named to Grow the Game’s Manager All-American Team following the 2021-2022 campaign.

Who’s Next?

  • Valpo signed a trio of incoming student-athletes during the early signing period in November.
  • 6-foot-9 forward Zane Dougherty (Avon, Ind. / Ben Davis), 6-foot-1 point guard Jahari Williamson (Pickering, Ontario, Canada / Royal Crown Academy) and 6-foot-6 combo guard Yanis Bamba (Laval, Quebec, Canada / Jean-de-Brebeuf) are poised to join the Valpo program for the 2023-2024 season.
  • Lottich on Bamba: “Yanis is a little bit of a late bloomer,” Lottich said. “He’s from a very similar area to where Max (Joseph) and Tevonn (Walker) are from. He’s a native French speaker. He’s a big-body guard, about 6-6, 200. He’s very athletic and a very good passer. He was excited about the opportunity to come to Valpo, where he’s seen the improvement that players make here. I think he will come in and be able to compete right away because of his athleticism, size and physicality. He’s just scratching the surface of who he is as a basketball player.”
  • Lottich on Williamson: “We saw Jahari in Milwaukee for the first time,” Lottich said. “The Canadian pipeline that we’ve had has been really good to us. He’s cerebral, and he shoots it really well. Recruiting internationally can be tougher because you don’t get your eyes on the players as much, but we were able to see Jahari play in some Canadian games where he was in high-level environments. This was similar to how we recruited Ben Krikke. Right now, Jahari is one of the five best players in Canada. His ability to stretch the defense and play with pick-and-rolls with the ball in his hands is going to be big for us.”
  • Lottich on Doughty: “We saw him at a high school showcase, and what we really liked was his motor as a big man,” Lottich said. “There’s one thing that we don’t want to have to coach, and that’s effort. When you recruit big men, they are typically coming into their own and then have vast improvements when they get to college. In Zane’s case, one thing that really stood out to us was just how tenacious he was on both ends of the floor. He was rebounding out of his area and loves contact. We followed him throughout the summer and got to watch him play in a few high-level games. We love his toughness, and he really fits Valpo. He saw the family atmosphere at Valpo, and that resonated with him. His family is really important to him.”

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 18 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 qualified for the postseason eight times in the last 12 years, including 2019-20 where Valpo accepted a postseason berth but the tournament was not played due to COVID-19.
  • 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.