November 06, 20231st2ndFinal
Trinity Christian233861
Stats at a GlanceTrinVALPO
FG Percentage.344 (21-61) .472 (34-72)
3P FG Percentage.250 (6-24) .424 (14-33)
FT Percentage.813 (13-16) .600 (18-30)
Offensive Rebounds1015
Defensive Rebounds2730
Total Rebounds3745
Bench Points3039
PointsLoerop - 12
Stafford - 20
ReboundsHunter - 6
Doyle - 6
Schwieger - 8
AssistsLoerop - 3
DeAveiro - 6
StealsDieck - 3
Stafford - 4
BlocksWilliams - 2
Edwards - 3
Men's Basketball Season to Tip Off on Monday
Friday, November 3, 2023
Men's Basketball Season to Tip Off on Monday

Trinity Christian (0-0*, 0-0 CCAC)
at Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
*Entering Friday vs. Moody Bible and Saturday vs. East-West

Game No. 1 – Monday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The first game of the regular season is upon us for the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team. The Roger Powell Jr. head coaching era will officially begin on Monday night as the Beacons welcome Trinity Christian College to the Athletics-Recreation Center. The theme for the night of fun is “Powell Party of 5,000,” a welcome back extravaganza for Powell, who previously served as an assistant coach at Valpo from 2011-2016. The evening will begin with a pregame event at Peddler’s Pizza Sidebar before the excitement moves down the street to the ARC. The game will count as a regular-season contest for the Beacons but will be an exhibition contest for the Trolls.

Powell Party of 5,000: Monday’s welcome-back party starts early as the Valpo FanZone, a pregame fan meetup for alumni and community members, will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. at Peddler’s Pizza Sidebar, located at 5 Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN, 46383. Tickets will cost $10 per person and will include pizza and one drink ticket. Roger Powell Jr. fatheads will be available for the first 1,000 fans at the game. Everyone in attendance will receive free glowsticks. In addition, the first 100 fans to purchase a beer at the concession stand will receive a free Valpo koozie. A halftime contest will result in five fans receiving free concessions for the season.

Last Time Out: Valpo defeated Saint Mary-of-the-Woods 82-71 on Wednesday night at the ARC in the lone exhibition game prior to Monday’s regular-season lidlifter. Isaiah Stafford produced 26 points to lead all scorers, while Jaxon Edwards had a near double-double of 12 points and eight rebounds including five offensive caroms. Cooper Schwieger and Sherman Weatherspoon IV chipped in 13 points apiece to make it four Beacons in double figures. Darius DeAveiro handed out eight assists while committing no turnovers.

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

Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR,, TuneIn Radio App – Noah Godsell (play-by-play) and James Sroge (analyst)

Twitter updates - @ValpoBasketball

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

Head Coach Roger Powell Jr.: Roger Powell Jr. (0-0) 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: This will mark the seventh time these two teams have locked horns with each meeting taking place at the ARC. Valpo has won the first six matchups between the two programs, which have all come over the last eight seasons. Powell was in his final season as an assistant coach on Valpo’s staff for the first ever matchup between the two squads on Nov. 19, 2015, an 89-42 victory for the Brown & Gold. Valpo won last year’s clash 96-60 on Dec. 6.

Scouting the Trolls

  • Will be playing their third game in four days on Monday after hosting Moody Bible and East-West on Friday and Saturday respectively as part of the Troll Classic in Palos Heights.
  • The NAIA program went 12-16 last season and 6-14 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
  • This will mark their second matchup with a Division-I opponent as the Trolls played an exhibition against Loyola (Chicago), Valpo’s former Horizon League and Missouri Valley Conference adversary, on Sunday, Oct. 29 in Rogers Park. The Ramblers prevailed 104-44.
  • Under the direction of head coach Jason Hawkins, who played from 2000-2003 at Valpo, where he later became an assistant coach for two seasons. Hawkins graduated from Valpo in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in history.
  • Monday’s game will count as an exhibition for the Trolls despite being a regular-season game for the Beacons.

Notes Wrapping Up Nov. 1: Valpo 82, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods 71 (Exhibition)

  • Although stats from the game do not count since it was an exhibition, the 26 points from Isaiah Stafford would have marked the second-highest NCAA total in his collegiate career. His career high is 31 on Feb. 26, 2022 vs. Lindenwood while playing for Southern Indiana.
  • Stafford’s five assists would have outdone his previous career high of four that came on Jan. 31, 2022 at Lindenwood while playing for Southern Indiana.
  • Darius DeAveiro had eight assists without committing a turnover. Just two Valpo players in the last decade have had eight or more assists and no turnovers in a regular season game – Daniel Sackey on Dec. 18, 2019 at High Point (nine assists, no turnovers) and Deion Lavender on Nov. 24, 2018 at West Virginia (10 assists, no turnovers).
  • Valpo had 72 field-goal attempts in the game. The last time Valpo had 72 or more in a regular-season game was Nov. 27, 2021 vs. Trinity Christian (73). Valpo had fired off 72 shots or more just seven times in the last decade and only five times in games that finished in regulation.
  • Valpo dished out 17 assists against just nine turnovers. The team’s last regular-season game with 17+ assists and single-digit turnovers was Nov. 27, 2021 vs. Trinity Christian.
  • The team’s top two performers in the plus-minus category were Stafford and Cooper Schwieger. Valpo outscored the opponent by 20 when Stafford was on the court and the team was +18 with Schwieger in action.
  • Jaxon Edwards paced the team with eight rebounds including five offensive caroms.
  • Stafford (26), Schwieger (13), Sherman Weatherspoon IV (13) and Edwards (12) all scored in double figures.
  • The team grabbed 16 offensive rebounds leading to 23 second-chance points.
  • Valpo held a 42-24 advantage in the paint.
  • Schwieger started his first collegiate contest, one of nine players who made their unofficial (exhibition) Valpo debuts on Wednesday.

Valpo on Opening Night

  • Valpo holds an 8-3 record in season openers over the last decade plus, but the three setbacks during that stretch have come over the last three seasons. The Beacons hope to snap a three-game opening night skid on Monday after falling at Vanderbilt, vs. Toledo and at Toledo to start the last three seasons.
  • Valpo is 17-1 over its last 18 home openers including an 81-65 victory over Western Michigan to start last year’s home slate. Of those 17 home-opening victories in the last 18 years, 15 have come by double-figure margins.
  • Valpo’s lone loss in a home opener in that stretch was 69-61 vs. Toledo in 2021-22, snapping a 16-game winning streak in home openers. That marked the program’s first defeat in a home opener since Nov. 27, 2004, an 85-71 loss to Charlotte.

Valpo Head Coaching Debuts

  • As Roger Powell Jr. makes his head coaching debut on Monday night, he will officially become the program’s 23rd head coach.
  • This will mark the 36th consecutive season that either a member of the Drew family or someone who previously worked as an assistant coach under a Drew has served as the head coach at Valpo.
  • Matt Lottich’s head coaching tenure started with a 79-65 victory over Southern Utah on Nov. 11, 2016.
  • Bryce Drew’s first game in the top chair was a 73-64 setback at No. 16 Arizona on Nov. 7, 2011.
  • Scott Drew’s first game leading the Brown & Gold was Nov. 24, 2002, an 81-66 loss at Syracuse.
  • The Homer Drew Era started with an 83-53 setback at Butler on Nov. 25, 1988.
  • Scott (Nov. 26, 2002; W 81-56 vs. Indiana State) and Bryce (Nov. 14, 2011; W 88-38 vs. Holy Cross [Ind.]) both won their home head coaching debuts, so Powell will look to become the fourth straight Valpo head coach to win his first game at the ARC.

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.