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.
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W 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