Valparaiso head coach Homer Drew announced today that redshirt junior guard Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]), who will receive his bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University at May’s commencement ceremony, will transfer to Michigan State to complete his collegiate eligibility.
“We are very pleased that Brandon will be graduating from Valparaiso University,” said Drew. “He has had two wonderful years here where we saw him grow, both on the floor as a basketball player and off the floor as a person. We will miss him.”
NCAA rules allow an institution to apply for a waiver to allow a student-athlete to transfer without sitting out a season, provided the student-athlete has earned a bachelor’s degree, has eligibility remaining and is enrolling in a graduate-level program. Wood will have one season of eligibility remaining with Michigan State in 2011-2012.
“First of all, I just want to thank God for putting my family and I in the positions we are in, both on and off the court,” said Wood. “He’s blessed me with two great years living, going to school and playing basketball in Valparaiso. Most importantly, over these last two years, I have grown as a man.”
In his two years as a Crusader, Wood earned a myriad of honors while helping Valpo to 38 victories and a postseason berth this past season in the CIT. Coming aboard as a sophomore in 2009-2010, Wood was tabbed the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and was a Second Team All-League selection after leading the Horizon League in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Also a member of the NABC All-District 12 Second Team, Wood led the Crusaders in scoring 17 times and scored 20 or more points on 12 occasions. Along the way, he set a new Valparaiso Division I single-game record, as well as a Legends Classic record, by dropping 39 points at Georgia Southern, and also scored 30 points at #6/4 North Carolina.
This past season, Wood was the lone non-senior honored as a First Team All-Horizon League honoree after averaging a team-best 16.7 points per game, good for third in the league. He also earned Horizon League All-Tournament Team accolades, posting 24.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in tournament play to lead the Crusaders to the HL Semifinals. Also a NABC All-District 12 First Team honoree, Wood tallied 1,117 points through two years as a Crusader, a Valpo program record through a player’s first two seasons. But Wood did more than score this past season, averaging 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game as well, pacing the Crusaders in the latter two categories. His total of 55 steals also marked the sixth-most in a single season in Valpo history.
“I have been provided abundant resources by the coaching staff in order to graduate with a sports marketing and business degree, and was given the opportunity to work on my game and get better every day,” said Wood. “Without these things, I would not be where I am today, and I would like to thank Coach Homer Drew and his staff for taking me under their wing.”