The Valparaiso men’s basketball team has been picked to finish in fifth place in the Horizon League during the 2011-2012 season according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches, media members and sports information directors. In addition, junior Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) has been selected to the preseason All-League second team.
The Crusaders tallied 255 total points to be selected in the fifth spot in the preseason polling. Preseason league favorite Butler received 28 of the 50 first-place votes, while Detroit was picked second and received 19 first-place votes. Cleveland State (2 first-place votes) and Milwaukee (1 first-place vote) were chosen third and fourth ahead of the Crusaders, while Green Bay was just behind Valpo in sixth position. Youngstown State, Wright State, Loyola and UIC rounded out the polling in order.
Broekhoff earned a spot on the preseason All-League second team after scoring 10.3 points per game and averaging a team-best 5.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore. The Crusaders’ leading returning scorer, Broekhoff led the Horizon League last year, hitting 44.8% of his 3-point attempts. The junior also ranked among the league’s top-10 in blocked shots/game (1.1, 6th), 3-pointers made/game (1.8, 7th) and assist/turnover ratio (1.54, 8th).