Valparaiso (17-14, 9-7 Horizon)
First Round - HL Championship - Tuesday, Mar. 4 - 7:05 p.m.
UIC (6-24, 1-15 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso opens defense of its Horizon League Championship at the ARC on Tuesday evening at 7:05 p.m. with a first round game against UIC. The Crusaders earned the fourth seed for the tournament after finishing 9-7 in league play this year, while the Flames are the tournament’s ninth seed.
Last Time Out: The Valparaiso men’s basketball team was unable to capture a Senior Day victory on Saturday afternoon at the ARC, falling to Cleveland State, 63-52. The Crusaders held a four-point lead late in the first half, but a 24-7 run by the Vikings spanning the two periods gave them a double-digit lead for good. Lavonte Dority led the Valpo effort with 13 points.
Following the Crusaders: Audio - Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WJOB, 1230 AM, Hammond) - Todd Ickow (PxP) and David Huseman (Color)
Video - Horizon League Network
Links for the live audio and video, as well as live stats, will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Bryce Drew: Bryce Drew (65-34) is in his third season at the helm of the Valparaiso men’s basketball program in 2013-14. Over his first two-plus seasons, Drew has led the Crusaders to 65 victories, including a school-record 26 last season, as well as two Horizon League regular season titles and one tournament championship. The 2012 HL Coach of the Year, Drew ascended to the head coaching position on May 17, 2011 after spending six seasons as an assistant and associate head coach with the Crusaders.
Series Notes: UIC leads the all-time series against the Crusaders, 29-20, but Valpo owns a 11-3 advantage in the series since joining the Horizon League. In fact, the Crusaders have won ten consecutive meetings with the Flames and haven’t lost to UIC since February of 2009. This season, Valpo earned a pair of wins - an 87-72 victory at the ARC and a 70-46 win in Chicago. Lavonte Dority averaged 23.5 ppg in the two victories, including a career-best 33 points in the win at UIC.
...and the @HorizonLeague
- @ValpoBasketball won the #HLMBB regular season title each of the last two years and claimed the tournament title last year.
- The Crusaders were picked to finish in sixth place in the league standings in 2013-14 in preseason polling, finishing two spots above the projection.
...looking back at last year
- @ValpoBasketball won its first #HLMBB tournament championship last year and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.
- The Crusaders claimed their second straight Horizon League regular season title in 2012-13, going 13-3 in league play.
- Valpo earned a 14 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Michigan State in second round action, 65-54.
- The Crusaders set new program records for total wins (26), home wins (16) and Division I true road wins (10) last year.
...at the ARC
- @ValpoBasketball went 11-5 during the regular season at the ARC.
- Over the last 19+ years, @ValpoBasketball owns a 232-54 (.811) record on its home court.
- Three @ValpoBasketball players earned postseason recognition as the #HLMBB awards were announced Monday.
- Lavonte Dority, last year’s #HLMBB Sixth Man of the Year, was a First Team All-League honoree.
- Dority’s selection marks the fourth straight year the Crusaders have had at least one First Team selection.
- Alec Peters and Lexus Williams were both named to the league’s All-Freshman Team.
The Tournament Road
- @ValpoBasketball will have to win four games in a row to capture a second consecutive league tournament title.
- With a win Tuesday, the Crusaders would advance to Green Bay to face either #5 Milwaukee or #8 Detroit on Friday in second round action.
- The winner of that game will face the top-seeded Phoenix Saturday night for the right to advance to the championship game.
- Two of the last five #HLMBB champions have had to win four straight games to claim the tournament crown.
All Time in the #HLMBB Championship
- @ValpoBasketball is 7-5 in the #HLMBB Championship since joining the league for the 2007-08 campaign.
- The Crusaders have twice advanced to the semis when having to play in the first round, including in 2011 in their only prior appearance as the #4 seed.
- Tuesday is the fifth time Valpo will play in the first round, including the fourth home game for the Crusaders in the opening round.
- This marks the first time Valpo has faced UIC in the #HLMBB Championship, leaving Oakland as the only current league school it hasn’t faced.
Easy as 1-2-3
- While the old adage says it’s tough to beat a team three times in one season, that hasn’t been the case for @ValpoBasketball over the years.
- The Crusaders are 3-1 under Bryce Drew when facing a team for the third time that they have already beaten twice.
- In fact, Tuesday’s game marks the fifth time in as many #HLMBB Championship games under Drew that Valpo will face a team it is 2-0 against.
- Going back further, over the last 20 years, the Crusaders hold a 19-3 record when looking for their third win of the year against a team.
Securing a Winning Season
- Valpo’s win over YSU three games back secured a winning season for the Crusaders in 2013-2014.
- This marks the fourth consecutive season the Crusaders have finished above .500 and the 18th time in the last 22 years.
- Valpo also finished better than .500 (9-7) in #HLMBB play for the fifth straight year - the league’s longest active streak.
Dority in Wins vs. Losses
- Lavonte Dority’s numbers showed a significant difference in the Crusaders’ #HLMBB wins versus their league losses.
- In Valpo’s nine league wins, Dority scored 21.3 ppg on 51.4% shooting and is averaging 5.0 3-point attempts and 7.6 FT attempts per game.
- Meanwhile, in seven league losses, he scored just 11.0 ppg on 36.9% shooting and averaged just 3.3 3-point attempts and 3.0 FT attempts per game.
- Thanks to the prowess of Moussa Gueye and Vashil Fernandez, @ValpoBasketball has set a program record for blocked shots in a season.
- The Crusaders broke the previous record at Green Bay and now own 160 blocks on the season.
- Both Fernandez (at UIC) and Gueye (Oakland) have matched the program’s single-game blocks record of 7 in the past few weeks.
- Gueye has blocked 62 shots this year, good for second in the Horizon League and third on Valpo’s single-season chart.
- Gueye became just the second player in program history to block 60+ shots in a season, joining Raitis Grafs, who did it twice.
- Fernandez is third in the league in blocks and sixth on Valpo’s single-season chart with 55 rejections.
- Fernandez and Gueye are the first duo in program history to both block at least 50 shots in the same season.
- Alec Peters has put together one of the best rookie seasons by a @ValpoBasketball freshman in quite some time.
- Peters is on pace to become the first Crusader freshman to start every game since Lubos Barton and Milo Stovall did so in 1998-99.
- The All-Freshman Team honoree is playing 28.9 minutes per game as well, right on pace with Barton (28.6 mpg) and Stovall (29.6 mpg).
- Peters has scored 372 points (12.0 ppg), the highest mark since Barton, who scored 441 points (13.8 ppg) during his freshman year.
- Peters has grabbed 146 rebounds (4.7 rpg), the most by a Crusader rookie since Raitis Grafs [1999-2000] grabbed 184 boards (5.8 rpg).
Drew Gets New Contract, Sees Jersey Retired
- @ValpoBasketball announced in December that it had reached an agreement with Bryce Drew on a new, 10-year contract.
- The deal would keep Drew as the Crusaders’ head coach through the 2022-23 campaign.
- Drew is one of just three coaches in #HLMBB history to win regular season titles in each of their first two seasons as a head coach.
- Drew currently sits as the fourth-winningest coach in #HLMBB history in terms of career winning percentage as well.
- Then, in late January, the #24 jersey became the first in Crusader history to be retired, in honor of both Drew and Bruce Lindner.
Mixing and Matching Lineups
- @ValpoBasketball has started seven different lineups this year, breaking from their starting lineup of the last 12 games in the regular season finale.
- The Crusaders used a lineup with all four seniors - Capobianco, Coleman, Dority and Gueye - along with Peters on Senior Day vs. Cleveland State.
- 10 of the 12 players on the Crusaders’ roster have started at least one game this season, including four of five freshmen.
- Dority and Peters have started all 31 games to date for Valpo.
- This year’s roster had just five combined starts in a Crusader uniform entering the season - Dority (4) and Capobianco (1).
Freshmen Getting Minutes
- Valpo’s five freshmen have combined for 41.8% of the Crusaders’ total minutes played so far this season.
- Three of the five (Jubril Adekoya, Alec Peters, Lexus Williams) have played every game and are averaging at least 19 mpg, while Clay Yeo is averaging 12.5 mpg in 26 games.
Reloading This Year
- @ValpoBasketball entered this season with eight newcomers after losing seven players, including six seniors, from last year’s team.
- In all, only 22.8% of the scoring, 27.3% of the rebounding and 24.2% of the minutes played from last year’s squad returned in 2013-14.
- Only four players on this year’s roster played for the Crusaders prior to this season, and all played just last year at Valpo.
- The 8 newcomers include 5 freshmen and 3 transfers - one eligible immediately, one eligible after sitting out and one who became eligible in Dec.
- This marks the first time in the last three seasons that the Crusaders have had a true freshman play for them.
In the Crusaders’ Future...
- Valpo inked a pair of Canadian guards to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.
- Max Joseph and Tevonn Walker are currently teammates at Vanier College in the St. Laurent borough of Montreal, Quebec.
- Walker was a First Team All-RSEQ All-Star last season after averaging 16.4 ppg, while Joseph is in his first year at the school.
- Walker has been ranked among the top-10 nationally in his class by Hoopstars Canada and North Pole Hoops, while Joseph has been ranked 22nd by NPH.
- UIC enters Tuesday’s first round game 6-24 overall this year and with a 1-15 record in #HLMBB play.
- The Flames earned their lone league win two games back at Milwaukee (80-58) and played Wright State down to the wire in the regular season finale before falling 68-61.
- Fifth-year senior Kelsey Barlow leads UIC in both scoring (14.9 ppg) and assists (4.0 apg).
- Bryce Drew is in his third season as head coach of @ValpoBasketball and is in his ninth season overall on the coaching staff.
- Last season, Drew guided Valpo to its second straight regular season title, its first tournament title and a school record 26 wins.
- Drew was named #HLMBB Coach of the Year in 2011-12 in his first season as head coach.
- Drew was the first Crusader men’s basketball Coach of the Year since 2001-02, when dad Homer won the honor in the Mid-Con.
- Drew led the Crusaders to 22 wins and the Horizon League regular season title in his first year at the helm.
- Prior to coaching, Drew spent seven seasons playing professionally, including six seasons in the NBA.
- Drew was a two-time Mid-Con MVP in his playing days with Valparaiso, helping the team to three NCAA tournament appearances.
- Drew hit “The Shot”, a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament, to lift the Crusaders over Ole Miss.
- “The Shot” was named one of the top-35 All-Time Madness Moments by the NCAA as part of the celebration of 75 Years of March Madness.
- Bryce is the third member of the Drew family to serve as head coach of @ValpoBasketball.
- Father Homer was head coach from 1988-2002, and then returned to lead Valpo from 2003-11.
- Brother Scott (current head coach of @BaylorMBB) led the Crusaders during the 2002-03 season after nine seasons as an assistant under Homer.
- A Drew has been at the helm of the Crusaders for the last 25 years. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- The Drew family has combined to lead @ValpoBasketball to 456 victories and 11 postseason appearances. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- Overall, the trio of Drews owns 922 collegiate victories over a combined 45+ seasons of head coaching. #DrewFamilyDynasty
- @ValpoBasketball boasts one of the nation’s highest-scoring staffs, as a trio of coaches combined for 4,211 points during their D-I careers.
- The Crusaders’ coaching staff ranks fifth in the nation for most points scored on the Division I level as players.
- Head coach Bryce Drew scored 2,142 points during his four-year career with the Crusaders.
- Assistant coach Roger Powell Jr. tallied 1,178 points during his four-year career with Illinois.
- Assistant coach Matt Lottich poured in 891 points over his four-year career at Stanford.
- Assistant coach Luke Gore also played collegiately at NAIA Bethel [Tenn.] College.
- Dority led the Crusaders in scoring for the 16th time this season in the regular season finale vs. Cleveland State.
- Dority set a new career best in the win at UIC, scoring 33 points (10-15 FG, 5-6 3PT, 8-10 FT), including 22 in the first half.
- Dority continued his strong play in the win over Green Bay, scoring 26 points on 9-12 FG (2-3 3PT) and 6-6 FT.
- Dority earned his second #HLMBB Player of the Week award in a three-week span for his games against GB and UIC.
- Dority made it back-to-back 27-point efforts in the win at YSU, going 8-12 FG (3-4 3PT) and 8-8 FT.
- Dority earned #HLMBB Player of the Week honors for his efforts in Valpo’s two wins at Detroit and against Milwaukee.
- Dority scored 19 of his 27 points in the first half of Valpo’s win over Milwaukee, helping the Crusaders to a 10-point halftime lead.
- Dority scored 20 points, including 13-of-16 shooting from the foul line, in the win at Detroit.
- Dority tied for game-high honors against Saint Louis with 21 points, including the game-tying layup with 3.8 seconds to play.
- Dority played 52 minutes in the 3OT game vs. Mercer, setting a then career-high with 31 points (7-14 FG; 14-15 FT) to go with 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
- Dority was named the Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year last year.
- Dority appeared in each of Valpo’s last 25 games after becoming eligible last season, averaging 8.6 ppg, third-most on the team.
- Dority was named Horizon League Newcomer of the Week following a 20-point game at Missouri State in his Crusader debut.
- Dority transferred to Valpo from South Florida, where he appeared in 35 games, at the semester break in 2011-12.
- Capobianco hit two late 3-pointers, including the eventual game-winner inside the final minute, against Youngstown St.
- Capobianco narrowly missed a double-double in the home win over Oakland, tallying 10 points and nine rebounds (six offensive).
- Capobianco scored 10 points, including 8-of-10 from the foul line, in 21 minutes off the bench in the Crusaders’ win at Detroit.
- Capobianco tallied 14 points and eight rebounds Dec. 7 against Saint Louis.
- Capobianco played 38 minutes off the bench in the 3OT game vs. Mercer, posting a double-double with a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds.
- Capobianco totaled 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in the Crusaders’ home win over UCF.
- Capobianco enters his senior year after averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last year in his first season as a Crusader.
- Capobianco traveled with an Athletes in Action squad to Jamaica this past summer.
- Capobianco shot at a 55.1% clip from the field and scored in double figures six times last season.
- Capobianco was twice named Horizon League Newcomer of the Week.
- Capobianco played his first two seasons at Indiana and sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring to Valpo.
- Coleman posted his first career double-double in the win at Milwaukee, scoring 14 points and grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds.
- Coleman led the Crusaders in scoring for the fourth time this year with 10 points against Wright State.
- Coleman returned to the starting lineup with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists in the win over UIC.
- Coleman scored in double figures each of Valpo’s first seven games, ending the streak with a 15-point effort in the win over UCF.
- Coleman came off the bench against James Madison and went 6-of-7 from the floor, matching his career high with 16 points.
- Coleman led Valpo at Illinois with 15 points and eight rebounds.
- Coleman set a new career high with 16 points in season-opening win over Murray State, including a perfect 8-of-8 effort from the foul line.
- Coleman appeared in 29 games off the bench in his first season as a Crusader, averaging 14.9 minutes and 4.4 points per game.
- Coleman scored a season-high 15 points in his Crusader debut against Georgia Southern.
- Coleman was an All-Conference selection for SWIC during the 2011-12 season, finishing second on the team with 10.2 ppg.
- Coleman started his collegiate career as a freshman at Hawai’i.
- Fernandez was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, scoring 10 points to go with five rebounds and three blocks at Wright State.
- Fernandez tallied seven points and eight rebounds last time out in the win over Youngstown State.
- Fernandez matched a Crusader single-game record with seven blocks and also led Valpo with seven rebounds at UIC.
- Fernandez tallied his second career double-double at ETSU, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds.
- Fernandez posted his first career double-double in the win over Cincinnati Christian, tallying 11 points and 12 rebounds.
- Fernandez went 5-of-7 from the floor in a 14-point, 7-rebound effort off the bench in Valpo’s season-opening victory over Murray State.
- Fernandez played for Jamaica in its first-ever appearance at the FIBA Americas Championship in September.
- Fernandez appeared in four games, including a victory over Argentina, the world’s third-ranked team.
- Fernandez also traveled with an Athletes in Action squad to New Zealand this past August.
- Fernandez made 27 appearances off the bench last season in his first season of action, totaling 30 points and 38 rebounds.
- Fernandez made his senior international debut in the summer of 2012 for Jamaica at the FIBA Centrobasket tournament.
- Fernandez helped Jamaica to a 3rd place finish, its best ever at Centrobasket.
- Gueye went for five points, five rebounds and five blocks at Green Bay.
- Gueye set a new career high, matching the Crusader program record with seven blocked shots in the home win over Oakland.
- Gueye also scored nine points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in the victory over the Grizzlies.
- Gueye scored a career-high 11 points in the win at YSU, hitting all five of his free throw attempts and also grabbing six boards.
- Gueye registered a career-high 13 rebounds to go with six points and four blocked shots Dec. 7 against Saint Louis.
- Gueye scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 10 points in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Gueye is eligible to play immediately at Valpo as a fifth-year senior after earning his bachelor’s degree from Alabama.
- Gueye started 27 games as a junior last season for the Crimson Tide, helping Alabama to 23 wins and a spot in the NIT quarterfinals.
- Gueye averaged 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, and posted 1.9 blocks per game within SEC play, ranking third in the league.
- Gueye appeared in 12 games for Alabama as a sophomore in 2011-12 after recovering from an offseason injury.
- Gueye, a consensus pick as one of the top JuCo centers in the nation, was Conference Freshman of the Year at Lake Land [Ill.] College in 2009-10.
- Chadwick started the second half at ETSU and played eight minutes, finishing with two points and three rebounds.
- Chadwick tallied seven points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes in the win over Southeastern.
- Chadwick paced the Crusaders in scoring after missing four games, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win over CCU.
- Chadwick scored nine points off the bench in the win over North Park.
- Chadwick is eligible to play this season after sitting out last year as a transfer from Rice, and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
- Chadwick traveled with an Athletes in Action squad on a tour of Lithuania this past summer.
- Chadwick appeared in 52 games over his two seasons at Rice.
- Chadwick was a starter at Hargrave Military Academy for a squad which reached the #1 ranking nationally.
- Adekoya tied for team-high honors with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting at Green Bay.
- Adekoya hit all five of his 2-point attempts in a 12-point, 5-rebound effort in the home win over Green Bay.
- Adekoya scored a career-best 13 points and added five rebounds in the win at YSU.
- Adekoya narrowly missed a double-double in the win at Detroit, posting 11 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes.
- Adekoya picked up a career-high four steals, all in the first half, at Oakland.
- Adekoya scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting at UCF.
- Adekoya set a new career high with 12 points and also led the Crusaders with eight boards in the win at Ball State.
- Adekoya tallied seven points and eight rebounds in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Adekoya knocked down all four of his field goal attempts for 11 points in a win over North Park.
- Adekoya was a Third Team All-State honoree as a senior at Andrew [Ill.] H.S.
- Adekoya finished his career with the Thunderbolts as the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounds.
- Davidson hit a pair of shots for four points in four minutes of action at Cleveland State.
- Davidson tallied seven points, including his first career 3-pointer, and handed out five assists in the win over Cincinnati Christian.
- Davidson debuted for Valpo against North Park, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds.
- Davidson was named Area Player of the Year by both the NWI Times and the Post-Tribune as a senior.
- Davidson helped Andrean [Ind.] H.S. to the regional title in 2013 as a senior.
- Peters has led the Crusaders in scoring in five of the last six games, including 22 points (8-15 FG, 5-11 3PT) in the win over YSU.
- Peters earned #HLMBB Freshman of the Week honors for the fourth time for his efforts against YSU and Green Bay (11 pts).
- Peters led Valpo in scoring in home games against Detroit (16 pts) and Oakland (13 pts).
- Peters matched his career high with 30 points in the win over LMU.
- Peters went 9-16 from the floor, including 4-7 from 3-point range, and 8-9 from the foul line.
- Peters was named #HLMBB Player of the Week by College Sports Madness and Freshman of the Week for the third time by the HL.
- Peters totaled 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 49 minutes in the triple-overtime game against Mercer.
- Peters scored 30 points at Evansville, including seven 3-pointers.
- The 30 points was the most by a Crusader freshman since Raitis Grafs scored 30 against Belmont in January of 2000.
- Peters earned his second #HLMBB Freshman of the Week honor of the season for his efforts against Evansville and JMU.
- Peters posted his first career double-double at Ohio, going for 16 points and 13 rebounds.
- Peters was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week following the opening weekend of play.
- Peters went for 12 points and tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds in the win over Murray State to open the season.
- Peters finished fifth in Illinois Mr. Basketball voting as a senior at Washington H.S.
- Peters was a two-time First Team All-State honoree and led the Panthers to a spot in the regional finals as a senior.
- Williams handed out a career-best eight assists in the home win over Green Bay.
- Williams earned #HLMBB Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 17 points, four rebounds and three assists per game in a pair of wins over Detroit and Milwaukee.
-Williams scored a career-best 22 points in the win at Detroit, going 5-of-7 from the field and 10-of-12 from the foul line.
- Williams scored 11 points, including eight in the first two minutes of the second half, in the win over UIC.
- Williams was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week Dec. 2.
- Williams tallied 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win over CCU.
- Williams scored 15 points in 51 minutes against Mercer, all of which came in the first half.
- Williams scored eight points in his Crusader debut, the season-opening win over Murray State.
- Williams was an All-Conference honoree at Marist [Ill.] H.S. as a senior.
- Williams led Marist to regional final during his final season after helping program capture the regional championship as a junior.
- Yeo was named #HLMBB Freshman of the Week Feb. 10 for his effort in the win over Oakland.
- Yeo hit a career best four 3-pointers for 12 points, including the game-winner with 7.4 seconds to play.
- Yeo’s defense in his 25 minutes limited Travis Bader to just 1-of-8 3-point shooting.
- Yeo hit three of four shots, including both of his 3-point attempts, for eight points off the bench at Cleveland State.
- Yeo scored five key second-half points to give Valpo the lead for good in the win at Detroit.
- Yeo tallied nine points and six rebounds off the bench in the win at Ball State.
- Yeo played a team-high 30 minutes in the win over CCU, totaling 11 points and five assists.
- Yeo went 6-of-8 from the floor for 15 points and also handed out a team-best five assists in win over North Park.
- Yeo was named an Indiana All-Star as a senior after earning Junior All-Star recognition the previous season.
- Yeo led Triton [Ind.] H.S. to the 1A state championship game as a senior.
- Carter tallied eight points and four assists last time out at Wright State.
- Carter set a new career best, handing out six assists in the home win over YSU.
- Carter hit a pair of key first-half 3-pointers in an eight-point effort in the win at Milwaukee.
- Carter scored all eight of his points in the final six minutes in the win at YSU.
- Carter hit all three of his field goal attempts, including two 3’s, and dished out five assists in the win over Milwaukee.
- Carter scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds at Oakland.
- Carter scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, including 13 (5-5) in the second half, in the win over UIC.
- Carter kicked off his Valpo career with eight points and five assists in the win over Southeastern.
- Carter debuted for the Crusaders in December and has three seasons of eligibility at Valpo.
- Carter transferred to Valpo from Saint Louis at the semester break last season.
- Carter was runner-up for Illinois Mr. Basketball 2012 at Proviso East H.S. to Jabari Parker.