Monday, March 04, 2013
Four members of the Horizon League regular season champion Valparaiso Crusaders were honored Monday as the league announced its postseason awards. Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) repeated as a First Team All-League selection, while Kevin Van Wijk (Hoofddorp, Netherlands/Katholieke Scholengemeenschap Hoofddorp) was a Second Team All-League pick. LaVonte Dority (Chicago, Ill./Foreman [USF]) was tabbed the Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year, and Erik Buggs (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) earned a spot on the league's All-Defensive Team.
Broekhoff was selected to the First Team for a second consecutive year after another standout campaign in leading the Crusaders to their second straight regular season crown. The senior finished the regular season among the league's top-three in six traditional statistical categories: scoring (3rd, 15.9 ppg), rebounding (2nd, 7.5 rpg), free throw pct. (1st, .879), 3-point pct. (2nd, .434), 3-pointers/game (2nd, 2.5) and defensive rebounding (1st, 6.2 drpg). The four-time Horizon League Player of the Week scored in double figures in 15 of Valpo's 16 HL games and grabbed at least six rebounds in 12 of the 16 league contests. Broekhoff also led the Horizon League in plus/minus within league-only play, as Valpo out-scored opponents at the rate of 14.49 points per 40 minutes with him on the court, while it was out-scored at the rate of 12.89 points per 40 minutes with him on the bench.
Van Wijk earned a spot on the league's Second Team one season after earning First Team All-League accolades. The senior ranks eighth in the nation and leads the league in field goal percentage (64.8%) while averaging 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Van Wijk increased his efficiency within league play, hitting at a 69.5% clip from the floor to set a new Horizon League record for single-season FG% in league-only action. Van Wijk, who became the 32nd player in Crusader history to reach 1,000 career points in the regular season finale, scored in double figures in 12 of Valpo's 16 Horizon League games.
Dority becomes the second Crusader to earn Sixth Man of the Year honors from the Horizon League, joining Jarryd Loyd, who earned the accolade for the 2007-08 campaign. The junior came off the bench in 18 of his 22 appearances after becoming eligible in mid-December, averaging 9.5 points per game. Dority scored in double figures on nine occasions and was one of Valpo's top free throw shooters, hitting 82.7% from the charity stripe.
Buggs is the first Valpo player to be named to the Horizon League's All-Defensive Team since the Crusaders joined the league in 2007-08. The fifth-year senior finished sixth overall (1.5 spg) and fifth in league-only play (1.8 spg) in steals this year. His 45 steals on the season are just five shy of Valpo's single-season top-10, while Buggs also moved into the Crusaders' career top-10 in the category earlier this year. The Crusaders' defense within league play was nearly eight points per 40 minutes better with Buggs on the court than when he was on the bench.