RSSInside VU Sports
With Moussa Gueye seemingly the final piece of the puzzle for the 2013-14 Valparaiso men's basketball team, we can now look at a projected depth chart for the Crusaders.
Gueye represents the final scholarship provided the rest of the team returns. As I noted yesterday, the Crusaders have had a player prematurely leave the program every year since 2001.
Let's take a look at a very early projection for the depth chart.
Center -- Moussa Gueye, Vashil Fernandez, David Chadwick
Power Forward -- Bobby Capobianco, Jubril Adekoya
Bryce Drew made some national waves on Wednesday evening when he announced the addition of Alabama transfer Moussa Gueye.
Gueye's name should be familiar to any diehard Valparaiso basketball fan, as the Senegal native once gave a verbal commitment (more on that later) to the Crusaders before taking his talents to Alabama.
Gueye wasn't what you'd call a superstar for the Crimson Tide, but his shot blocking prowess is enough to turn some heads. The seven-foot center shot well under 40 percent from the floor at Alabama, but Drew has expressed optimism that Gueye's offense will improve.
So just what should fans expect with the addition of Gueye?
Drew is getting a one-year rental that could completely alter the interior defense, allowing Bobby Capobianco to play power forward, and the Crusaders to field a much larger lineup than they have in years past. Drew could also be getting a player that doesn't fit in, is only interested in a pro contract and could be a season-long disaster. I think the chances that Gueye is a disruption are the same as the chances he scores 20 points a game. The truth will be somewhere in the middle.
Months of speculation and rumors were finally put to rest this week when Oakland officially accepted a bid to join the Horizon League. The news didn't move the needle all that much on the national stage, given that Davidson accepted a bid to the Atlantic 10 on the same day (that didn't move the needle much either), but it's still noteworthy.
It's my opinion that the Horizon League is a better basketball conference today than it was at the end of the season.
While I've been silently clamoring for Oakland to join the conference since Butler left last summer, not everyone has shared my view. As soon as the rumors began, my Twitter feed/text messages have shown a split as to whether or not Valparaiso fans have been accepting of Oakland.
One common theme has been that by adding Oakland, the Horizon League does nothing to expand its footprint. Yes, that is accurate. No, I don't think it's relevant.
The Horizon League is a great conference, but this isn't the Big Ten we're talking about. The Horizon League is what it is: a collection of Midwest schools that generally are not the biggest draw in their market; while still delivering an exciting brand of basketball.
Despite various reports that Loyola (Ill.) is set to join the Missouri Valley Conference later this week, Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone stayed quiet on the topic as well as other possible realignment plans on Monday morning.
"I couldn't say anything about that," LeCrone said. "If they have an announcement, then we will have a statement at that time."
Multiple reports had UIC heading to the MVC last week only to lose traction as it appears the Ramblers will leave the Horizon League instead. It has been rumored that the Horizon League has selected Oakland to join the league as early as next year, yet another topic that LeCrone avoided.
"Typically people in the know don't say anything and the people that talk quite a bit don't know what is happening," LeCrone said.
LeCrone has long stated that the Horizon League would handle all realignment discussions internally and would have an announcement once something was imminent.
Milo Stovall went through a range of emotions when the sophomore guard saw Valparaiso’s name appear on the screen during the 2000 NCAA Selection Show.
Stovall was thrilled to be playing in Valparaiso’s fifth straight NCAA tournament, but the Michigan native cringed when he saw the Crusaders’ seed as well as their opponent.
“We were projected as a 15, maybe even a 14, but then it was a 16 and it was like there was no way possible that could happen,” Stovall said on Sunday night. “Then it pops up that we’re playing Michigan State and my first thought was excitement because I always wanted to play those guys…then reality set in.”
The reality was that Michigan State was one of the best teams in the country coming into the tournament and the Spartans ran the Crusaders out of Cleveland with a 65-38 first-round victory on their way to an eventual national championship.
“We knew the game wasn’t in East Lansing, it was going to be (on a neutral court) in Cleveland, but they were one of the best out there and they were playing like it,” Stovall said. “We knew right away that it was going to be a war.”
Read the Times' Storify of the Crusaders' tourney title win.
Ryan Broekhoff’s shot was literally heard around the world on Saturday night.
The national media (and this hack as well) had a field day comparing Broekhoff’s buzzer-beating miracle with “The Shot,” especially given that Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew ended up in the same position on the floor that he was in 15 years ago.
Drew’s shot is undoubtedly the biggest in school history and Broekhoff’s is arguably No. 2, especially if the Crusaders can make it back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years on Tuesday night. Still, there have been other buzzer-beaters that have stood out over the years.
Kevin Van Wijk beat the clock to force overtime against Kent State this season and Erik Buggs went coast-to-coast to beat Detroit last year. Howard Little beat the shot clock two years ago late in overtime against Butler and Brandon McPherson had the New Year’s Eve Miracle against Milwaukee in 2009.
The Mid-Con Era also saw some key buzzer-beating moments, including Greg Tonagel hitting a 77-foot 3-pointer to beat Belmont in 1999 and Ivan Vujic hitting a layup to beat Oral Roberts in 2000. Shawn Huff hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 18 seconds to force overtime against Oral Roberts in 2007 and then hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just over two minutes remaining.
First up, here is the link to the much shorter print story about Ryan Broekhoff's journey from young freshman to Valparaiso star.
I can still remember a mid-November afternoon in 2008 when I scoured the internet searching for an international phone card. I'd heard rumor of a talented Australian player giving a verbal commitment to the Valparaiso men's basketball team and I wanted to figure out just who this Ryan Broekhoff character was.
It took me an hour to find a reliable phone card and then took me three tries to get Marty Clarke on the phone from the Australian Institute of Sport.
Clarke had glowing (yet realistic) things to say about Broekhoff. One quote stood out in my mind and it was one that I included in my initial story on Broekhoff's signing.
ESPN put the final nail in the coffin of its annual mid-major love fest on Tuesday morning, announcing that this will be the final season of the BracketBuster event.
The event started in 2002-03 and promised exposure for mid-major programs that had a chance to bust brackets in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Personally, I always thought the event was shrewd way for the higher-ups to ensure that half the talented mid-major teams lost a game late in the season, which would ultimately tarnish their resumes.
The BracketBuster event has had some ups-and-downs as far as Valparaiso is concerned. With just one more game to be held in the event, here is a look back at Valparaiso's eight BracketBuster games in order of relevance.
8. Feb. 20, 2010 -- at Bowling Green L 87-70
How much difference a year makes. Cameron Witt went from starting the BracketBuster game in 2009 to playing just one minute against Bowling Green. Brandon McPherson had 16 points and seven assists, but the Crusaders had 18 turnovers and trailed 49-24 at halftime.
Valparaiso men's basketball coach Bryce Drew finally was able to insert Bobby Capobianco (hernia) into the rotation this weekend and the Crusaders are likely three weeks away from gaining the services of point guard Lavonte Dority. Once Dority is eligible, and provided there are no more injuries, Drew will finally have a complete squad.
The question will be how the minutes get distributed and, more importantly, what positions will players be at on the floor. Here is my breakdown on what I think we'll see by the time Horizon League play begins in January.
Erik Buggs has been much improved this season at the charity stripe (75 percent) and he is in many ways, the heart-and-soul of the Valparaiso basketball team. He's the veteran and has been career starter since he arrived in 2008. Buggs won't lose his starting role to Dority, but the backup point guard position will be greatly elevated when the South Florida transfer becomes eligible. Will Bogan has played the second most minutes on the team this season (170) and has been forced to play out of position as the backup floor general. Bogan is a very capable basketball player, but he's been given the point guard responsibilities almost by default. He's a company line guy, but I'd think Bogan would be eager to return to his full-time role as a shooting guard, even if that meant less overall minutes.
Follow The Times
We understand that accidents happen, and that's why we do our …
In business for over 42 years, we have the expertise to get yo…
Serving All North West Indiana.
PLH Financial is locally owned and family operated.
Paul Oren is a beat reporter for Valparaiso University as well as various high school sports throughout the Region. He has covered NCAA tournaments in basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, along with numerous IHSAA state championship events.
- Petal Talk with Jean Starr
- NWI TweetUp
- BBQ and the Works
- Blog NWI
- Midwestern Literature
- Jeff Eriks' Small Business & Construction Blog
- How to Publish a Book of Blues. Hopefully.
- Daltons Briefs
- Dave Woodson: Real Estate, Mortgage and Tech
- Mad Mortgage Machine
- Kathy Sipple: My Social Media Coach
- Josh Walker: Deconstruction Theory
- Hammond Ramblings
- Digital Lifestyles the Linux Way
- Marketing Blueprint
- Northwest Indiana Politics
- Gardening: Kiss My Aster
- Kevin Tracy and his most excellent contributors
- Blue County in a Red State
- The Valpo Core
- Northwest Indiana Blogs
- Northwest Indiana Pundit
- Beyond The Region
- Clair Boone: Mummy Deals
- One Nerve Left
- David Tamez
- Mystified in the Middle East
Calling all bloggers
Are you a local blogger? Want to get noticed? Email us your URL/feed information to be included on our Northwest Indiana blogroll.
Should all Indiana judges be chosen by a merit commission, the way they are in Lake and St. Joseph counties?
- LIVE: RailCats vs. Wingnuts in first early game of the season10 hours ago
- PREP BASEBALL: Roosevelt forfeits sectional game before postseason begins12 hours ago
- FIRST PITCH: Opening day, Michelle FieldsMay 16, 2013 7:30 pm
- LIVE: RailCats season opener vs. Lincoln SaltdogsMay 16, 2013 4:30 pm