Exhibition Game No. 1
Valparaiso 69, Hillsdale 60
Game Ball -- Valparaiso's Alec Peters couldn't have scripted a better debut. The freshman had 17 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 24 minutes. Peters began his collegiate career by tipping a pass on the first possession of the game and nearly saving the ball while diving out-of-bounds. Peters found his shooting touch in the second half, knocking down three 3-pointers, including two highlight shots. The Peoria native hit a shot with a defender directly in his face and then drilled another just before the shot clock expired. As Will Bogan said during the radio broadcast of the game "I'm not sure this is unbelievable, I think this is what we're going to see from him every night. We may have a diaper dandy on our hands here."
Air Ball -- The NCAA made several rule changes for this season while are designed to increase scoring and limit defensive physicality. Both players/coaches and officials are learning how to implement the new rules and what resulted on Saturday night was a foul fest for the first 20 minutes of the game. Calls that would've clearly been offensive fouls last season were called on the defense and the game never got into a rhythm as the officials couldn't get out of their own way. I almost felt like I was watching the fourth quarter of a NBA game.
Quotable -- "It was right in front of me and I was about to say 'Bad shot,' but then he got it. It's his first game and I'm still learning what a bad shot is for him." -- Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew on Alec Peters' second half 3-pointer which gave the Crusaders a 51-44 lead. Peters took the shot with a Hillsdale defender directly in his face.
Medical Report -- Bobby Capobianco played just eight minutes on Saturday night as the senior is dealing with a lingering knee issue. Capobianco took a hard fall midway through the first half and Drew made the decision to sit him for the rest of the night. Vashil Fernandez flipped over a Hillsdale player late in the game and landed hard on his back while his wrist took the brunt of the injury. Drew didn't have any word on the severity in the postgame press conference. Fernandez did leap to his feet and walk off the court under his own power.
Next Up -- The Crusaders will return to the hardwood next Saturday in their exhibition finale against Robert Morris. Valparaiso's regular-season debut is on Friday, Nov. 8 against Murray State at the Athletics-Recreation Center.