VALPARAISO | Valparaiso will be looking toward the future when Columbia comes to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Tuesday in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew confirmed that seniors Bobby Capobianco and Jordan Coleman will be unavailable for the duration of the tournament.
Capobianco received a cortisone shot prior to the start of the Horizon League tournament and will be sidelined with a variety of injuries. Coleman will be focusing on academics as he prepares for graduation in May.
Neither senior practiced with their teammates Wednesday night when the Crusaders returned to campus following several days off after losing to Milwaukee in the Horizon League tournament.
“We’re treating it like a new season right now,” Drew said of Valparaiso’s preparation for the CIT. “This is a fresh start and we’re looking to build for the start of the 2014-15 season.”
Coleman’s absence will allow more minutes for Triton product Clay Yeo. The freshman averaged just 12.3 minutes per game this season and only 7.8 minutes in conference play. Yeo showed positive flashes in a late-season game against Oakland, shutting down Travis Bader and hitting the game-winning 3-pointer.
The Crusaders don’t have a direct replacement for Capobianco on the roster. Fellow big man David Chadwick has been slowed by a lower- body injury during the second half of the season and his availability for the CIT is questionable.
While Capobianco and Coleman won’t play in the tournament, seniors Lavonte Dority and Moussa Gueye will suit up. Dority said he was eager to get back on the court following last week’s disappointing loss to the Panthers.
“This means everything to still be able to be playing,” Dority said. “We want to win this thing. We want to go out the right way. This is important to us.”