Tuesday, November 8, 2016

News On The Horizon 11/8/2016

Top 10 mid-major teams heading into 2016-17--USA Today
No. 10 Valparaiso (Horizon)

The Crusaders lost their coach, Bryce Drew, to Vanderbilt, but bring back perhaps their biggest piece to making a deep March run in All-America-caliber big man Alec Peters (18.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg), who bypassed the NBA to stay for his senior season. His return doesn’t make Valpo the clear-cut favorite in the Horizon, as many challengers — including Green Bay — figure to make things interesting. Coach Matt Lottich, who was promoted from Drew’s staff, has a linchpin in Peters to keep Valpo in the mix.

Others considered: Akron, Illinois State, Missouri State, Brigham Young, Long Beach State, Chattanooga, Belmont, Green Bay, Eastern Michigan, Tennessee State.
HoriZone Roundtable Season 2, Episode 1: No Media Day? No Problem!--PantherU
HoriZone Roundtable Season 2, Episode 2: Warming Up--PantherU
HLeagueHoops: Top 21 Players Countdown (#’s 15-11)--HLeagueHoops.com
Vikings Race to 89-67 Win Over Tiffin in Exhibition--csuvikings.com
Pistons’ Ray McCallum says he’ll use D-League as motivation--Detroit Free Press
Detroit Mercy drops drops exhibition to Ferris St.; Oakland tops GVSU--Detroit Free Press
Tip-Off Week For Titan Basketball--detroittitans.com
Titans Drop Monday Exhibition--detroittitans.com

Titans to Host Canned Good Drive for Nov. 21 Home Opener--detroittitans.com
Walker leads Oakland men to 30-point exhibition win over Grand Valley--Oakland Press
Working out the kinks--Whoosh! Net
Phoenix by position - Wing (Small forward)--Phear The Phoenix

Gillespie says she's happy at UWGB--Green Bay Press Gazette

UWGB women ready for title defense--Green Bay Press Gazette
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel To Televise 12 Milwaukee Basketball Games--mkepanthers.com

Panthers Kick Off 2016-17 Season Monday--mkepanthers.com
Milwaukee Women Impressive In Lone Exhibition Contest--mkepanthers.com
O26 At-Large Watch: Early Season Games With Late Season Impact--Rush The Court
#23 Rhode Island at Valparaiso – November 29, 8:00 PM EST. Rhode Island should have several opportunities to prove itself this season, including a bout with Cincinnati on November 19, so a win here might not be necessary. For Valparaiso, this game — which it won at Rhode Island last year — may be essential. If the Crusaders beat the Rams, knock off Alabama and BYU in the MGM Main Event, then roll through their Horizon League schedule — all legitimate possibilities — they could have nearly 30 wins come Selection Sunday. That may be hard for the committee to pass up, especially with a potential March star, Alec Peters, leading the way. Expect this game to be a defensive grinder.
Lute Olson Award Watch List announced--College Basketball Talk
On Monday, the Lute Olson Watch list was announced.

The Lute Olson Award is named after the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, who won 776 games Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona. He took the Hawkeyes to a Final Four in 1980 and the Wildcats to four more, including a national championship title in 1997.

The annual honors goes to the best college basketball player who has played at least two seasons.
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
The Lute Olson Award, which began during the 2009-10 season, was won by Michigan State senior forward Denzel Valentine last season. Creighton’s Doug McDermott earned the honors twice.

The winner for the 2016-17 season will be announced on April 31. Here are the nominees.
Mid-major players who could become Cinderella stars--USA Today
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Valparaiso forward Alec Peters makes the Crusaders the favorite to win the Horizon League. (Photo: Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)

The 6-9 Peters (18.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg) bypassed the NBA and returns as one of the country's best big men. The only problem is he comes back to a somewhat depleted roster, including former coach Bryce Drew departing for Vanderbilt. No matter. The Crusaders won 58 games in two seasons with Peters the focal point of the offense. The reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, Peters gives first-year coach Matt Lottich a centerpiece other players can thrive around. The key — in Valpo's success and Peters impressing NBA scouts — is getting to the big stage, which is never easy in mid-major hoops. Green Bay stole the Crusaders' auto bid last season, so peaking in March should will be key.
Bracketology: Preseason 1-68 seed list for projected NCAA Tournament bracket--CBS Sports
39. Valparaiso Crusaders

Bryce Drew is gone to Vanderbilt and former assistant and Stanford star Matt Lottich takes his place. Most important though, Alec Peters is back.
Mid-major draft prospects to watch in 2016-17--Mid-Major Madness
Alec Peters, Valparaiso, Sr., F, 6’9

Ranking: DraftExpress #49, Nbadraft.net #47
The Skinny: Peters decision to not transfer after Bryce Drew’s departure keeps the Crusaders among the Horizon League elite. He’s a sharpshooting big (44.0% on 209 three point attempts) that still contributes down low (19.5% defensive rebounding rate). Plenty of NBA teams will be interested in that high demand skill set.
Big Test: Facing Oregon’s athletes (Nov. 17, Valpo @ Oregon) is merely a tuneup for the NBA talent Peters will play against at Rupp Arena (Dec. 7, Valpo @ Kentucky).
Lexus Williams, Valparaiso win exhibition game in Matt Lottich's debut--Post-Tribune
UPDATE: Crusaders dominate in lone exhibition contest--NWI Times

Mix of Newcomers, Returnees Creates Fresh Energy for Women’s Basketball--valpoathletics.com
@NKUNorseWBB hosts Berea College in Election Day exhibition--nkunorse.com
Raiders Handle Business in Exhibition Game against Cedarville--The Guardian
Home openers for YSU are set--Youngstown Vindicator

YSU to have host of players fill Arbanas’ spot--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Interview with LaVall Jordan--The Horizon League
Interview with Jerry Slocum--The Horizon League

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