Valparaiso had been a member of the Mid-Continent Conference for the past 25 years and now takes a step up in competition and on the basketball lines board.
NCAA basketball lines experts believe that Valparaiso could make an immediate impact in the Horizon League. This is a team that has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances and should not be discounted.
basketball lines experts see that the Crusaders return eight of last season's players including four starters who averaged over 10 points per game. NCAA basketball lines stats show that the eight returnees combined to account for 93.6 percent of the scoring and 86.6 percent of the rebounding on last year's team. Head coach Homer Drew returns for his 31st season on the sidelines. Drew currently ranks ninth among active Division I coaches in career victories with 571.
NCAA basketball lines experts see that three seniors are ready to lead the Crusaders. Forward Shawn Huff started all 31 games for Valpo a year ago according to NCAA basketball lines numbers. He posted double-figure point totals 19 times last season and broke the 20-point barrier on four occasions according to NCAA basketball lines experts. Guard Jarryd Loyd is back and he is one of Valpo's best 3-point shooters according to NCAA basketball lines stats. He has registered 262 career assists, good for 14th all-time at Valpo according to NCAA basketball lines experts. Calum MacLeod will look to try to earn a starting spot this year after receiving five starts during his first year with the Crusaders. He is a big 7-1 center that can clog the middle. Valpo's three juniors all jumped into the starting lineup last season and return according to NCAA basketball lines experts. Guard Jake Diebler started all 31 games for the Crusaders last year according to NCAA basketball lines numbers. Forward Urule Igbavboa had a breakout season last year and averaged 11.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game according to NCAA basketball lines statistics. Guard Brandon McPherson started all 31 games for Valpo last year, averaging 11.3 points and 3.3 assists per game according to basketball lines stats. Samuel Haanpaa received All-Newcomer accolades in the Mid-Continent last season and became the first Crusader freshman since Lubos Barton (1998-99) to lead Valpo in scoring, averaging 12.0 points per game according to NCAA basketball lines stats. Matt Bennett also returns. Bryan Bouchie and Benjamin Fumey will provide depth for the Crusaders in the frontcourt as freshmen. Howard Little and Mike Rogers will also look for playing time according to basketball lines experts.