2015–16 Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball team

The 2015–16 Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball team represented Valparaiso University during the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Crusaders, led by fifth year head coach Bryce Drew, played their home games at the Athletics–Recreation Center and were members of the Horizon League. They finished the season 30–7, 16–2 in Horizon League play to win the regular season championship. They lost in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament to Green Bay. As a regular season conference champion who failed to win their conference tournament, received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament. As one of the last four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament, they received a #1 seed in the NIT where they defeated Texas Southern, Florida State, Saint Mary's, and BYU to advance to the championship game where they lost to George Washington.

2015–16 Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball
Valparaiso Crusaders wordmark.svg
Horizon League regular season champions
NIT, Runner-Up
ConferenceHorizon League
2015–16 record30–7 (16–2 Horizon)
Head coachBryce Drew (5th season)
Assistant coachRoger Powell
Assistant coachLuke Gore
Assistant coachMatt Lottich
Home arenaAthletics–Recreation Center
Seasons
2015–16 Horizon League men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Valparaiso 16 2   .889     30 7   .811
Oakland 13 5   .722     23 12   .657
Wright State 13 5   .722     22 13   .629
Green Bay 11 7   .611     23 13   .639
Milwaukee 10 8   .556     20 13   .606
Detroit 9 9   .500     16 15   .516
Youngstown State 6 12   .333     11 21   .344
Northern Kentucky* 5 13   .278     9 21   .300
Cleveland State 4 14   .222     9 23   .281
UIC 3 15   .167     5 25   .167
* Ineligible for NCAA postseason during transition to Division I.
2016 Horizon League Tournament winner

This season was Bryce Drew's final season as Valparaiso head coach. He accepted the Vanderbilt head coaching job on April 5, 2016.[1] He finished at Valpo with a five-year record of 124–49 and went to the postseason every year as head coach.

Contents

Previous seasonEdit

The Crusaders finished the 2014–15 season with an overall record of 28–6, and 13–3 to win the Horizon League regular season championship. They defeated Cleveland State and Green Bay to win the Horizon League Tournament championship. They received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the Second Round to Maryland.

Pre-seasonEdit

On July 31, 2015, the NCAA announced that senior Vashil Fernandez, the 2015 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, would be granted an additional year of eligibility. The Crusaders therefore returned 98.9 percent of their minutes from the previous season in which they won both the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships.[2] All five starting players from 2014-15 returned to the 2015-16 team.[3]

DeparturesEdit

Name Number Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
David Chadwick 12 F 6'9" 220 Senior Charlotte, NC Graduated

Class of 2015 signeesEdit

On October 7, 2014 Derrik Smits, son of former NBA Center Rik Smits, committed to Valparaiso.[4]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Derrik Smits
C
Zionsville, IN Zionsville 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Oct 6, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 77
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  • "2015 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2011-11-25.

Class of 2016 signeesEdit

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Micah Bradford
PG
Bradley, Illinois Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Nov 18, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:    247SportsN/A
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

Season resultsEdit

The Crusaders won 16 games in Horizon League play and lost 2, both to Wright State. The Crusaders won the Horizon League regular season championship, three games ahead of second place Oakland.

After Valparaiso won the regular season Horizon League championship, a Fox Sports writer noted that the Crusaders' strengths were defense, rebounding, depth and experience, and that Valpo—"perhaps the best mid-major team in college basketball this year"—was still likely to be on the edge of the March Madness selection process.[5] ESPN's Eamonn Brennan wrote that Valpo was "a really good team that was banged up in nonconference play and -- in the Watch's humble opinion -- probably deserves to be in the tournament at the end of the day."[6]

In January 2016, ESPN selected coach Bryce Drew as one of its ten national Coach of the Year finalists.[7] As of late February 2016, the Crusaders allowed opponents 0.87 points per possession, best of all Division I teams.[8] Senior center Vashil Fernandez was again the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and junior forward Alec Peters was named again to the All League First Team. For the third time in five seasons, Bryce Drew was named the league's Coach of the Year.[9] Vashil Fernandez earned the 2016 Lefty Driesell Award as the nation's top defensive player.

However, Valpo lost their first game of the Horizon League Tournament, losing to Green Bay in the semifinals. The Crusaders failed to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

As the winners of the Horizon League regular season, the Crusaders received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament. Valpo received a #1 seed and defeated Texas Southern, Florida State, and Saint Mary's to advance to the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden. There, they defeated BYU to advance to the NIT Championship game versus George Washington. After a close first half, George Washington ran away with the game in the second half, defeating Valpo 76–60.

Following the season, head coach Bryce Drew accepted the head coaching position at Vanderbilt.[1]

RosterEdit

2015–16 Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Hometown
G 0 Keith Carter 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Sr Maywood, IL
G/F 1 E. Victor Nickerson 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Sr Atlanta, GA
G 2 Tevonn Walker 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) So Montreal, Quebec, Canada
G 3 Max Joseph 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) So Montreal, Quebec, Canada
F 5 Darien Walker 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Sr Chicago, IL
F 10 David Skara 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 205 lb (93 kg) So Zadar, Croatia
G 11 Shane Hammink 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) RS Jr Millingen aan de Rijn, Netherlands
F 14 Vashil Fernandez 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 260 lb (118 kg) Sr Kingston, Jamaica
G 15 Lexus Williams 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 160 lb (73 kg) So Chicago, IL
C 21 Derrik Smits     7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Fr Zionsville, IN
G 22 Nick Davidson 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Jr Munster, IN
F 23 Jubril Adekoya 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Jr Tinley Park, IL
F 25 Alec Peters 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Jr Washington, IL
F 30 Chandler Levingston Simon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) So Vernon Hills, IL
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster
Last update: 2015–11–25

ScheduleEdit

The 2015–2016 Valparaiso University men's basketball schedule is:[10]

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
11/03/2015*
7:00 pm
Indianapolis W 75–67 
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,488)
Valparaiso, IN
Regular season
11/13/2015*
7:30 pm, ESPN3
IPFW W 78–64  1–0
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,117)
Valparaiso, IN
11/15/2015*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Iona
Beaver Showcase
W 83–58  2–0
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,769)
Valparaiso, IN
11/17/2015*
9:00 am, ESPN2
at Rhode Island W 58–55  3–0
Ryan Center (4,881)
Kingston, RI
11/18/2015*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
IU-Kokomo
Beaver Showcase
W 78–40  4–0
Athletics–Recreation Center (1,340)
Valparaiso, IN
11/19/2015*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Trinity Christian
Beaver Showcase
W 89–42  5–0
Athletics–Recreation Center (1,422)
Valparaiso, IN
11/22/2015*
5:00 pm, P12N
at No. 25 Oregon L 67–73  5–1
Matthew Knight Arena (5,752)
Eugene, OR
11/24/2015*
8:00 pm, P12N
at Oregon State
Beaver Showcase
W 63–57  6–1
Gill Coliseum (5,235)
Corvallis, OR
11/28/2015*
1:00 pm
at Ball State L 66–69  6–2
Worthen Arena (2,447)
Muncie, IN
12/03/2015*
7:00 pm
Belmont W 61–57  7–2
Athletics–Recreation Center (3,379)
Valparaiso, IN
12/09/2015*
6:00 pm, ESPN3
at Indiana State W 69–63  8–2
Hulman Center (3,621)
Terre Haute, IN
12/11/2015*
7:05 pm
at Chicago State W 71–53  9–2
Jones Convocation Center (1,733)
Chicago, IL
12/19/2015*
1:30 pm
Missouri State W 74–45  10–2
Athletics–Recreation Center (3,458)
Valparaiso, IN
12/28/2015*
7:00 pm
at Belmont L 81–85  10–3
Curb Event Center (3,024)
Nashville, TN
Horizon League regular season
01/02/2016
1:05 pm, ASN
UIC W 75–47  11–3
(1–0)
Athletics–Recreation Center (3,773)
Valparaiso, IN
01/08/2016
6:00 pm, ESPN2
at Oakland W 84–67  12–3
(2–0)
Athletics Center O'rena (4,110)
Rochester, MI
01/10/2016
12:00 pm, ASN
at Detroit W 92–74  13–3
(3–0)
Calihan Hall (1,513)
Detroit, MI
01/14/2016
7:02 pm
Milwaukee W 68–56  14–3
(4–0)
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,619)
Valparaiso, IN
01/16/2016
7:02 pm
Green Bay W 85–70  15–3
(5–0)
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,939)
Valparaiso, IN
01/18/2016
6:05 pm, ESPN3
at Youngstown State W 96–65  16–3
(6–0)
Beeghly Center (1,703)
Youngstown, OH
01/22/2016
6:00 pm, ESPN3
at Wright State L 62–73  16–4
(6–1)
Nutter Center (5,499)
Fairborn, OH
01/24/2016
12:00 pm, ASN
at Northern Kentucky W 71–46  17–4
(7–1)
BB&T Arena (2,079)
Newport, KY
01/28/2016
7:00 pm
Cleveland State W 77–52  18–4
(8–1)
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,313)
Valparaiso, IN
01/30/2016
7:00 pm
Youngstown State W 97–68  19–4
(9–1)
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,520)
Valparaiso, IN
02/06/2016
3:00 pm, CSN
at UIC W 73–55  20–4
(10–1)
UIC Pavilion (4,445)
Chicago, IL
02/11/2016
7:02 pm
Northern Kentucky W 64–52  21–4
(11–1)
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,312)
Valparaiso, IN
02/13/2016
7:02 pm
Wright State L 59–61  21–5
(11–2)
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,987)
Valparaiso, IN
02/16/2016
6:00 pm
at Cleveland State W 66–43  22–5
(12–2)
Quicken Loans Arena (1,545)
Cleveland, OH
02/19/2016
7:05 pm, ESPNU
Oakland W 86–84  23–5
(13–2)
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,863)
Valparaiso, IN
02/21/2016
1:32 pm
Detroit W 90–74  24–5
(14–2)
Athletics–Recreation Center (4,151)
Valparaiso, IN
02/26/2016
6:02 pm, ESPN2
at Milwaukee W 80–76 OT 25–5
(15–2)
UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena (4,137)
Milwaukee, WI
02/28/2016
2:00 pm, ESPN3
at Green Bay W 70–68  26–5
(16–2)
Resch Center (4,491)
Green Bay, WI
Horizon League Tournament
03/07/2016
6:00 pm, ESPNU
(1) vs. (4) Green Bay
Semifinals
L 92–99 OT 26–6
Joe Louis Arena (6,557)
Detroit, MI
NIT
03/15/2016*
8:15 pm, ESPN3
(1) (8) Texas Southern
First round
W 84–73  27–6
Athletics–Recreation Center (2,912)
Valparaiso, IN
3/17/2016*
6:00 pm, ESPNews
(1) (4) Florida State
Second round
W 81–69  28–6
Athletics-Recreation Center (4,991)
Valparaiso, IN
3/22/2016*
6:00 pm, ESPN
(1) (2) Saint Mary's
Quarterfinals
W 60–44  29–6
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,444)
Valparaiso, IN
3/29/2016*
6:00 pm, ESPN
(1) vs. (2) BYU
Semifinals
W 72–70  30–6
Madison Square Garden (8,298)
New York, NY
3/31/2016*
6:00 pm, ESPN
(1) vs. (4) George Washington
Championship game
L 60–76  30–7
Madison Square Garden (7,016)
New York, NY
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Sources: Vandy, Bryce Drew reach 6-year deal". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  2. ^ "Valparaiso gets Vashil Fernandez back". Fox Sports. July 31, 2015.
  3. ^ Geary, Molly (December 16, 2015). "Mid-major report: Valparaiso aiming to be more than an underdog". Sports Illustrated.
  4. ^ "Zionsville's Derrik Smits commits to Valparaiso". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  5. ^ Forgrave, Reid (February 22, 2016). "Could the nation's best mid-major team really miss the NCAA tourney?". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Brennan, Eamonn (March 1, 2016). "College Basketball Bubble Watch". ESPN. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Medcalf, Myron (January 28, 2016). "#Top10Thursday: National coach of the year candidates". ESPN. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Medcalf, Myron (February 22, 2016). "Which teams from each conference have the pieces for a Final Four run?". ESPN. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Fernandez, Peters, Drew Earn Horizon League Postseason Accolades". Valpo Athletics. March 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "2015-16 Men's Basketball". Valparaiso Crusaders. Retrieved 3 November 2015.