Men's Basketball Preview: Valparaiso at Kent State

Published:

Who: Valparaiso (2-1) vs. Kent State (2-1)

What: Game No. 2 of the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic.

When/Where: Today, 2 p.m./M.A.C. Center.

Radio: WHLO 640 AM

Head Coaches: Bryce Drew, Valparaiso (24-13, 2nd season); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (23-13, 2nd season).

2011-12 Records: Valparaiso 22-12; Kent State 21-12.

Series: Kent State leads 2-0; first meeting since 1991.

Kent State Leaders: Senior forward Chris Evans leads the Flashes in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg). Senior guard Randal Holt is second in scoring (14.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg), while sophomore guard Kris Brewer leads in assists (3.3) and junior forward Mark Henniger is second in rebounding (5.3 rpg).

Scouting Valparaiso: Valpo won the Horizon League regular season title last year and is picked to repeat. The senior-laden Crusaders are led by reigning Horizon League Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff, a 6-foot-7 senior forward who leads the team in scoring (14 ppg) and rebounding (8.7). Other top performers include 6-8, 240-pound senior forward Kevin Van Wijk (13.3 ppg) and 5-11 senior guard Eric Buggs (5.2 assists per game). ... Opponents are averaging just 50 points per game and shooting 35 percent from the field against Valparaiso, while the Crusaders are shooting 44 percent from 3-point range.

Senderoff on Valparaiso: "They are an excellent, excellent team -- every bit as good as (KSU's first two opponents) Drexel and Temple. They'll finish in the top one or two in the Horizon League. I think they start five seniors. They had a chance to beat Nebraska on the road (lost 50-48). It's gonna take a great effort by everyone on our team. They have phenomenal post players, and they really shoot the 3 very well."

Senderoff on Kent State: "We're gonna have to defend the way we defended against Drexel (a 66-62 overtime victory in the season opener). We're gonna have to do a really good job on their post players, get after 3-point shooters, do a good job on the glass and in transition. It's early in the year obviously, but it's a big game."

Countdown to Akron: 62 days.

-- Allen Moff/R-C

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