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Valparaiso men finally have all hands ready for game at Oakland

Valparaiso University's Booby Capobianco walks back onfloor after time out  during Valparaiso University's exhibitiopener against St. Joseph's College held

Valparaiso University's Booby Capobianco walks back onto the floor after a time out during Valparaiso University's exhibition opener against St. Joseph's College held at Vaparaiso University on Saturday October 27, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 16, 2012 11:48PM



All the pieces of the puzzle that Valparaiso is going to have this season finally are in place.

Now, the next step in the process is for the Crusaders to continue to fit them all together.

With LaVonte Dority becoming eligible for their previous game at Missouri State, and everyone relatively healthy, they continue their two-game road trip at Oakland on Monday night. After Dority debuted with a game-high 20 points against the Bears, Valparaiso (7-3) caught a flight for their game against the former Mid-Continent Conference foe Grizzlies (3-7).

“It’s definitely nice to have everyone available,” Crusaders coach Bryce Drew said. “We were finally able to practice with Kevin (Van Wijk), Ryan (Broekhoff) and Bobby (Capobianco) together this week.”

Under colorful 29-year coach Greg Kampe, Oakland has played another challenging schedule this season, with road losses against Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Tennessee, though the Grizzlies have only one Division I win. They’re 2-0 at home. They last played on Dec. 8, a 78-61 loss at Ohio.

Travis Bader, a 6-foot-5 junior guard who was an all-Summit League preseason pick, averages 20.0 points per game. A noted shooter, he has connected on 40-of-100 3-point attempts.

Sophomore big man Corey Petros averages 14.6 points and 7.0 rebounds; 6-4 junior point guard Duke Mondy — who sat out last season after transferring from Providence, where he averaged a Big East-best 2.1 steals in 2010-11, to go along with 7.7 points — averages 12.8 points and 4.3 assists; and senior forward Drew Valentine, a second-team all-league selection in the preseason, averages 8.8 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Oakland topped Valparaiso 82-80 on Dec. 17 last season — exactly a year ago — at the Athletics-Recreation Center, though the Crusaders lead the all-time series against the Grizzlies 17-4.

“Oakland is a great tradition — Valpo-Oakland has been a great game for many years,” Drew said.

“Coach Kampe’s a friend. He’s an innovator on offense. They run great offense, so we’ll have our work cut out for us to slow them down.”



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