With Butler leaving the Horizon League the question of many has been which program steps up to become the league’s standard bearer.
But it was Valparaiso, not Butler, that won the Horizon League regular season title last season and is expected by many to contend if not repeat as league champion.
And by the looks of what head coach Bryce Drew has been able to do on the recruiting trail, the Crusaders will have a chance to remain among the elite within the Horizon League in the future.
Valparaiso picked up a fifth commitment in the 2013 class on Sunday, as 6-7 forward Alec Peters committed to the school as reported by Cavan Walsh of ChicagoHoops.com.
Peters, who hails from Washington Township, Illinois, chose Valparaiso over Illinois State and Boston College according to the report and was a player who became more popular on the grassroots circuit this summer.
With seniors Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk leading the way Valparaiso returns nearly every key contributor from last season’s 22-win squad, and the goal is to get to the NCAA tournament after falling to Detroit in the Horizon League tournament final.
But each of the Crusaders’ top four returning scorers from last season in entering their senior campaign, meaning that the 2013 recruiting class was an important one for Drew’s program.
Alec Peters, Jubril Adekoya and the other three verbal commits that Drew has lined up are talented enough to keep Valparaiso in contention for years to come. And given how much the Crusaders lose after this season they’ll need to be.