Valparaiso forward Alec Peters had a monster game Wednesday: He scored 12 points, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and had four assists and two steals in a 78-70 home win over Detroit.
“You do your best,” Peters said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You do whatever you can to help your team win. If that means you got to go score 20, then go score 20. If that means you got to pull 10 boards and get some assists and steals, then so be it. I do whatever I can for my team.”
Valparaiso shot 56.5 percent from the floor, while holding Detroit to 37.9 percent. If not the 10 three-pointers Detroit made, this game could have been a blowout, especially since Valparaiso guards Darien Walker and Tevonn Walker (no relation) combined for 40 points.
“We do what we can,” Peters said. “We got a lot of incredible talent on our team and we like to showcase that every night that we’re out here. We like to have a little fun out on the court. Everybody can tell how much fun everybody’s having. It doesn’t matter who scores the most points. We just try to give the fans the best show we can.”
Valparaiso (21-4, 8-2) has now won eight of its last nine games and is atop the Horizon with Cleveland State (14-10, 8-2). The Crusaders host Oakland this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Valpo lost to Oakland, 89-75, in overtime on Jan. 2.
“We’re trying to win the conference,” Peters said. “That’s the goal every year. We know every team in our conference is big time. Every game is going to be big-time. We got to show up every night.”
Peters knows that even if Valpo wins a regular-season league title, it might need to win the conference tournament to ensure an NCAA Tournament bid – which, in his eyes, is kind of silly.
“I don’t want to be biased or anything, but definitely we feel like we’re a two-bid league,” he said. “I feel like we’re good enough to have a couple teams in the tournament. You can see in the past there’s been upsets every year in the tournament. We’re a conference that can do that. We’re a conference that can have teams that can upset people like that.”
Of course, with the way Peters is paying, Valpo is going to be a tough out – in the Horizon or in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-9, 225-pound sophomore is averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He’s also shooting 50.5 percent from the floor, including 46.3 percent from three.
He’s been a stud.
The Washington, Illinois, native said the coaching staff drew him to Valpo, most notably head coach Bryce Drew.
“They’re great individual coaches as well as greta mentors,” Peters said. “I didn’t want to go too far away from home. My parents try to make as many games as they could. So it’s a family atmosphere here. It was an easy choice for me being from Illinois. Valpo is the place for me. This is the one.”