The Horizon League basketball tournaments in Detroit haven’t even started yet, and already there have been some major developments.
Both impact Oakland University — one potentially positively, one potentially negatively.
On the men’s side, Valparaiso standout Alec Peters, just named the Horizon League player of the year, is out for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Valparaiso enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed, and the co-regular season champion.
Oakland is the No. 1 seed, having beaten Valparaiso twice during the regular season.
“I have given the fans, the basketball program and the university the absolute best effort I could put forth over my time here,” Peters said in a statement Thursday. “Unfortunately, I will not get to finish my final season the way that I had hoped. I will recover; I will come back stronger; and I will do my best to represent Valpo as I pursue a professional basketball career.
“Most importantly, I can’t wait to watch my teammates and coaches finish what we started when we all came together last summer.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to wear the brown and gold.”
As a sophomore, Peters led Valparaiso to a Horizon League tournament championship, earning tournament MVP honors ahead of a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
As a junior, Peters led Valparaiso to the NIT finals, after it was upset in the Horizon League tournament. After the season, he considered a jump to the NBA, but the 6-foot-9, 235-pound small forward decided to return for his senior season.
This season, he averaged 23 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists for Valparaiso (24-7, 14-4), which opens Horizon League tournament play Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, against either Milwaukee or Detroit Mercy. Oakland (24-7, 14-4) also opens Saturday, against either Youngstown State or Cleveland State.
The top seeds a year ago, as well, both Valparaiso and Oakland were upset in their first games.
On the women’s side, meanwhile, Oakland 6-1 senior forward Hannah Little’s status remains up in the air. She has a hand injury, suffered in the regular-season finale, and is listed officially as questionable for the start of the Horizon League tournament.
Oakland is expected to share her status at some point Friday.
Little, first-team All-Horizon League and the league’s defensive player of the year, averaged 11.2 points and 11.6 rebounds.
Oakland (18-11, 12-6) opens the women’s Horizon League tournament as the No. 4 seed, and plays No. 5 seed Milwaukee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.