Tag:Bryce Drew
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:54 pm

Bryce Drew's symbolic first game as Valpo coach

By Matt Norlander

In a formal setting, last night was not the first time Bryce Drew had ever acted as a head coach. During Valparaiso’s foreign trip in 2010, father (Homer Drew) let son run the team. It was prep for the job he’d have one day, even if both men weren’t sure when or if they would certainly happen.

Monday night, the college basketball season began, and Bryce Drew was labeled in the scorebooks for the first time, officially, as a head coach. His Valpo team fell 73-64 to No. 16 Arizona, at Arizona. Drew wore that dapper jacket as means of tribute. That hue of blue is the official color of the fight against prostate cancer—exactly in the way pink has become synonymous with battling breast cancer—and so Drew wore it to honor his father, who is battling prostate cancer; his mother, who is battling bladder cancer; and the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, which Valpo is coincidentally a part of this season.

The assistants wore light blue ties. Drew wanted to get the team to wear light blue undershirts to go with the uniforms, but apparently they didn’t all get the right sizes, so the squad will don that look in its first home game next week. The school will also be selling the shirts to raise money in the fight against cancer.

Finding that specific kind of jacket was a tough task. Drew said folks in the program eventually corralled one via online purchase. As for his family, “They’re both doing a lot better,” Drew said. He talked to Homer before and after the game.

“They really wanted to be here, but couldn’t make it so they had to watch it back home,” Drew said. “It’s nice to have my mom and dad both be at home now.”

He wasn’t nervous either. Said with all the prep and march on toward the first night of the season, it was more focus, then excitement just a few minutes before game time. Outside of the shirt-size mishap, Drew said the game and experience as head coach didn’t offer up any surprises. The 37-year-old coach was most impressed by Arizona’s quickness, specifically at guard.

“Yeah, they are so quick. I love their two freshmen guards, (Nick) Johnson and (Josiah) Turner,” he said. “I think they’re going to be very good for them this year.”

But what about Arizona’s primary weakness? Sure it’s a ranked team right now, but I and many others see some flaws with this group. Drew’s take: “I think he (Sean Miller) needs to get those guys experience. He just has a lot of young guys that need playing time. As a coach, we try to speed that process up, but it takes time.”

Valpo hung around with Arizona for most of the first half; Drew said a stretch in the second half that was rife with turnovers is when it got away from his guys.

“When you play a team like that you don’t have a large margin of error,” Drew said. “But we fought through, and I want to say the last six minutes we outscored them by 11. And also, the second [weak area] for us was our 3-point shooting. We didn’t shoot the way we wanted to.”

Drew said his team won't be 3-point-minded this year, that it will always look to adjust on offense to what the defense is providing. After the game, he spoke with his dad, and it was casual, he said. Wasn't this big thing or huge conversation. The day had finally come for Bryce to take the reigns from Homer. Mom and Pop always in mind, he's now officially started manning the program his way.

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 9:20 pm

Homer Drew and wife both diagnosed with cancer

By Gary Parrish

Imagine how tough it is to have one parent diagnosed with cancer.

Now imagine having two.

That's the position Baylor coach Scott Drew and Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew are in now that their father (Homer Drew) and mother (Janet Drew) have both been diagnosed with cancer. The news broke when former Valpo guard Brandon Wood tweeted about it Tuesday. Scott Drew then confirmed the news via text message to CBSSports.com. The types of cancers Homer and Janet Drew have remain unclear, but a source close to the family said Homer Drew's was "caught early." That's a bright spot in a bad story.

Homer Drew coached Valpo for 22 seasons.

He retired in May.

Photo: AP
Posted on: May 17, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: May 17, 2011 10:47 am

Bryce Drew keeps family tradition alive at Valpo

Posted by Eric Angevine

It's not easy following a legend. Homer Drew is a legend. Starting in 1988, Drew spent his entire DI coaching career at Valparaiso University, taking the Crusaders to the NCAA tournament seven times in 22 seasons. In 1998, the team went to the Sweet 16. Things have been a little more difficult for Drew and his program in the new millennium, as the Butler Bulldogs have become an elite team since the formation of the Horizon League, but the Crusaders won 23 games in Homer's last season, and are a good bet to stay in the league's upper echelon in upcoming seasons.

That's because Valparaiso was able to replace Homer the legend with another legend, his son Bryce Drew. Reports out of Indianapolis say that Bryce will succeed his father as Valpo's head coach, with an announcement coming today. Bryce may not have the coaching resume his father compiled, but he has major cachet nonetheless. As a Valpo player, Bryce hit one of the most famous game-winning shots in the history of college hoops. He did it against Ole Miss in 1998; the amazing Sweet 16 season.

1998 might be ancient history to today's recruits, but that video speaks for itself. There's little doubt that an Indiana kid will know the name Bryce Drew, and that name recognition could go a long ways toward keeping Valpo from sliding much - if at all - during this historic passing of the torch. Bryce also has someone he might occasionally turn to for advice, if Dad is busy fishing or something. His older brother Scott Drew coached Valpo for one season in 2002-03 before taking over at Baylor. Apparently the year off did Homer Drew some good, as he came back the following year and kept the Drew lineage intact long enough for Bryce to gain the necessary experience to succeed him.

Keeping the Drew family line going at Valpo is good for the school, and good for the Horizon League. While Butler is clearly the league strongman, the overall profile of the conference is bouyed by a tradition of tough opponents at Cleveland State and Valparaiso. Milwaukee has been an off-and-on powerhouse as well, and won the regular-season title in 2011. Wright State is often a contender, and Detroit is playing a very quick game of catch-up with coach Ray McCallum bringing in his extremely talented son, Ray, Jr. and adding 6-foot-6 Baylor transfer Nolan Dennis (per my soon-to-be colleague Jeff Goodman).

The Horizon League has an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the WCC, where Gonzaga's success helped bring St. Mary's into the national spotlight, and made a move to the league attractive for BYU as well. Not bad for a league very few fans east of the Rocky Mountains had heard of ten years ago. Keeping Valpo strong keeps the Horizon League strong, and hiring Bryce Drew was a great way to keep positive momentum rolling at one school, and therefore in the entire conference.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com