The Valparaiso men’s basketball team has been picked to win the Horizon League Championship in 2012-2013, according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and media members.

Valpo, the defending Horizon League regular-season champion, received 40 of the 44 first-place votes in the polls, giving the Crusaders a total of 382 points, the highest of the nine teams in the league. Second place, at 332 points, went to the Detroit Titans, who received the four remaining first-place votes. Green Bay, Youngstown State, and Cleveland State took places third through fifth respectively. Milwaukee, Loyola, UIC, and Wright State filled the remaining places in that order.

The upcoming season begins Oct. 27 when Valpo faces St. Joseph’s in an exhibition game at Valparaiso University Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo opens the regular season Nov. 9 at home against Georgia Southern.

Season-ticket packages are now on sale. To purchase your tickets, or for more information, please or call the ticket office at 464-5233.

“We’ve been working hard on our physical bodies, on our defensive end, and making sure that we look after the ball better than we have in the past,” senior Ryan Broekhoff said.

Broekhoff and senior Kevin Van Wijk were both chosen to the preseason First Team All-League.

Last season Broekhoff was named Horizon League Player of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-American. He led the team and the league in rebounding, averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, and also paced the Crusaders with 14.9 points per game, good for fourth in the league. This past summer, Broekhoff was named to the Australian Boomers squad, made his first senior international appearance and was a finalist for a spot on Australia’s Olympic team.

“Ryan is a joy to coach, a joy to be around as a person,” Crusaders coach Bryce Drew said. “I call him the ultimate team guy. Whatever the team needs — if they need a rebound, if they need a deflection, if they need a 3-pointer — Ryan’s the guy who makes those plays.”

Meanwhile, Van Wijk earned a spot on the preseason First Team after earning First Team All- League honors at the end of the 2011-2012 campaign. The native of the Netherlands led the league in field goal percentage (.617), the third-best single season effort in program history. Van Wijk ended the season sixth in the league in scoring (14.1 ppg) as well.