Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles to Shoot for Better Shooting ; USI Returns Talent For' 13-14

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles to Shoot for Better Shooting ; USI Returns Talent For' 13-14

Article excerpt

A large portion of the offseason for the University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team will be spent pursuing two goals: getting stronger and shooting better. Strength wasn't always a problem for the Screaming Eagles during a 23-8 season in 2012-13 - they were strong enough to average 41.8 rebounds per game, the best in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. But coach Rodney Watson always believes his players need to get stronger.

Shooting, however, was a problem.

"I think we have to shoot the ball from the perimeter better, and that comes from every position," he said. "We are really going to spend some hard time on (getting) the same exact rhythm with our hands and our feet."

USI finished with a.473 field-goal percentage, which improved on the previous season's.455 average.

But 3-point shooting was.343 compared to.355 in 2011-12.

Even though this was a different team than the one that was more guard oriented a year ago, the Eagles were wildly inconsistent in finding the basket.

One game they would shoot better than.500, the next close to.400. Altogether, USI had 15 games during which it shot worse than.450, with three of those under.400 - even with Keith DeWitt, USI's 6- foot-10 first team all-region center, dominating around the basket.

So Watson, who loses senior guards Kenyon Smith and Melvyn Little, is recruiting more guards.

"You've got to have skilled guards," he said. "That was very evident with the two teams that played for the championship of our region. They had the best guards."

Those teams were Bellarmine, which ended USI's season in the Division II Midwest Regional semifi-nals, and Drury, the eventual regional champion which beat the Eagles in the title game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament at the Ford Center.

Bellarmine, led by guards Chris Dowe and Vance Hall, shot.505 overall,.383 from 3-point range. Drury, led by guards Brandon Lockhart and Midwest

Region Player of the Year Alex Hall, shot a GLVCbest. …

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