Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles Are about to Be Tested ; Challenging Part of USI's Season at Hand

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Eagles Are about to Be Tested ; Challenging Part of USI's Season at Hand

Article excerpt

Now the most challenging part of the season begins for the University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team. Being ranked eighth in NCAA Division II by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, being undefeated at 8-0, having the second- leading rebounder in the country in Aaron Nelson - all that is about to be tested.

"We've got to get our heads into it," said senior point guard Lawrence Thomas. "We can't afford to let anything slip, especially on the road."

The Screaming Eagles will open their Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule on Friday night at Rockhurst University (4-4, 0- 1 GLVC), tipping off at 7:30. This time, though, USI will face every team in the GLVC at least once - 18 games overall. It also will play home and away games against each of the schools in their designated "pod" - No. 2 Bellarmine, No. 16 Indianapolis and unranked Saint Joseph's.

The good news for the Eagles is they'll have a complete squad for the first time this season.

Orlando Rutledge, a 6-foot-6 senior and last season's leading scorer, has returned from academic suspension and is coming off a 10-point, two-assists, two-steals opener against Kentucky Wesleyan. Also back is 6-8 junior Austin Davis, who missed the first eight games with a left high ankle sprain.

"He's one guy who really understands what everybody does," USI coach Rodney Watson said of Davis. "He can also guard a five (center), four (power forward) or a three (small forward), mainly because of his strength, how long his arms are and his height."

And Davis can hit the 3-pointer (he had 14 last season, with a high game of four against Saint Joseph's on Jan. 17).

"He just makes us more dangerous," said Thomas. "He and Orlando add length, height and another shooter."

After taking an NCAAmandated break from practice and games Dec. 23-29, the Eagles will play their first contest since beating archrival Kentucky Wesleyan at home on Dec. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.