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Summer workouts crucial for USI basketball to build team chemistry

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:15 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Team chemistry is important in any sport, and for USI basketball, they’ve been spending their summer building it.

Per Division two rules, the Eagles have been gathering for voluntary workouts this summer, and we got a look at some of the team as they scrimmaged Tuesday.

Stan Gouard added seven new players to the mix this year, with a good blend of transfers and high school graduates, including Castle grad, Isaiah Swope.

There are also a few guys taking advantage of the extra year. Granted due to the pandemic, like guards Mateo Rivera and Clayton Hughes.

That makes this off-season important as they’re once again are able to practice without Covid restrictions, as the team tries to build chemistry between veterans and new guys.

“Coming in as a freshman, you don’t know what’s going on. Guys who’ve been around the program for a couple of years know the history of USI basketball,” said USI head basketball coach Stan Gouard. “I like the way they’re sponges; they wanna learn. They’re gravitating to guys who wanna teach. We’re in the weight room daily; we’re on the court daily. I think the biggest thing this summer is getting these guys together to get to know each other, to instill some kind of trust once the ball jumps in November.”

“I think we got a chance to be really good this year,” said USI senior transfer, Jacob Polakovic. “We got talent at every position; we’re super deep. The guys are really close too, and that kind of goes without being said how important that is. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait to get to this season.

Now, USI’s schedule has yet to be released, but the Eagles will begin the season sometime in November.

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