UE men’s basketball officially begins workouts with Coach Ragland at helm
Freshmen, transfers among several new faces on Purple Aces’ roster in 2022-23
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Tuesday marked the official start of the new era for the University of Evansville men’s basketball team as workouts began for the Aces.
One day in and everyone’s on the same page: it’s all about family.
“We just want to build a culture of communication, energy, effort, confidence and this is a good start to it,” UE head coach David Ragland said.
Returning players, freshmen and transfers alike all under one roof to start a new era.
“I’m excited about this team. We had our first great day. We’re all new, we’re hanging out around each other, getting to know each other better, so I think that’s great,” Akron transfer Sekou Kalle said.
“It’s going to be my fifth year at college, so being able to be a leader, that vocal leader especially on the court,” UNLV transfer Marvin Coleman II said. “As a point guard being able to help the young guys, help everyone transition and gel, I think that’s the biggest thing for us to come together as a family.”
Up to this point, a majority of the communication between the coaches and the players has been virtual. Now that everybody is together in person, they say the team is making instant connections.
“In my first meeting with them, it was kind of funny. We were in the office, and everyone was kind of joking around and stuff, and I thought I was going in there to be serious,” UE freshman Cameron Gehlhausen said. “They did a really good job of taking me in and making me feel comfortable.”
“My room in particular, we live with all the freshman, we all get along great,” UE freshman guard Gabe Spinelli said. “We go everywhere together, we already have that team bond right now, and I think it’s only going to grow as we continue to progress throughout the season.”
Finding that comfort is everything with a program looking to rebuild. According to Coach Ragland, the guys understand the assignment.
“I let them pick what we’re going to say in the breakdown and they want to say ‘family,’” Ragland says. “The biggest message is whatever you say, I wanna be a good player, I wanna be a part of a winning team, you want to be family, well let’s act like it.”
Returning Purple Aces’ guard Blaise Beauchamp knows how much the Evansville community loves basketball, and he’s confident in this new staff.
“They want to create that family bond so they can coach us as tough as they can on the court, and then off the court, we’ll be close as a family. Everybody’s involved in all our workouts and it’s already been a great atmosphere and it’s only the first day, so it can only get better,” Beauchamp said.
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