UE Men’s Basketball holds first day of official practice

UE Bball Practice
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:08 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - This is no ordinary Monday, because it’s the first official day of college basketball practice. Earlier today, the Purple Aces kicked things off and we got a chance to check in.

After a down year last season, Head Coach David Ragland said his team was juiced on day one. He’s brought in a host of new players as well as coaches to pair with his returning veteran guys, and whether it was their first or 5th year at UE, everyone shared a similar goal.

“Top goal this year is to win games,” said 5th Year Guard Kenny Strawbridge Jr. “It’s as simple as that. We are here to win games, everyone has a chip on their shoulder. We’ve all fought through adversity, we’re just betting on ourselves this year.”

“Win a conference championship, that’s the main goal, we want to do that,” said Sophomore Guard Cam Haffner. “In order to do that, we need to attack each day, build on everything that we’ve been doing in the summer, and we’ve got a month to get ready to do that.”

With all of the new faces in the building, returners like Yacine Toumi are working to bring the group together.

“For us older guys, it’s try to make them comfortable,” said the Senior Forward Toumi. “Most of them are freshman, it’s a process. I’ve been there, I’ve been in their shoes, I’ve been a freshman before, so I’m just trying to help them be the best version of themselves.”

There’s still a month before the Purple Aces play an exhibition game against Wabash, and then the season kicks into full gear on November 6th at home, with UE hosting Miami Ohio. Until then, it’s all about putting the pieces together for Coach Ragland and his staff.