USI and UE prepare for battle at Roberts Stadium

By Chris Goodman - bio | email

Evansville, IN (WFIE)- USI and UE will tip off the college basketball season with an exhibition at Roberts Stadium. It will be the first time Aces coach Marty Simmons has been a part of the series. But he's aware of what the Screaming Eagles will bring to the table on Saturday night.

"We are playing an outstanding team," Simmons said. "I think Southern Indiana is a team that could compete with a lot of Division 1 schools. Their reputation speaks for itself."

USI coach Rick Herdes has been equally impressed with what Simmons has been able to do at SIU Edwardsville, a regular opponent of USI, particularly on the defensive end.

"They'll be as good of a defensive basketball team as we'll play all year," Herdes said. "They do very well in the motion offense.  They do a terrific job. I am just thankful for an opportunity to kick off basketball at such a high level."

Simmons says while both teams want to win, it's a good measuring stick for where each team is.  "I think we will learn about our team, there is no doubt about that. I don't think you are going to find a more competitive, more athletic, more well set up of a team in this type of setting than what we are going to play against."

Herdes agrees that it's a good learning experience. "We want to win. Evansville wants to win. Everytime you step on the floor if you are a competitive basketball team you want to win," Herdes said just a few days before tipoff. "But we want to learn from our mistakes also, and that's why you play exhibitions."

Tip off is at 7:05. Around 7,000 tickets have been sold as of Thursday. There are still a little less than 4,000 tickets left for the event. Gates at Roberts Stadium will open at 5:30 and tickets will be available at the Roberts Stadium ticket office.