Basic info: Evansville (1-0) at Miami (Ohio) (1-0), Wednesday at 6 p.m. CST in Oxford, Ohio.
Radio: WUEV 91.5 FM
Preview story: Brzoja making most of opportunity with UE
Evansville — Egidijus Mockevicius (6-10, Jr., C, 16 ppg, 5 rpg); Duane Gibson (6-3, So., G, 12 ppg, 3 rpg); D.J. Balentine (6-2, Jr., G, 22 ppg, 6 rpg); Adam Wing (6-4, Jr., G/F, 10 ppg, 8 rpg); Blake Simmons (6-5, So., G/F, 2 ppg, 5 apg).
Miami — L.J. Livingston Jr. (6-10, Jr., C, 3 ppg, 5 rpg); Geovonie McKnight (6-3, Jr., G, 10 ppg, 2 apg); Will Sullivan (6-3, Sr., G, 21 ppg, 3 rpg); Willie Moore (6-3, Jr., G, 13 ppg, 6 rpg); Eric Washington (5-10, Jr. G, 17 ppg, 8 apg).
Three key questions from UE’s perspective:
– What will the Aces get out of Mockevicius?: The big man missed Monday’s practice with an illness, but should be good go to tonight after participating in Tuesday’s workout. Still, it’s worth noting that missing time due to the illness could cut into Mockevicius’ endurance just a bit, particularly if he’s still slightly sick.
— What will we learn about the Aces in their first Division I game?: We may as well call this the Aces’ unofficial season opener (Saturday’s 116-45 drubbing of Division III Earlham hardly counts as a contest). Now that the Aces will match up with an opponent that can approach their size and skill, we’ll probably be able to glean more from tonight’s game than the two exhibitions and the Earlham blowout combined.
Chances are an experienced team like UE — which returns 96 percent of its scoring from last season — won’t have much of a learning curve in its first competitive game of the season. But the Aces were able to roll so easily over their previous three opponents that it will be interesting to see how they respond in what is expected to be a competitive game.
— Will Evansville’s rotation shrink?: Everyone got to play as UE cruised past its previous opponents. Against Miami, the Aces aren’t guaranteed another blowout, so head coach Marty Simmons might be forced to give fewer players significant minutes.
Of Evansville’s 11 active players, none could be classified as a true benchwarmer; all can contribute on some level. Beginning tonight and continuing through next week’s Gulf Coast Showcase, where the Aces play three games in three days, UE’s rotation will start to come into focus. We’ll find out which guys Simmons trusts when games are competitive from start to finish.
Two Miami players to watch: Will Sullivan, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, paced the Redhawks with 21 points in their season-opening 76-63 win over Southern Utah. He knocked down 6 of 8 3-pointers.
Eric Washington, a 5-10 junior point guard, also had an outstanding opener. He finished with 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Washington sat out last season after transferring from Presbyterian, where he averaged 6.5 assists as a sophomore — the 15th-best mark in Division I that season.