Game Day: Buffalo-UE

Buffalo Bulls (0-2) at Evansville Purple Aces (0-1)
Coaches vs. Cancer Classic 

Game Time: 7:05 p.m. Thursday

Location: Ford Center

Broadcast: 91.5 WUEV, Aces TV

Live Coverage: Click here and follow on Twitter (@ECP_Lintner)

Game Notes: Click here

Probable Starters: Ned Cox, Troy Taylor, Colt Ryan, Lewis Jones, Ryan Sawvell

Spread: UE -7.5 at Vegas Insider

Last Meeting: UE won 64-49 in December of 2008 at Roberts Stadium

Series History:

2008: UE 64, Buffalo 49
2007: Buffalo 81, UE 60
2006: UE 74, Buffalo 44
1957: Buffalo 77, UE 75

Story Clippings:

Nov. 14: Plenty for UE to learn about itself playing three games in three days
Nov. 13: Aces spread some cheer among young Deaconess patients
Nov. 13: Freshman David Howard will redshirt
Nov. 12: Aces believe ‘anything’s possible’ this season
Nov. 12: Marty Simmons talks this week’s opponents on radio show
Nov. 12: Florida State back on track with win over Buffalo
Nov. 12: Florida State uses defense to beat Buffalo 

Notable:

—UE’s second regular-season game comes five days after a nine-point loss at then-No. 22 Notre Dame. The Aces’ game against Buffalo is the first of three in as many days (Yale on Friday and Western Illinois on Saturday). UE will play four times in six days counting Tuesday’s game at Tennessee Tech.

—Buffalo enters Thursday after losses to Princeton and Florida State, its Coaches vs. Cancer Classic regional opponent.

—The Bulls are led by junior Javon McCrea, who last season averaged better than 14 points per game as they went to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, just like UE. Through two games this season, McCrea is averaging 19.5 points per game.

—Colt Ryan’s 15-point effort against Notre Dame marked the 51st time the senior swingman has led the Aces in scoring during his collegiate career in Evansville.

—Ryan Sawvell’s double-double performance against the Irish (10 points, 11 rebounds) was the second of his career. Last season he accomplished the feat as a freshman against Bradley.

—Counting time in exhibitions, referees have whistled freshman Egidijus Mockevicius for eight fouls in 13 minutes played. He racked up four against Notre Dame in five minutes.

—UE has won four straight home openers. The Aces’ loss to the Irish snapped a streak of four straight season-opening wins.

Quotable:

UE coach Marty Simmons on preparing for three games in three days: “It’s so much different in that, if you have two or three days, you can almost test a couple different things. But with this short of a turnaround, you’ve got to pretty much rely on principles and try to keep things fairly similar.”

Simmons on Buffalo: “We’ve played against them a couple times in my first couple of years. They’re very well-coached and play extremely hard. They’re a hard-playing team. They’re well set up with what they do. They’ve got a real good player inside in Javon McCrea. He’s just a terrific athlete – just a really, really difficult matchup really for anybody because of his talents, strength, ability to score the basketball and rebound it. Then they surround him with athletic guys who really play hard.”

Sophomore Ryan Sawvell on Buffalo’s strengths: “They have a very strong front line. They’re very long and athletic, so we’re going to have to do a good job of rebounding and boxing out, which is something we’ve struggled with in the past. But we didn’t do too bad against Notre Dame.”

Sawvell on the reaction to his performance at Notre Dame: “A few people have come up to me saying, ‘Hey, I heard you had a double-double.’ A few teammates from back in high school tweeted at me. It’s nice to be recognized for something like that.”

Sophomore Jordan Nelson on scouting reports for three games in a row: “Usually we have film groups throughout the day, and you take notes on your personnel. You’ve also got sheets that tell you descriptively what that certain player likes to do – if he likes to cross over or like to go to his left shoulder in the post, pull up if he’s a 3-point shooter.”

Nelson on what kind of role he hopes to have: “I definitely want to bring energy. Whenever we make subs, we can’t have a dropoff from the bench to the starters. I want to get in there, make some plays, make some shots and get the crowd going in a game – not lose a lead or, if we’re down, get down by even more.”

Outlook: Although the Aces’ next three opponents all finished with winning records and played in postseason tournaments last season, UE figures to be the favorite in every game. Buffalo was blown out by Florida State, Yale didn’t play St. Joseph’s close, and Western Illinois was a team they handled easily last season. Each visitor to the Ford Center should provide a test, but 3-0 should be the expected outcome.

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