UE News and Notes for Feb. 25, 2013

uesportsfeb—The diagnosis is in on senior Ned Cox’s foot injury: a nagging case of plantar fasciitis aggravated during Saturday’s game at Wright State. Cox, the Aces’ second-leading scorer, is day to day heading into the regular season’s final week.

—Courier & Press reporter Gordon Engelhardt profiled UE signee Blake Simmons, a senior at Castle High School and son of coach Marty Simmons, in Sunday’s paper. Said Marty Simmons in the story: “He’s fun to be around. He’s unselfish. He really likes UE and likes the players on the team. I don’t think it was just to play for his dad.”

—Former UE coach Jim Crews has led Saint Louis (21-5) to its highest Associated Press Poll ranking — No. 18 — since 1994 as well as the Atlantic 10 Conference lead. Crews, the Billikens’ interim coach, helped Saint Louis to wins over a pair of ranked foes last week in Virginia Commonwealth and Buter. An NCAA tournament at-large bid is likely for Crews’ squad, which is 35th in this week’s ratings percentage index.

—Wichita State (16-13, 8-8 Missouri Valley Conference) enters Wednesday’s game against UE at Koch Arena rated 30th in the NCAA’s RPI. The first-place Shockers also received votes in this week’s AP poll but won’t be ranked in their second meeting with the Aces as they were in the first, when UE won 71-67 on Jan. 13 at the Ford Center.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com with no blackout restrictions in Indiana. Expect a pro-Wichita State broadcast crew, but that’s better than nothing for Aces fans hoping to catch the game.

—The regular-season MVC title is Wichita State’s to lose. The Shockers clinch at least a share of the championship with a victory over the Aces but can claim it outright with a victory over Creighton this weekend.

—Even if Wichita State wins on Wednesday, the Shockers, however, aren’t guaranteed the No. 1 seed at the conference tournament. Thanks to a BracketBusters game against Saint Mary’s, Creighton’s strength of schedule moved ahead of Wichita State’s over the weekend — the tiebreaker for seeding should the top two teams split their regular-season meetings.

—Updated seeding probabilities give UE a 65 percent chance of finishing fifth. The Aces would have to finish with two losses this week and Illinois State and Bradley two wins, since the Aces own a higher non-conference strength of schedule than both the teams immediately behind them in the standings.

—At least one national college basketball analyst is starting to speculate: could the MVC end up a one-bid league? If Creighton loses to Wichita State on Saturday and the Shockers win the MVC tournament, it’s possible — especially because the Bluejays can’t make up ground while major-conference teams continue play the next week.

—Former UE shortstop Eric Stamets made his Los Angeles Angels spring training debut over the weekend. Stamets didn’t get a hit, but he did earn a walk. You can follow Stamets’ stats this spring here.

—Point guard Kat Taylor missed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer Saturday as UE’s women’s basketball team fell at Missouri State. The Aces, losers in six of their last seven games since leading scorer Khristian Hart’s season ended due to injury, close the home portion of their schedule Friday against Northern Iowa and Sunday versus Bradley.

Preseason No. 1 Arkansas swept the UE baseball team over the weekend, making the Aces to 1-5 on the season. Coach Wes Carroll’s squad hasn’t won since its 2-1 season-opener at Arkansas-Little Rock. The Aces play at Tennessee Martin on Tuesday and Vanderbilt Wednesday before its home-opening series against Milwaukee this weekend.

UE’s softball team secured its first victory over the weekend but also added three more losses to its resume, moving to 1-8 following the Jackson State Tournament in Mississippi. The Aces host their own tournament this Friday and Saturday.

—The UE women’s tennis team won its third straight match over the weekend, this one a home contest against Tennessee Martin improved the Aces’ record to 6-4.

Leave a Reply