UE News and Notes for April 2, 2013

—It’s a pretty unanimous thought that UE’s four seniors left the Aces’ men’s basketball program better than they found it, as they said in a season wrap-up published in Monday’s paper. Look for more on the seniors’ futures this week as they eye professional careers.

—UE student Bryce Weiler also recapped the Aces’ season for thesportsfeast.com. Writes Weiler: “With the start of a new season, hope springs eternally again for Evansville basketball as the future is bright for the Aces basketball program.”

—UE’s baseball team out-scored Bradley a combined 24-9 in its weekend series, taking two of three games. Junior Jake Mahon went 6-for-11 against the Braves with three walks for a .643 on-base percentage in his return from a concussion. The Aces host Tennessee Martin at 6 p.m. today before traveling to Belmont on Wednesday.

The Missouri Valley Conference on Monday named UE softball senior Sarah Patterson its pitcher of the week. Patterson went 2-0 with wins against Murray State and Wichita State, the latter of which she threw a perfect game while facing the minimum 21 batters. Patterson is 6-5 this season with three shutouts already.

The MVC is reportedly looking at Missouri-Kansas City as a replacement for Creighton, which is notable considering the Kangaroos’ athletic department recently hired former UE player and assistant Kareem Richardson as its head coach. Other schools named in the report are Horizon League members Valparaiso, Loyola (Chicago) and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

—CBS Sports recounts a phone call between MVC commissioner Doug Elgin and former Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall, now at Wichita State, as a credit for the Shockers’ Final Four run.

—What do Wichita State and Creighton’s tournament wins mean for the MVC? More money than ever before from tournament units, worth about $250,000 apiece and shared among the league’s 10 members. Writes Forbes’ Patrick Rishe: “Considering that the Valley has been a “one and done” conference in 3 of the last 6 years, and with one of its long-standing stalwarts (Creighton) exiting stage right for the new Big East this summer, Wichita State’s performance in 2013′s rendition of March Madness is a well-timed financial and image boost for my friends at the MVC.”

—Wichita State is the first Final Four team out of the MVC since Indiana State in 1979. And Creighton junior Doug McDermott is the league’s first back-to-back Associated Press all-American since the Sycamores’ most noted player, Larry Bird, did it. The distinctions came in a season where the MVC posted 94 non-conference wins, its most ever.

UE signee Blake Simmons made the Associated Press’ all-state third team, the news organization announced Tuesday. Simmons, son of coach Marty Simmons, is currently part of a three-player 2013 class heading into the NCAA’s regular signing period April 17.

Former UE forward Jordan Jahr has decided to transfer to Texas A&M Kingsville, a Division II school close to home. Jahr left the Aces’ team in February after a brief suspension.

Illinois State veteran Jon Ekey has decided to transfer, and Ekey can play right away at his new school since he will graduate in May. The redshirt junior forward started 18 of 33 games for the Redbirds this season, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.

UE’s women’s golf team finished ninth of 10 at this week’s IPFW Invitational. Freshman Paige Crafton’s final-round 79 paced the Aces.

UE’s cross country teams competed in a track meet last weekend, where junior Kelby Jenkins, the Aces’ star distance runner, set a school record by winning the 10,000M with a time of 36:32.22.

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