—UE signee Blake Simmons, out of Castle High School, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds Wednesday in 16 minutes played for the Indiana Senior All-Stars as part of a 133-111 win over the Juniors before 2,125 fans at Tipton High School. Simmons also had a 3-pointer at the buzzer called off that would have joined him with six others in double figures. In the girls’ game, Dakota Weatherford dished out six assists in a winning effort, as the Seniors bested the Juniors by a 95-69 score in their final tuneup before playing the Kentucky All-Stars this weekend.
—Former UE pitcher Kyle Lloyd’s signing goes as another feather in coach Wes Carroll’s cap. He’s developed some consistency with players going in the draft — one in each of the last three years and seven in five seasons overall – proving that Aces coaches know how to develop talent.
—UE and Northern Illinois expressing “strong interest” in class of 2015 swingman Nate Navigato, according to the Chicago-area player’s AAU team, and Illinois-Chicago offered Navigato his first scholarship at the Flames’ camp this week. Navigato, at 6-foot-6, attends Geneva High School.
—Look for Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball buzz to start picking up as of June 24. That Monday, the league will host a coaches teleconference that will be streamed on Valley Live. Times are 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
—Often, the year before hosting a Final Four, NCAA tournament regional sites are played at domed stadiums as a test run. That will no longer be required by the NCAA, which instead wants to keep its postseason out of domes leading up to the national semifinals. This shouldn’t affect the MVC’s 2014 host site, the made-for-hoops Scottrade Center.
—Derrick Docket, the MVC’s social media guru, tweeted that some details for the league’s Mascot Madness competition will be released today. Though small in number, UE’s fan base made some noise in last year’s Mascot Madness before Ace Purple was knocked out late.
—UE women’s basketball coach Oties Epps tweeted Wednesday night, “So proud of our team. They get it…” along with a photo of the Aces’ grade-point average. It’s a combined 3.513 — not too shabby.