Evansville Purple Aces (2-2) at Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (3-0)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Location: Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn.
Broadcast: 91.5 WUEV, OVC Digital Network
Live Coverage: Follow on Twitter (@ECP_Lintner)
Spread: Tennessee Tech -2 at Vegas Insider
Last Meeting: Tennessee Tech beat UE 72-70 in overtime at the Ford Center last December.
Recent Series History:
(UE leads series 10-3 all time)
2011-2012: Tennessee Tech 72, UE 70 OT
2009-2010: UE 91, Tennessee Tech 90 OT
1998-1999: UE 96, Tennessee Tech 56
1981-2982: UE 67, Tennessee Tech 43
Nov. 19: Aces hoping Taylor’s spirited play becomes infectious
Nov. 19: Taylor will play Tuesday; Ryan still day to day
Nov. 18: Sister’s fight with cancer helped Aces’ Chinn grow up
Nov. 18: With stingy defense, UE counting on offense to jump start
Nov. 17: Jahr’s 3s lift UE over Western Illinois
—UE’s game against Tennessee Tech will be the first of two this season versus Ohio Valley Conference opponents. The Aces also host Murray State on Dec. 8.
—Tennessee Tech senior guard Jud Dillard is averaging 28 points per game, a mark that has him currently second in the nation. Dillard was a preseason all-OVC selection.
—Despite shooting 26 percent from the field through four games, senior Ned Cox is UE’s leading scorer at 8.8 points per game. Much of that can be attributed to the Aces’ leading scorer the past three seasons, Colt Ryan, out with a hip pointer injury.
—While UE’s 53.5 points per game average is the lowest in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Aces are only giving up 53.5 points per game, best among the league’s 10 teams.
—And though the Aces have allowed opponents to shoot an MVC-worst 44 percent on defense, they have the league’s best assist-to-turnover ratio at +7.5.
—Western Illinois didn’t make a 3-pointer in the Aces’ win Saturday, the first time a UE opponent has failed to hit from beyond the arc in a game since Bradley on Feb. 17, 1999.
—Jordan Jahr scored in double figures during back-to-back games last weekend for the first time since his opening two games as a freshman during the 2010-2011 season.
—UE is 8-1 when senior Lewis Jones reaches double figures. That one loss came with his 14-point effort last Thursday against Buffalo.
UE coach Marty Simmons on Colt Ryan’s likelihood of playing: “I trust him enough that really, if the doctors clear him and it’s something he wants to do, then we’ll go with it. His health and well-being is the most important thing to us. Where there is a little bit of difference is that he’s a senior, and I know how important the season is to him. On the other hand, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. So there’s a fine line.”
Simmons on Troy Taylor’s energetic play: “That’s the kind of team we need to be. We’ve got to play with that energy and effort for 40 minutes. I think the biggest thing yesterday was, he was the one who came in here and had his head bumped but had the most energy. My thing was, we need to be more like Troy. He’s the one who got beat around and banged around, but he’s the one in here today not hanging his head or feeling sorry for himself because he’s banged up. He’s in here ready to go, and that’s how we have to be as a unit.”
Taylor on the last few minutes against Western Illinois: “I was just giving as much energy as I could, whether it was rebounding, guarding the ball, trying to make plays…It was a good thing we won, because it shows how relentless we can be when we need to be. We know how we need to play from minute one to minute 40.”
Outlook: Tennessee Tech is undefeated, yes, but not necessarily against top-notch competition. The Golden Eagles’ Division I wins came 71-69 over Coastal Carolina and 65-62 over East Tennessee State. Their other victory was versus Crowley’s Ridge (who?). That’s not to say UE knocked off world beaters in Yale and Western Illinois, but the Aces have to figure they’re as good or better than a team picked third in the OVC’s East Division (this is, by the way, the first year the OVC has had divisions now that the league is up to 12 teams).