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The best from Thursday’s UE men’s basketball media day:

Coach Marty Simmons on expectations to win the Missouri Valley Conference: “Oh, but that’s every team in America. As long as I’ve been here, and the people around me have been here, that’s been our goal. I think just here in the short-term, we’re super excited to start practice – to do more in one day than we’ve been able to do in a week.”

Simmons on last year’s defense: “We were embarrassed at how we played – as a coaching staff and as a team – defensively. We all have to take responsibility and accountability for that, and the only way to improve that is to work at that and commit to that. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Freshman guard D.J. Balentine on how much he hates losing: “If we’re playing chess, or who can brush their teeth the fastest, stuff like that – I want to win at everything I do.”

Senior guard Colt Ryan on the freshmen: “They’ve done a good job competing and they’re very talented. That kind of builds a championship environment. You’ve got to have people who aren’t playing or haven’t been here come in and stir the pot a little bit.”

Sophomore forward Rokas Cesnulevicius on the new Fifth Third Practice Facility: “It’s mind blowing – really nice. And I’m happy the Evansville people and fans donated money so we can practice here. All the players are excited and going to try and accomplish what the fans want them to. Fans want for us to win, and they’ve showed us they’re really supporting us by donating money and helping us any way they can.”

Freshman forward Adam Wing on his first collegiate season: “I know what my role is going to be the first year. I’m going to have to provide some leadership, provide some toughness – do the dirty things that don’t go in the stat books like diving on the floor after a loose ball. I want to be a blue-collared, tough player.”

Look for more from media day in Friday’s paper.

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