The Morning After: Trevecca Nazarene

Blake Simmons led all scorers with 14 points in last night's exhibition win.

Blake Simmons led all scorers with 14 points in last night’s exhibition win.

Story from UE’s 83-40 exhibition win over Trevecca Nazarene:

–Courier & Press: http://bit.ly/1eWEClC

Some early observations:

–Juniors Ryan Sawvell and Rokas Cesnulevicius did not play in yesterday’s game due to injuries.  Sawvell, who was dressed for the game, twisted his ankle in practice, and Cesnulevicius is nursing a back injury.

–Evansville’s perimeter defense is going to be good. Freshmen Duane Gibson and Jaylon Brown are two of the more athletic players on the squad, in addition to both being capable point guards, and did a great job managing the perimeter against Trevecca Nazarene’s guard-heavy lineup.

–Just as Marty Simmons said post game, the play in the paint needs the most work. Egidijus Mockevicius is stronger and smarter but is still getting in foul trouble. The sophomore picked up his second foul with seven minutes left in the first half and was benched after his fourth foul with about 10 minutes to go. He played 21 minutes and scored six points and six rebounds while splitting time with redshirt freshman David Howard. Junior Jaylon Moore and freshman Blake Simmons split time at the ‘4,’ but the Aces also went with bigger lineups at times, playing Howard, Moore, and Simmons together.

–Speaking of Simmons, the freshman really had a stellar night. He led UE in three stat categories (points, rebounds, assists) and looked like he grasped the offense well with his ability to penetrate off the dribble or sit on the wings and hit a 3-pointer. Though the 6-foot-5 swingman started, Marty Simmons said that if Sawvell was healthy, the junior would have started. Whether that means the freshman will be benched in the future is yet to be seen.

–Like the Aces said in preseason, turnovers are an issue. The squad said the biggest issue in practice was turnovers, and it was evident Saturday night. Though the Trojans were only able to score six points off turnovers, UE turned the ball over 15 times. Gibson and freshman Jaylon Brown are the two main floor generals for the Aces, so rookie mistakes are inevitable, but that’ll be a focus for the squad in practice moving forward.

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