EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – It’s almost basketball season in the tri-state with just under three weeks until University of Southern Indiana tips off it’s 23-24 campaign. But Tuesday morning was a chance for both men’s and women’s Screaming Eagles teams to give fans some insight on their offseason progressions.
“We’re not there,” said women’s head coach Rick Stein. “We haven’t peaked yet. We’ve got a long ways to go. But certainly, you know, the fact that we’re we’re seeing progress every day, and in a lot of different ways, [is good].”
USI women’s basketball is projected to finish 6th this season in the Ohio Valley Conference. After losing six games last year by five points or less, graduate student Tori Handley and the veteran leadership is poised to make a change.
“Last year, I don’t feel like we really were able to finish games,” Handley said. “We kind of just laid back and expected it this year. It’s not that we’re going to do whatever we can’t. We’re going to make tough plays and we want to win.”
While the women’s team has a steep hill to climb, there is no plateau in sight for the men’s team either; projected to finish 9th this year after losing much of it’s talent from last season. But leaning on each other on and off the floor is a point of emphasis in the cohesion of a young roster. A tough task for the newest team captain, Jack Mielke.
“Coming together as a team, obviously we have returning guys from last year, but [we have] a lot of new faces,” Mielke said. “So building team chemistry coming together as a group is have been a big focus as well.”
“We have some guys that can score basketball,” said head men’s coach Stand Gouard. “You know, I think the biggest thing for us is understanding each other’s tendencies, playing within your means and playing, you know, for the team and for yourself. And I think we’re doing a wonderful job of those things.”
Both teams tip off the 2023-24 season with Screaming Eagles Madness Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Screaming Eagles Arena.