USI men’s basketball gears up for promising season

Sports

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Any first-year head coach would be enviable of the position Stan Gouard finds himself in this season with USI.

Gouard, who is entering his first year with the Screaming Eagles, will inherit a team that is ranked No. 25 in the NABC Preseason Top 25 and picked to win the GLVC East.

A former USI player, Gouard returns to the Screaming Eagles after spending the last 12 years at the University of Indianapolis.

And with plenty of preseason fanfare surrounding USI after a promising season last year, Gouard knows the pressure his on in his inaugural season on the sidelines.

“The stakes are pretty high with us having a 22-8 record last year,” Gouard said. “Top twenty-five team in the country, picked to win the GLVC, so the target’s right on our back right away. We have to defend that; defend the fact that we’re picked on paper to be the best team in the league, but also the twenty-five ranking. That’s not good enough. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.”

USI returns their three leading scorers from last season in Emmanuel Little (16.1 PPG), Josh Price (12.9 PPG) and Mateo Rivera (11.7 PPG).

“We’ve been going hard for a few months now playing against each other,” Rivera said. “It’s been a long layoff since March, when we played a regular season game. We’re just looking forward to Friday.”

The Screaming Eagles will kick-off their season at home on Friday, Nov. 27 against Rockhurst.

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(This story was originally published on Nov. 20, 2020)

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