UE Men’s Basketball Set For Saturday Exhibition Game


UE faces Oakland City At Ford Center

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The long-awaited debut of University of Evansville head coach David Ragland and his 2022-23 Purple Aces squad is set for Saturday evening when UE takes on Oakland City in a 7PM exhibition game at the Ford Center.

Setting the Scene

– Oakland City marks the first of two exhibitions for the Aces with Huntington University up next on Wednesday

– UE welcomes ten newcomers to its team along with five returners

– Evansville native David Ragland makes his preseason debut for UE in his first Division I head coaching opportunity

Wrapping up 21-22

– Finishing with a 6-24 overall record, UE had its lowest win tally in a full season since 1937-38

– In the regular season finale against Missouri State both Noah Frederking and Shamar Givance reached the 1,000-point marks for their career

– One of the high points for the Aces was a 65-56 road win at Indiana State – it marked the first win at the Hulman Center since the 2010-11 campaign

– On January 23, the Aces earned a 56-53 home win over Illinois State – the triumph came just two days after a 94-56 road loss to the Redbirds

What’s on tap?

– Seven of the first eight regular season games will take place away from home with the lone game at the Ford Center set for November 16 when the Aces welcome Southeast Missouri State

– Regular-season opens with road contests at Miami Ohio (Nov. 7) and Saint Louis (Nov. 12) before the regular-season home opener versus SEMO

Scouting the Opponent

– Oakland City is coming off a 13-19 season that saw them improve in conference play with wins in 10 of their 18 games

– The Mighty Oaks lost their top three scorers but are set with a lineup that includes Allen Sims and DJ Redding who averaged 9.0 and 8.1 points per game, respectively, last season

– Head coach Ken French enters his second season at the helm of the OCU program

Finishing Strong

– As last season was coming to a close, Blaise Beauchamp was playing at his best

– Over the final eight games, Beauchamp averaged 13.8 points per game while scoring nine or more points in six of those contests

– During that stretch, he registered a career-high 29 points in the home game against Indiana State where he knocked down six triples

– Following the Feb. 8 game at Indiana State, his season scoring average stood at 6.0 PPG, however, the late rally saw his final average finish at 8.0 PPG

Ready for his Chance

– There were times last season when Antoine Smith Jr. was the best player on the floor and he looks to make the jump to the next level in 2022-23

– In his first season at UE, Smith posted 4.8 points per game while shooting 49.4% from the field and 44.4% from long range

– Smith set his career high with 24 points against Rice going 9-for-9 from the field and 6-of-6 from outside on his way to MVC Newcomer of the Week accolades in Nov