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USI Picked 5th In OVC By Blue Ribbon Basketball Simmons Named To Preseason All-OVC Squad

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball was predicted to place fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) by Blue Ribbon Basketball Magazine. The official OVC preseason poll will be released in October at the league’s annual basketball media day.

The Screaming Eagles are entering their first season as an NCAA Division I program after spending the last 50 years in Division II and the last 43 years in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). USI finished its run in Division II with a national championship (1995), four regional championships (1994, 1995, 2004, 2019), and 12 GLVC titles.

Individually, senior guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio) was named preseason All-OVC by Blue Ribbon Basketball. Simmons was second team All-GLVC after averaging 14.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game a year ago.

The senior guard posted a season-high 23 points in the GLVC Tournament game versus the University of Missouri-St. Louis and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds at Drury University a year ago. Simmons reached 1,000 points for his collegiate career during a 22-point performance versus the University of Illinois Springfield (Youngstown State: 430 points; USI: 597 points).

USI finished 2021-22 with an 18-8 overall record, 12-6 in the GLVC, and returns five players, four of whom started 20 or more games last year.

BLUE RIBBON OVC FORECAST

  1. UT Martin

  2. Tennessee State

  3. Morehead State

  4. Little Rock

  5. Southern Indiana

  6. Southeast Missouri State

  7. Tennessee Tech

  8. SIUE

  9. Lindenwood

10. Eastern Illinois

PRESEASON ALL-OVC TEAM

G- Jalen Hawkins, GR, Morehead State

G-Jelani Simmons, SR, Southern Indiana

G-Phillip Russell, SO, Southeast Missouri State

G-Jr. Clay, GR, Tennessee State

G-KJ Simon, SR, UT Martin

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

KJ Simon, SR, UT Martin

 

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