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September 28, 2004

USI men’s basketball is 5th in Street & Smith’s

EVANSVILLE, INIn the first preseason poll of the year, the University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team was ranked fifth in the Street & Smith’s College Basketball Top 10. The Screaming Eagles have been ranked in the preseason each year since 1993-94 and have been a preseason fifth or better 10 times in the last 12 season.

“This is a great honor for the program and the players,” said fourth-year Head Coach Rick Herdes. “I am grateful to Street and Smith for their recognition of our program. However, it is not where you start the season, but where you finish.

“We have a lot work to do before the start of the season,” continued Herdes. “This type of recognition makes you want work that much harder. A lot of the credit goes to my assistant coaches, who have done a great job in the recruiting process.”

Individually, senior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) was named preseason honorable mention All-American. Brunson ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 10.8 ppg a year ago, but led the team in the post-season with 16.1 points per game.

The NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Most Outstanding Player moved into the USI top 10 all-time in scoring during 2003-04, ranking ninth with 1,208 career-point, and became USI’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made with 191 during the last three seasons.

The 2004 NCAA Division II National Finalist and the Great Lakes Regional Champion Eagles return two starters and five letterwinners from a team that finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 28-7 overall record. USI also was second in the GLVC regular season with a 15-5 league record and tied for third in the GLVC Tournament.

Street & Smith’s 2004 College Basketball
NCAA Division II Preseason Top 10
1. Philadelphia
2. Alaska-Fairbanks
3. Rollins
4. Kennesaw State
5. Southern Indiana
6. Michigan Tech
7. Virginia Union
8. Valdosta State
9. Clayton State
10. Saint Anselm

Possible Breakthroughs:
Bridgeport Bentley Bowie State California-Bakersfield Cal State San Bernardino Christian Brothers Concord (WV) C.W. Post District of Columbia Findlay Florida Gulf Coast Florida Southern Francis Marion Gannon Henderson State Lowell Lynn Nebraska-Kearney Northern State Pfeiffer St. Cloud State Southwestern Oklahoma West Virginia State Western Washington.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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