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November 01, 2005

USI opens exhibition schedule at Tennessee Thursday evening

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The NCAA Division II 10th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team will open the 2005-06 exhibition schedule at the University of Tennessee Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (CST) in Knoxville, Tennessee. USI will conclude the exhibition schedule November 20 when the squad travels to the University of Louisville for a 4:05 p.m. (CST) game.

The Screaming Eagles, who are coming off a 27-5 overall record and a sweep of the GLVC Championships in 2004-05, were 0-2 last year in exhibitions against the University of Evansville (88-75) and the University of Cincinnati (82-62).

Chris Thompson

USI will be led into the 2005-06 campaign by preseason honorable mention All-American Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida). The senior forward is USI's top returning scorer with 11.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg in 32 contests during his first season with the team.

Thompson dominated the boards off the bench for the Eagles during 2004-05 with 12 doubles-doubles and 15 double-digit rebounding efforts.

David Bryant

In the backcourt, USI senior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky) leads the way for the Eagles. The honorable mention All-GLVC performer averaged 8.7 ppg and 3.4 apg off the bench.

The Volunteers of Tennessee, who were 14-17 a year ago, will be playing their first game under former USI head coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl was 231-46 during nine seasons at USI's helm and finished his stay as the Eagles' all-time winningest coach.

The Eagles-Volunteers match-up will mark the second time that current USI Head Coach Rick Herdes and Pearl have coached against each other. The first was in 2003-04 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and ended with the Panthers defeating the Eagles, 99-76.

Herdes, Pearl's top assistant during his tenure, enters the 2005-06 season ranking third in victories at USI (102) after just four seasons.

USI tips-off the regular season next week at the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic in Orlando, Florida. The tournament will run November 11-13.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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