What do the University of Evansville men's basketball team, Duke, Kentucky and UCLA all have in common? All four will be playing Bellarmine in non-conference play this upcoming season. The Aces will play host to the Knights on Wednesday December 21st at the Ford Center.
However. we're still months away from that. Right now new head coach David Ragland's focus is on blending all the new faces in new places with the few remaining veteran, following this spring's mass exodus via the transfer portal.
One of those new faces is a familiar one to Tri-State high school basketball fans. North grad Cameron Gelhausen is part of Ragland's first freshman class. There are also transfers like 6-10 forward Sekou Kalle, who comes from the University of Akron. They're all learning quickly from veterans like Blaise Beauchamp and Antoine Smith Jr.
"I had a long break, but I'm really excited to get back out here and I came back to where I left off in high school," says Gelhausen. "The first day jitters kind of uncomfortable, but I think from here on out, it's just going to get easier and easier. Hopefully the whole team comes together."
"I feel like I could be part of another program that where I'm going to have the opportunity to show what I can do," says Kalle. "Coach Ragland gave me the opportunity. I'm definitely excited and happy to be part of this team."
"The willingness to work", says Smith Jr., "which is the most important part and that's kind of like the main thing that some freshman get wrong, but all of them have been coming in, willing to work, willing to listen and get better, and hungry to get better, which is like the most important thing at this point."