Team preview: Evansville

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 16, 2006, 12:25 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams. To order the complete 2006-07 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

COACH AND PROGRAM

The Purple Aces want to join the party.

With the Missouri Valley Conference booming the last couple of seasons, Evansville has been one of those teams that hasn't been able to share in the wealth.

Steve Merfeld's squad hopes this season could have a different ending to it, and with five starters back, the Purple Aces just might be able to accomplish it.

"We've got experience returning everywhere," Merfeld said. "I feel good about the five guys returning." Two of those players -- 5-11 Jason Holsinger and 6-4 Shy Ely -- are coming off standout freshmen campaigns that earned them all-conference honors.

"We started two freshman last year and it took them some time to mature and realize they can [play at this level]," Merfeld said.

ALSO SEE