Road. Lewis – David Ragland arrived on the Missouri Athletic Membership for the Males’s Basketball Media Day on the Missouri Valley Convention on Wednesday as he usually does in any room he enters, with an enormous smile on his face to precise his happiness for the times forward. He wore the identical purple tie as he had performed for his introductory press convention, a floral sample partially hidden behind a black swimsuit with a brand new purple belt.
He joked that he was not defeated but. This summer time was a honeymoon interval, in spite of everything.
Ragland sat on the podium for his conference-wide presentation, recalling a letter butler coach Thad Mata had despatched him concerning the state of faculty basketball earlier than he left for the College of Evansville.
“On the finish of the day, basketball is basketball,” Matthew advised him. “Recruiting is recruiting. On the finish of the day, they’re the individuals you do it with.”
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After all, there was a loaded day forward. Media interviews stuffed Ragland and the three gamers who made the journey – Blaise Beauchamp, Marvin Coleman II and Antoine Smith Jr.
The reporting countdown is quick approaching. Issues are beginning to look actual. The primary in-person media day since 2019 added to the anticipation that led to the primary official observe on September 28.
“We’ve per week of full coaching and 20 hours per week,” Ragland mentioned. “We really feel higher concerning the composition of our crew despite the fact that they’re taking part in towards one another.”
There have been a wide range of totally different subjects lined by Ragland and the opposite coaches throughout the valley. Listed below are three foremost speaking factors:
Missouri Valley Convention coaches are forward of David Ragland to revive the Aces
Ryan Bydon just lately spoke to Ragland. The brand new head coach for Illinois State and the brand new head man within the EU have a superb relationship and share the frequent floor of being first-year coaches on the new-look MVC.
“I’ve recognized David Ragland for a very long time,” Bedon mentioned. “He is a fantastic coach, and he is very revered in our enterprise. He is a buddy, and that positively will not change.”
Ragland and Bedon had related struggles previous to their first seasons in management. Having one another to speak to and share concepts with was a superb benefit for every of them once they begin their teaching profession. Ragland compares their relationship to that of a exercise associate or somebody who’s on a eating regimen with them.
“Lots of occasions, going by means of something alone may be tough,” Ragland mentioned. “It makes it simpler. … Iron sharpens iron. He has all the time been a fantastic buddy and a fantastic coach and can be nice as a head coach. Simply to have the ability to test on him, and I spoke to him each coach within the league, simply to attach.”
The consensus from MVC coaches is a respect for the work Ragland has performed up thus far. Some forecasters have already got a purple ace on the backside of MVC once more – a pre-season convention ballot might be introduced in a number of weeks – however coaches say they’ve been impressed and supported the efforts of Ragland and his crew.
“I see him working. I see him grinding on the highway,” Bradley coach Brian Wardle mentioned. “I feel they’re dedicated to constructing this program and I hope they will try this. I would like to see each faculty within the Valley doing effectively, particularly non-conferences. Not simply once they have been Bradley.”
“He is made a fantastic crew and I feel he is obtained individuals who actually care concerning the faculty and individuals who care about Evansville,” Southern Illinois coach Brian Mullins mentioned. “Clearly the fan base is nice, so I do know he’ll get this factor.”
Ragland spoke about how being a local of Evansville offers him an edge in native recruiting, which resonated with the league. That mixed with this system’s wealthy historical past might be an enormous assist in getting the Aces again to prominence after the 6-24 season.
“Sure jobs want individuals who perceive obtain success, and never all jobs are the identical,” Missouri State coach Dana Ford mentioned. “I feel he has a fantastic understanding of how Evansville basketball is again in its glory days. I feel he grew up in that space, has recruiting relationships, it might nearly be thought-about a dream job.”
Saved software program becoming a member of new-look MVC ‘will increase competitiveness’
Ragland is on his third project at MVC, however that is his first step as head coach.
The league he enters may be very totally different from the league he has skilled previously. Throughout his time at Indiana and Valparaiso, former MVC powers now Creighton and Wichita have been on prime of the rankings and competed for the High 25 and NCAA Championships. Nevertheless, MVC remained a multi-show league for many seasons regardless of its spin.
Loyola got here in and left for the Atlantic 10, and now there’s an opportunity for a crew to win the rostrum within the convention.
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Ragland enters the league once more by means of modifications. Belmont, Murray State and Illinois-Chicago joined after collaborating within the Ohio Valley Convention and the Horizon League. This creates further challenges for the MVC desk of 20 video games (upped from 18) and new opponents to be taught.
“You take a look at a really aggressive, storied league, however you add three groups and packages which are storied packages,” Ragland mentioned. “It solely provides to the competitiveness. It additionally provides to the depth of the league and creates a possibility for us to be a multi-pronged league.”
Though it’s not a brand new phenomenon, the reorganization of conferences has remained on the forefront of nationwide curiosity. The USC and UCLA’s impending transfer to the Large Ten has left PAC-12 in limbo whereas others proceed to expertise splits.
With widespread modifications within the faculty athletic panorama, the main target stays on bettering by means of enlargement and providing stronger packages than these leaving.
“Essentially the most thrilling factor is that we now have added tournament-caliber packages,” Ford mentioned. “And these groups haven’t been good due to the tournaments they play in, they’ve been good due to the dedication to males’s basketball in each college. That is the primary time that I really feel that our league has added higher groups than it has misplaced.”
The Aces are making ready for the long run, however that does not imply they plan to battle once more this season
The NCAA Switch Portal has modified faculty basketball. Over 1,400 gamers entered their names this season, which signifies that every DI crew had a median of three.9 Checks.
The fixed development of the schedule has modified expectations in many colleges. Within the Valley, Missouri needed to substitute all-conference performer Isaiah Mosley (Missouri) whereas Illinois misplaced Antonio Reeves (Kentucky). Simply final month, a UIC newcomer owned the enduring Damaria Franklin leap ship to Memphis with no time to exchange him.
UE finally misplaced six transfers, plus three others both graduated or left this system. Shamar Jevans (UTEP), Joan Newton (Southern Illinois), Blake Sisley (Wright State), and Troy Boynton (South Carolina) arrived at different DI colleges.
Alternatively, Aces Coleman introduced in from UNLV, Seiko Kali from Akron and Kenny Strawbridge Jr. from Alabama.
UE has 9 new faces on its roster with transfers and starters. They shortly gathered after a late coaching change. There’s a primary have to construct crew concord from scratch.
Ragland seems assured regardless of the slate overhaul.
“For 19 years, I used to be on a one-year contract,” Ragland mentioned. “My duty to Marvin, he has one yr to do this. So we’re not simply going to say we’re making ready for the long run and never caring concerning the current.”
He continued, “We are going to attempt to be the very best we may be this yr and we are going to do the identical subsequent yr. They did not put the contract in entrance of me and say, ‘Coach, you possibly can solely win X Video games’ or ‘You possibly can’t combat for a championship.'” The sky is the restrict. They left a clean canvas.”