Gibson, Evansville learning as they go
CINCINNATI — Tuesday night was another night of learning for
Duane Gibson, Jr. There will be a lot of learning experiences for the
Cleveland native and they will be on the fly. “Boo” Gibson will have
plenty of company on the University of Evansville basketball team; the
Purple Aces have just one junior and no seniors among its rotation of
Xavier beat Evansville 63-60 Tuesday
night at the Cintas Center. Evansville had a 13-point lead with 12:03
left to play, but the Musketeers rallied for the win by turning up the
heat with their full-court press. It was a tough night for Gibson. He
did score eight points and he handed out five assists, right on his
season averages of 8.9 points and 5.3 assists, but he also committed
four turnovers and had foul trouble in the second half that limited him
to playing just 10 of the final 20 minutes.
loss dropped Evansville to 6-4. All of the losses have come on the road
and against high quality opponents — Indiana, Ohio, Murray State and
now Xavier. The losses to IU and OU were blowouts. The Murray State and
Xavier games were decided by a combined five points.
will take this game as a positive,” said Gibson. “We’ve got to get in
the gym and work on our mistakes, work on executing and valuing the
ball… When they turn up the pressure, we have to execute better. Coach
was saying to focus more because of the crowd and everything. We have to
focus on our objective to win.”
about winning. He was a first-team All-Ohio selection and led Villa
Angela-St. Joseph to its fifth OHSAA state championship last March,
scoring 22 points to go along with eight assists, eight rebounds and
three steals in an 87-63 victory over Leipsic in the Division IV title
game. He went from being a 5-10 sophomore learning how to play the
position from VASJ coach Babe Kwasniak to a 6-3 “consummate point guard”
in the words of Kwasniak to the Cleveland Plain Dealer last March.
His role is the same at Evansville.
been great,” said Evansville coach Marty Simmons. “I think he’s a heck
of a player. Any success we’ve had he’s played a huge part in it. He’s
such a terrific young man. He, like all of the freshmen, I’m sure he’s
learning a lot every day. He comes to practice every day with a great
attitude. He comes from a great family, a great basketball family back
in high school. He’s a giver. He’s a pass-first scorer. He rebounds the
ball so well. We’ve certainly asked a lot of him at an early age and
The Missouri Valley Conference
preseason poll picked the Purple Aces to finish sixth in the league.
Given the makeup of the roster, so heavily reliant upon freshmen and
sophomores, that’s not a bad spot in a conference that features Wichita
St., a Final Four participant last season and ranked No. 12 in the AP
poll and No. 8 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.
Purple Aces lost four starters off of last season’s 21-win team. Gibson
has started all of his team’s 10 games. He is the team leader in
assists for a team that leads the MVC in assists. He’s had at least four
assists in eight of those 10 games, including back-to-back games with
double-digit assist totals. He’s the first Evansville player to do that
He also already has his first career
double-double, scoring 12 points with 10 assists in a 100-92 win against
Boo Gibson is having a good start to his college learning experience.
having a lot of fun,” said Gibson. “I know that we’ll grow every day
and get better every day. We have leaders on this team, just not
seniors. We’ve got (sophomore) Adam Wing and (junior) Jaylon Moore who
are real good leaders.”