A bit later than I originally thought (MUCH later, in fact; I was sure this would have already been released by late August), but USI was trying to confirm at least one exhibition men’s basketball game. Setting up these games apparently is a real pain in the butt because the NCAA Division I schools USI would like to play — I’m talking Big Ten or SEC schools that aren’t more than a few hours drive from Evansville — get scared of what the Eagles might do to their teams. Yes, scared is the right word. As I understand it, these D-I schools are scared to death that their players will come out flat and fail to take USI seriously until it’s too late and they lose. I’ve always thought that the purpose of an exhibition game — I like to think of them as the basketball version of soccer’s “friendlies” — is to get your players into a real game without it counting. Right? USI coach Rodney Watson has yet to win one of these things against a D-I program, but it hasn’t mattered. And I’ve seen D-I schools lose to D-II schools in these games (Bellarmine beat Xavier in Cincinnati a few years ago in a “friendly”) and the game is pretty much forgotten by December, if not sooner.