Flames Set to Host Youngstown State in HL Opener Wednesday

Senior guard Daniel Barnes
Senior guard Daniel Barnes

Jan. 1, 2013

UIC vs. Youngstown State Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #14: Horizon League Play Begins
UIC Flames (9-4/0-0 HL) vs. Youngstown State Penguins (8-5/0-0 HL)
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 • UIC Pavilion (Chicago, Ill.) • 7:00 p.m. CST
Audio/Video: UIC Flames Radio Network ( Webcast)/Horizon League Network
Radio/HLN Talent: Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 24-50 (3rd season)
YSU Head Coach: Jerry Slocum • Record at YSU/Overall: 83-141 (8th season)/663-465 (38th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
Youngstown State68
February 2, 2012
Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion)
Strong Second Half Leads Flames Past Youngstown State, 72-68
The Flames placed four players in double figures, including double-doubles by both Hayden Humes and Darrin Williams, as the UIC men's basketball team used a resounding 40-27 rebounding advantage to defeat visiting Youngstown State, 72-68 in a Horizon League game at the UIC Pavilion Thursday night. Junior guard Daniel Barnes poured in a game-high 19 points on five three-pointers to pace the Flames' offensive output.

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' second leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. Ranks third in the Horizon League in both assists and assist/turnover ratio (2.3) and, and paces the League in steals per game (1.7). Held to a season-low five points at Toledo. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
The Flames' leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League-best 38 three-point field goals, an average of 2.9 threes per game. Hit career-high tying six three-pointers at Toledo, moving into 10th place on UIC's all-time list (107). Enters Wednesday's game with 495 career points, just five tallies short of 500. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Has started all 13 games this season, and played at least 30 minutes in six contests. The Flames' best perimeter defender. Shooting 78.8 percent (26-33) from the free throw line. Pulled down a career-best and team-high nine rebounds at Toledo. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' leading rebounder and third-leading scorer. Shooting 48.3 percent (56-116) from the field, and a team-best 46.3 percent (25-54) from three. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on five occasions. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in seven-of the last 10 games. Enters Wednesday's game as UIC's second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer. Averaging 2.7 assists per game, second-most on the team. Playing 26.8 mpg this season after averaging just 14.1 mpg in his previous three seasons of Division I basketball. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (9-4) will look to remain undefeated at home when the Flames host Youngstown State (8-5) in the Horizon League opener for both teams at the Pavilion Wednesday night (7:00 p.m.). The Flames are coming off a 74-55 loss at Toledo last Saturday, while YSU posted a 93-52 win over Marygrove to wrap up non-conference play. UIC is 5-0 at the Pavilion this season, while the Penguins have won five-of-six overall.

Back on the Horizon
UIC begins its 12th season of Horizon League play Wednesday - the Flames have compiled a record of 79-107 (.425) in League games over that span, achieving winning records in both the 2002-03 (12-4) and 2003-04 (12-4) seasons. UIC's best regular season Horizon League finish was in 2003-04, when the Flames finished second, one game behind first-place Milwaukee. The Flames went on to capture the 2004 Horizon League Tournament Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament. UIC will look to break a four-year streak of losing records in Horizon League play this season. Prior to becoming a full-time member of the League, UIC served membership stints in the MCC (1994-2001) and Mid-Continent Conference (1982-94).

Home Sweet Home
As mentioned, the Flames are 5-0 inside the confines of the UIC Pavilion this season. UIC is out-scoring its visiting opponents by an average of 18.2 points per game (66.8-48.6), and holding those foes to just a 32.4 percent effort from the field. Senior guard Daniel Barneshas had the hot hand in home games, averaging 14.6 points per contest while shooting 40 percent from the field and nearly 38 percent (.375) from three-point range.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For...
Two of the Horizon League's most prolific three-point shooters. Senior guard Daniel Barnesand Youngstown State guard Blake Allen are tied for the League lead in three-point field goals made, with 38 trifectas on the season (2.9 threes per game). Barnes has drilled six three-pointers twice this season, including in last Saturday's loss at Toledo, where he moved into 10th-place on UIC's all-time three-point field goal list (107). Allen has made 175 career threes and needs just 24 more to break the YSU career record of 198.

Scouting the Flames
UIC is 9-4 on the season, the first time the Flames have entered Horizon League play with at least nine wins since the 2003-04 campaign. Senior guards Daniel Barnes and Gary Taltonhave carried the offensive load - Barnes is scoring a team-high 12.7 points per game, while Talton is averaging 12.2 points per contest. Talton ranks third in the Horizon League in both assists per game (4.7) and assist/turnover ratio (2.3), and paces the League in steals (22).

Barnes enters Wednesday's game tied for the League lead in three-point field goals (38), alongside YSU's Blake Allen. He cracked the top-10 of UIC's career three-point field goals list last Saturday, after drilling a career-best six threes at Toledo. Junior forward Hayden Humes is the Flames' leading rebounder (5.8 rpg), and is also scoring 11.4 points per game. Senior center Josh Crittlehas chipped in 9.8 points per contest while ranking second on the team in assists per game (2.7).

Scouting the Penguins
Youngstown State is 8-5 on the season - the Penguins started out the campaign 3-0 before dropping four-straight contests. Since November 28, YSU is 5-1, including road wins at Bowling Green and Bethune-Cookman. Junior guard Kendrick Perry is averaging a team-high 16.2 points per game, which ranks fourth in the Horizon League. Senior forward Damian Eargle is scoring 12.3 points to go along with 7.4 rebounds per game - he leads the Horizon League with 45 total blocks. The aforementioned Blake Allen is scoring 12.2 points per contest and has 42 assists against just 12 turnovers. The Penguins are 4-2 on the road this season.

UIC-YSU: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
UIC and Youngstown State split the season series during the 2011-12 campaign, with each team recording wins on their respective home floors. The Penguins defeated the Flames 71-50 at the Beeghly Center on Jan. 7, 2012, behind Ashen Ward's 22 points. Junior forward Hayden Humeschipped in 11 points for UIC, who trailed 36-22 at halftime.

On Feb. 2 at the Pavilion, Humes and center Darrin Williamsboth posted double-doubles, as the Flames recorded a resounding 40-27 advantage on the boards. YSU led by six (35-29) at halftime, but UIC started the second half on a 15-5 run, and never trailed again after taking a 44-40 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining.

For the combined season series, guards Daniel Barnes and Gary Taltonboth averaged 12.5 points per game, while Humes averaged 11.0 points in the two contests. The graduated Ashen Ward averaged 18.0 points per game for the Penguins, while Kendrick Perry scored an average of 16.5 points per contest, and Blake Allen averaged 11.0 points per game.

What's Trending?
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes has scored in double figures in nine-of the past 10 games - he poured in a game-high 18 points on six three-pointers at Toledo. Over the past 10 games, Barnes is averaging 13.7 points per contest, including five games with 14 or more points. He has also drilled at least four three-pointers in four-of the last five contests.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in eight games, and dished out three or more helpers 12-of-13 contests. The Dallas native is averaging 5.0 assists per game over the past six contests.
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 16-of the last 20 contests.
• In the past three games, senior center Josh Crittle has scored 30 points (10.0 ppg) and dished out 10 assists (3.3 apg) against just two combined turnover.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes, who was limited to single-digit scoring performances in the previous three games, has tallied double-digit scoring efforts in each of the past two contests. He has scored in double figures eight times this season.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller is giving head coach Howard Mooreproductive minutes off the bench. In the past three games, Miller has played a combined 71 minutes (23.7 mpg) and scored a total of 29 points (9.7 ppg). Miller enters Wednesday's game averaging 5.6 points per game in an average of 17.2 minutes per contest on the season.

2012-13 Season Snapshot
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is averaging a team-high 12.7 points per game, with a total of 165 points on the season. He is shooting 41.6 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from three-point range.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is scoring 12.2 points per game, and leads the Flames with 61 assists on the season. He is also the team leader in steals (22), free throws made (46) and free throw percentage (.868).
• Junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 48.3 percent from the field and a team-best 46.3 percent from three-point range. Humes enters Wednesday's game with 395 career points in a UIC uniform.
• Barnes (12.7 ppg; 10th), Talton (12.2 ppg; t-13th) and Humes (11.4; 17th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-20 in scoring.
• Talton, Barnes, Humes, sophomore forward Marc Brown and senior center Josh Crittle have each started all 13 games for the Flames this season. That group is currently occupying 76.8 percent of UIC's total minutes played.
• UIC enters Wednesday's game against Youngstown State leading the Horizon League in defensive field goal percentage (.383) and three-point field goal percentage (.367), while ranking second in scoring defense (57.1 ppg), free throw percentage (.748), defensive three-point field goal percentage (.286) and three-point field goals made (7.8).
• UIC returns four starters (Talton, Barnes, Brown, Humes) from the 2011-12 team, including four-of its top five scorers. Overall, the Flames brought back 65 percent of their scoring from last season.
• During the 2012-13 season, UIC will play at least 14 games this season against teams that made appearances in the 2012 postseason, including four NCAA Tournament foes. The Flames are 2-1 this season against 2012 NCAA Tournament foes.
• UIC was picked to finish eighth in the nine-team preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's coaches, media and sports information directors.

The Rotation
UIC's regular rotation includes seven players that occupy nearly 93 percent (.926) of the Flames' total minutes played.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes is playing a team-high 33.9 minutes per game. He has started the last 38 games, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. Humes ranks second on the team in both field goals (56) and three-point field goals (25). He has led the Flames in scoring five times this season, and also been the top rebounder in five contests. During his Division I career, Humes (who started his career at Toledo) has scored 578 points (7.7 ppg) and pulled down 407 rebounds (5.4 rpg).
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has played 437 total minutes (33.6 mpg) this season. He has dished out 61 assists against 26 turnovers, and ranks second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) with 49 field goals, including 14 three-pointers. Talton has led the Flames in assists in 12-of-13 games, and paced the team in scoring on three occasions.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is averaging 31.7 minutes per game. The Oak Park, Ill., native is leading the Flames in field goals (57) and three-point field goals (38) and has pulled down 50 rebounds on the season. Barnes poured in a career-high 30 points against Eastern Michigan (12/15/12) and has converted a career-high six three-pointers twice this season.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown, the Flames' defensive stopper, has played a total of 358 minutes (27.5 mpg) this season. Brown often draws the defensive assignment on the opposing team's most talented perimeter player. Offensively, he has scored 275 career points in a total of 40 career starts.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 26.8 minutes per game. He is shooting 40 percent (40-100) from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding, with 5.1 boards per game. The UCF transfer has great vision for a big man - Crittle has dished out 35 assists on the season, and recorded six games with at least three helpers.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller, a first-year transfer from Eastern Illinois, has played a total of 223 minutes (17.2 mpg). Miller, who can play both guard positions, has posted three double-digit scoring outputs on the season, and played at least 20 minutes in five games. He is shooting nearly 41 percent (.406; 13-32) from three-point range.
• Sophomore Will Simontonmay be the Flames' most improved player from a year ago. The 6-foot-10 center played in 20 games off the bench last season, shooting less than 20 percent (.190) from the field in an average of just 6.1 minutes per game. This season, as the Flames' primary sixth man, Simonton has seen action in all 13 games, averaging 14.5 minutes per contest. He is shooting a team-best 51.4 percent (18-35) from the floor and has recorded nine blocks, second-most on the team.

UIC vs. Toledo Recap
Host Toledo jumped out to a 15-3 run to start the game, and held off a second half surge by the Flames, leading to a convincing 74-55 win over the UIC men's basketball team at Savage Arena last Saturday. The loss was the Flames' third-straight on the road.

The Rockets were led by Mid-American Conference leading scorer Rian Pearson, who poured in 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting, and pulled down 10 rebounds. Reese Holliday added 16 off the bench. UIC was led by senior guard Daniel Barnes, who scored 18 points on a career-high tying six three-point field goals. He moved into 10th place on UIC's all-time three-point field goals made list (107).

The Flames had 16 assists on their 21 field goals, and turned the ball just 10 times. But Toledo committed just seven turnovers, shot 43.8 percent from the field in the first half and held a 48-38 advantage on the boards. UIC limited the Rockets to just a 36.7 percent shooting effort in the final 20:00.

Dishin' It Out
UIC is averaging 13.3 assists per game this season, an improvement of nearly two helpers per game from the 2011-12 campaign (11.4). While the effort has been largely spearheaded by senior point guard Gary Talton's 61 assists, he has enjoyed considerable help from his teammates. Senior center Josh Crittle has dished out 31 assists on the season, while junior forward Hayden Humeshas handed out 20 helpers. Despite dropping each of the past two games, UIC still posted its top-two team assist performances of the season in those contests (15 at Miami University, 16 at Toledo).

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held seven opponents under 35 percent shooting (eight under 40 percent), including six-of the last nine. UIC has also limited six opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time in more than 60 years (1949-50).

On Nov. 17 against Mercer, the Flames held the Bears to just 36 total points, the fewest for an opponent since the 1959-60 season, and against Roosevelt, UIC limited the Lakers to just 12 first-half points, which set a new UIC Pavilion record.

More on the Defense
The numbers bear it - when UIC is defending to the level that it is capable of, the Flames are a difficult team to beat. Two of the more notable statistics are opponent's points per game and defensive field goal percentage. When UIC allows its opponent to score 70 or more points, the Flames are just 1-3 on the season. In contrast, when the Flames hold the opposition between 30 and 39 percent from the field, UIC is a flawless 7-0. Despite its recent road struggles, UIC is still one of the nation's best defensive teams. Entering Wednesday's game against the Penguins, the Flames are holding their opponents to just a 43.7 effective field-goal percentage, the 42nd-best mark nationally.

Running the Show
Senior point guard Gary Taltonhas tallied his 31 career double-digit scoring outputs, including 10 this season, but his efficiency in running the offense has been even more noteworthy. Talton has dished out 61 assists against just 26 turnovers, a Horizon League third-best assist/turnover ratio of 2.3. For his two-year career, Talton has produced a 1.48 assist/turnover ratio, with 160 assists versus 108 turnovers.

Danny ... For 3!
Over the past two years, senior guard Daniel Barnes has shown an ability to score in bunches from beyond the three-point arc. In 48 games played, Barnes has drilled 107 three-pointers, an average of 2.2 threes per game. With just nine more three-point field goals, Barnes would tie Aaron Carr(2000-04) for ninth on the all-time three-point field goals made list. Barnes, who has converted at least four three-pointers in five games this season, is on pace to wrap up his senior season with at least 159 career three-pointers, which would rank seventh all-time at UIC.

Collective Efficiency from Beyond the Arc
As mentioned, UIC is one of the Horizon League's most efficient three-point shooting teams. Entering Wednesday's game against Youngstown State, the Flames are leading the League in three-point field goal percentage (.367), while ranking second overall in three-point field goals made (101). The success from distance has been a collective effort - junior forward Hayden Humes (.463; 5th), senior guard Daniel Barnes (.409; 9th) and sophomore guard Joey Miller(.406; 10th) all rank in the top-10 of the Horizon League in three-point field goal percentage. Additionally, Barnes (38; t-1st) and Humes (25; 8th) both Wednesday's game ranked in the top-10 in three-point field goals made.

New Kids on the Block
• UIC has nine new players on the 2012-13 roster, including five freshmen (two walk-ons), two sophomores and two seniors.
• Three of the newcomers have Division I experience: Josh Crittle (UCF), Joey Miller (Eastern Illinois) and Kelsey Barlow (Purdue). Barlow will sit out the entire 2012-13 season satisfying NCAA transfer rules. Crittle and Miller were both given immediate eligibility with the Flames.
Matt Gorski, Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand are true freshmen, as are walk-ons Ngijol Songolo and Austin Angel.
Joey Miller and Jay Parker are sophomore eligible.
• Head coach Howard Moore's 2012-13 class was ranked at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in the publication's season preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section.