Jan. 7, 2011
Follow on Gametracker Watch/Listen on the HLN Listen Online (ESPN Radio 1000)
Detroit Basketball Horizon League Basketball Flame Throwers
Download Game Notes
Television Outlets (Horizon League Television Network):
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WWRD (Dayton), WADL (Detroit), MyYTV (Youngstown, Ohio), MyNDY (Indianapolis), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), Time-Warner Cable Sports32 (Wisconsin) and Metro Sports (Kansas City, Lincoln)
UIC'S PROBABLE STARTERS
#2 Paul Carter, Sr., F
NOTES: Has recorded 14 double-digit scoring outputs, and posted five double-doubles on the season, including two-straight ... In Horizon League play, ranks second in the conference in rebounding (8.3 rpg), and fifth overall in scoring (15.3 ppg) ... Scored a team-high 13 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds against WSU.
#3 Robo Kreps, Sr., G
NOTES: Has scored 20 or more points in six contests, and scored in double figures 12 total times ... Ranks eighth in the Horizon League (all games) in scoring (15.6 ppg) ... Is the Horizon League's career active leader in three-point field goals (194) ... In conference play, is averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 assists per game in an average of 39.2 minutes per contest.
#23 Zavion Neely, Jr., G
NOTES: Has started all 16 games, regularly drawing the assignment as the Flames' "chaser" on defense ... Has recorded six double-digit scoring efforts ... Scored a season-high 22 points on a career-best three three pointers against Toledo on Nov. 28 ... Scored his 500th career point at Oregon State.
#35 Brad Birton, Sr., F
NOTES: Has appeared in all 16 games, and started 13 contests ... All three of his double-digit scoring outputs have come in Horizon League play ... Averaging 9.0 points on a 62.5 percent shooting effort in conference games ... Scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting Thursday against Wright State.
#34 Paris Carter, Jr., F/C
NOTES: Has appeared in 15 games, and started four contests ... Has scored eight or more points on five occasions, and pulled down at least five rebounds four times ... Played a season-high 30 minutes in his fourth-career start against Wright State, scoring eight points (3-4) and corralling five rebounds.
UIC: Howard Moore is in his first season as a college head coach. Moore, 37, comes to UIC after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin, his alma mater, under head coach Bo Ryan.
Moore joined the Badgers staff in 2005 and helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament in each of his five seasons in Madison. The team advanced past the first round of the Big Dance in each of the last four seasons and produced a memorable Sweet 16 run in 2008.
With Moore on the bench, Wisconsin posted three of the top-five winningest seasons in school history, including an historic 2007-08 campaign that saw the Badgers win a school-record 31 games en route to Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.
Under Ryan's tutelage Moore established himself as one of the top recruiters in the Big Ten by utilizing the Chicagoland area as a main pipeline for talent.
Detroit: Ray McCallum, who has also served as the head coach at both Ball State and Houston, is in his third season as the mentor at Detroit.
In his second season at UDM, McCallum directed the best turnaround in school history leading the Titans to a 20-14 record and a berth in the Horizon League championship semi-finals. The 20 victories marked a 13-win improvement from his first season and represented Detroit's first 20-win campaign since 2001.
Ball State posted a 126-76 record during McCallum's seven-year tenure, as he directed the Cardinals to two NCAA Tournament appearances (1995, 2000) and an NIT berth (1998), and became the first coach in Ball State history to post seven consecutive winning seasons.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC is 5-11 (0-4 Horizon) on the season, including a 2-4 record at home. The Flames are coming off a 71-63 loss versus visiting Wright State Thursday night.
Senior guard Robo Kreps is leading the Flames offensively, scoring 15.6 points per game -- he has also dished out a team-high 55 assists in his first full season running the point. Minnesota transfer, senior forward Paul Carter is averaging 14.6 points per game, while also leading the Flames in rebounding with 8.1 caroms per contest, third-best in the Horizon League. Kreps currently ranks fifth in the conference in scoring, while Carter ranks 10th.
In Horizon League play, Carter ranks fifth in the conference in scoring (15.3 ppg) and second in rebounding, at 8.3 caroms per game. He is averaging 6.0 defensive rebounds per contest in UIC's four Horizon League games.
UIC is averaging 62.6 points per game, and allowing its opponents to score 67.5 points per contest. At home, the Flames are surrenduring just 61.8 points per game, and are convincingly out-rebounding their opposition, 39.8-28.7 rpg.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Wright State, who defeated host Loyola Thursday night (83-71), is 9-7 on the season, including a 3-1 record in Horizon League play. The Titans have won their last three road games, dating back to Dec. 11.
Freshman guard Ray McCallum, the son of Detroit head coach Ray McCallum, is leading the Titans offensively, scoring 15.8 points per game, while shooting nearly 46 percent from the field. Chase Simon (13.5 ppg), Eli Holman (12.1), Jason Calliste (10.7) and Chris Blake (10.3) have all joined McCallum in double figures.
Holman leads the Horizon League in both offensive (3.8 rpg) and defensive (7.4 rpg) rebounds per game (11.3 total). He is also easily the top performer in field goal percentage, connecting on 59.8 percent of his shots (73-of-122) and is 5th in blocks (1.5 bpg).
In Horizon League action, Detroit leads the league in scoring offense (80.2 ppg), field goal percentage (.553), three-point field goal percentage (.550), blocked shots (6.3 bpg) and defensive rebounds per game (25.8).
BREAKING DOWN THE WRIGHT STATE GAME
Wright State jumped out to a 9-0 lead, and led by as many as 12 points in the first half (14:03) ... But UIC stormed back, and tied the game at 33-33 with 2:55 left in the opening stanza ... UIC opened a a game-high 44-40 lead with 16:06 remaining in the game ... Senior Paul Carter (13) scored a team-high 13 points, tallying his 14th double-digit scoring outputs of the season ... He also recorded his second-straight double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds), and his fifth of the season ... For the third-straight game, senior guard Dipanjot Singh eclipsed his career-high in scoring, chipping in 13 points on five field goals ... The Raiders out-scored the Flames 37-35 in the first half, and 34-28 in the second frame ... UIC out-rebounded Wright State 35-25, marking the 10th time this season UIC has out-boarded its opponent ... Senior center K.C. Robbins pulled down a season-high seven rebounds, while Carter corralled 11 caroms ... Senior forward Brad Birton scored 11 points, recording his third double-digit scoring output during Horizon League play ... Wright State's four senior starters (Vaughn Duggins, N'Gai Evans, Troy Tabler and Cooper Land) all scored in double figures, led by Duggins' game-high 22 points, including 17 in the second half ... The Flames out-scored the Raiders in the paint (30-22), on second-chance points (15-7) and through its bench (19-8) ... Senior guard Robo Kreps was held to single digits in the scoring column for the first time since Dec. 2 against Valparaiso, a span of seven games.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Robo Kreps scored a team-high 21 points at Cleveland State (1/11/11), his sixth performance this season with 20 or more points. In the process, Kreps passed Tim Anderson (1980-84) for 10th on UIC's all-time scoring list. Additionally, with his two assists against Oregon State (12/22/10), Kreps became only the third player in school history to score 1,300 or more points, and dish out at least 200 assists, joining Kenny Williams (1990-94) and Josh Mayo (2005-09).
Detroit leads the all-time series against UIC 21-13. The Flames and Titans split the regular season series last year, with both teams picking up wins on their respective home floor.
The series began in the 1994-95 campaign, with Detroit winning the first three meetings. Dating back to the 2006-07 season, UIC has won six-of the last eight contests, including three-straight at home.
CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
As mentioned, UIC has out-rebounded 10-of its 16 opponents this season, including the last five, and all four Horizon League foes. In fact, the only opponent to recording a rebounding advantage over the Flames at the UIC Pavilion this season is Central Michigan (11/24/10), which edged UIC on the boards, 37-34. In Horizon League play, the Flames rank second in the conference in defensive rebounding (23.0 rpg), and third overall in offensive rebounds (13.0 rpg). UIC is also the third-ranked team in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (+5.7) during conference games.
Senior forward Paul Carter leads the Flames with five double-doubles on the season ... Carter has tallied double dips against the College of Charleston (11/20/10), Toledo (11/28/10), Illinois State (12/11/10), Cleveland State (1/1/11) and Thursday night against Wright State ... He is second in the Horizon League in double-doubles, behind only Detroit's Eli Holman (8).
LACKING THE FINISHING TOUCH
After winning four games in the month of November, the Flames struggled to a 1-6 record in December. However, four-of those losses were by just two points, and took place after the Flames built substantial leads in the second half. In fact, against both Valparaiso (12/2/10) and Akron (12/4/10), UIC led until the final minute of the game before falling short. After coming up short at Youngstown State last Thursday, UIC is now 2-4 this season in games decided by five points or less.
KREPS IN HORIZON LEAGUE STATS
There is no shortage of Robo Kreps mentioning in the up-to-date Horizon League stats (all games). Along with leading the league in minutes played (37.5 mpg), the preseason All-Horizon League Second Team honoree ranks eighth in the conference in scoring (15.6 ppg), eighth in assists per game (3.4), third in free throw percentage (.848), 10th in steals (1.4 spg), fourth in three-point field goals per game (2.2), seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.412) and sixth in defensive rebounds (3.9 rpg).
BIRTON STEPPING IT UP IN LEAGUE PLAY
Senior forward Brad Birton, who is averaging 4.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on the season, has seen his production skyrocket early on in Horizon League play. In the Flames' four conference games, Birton is averaging 9.0 points per contest on a 62.5 percent (15-24) effort from the field. All three of his double-digit scoring efforts this season have come in Horizon League play.
Senior forward Paul Carter has been the overwhelming catalyst for the Flames' success on the boards this season. The Horizon League's third-leading rebounder (8.1 rpg), Carter has led the Flames in rebounding 10 times, and also grabbed nine or more caroms on eight occasions.
THE 70-POINT PLATEAU
UIC's improved defensive effort has had a direct result on its won-loss fate as the Flames transition into Horizon League play. The magic defensive number could very well be 70: When the Flames allow their opponent to score 70 or more points, they are 0-7 on the season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
UIC enters Saturday's game against Detroit ranked fourth in the Horizon League in assists per game (12.7). While senior guard Robo Kreps has dished out a team-high 55 assists, he has also had a little help from his friends. Paul Carter (34), Zavion Neely (36) and Brad Birton (29) have each dished out more than 20 helpers through the first 16 games of the season.
First-year head coach Howard Moore and the UIC men's basketball program received some great news in late September, when Minnesota transfer Paul Carter was granted a legislative relief waiver by the NCAA, allowing him immediate eligibility at UIC for his senior season.
Carter served as Minnesota's Sixth Man the past two seasons, helping the Golden Gophers reach a pair of NCAA Tournaments.
Carter transferred to UIC with one year of eligibility remaining to be near his sister, Bria, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, last winter. Since Carter joined the Flames, Bria has completed chemotherapy, received a temporary prosthetic leg after amputation, and started her high school career at King High School in Chicago this semester.