Game #16: Flames Return Home to Face Preseason Favorite Valpo

Junior forward Hayden Humes is a Valparaiso, Ind., native.
Junior forward Hayden Humes is a Valparaiso, Ind., native.

Jan. 8, 2013

UIC vs. Valparaiso Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #16: Flames Return Home to Face Preseason Favorite Valpo
UIC Flames (10-5/1-1 HL) vs. Valparaiso Crusaders (11-5/1-1 HL)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 7:00 p.m. CST (Doubleheader)
Audio/Video: League Network
HLN Talent: Justin Weiner (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 25-51 (3rd season)
CSU Head Coach: Bryce Drew • Record at Valpo/Overall: 33-17 (2nd season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
February 14, 2012
Valparaiso, Ind. (Athletics-Recreation Center)
First-Place Valparaiso Outlasts Men's Basketball, 74-65
Sophomore forward Hayden Humes, junior point guard Gary Talton and senior center Darrin Williams combined to score 43 points, and the Flames built a season-best 10-point halftime lead, but first-place Valparaiso exploded for 47 points in the second half, getting past the UIC men's basketball team, 74-65, in a late-season Horizon League battle at the Athletics-Recreation Center Tuesday night.

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. Ranks third in the Horizon League in both assist/turnover ratio (2.3) and steals per game (1.6). Shooting nearly 86 percent (.857) from the free throw line. Has scored in double figures 12 times this season. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes• SG,br> The Flames' second-leading scorer. Has drilled a Horizon League-best 42 three-point field goals, an average of 2.8 threes per game. Ranks 10th on UIC's all-time three-point field goals list (111). Passed the 500-career point plateau against Youngstown State. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Has started all 15 games this season, and played at least 30 minutes in seven contests. The Flames' best perimeter defender. Shooting 82.1 percent (32-39) from the free throw line. Chipped in eight points at Cleveland State. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Ranks sixth in the Horizon League in rebounding. Enters Wednesday's game as Flames' third-leading scorer. Shooting 46.0 percent from the floor. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on seven occasions. Native of Valparaiso, Ind., and attended Valparaiso High School. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in nine-of the last 12 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 27.5 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 (10-5, 1-1 Horizon) will look to remain unbeaten at home Wednesday, when the Flames entertain preseason Horizon League favorite Valparaiso (11-5, 1-1 Horizon) in the back end of a doubleheader at the Pavilion at approximately 7:00 p.m. CST. The Flames are coming off a 60-50 loss at Cleveland State Monday night, while Valpo defeated CSU, 74-50, in its last game on Jan. 4.

Back on the Horizon
UIC is in its 12th season of Horizon League play - the Flames have compiled a record of 80-108 (.426) 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).

What to Watch For
A pair of teams that win with defense. The Flames are the Horizon League's top-ranked team in terms of field goal percentage defense (.384), and Valpo enters Wednesday's game ranked third in the category (.399). UIC has held seven opponents under 35 percent shooting (nine under 40 percent), and limited six opponents to fewer than 50 points.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders are surrendering just 58.9 points per game, and under 40 percent shooting (.399) for their opponents.

Last Time Out: Flames Drop 60-50 Decision at Cleveland State
The UIC men's basketball team committed 12 first-half turnovers, and Cleveland State's Tim Kamczyc scored 13 second half points, keying the Vikings to a 60-50 win over the Flames in a Horizon League game at the Wolstein Center Monday night.

Seniors Josh Crittle and Gary Taltoneach chipped in 10 points to lead UIC offensively. Cleveland State saw three players score in double figures, led by freshman Bryn Forbes' 14 points. UIC committed 18 turnovers, its second-highest total of the season. The Flames also converted 14 field goals, a season-low mark.

The Vikings scored 19 points off turnovers, and held a 32-30 edge on the boards, including nine offensive rebounds.

Scheduling Note: Green Bay Game Moved to 3:00 p.m.
This Saturday's (Jan. 12) UIC vs. Green Bay men's basketball game at the Resch Center has been moved up from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., due to the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers playing in primetime during the NFC Divisional Playoffs. The game has also been added to the programming lineup for ESPN Chicago (WMVP-AM 1000). Saturday's contest will represent UIC's third Horizon League game of the week. Green Bay will host Loyola at the Resch Center Wednesday night.

2012-13 Season Snapshot
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game, with a total of 187 points on the season. He is also the team leader in steals (24), free throws made (54) and free throw percentage (.857).
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 12.2 points per game - he is shooting 40.8 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from three-point range. Barnes is also averaging 3.9 rebounds per game, fourth-most on the team.
• To go along with his 11.2 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 46.0 percent from the field. The second-year transfer from Toledo passed the 400 career-point plateau in a UIC uniform last Wednesday against Youngstown State, and enters Wednesday's game just two points shy of 600 (598) for his Division I career.
• Talton (12.5 ppg; 8th), Barnes (12.2; 10th) and Humes (11.2; 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 15 games for the Flames this season. That group is currently occupying 77.5 percent of UIC's total minutes played. Humes (514) and Talton (510) have both played more than 500 minutes on the season.
• UIC enters Wednesday's game against Valparaiso leading the Horizon League in defensive field goal percentage (.384) while ranking second in scoring defense (57.5 ppg) and three-point field goals made (7.4). The Flames rank third in the League in free throw percentage (.752), three-point field goal percentage (.351), three-point field goal defense (.296), turnover margin (+2.5) and assist/turnover ratio (1.2). • Nationally, the Flames rank 14th in turnovers per game (10.9), 22nd in scoring defense, 29th in three-point field goal defense, 30th in free throw percentage, 33rd in defensive field goal percentage, 45th in assist/turnover ratio and 48th in turnover margin.
• 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.

Josh Crittle Named HL Newcomer of the Week
Senior center Josh Crittle, a first-year transfer from UCF, has been named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week. League officials made the announcement from their Indianapolis-based headquarters Monday morning. The accolade marks Crittle's second Newcomer of the Week honor of the season, and UIC's fourth weekly plaudit from the League office. Senior guards Gary Talton (11/26/12) and Daniel Barnes(12/17/12) also collected HL Player of the Week nods earlier this season.

Crittle was one-of-four Flames in double figures last Wednesday (Jan. 2) in their 65-60 win over Youngstown State at the Pavilion. The big man's scoring output came on 6-of-10 shooting as he also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds

Scouting the Crusaders
Valparaiso, the preseason Horizon League favorite, is 11-5 on the season, with a 1-1 mark in Horizon League play - the Crusaders have won four-of their last five. Preseason First-Team All-Horizon League selection Ryan Broekhoff has spearheaded Valpo's offensive attack, averaging 16.1 points per game to go along with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Newcomer LaVonte Dority is averaging 12.4 points per game in seven appearances, while center Kevin Van Wijk has chipped in 12.1 points per contest. The Crusaders, who are 3-4 in true road games, are coached by second-year mentor and former Valpo letterwinner Bryce Drew.

Valparaiso leads the Horizon League in scoring margin (+9.2), field goal percentage (.459) and rebounding margin (+6.6).

UIC-Valpo: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
Valparaiso recorded a pair of single-digit wins over UIC last season, defeating the Flames 60-55 at the Pavilion (1/21/12), and 74-65 at the ARC on Valentine's Day (2/14/12).

At the Pavilion, there were a combined 23 ties and lead changes, and the Flames led 29-27 at halftime. But Valpo scored 32 points in the paint, and sealed the win by hitting five free throws in the final 21 seconds. UIC trailed by just two (55-53) with 1:09 remaining. UIC's Gary Talton scored 12 points, while Paris Carter and Hayden Humeseach chipped in 11. The Crusaders were led by Kevin Van Wijk, who poured in 20 points. Ryan Broekhoff also scored 12 points.

In the return game at the ARC, UIC held a 10-point (37-27) halftime lead after shooting nearly 52 percent (.517) from the floor in the opening 20:00. Valpo took a 58-53 lead with less than eight minutes remaining and didn't look back. The Crusaders out-scored UIC 47-28 in the second half, shooting a blistering 72.2 percent (13-for-18) from the floor, and drilling eight threes. Humes, Talton and senior center Darrin Williamscombined to score 43 points in one of UIC's most efficient offensive efforts of the season. Broekhoff and Van Wijk, the League's respective third and fourth-leading scorers entering the game, were limited to just a combined 20 points.

Familiar Place
For the fourth time in his UIC career, junior forward Hayden Humeswill be facing his hometown Division I team in Valparaiso. Humes attended Valparaiso High School before beginning his Division I college basketball career at Toledo, and eventually transferring to UIC. In three games against the Crusaders (one at Toledo, two at UIC), Humes has averaged 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Below is a summary of Humes' career performances against his hometown team:

• 12/11/10 (at Toledo): 10 points, 14 rebounds
• 1/21/12 (UIC Pavilion): 11 points, 6 rebounds
• 2/14/12 (ARC, Valparaiso, Ind.): 15 points, 2 rebounds

What's Trending?
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes, who played his 50th career game Monday night at Cleveland State, has scored in double figures in 10-of the past 12 games. Over the past 12 games, Barnes is averaging 12.9 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 seven contests.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in nine games, and dished out three or more helpers 13-of-15 contests. In home games, the Dallas native is averaging 5.8 assists per contest, bolstered by three games with seven or more helpers.
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 18-of the last 22 contests.
• In the past five games, senior center Josh Crittle has scored 54 points (10.8 ppg) and dished out 15 assists (3.0 apg). Crittle has scored in double figures in four-of the last five games, and was the Flames' leading scorer (10 points) at Cleveland State.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes has averaged 6.8 rebounds per game over the last six contests, including a team-high eight boards at Cleveland State.
• Sophomore guard Joey Millerhas become a valuable member of UIC's backcourt rotation. In the past five games, Miller has played a combined 117 minutes (23.4 mpg) and scored a total of 40 points (8.0 ppg).

The Flames' Rotation
UIC's regular rotation includes seven players that occupy 93.3 percent of the Flames' total minutes played.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes is playing a team-high 34.3 minutes per game. He has started the last 40 games, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. Humes leads the team in both field goals (63) and is second in three-point field goals (26). He has led the Flames in scoring five times this season, and also been the top rebounder in seven contests. During his Division I career, Humes (who started his career at Toledo) has scored 598 points and pulled down 422 rebounds.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has played 510 total minutes (34.0 mpg) this season. He has dished out 69 assists against 30 turnovers, and leads the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) for the second-consecutive season. Talton has led the Flames in assists in 14-of-15 games, and paced the team in scoring on five occasions.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is averaging 31.1 minutes per game. The Oak Park, Ill., native leads the Horizon League in three-point field goals (42) and has pulled down 59 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 421 minutes (28.1 mpg) this season. Brown often draws the defensive assignment on the opposing team's most talented perimeter player. Offensively, he has scored 287 career points in a total of 42 career starts.
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 27.5 minutes per game. He is shooting nearly 43 percent (.424) from the field and ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg), including 1.9 offensive boards per game. The UCF transfer has great vision for a big man - Crittle has dished out 40 assists on the season, and recorded seven games with at least three helpers.
• Sophomore guard Joey Miller, a first-year transfer from Eastern Illinois, has played a total of 269 minutes (17.9 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 seven games.
• 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 15 games, averaging 13.7 minutes per contest. He is shooting a team-best 48.6 percent (18-37) from the floor.

Dishin' It Out
UIC is averaging 13.1 assists per game this season, an improvement of nearly two helpers per game (1.7) from the 2011-12 campaign (11.4). While the effort has been largely spearheaded by senior point guard Gary Talton's 69 assists, he has enjoyed considerable help from his teammates. Senior center Josh Crittle has dished out 40 assists on the season, while junior forward Hayden Humeshas handed out 22 helpers. UIC has posted three-of its best team assist performances of the season in the past four games (15 at Miami University, 16 at Toledo, 16 vs. Youngstown State).

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 (nine under 40 percent) - 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 8-0.

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 50 games played, Barnes has drilled 111 three-pointers, an average of 2.2 threes per game. With just five 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 146 career three-pointers, which would rank eighth all-time at UIC.

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.