Jan. 12, 2011
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Milwaukee Basketball Horizon League Basketball Flame Throwers
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UIC'S POSSIBLE STARTERS
#2 Paul Carter, Sr., F
NOTES: Has recorded 15 double-digit scoring outputs, and posted six double-doubles on the season, including three-straight ... In Horizon League play, ranks second in the conference in rebounding (8.6 rpg), and sixth overall in scoring (16.0 ppg) ... Coming off a 19-point, 10-rebound performance against Detroit.
#3 Robo Kreps, Sr., G
NOTES: Has scored 20 or more points in six contests, and scored in double figures 13 total times ... Ranks seventh in the Horizon League (all games) in scoring (15.5 ppg) ... Is the Horizon League's career active leader in three-point field goals (194) ... In conference play, is averaging 12.4 points and 3.4 assists per game in an average of 38.8 minutes per contest.
#23 Zavion Neely, Jr., G
NOTES: Has started 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.
#32 Darrin Williams, Jr., F/C
NOTES: Has started 13 contests ... Against Northern Illinois (12/11/10), scored a team and season-high 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and led the Flames with seven rebounds .... Tipped-in the game winner against Illinois (12/18/10) ... Chipped in 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but committed six turnovers at YSU (12/30/10).
#44 K.C. Robbins, Sr., C
NOTES: Has appeared in all 17 games, and recorded three starts, including last Saturday against Detroit ... Against the Titans, scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down a season-best 12 rebounds ... Has scored eight or more points four times ... Shooting a team-best 54.5 percent from the field.
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.
Milwaukee: Rob Jeter is in his sixth season as the head coach at Milwaukee.
After starting his head coaching career with a league title and an NCAA Tournament win (2005-06), Jeter has increased the number of wins in each of the last three seasons and last year, directed the Panthers to just the 10th 20-win season in school history.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC is 5-12 (0-5 Horizon) on the season, including a 1-6 record in true road games. The Flames are coming off a 72-69 loss versus visiting Detroit last Saturday.
Senior guard Robo Kreps is leading the Flames offensively, scoring 15.5 points per game -- he has also dished out a team-high 58 assists in his first full season running the point. Minnesota transfer, senior forward Paul Carter is averaging 14.9 points per game, while also leading the Flames in rebounding with 8.2 caroms per contest, second-best in the Horizon League. Kreps currently ranks seventh in the conference in scoring, while Carter ranks ninth.
In Horizon League play, Carter ranks sixth in the conference in scoring (16.0 ppg) and second in rebounding, at 8.6 caroms per game. He is averaging 6.2 defensive rebounds per contest in UIC's five Horizon League games.
UIC is averaging 62.9 points per game, and allowing its opponents to score 67.8 points per contest. On the road, the Flames are averaging 59.1 points per game, and are being out-rebounded by their opposition, 35.6-31.7. In Horizon League play, UIC leads the conference in offensive rebounds (14.4 rpg), while ranking second in overall rebounding margin (+5.6).
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Milwaukee, who dropped a 69-64 decision at Green Bay on Jan. 8, is 8-9 on the season, including a 3-3 record in Horizon League play. The Panthers are 4-3 at home this season, including a convincing 76-52 win over visiting Butler on Jan. 3.
Senior guard Tone Boyle is leading Milwaukee offensively, averaging a team-high 12.9 points per game -- Anthony Hill (12.6 ppg) and Tony Meier (11.1) are also both scoring in double figures. In Horizon League games, four players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Hill's 13.8 points per contest.
Hill is also averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, the fourth-best mark in the Horizon League. Kaylon Williams' 4.6 assists per contest rank third in the conference, while Meier ranks third in both field goal percentage (.542) and three-point field goal percentage (.439).
In Horizon League action, the Panthers are drilling 8.5 threes per game, which ranks second overall. Milwaukee ranks ninth in field goal percentage (.407) and field goal percentage defense (.471), and 10th overall in three-point field goal defense (47.6 percent).
BREAKING DOWN THE DETROIT GAME
UIC led for the final 12:52 of the first half, building as large as an 11-point lead (28-17) ... Senior forward Brad Birton and Detroit's Eli Holman were ejected at the 5:19 mark of the first half for fighting ... The Flames led for the first 5:00 of the second frame, before Detroit claimed a 38-37 lead (15:00) after a three-pointer by Jason Calliste ... Seniors Paul Carter (19) and Robo Kreps (15) both scored in double figures, tallying their respective 15th and 13th double-digit scoring outputs of the season ... Carter recorded his third-straight double-double, also adding 10 rebounds ... Senior center K.C. Robbins tallied his third start of the season, and responded with his second-career double double (career-high 17 points, season-high 12 rebounds) and three blocks ... The Flames out-scored the Titans 32-25 in the first half, but were out-scored 47-37 in the second stanza ... UIC out-rebounded Detroit 39-34, marking the 11th time this season UIC has out-boarded its opponent ... There were a combined 14 ties and lead changes in the game ... The Flames out-scored the Titans off turnovers (15-10) and on second-chance points (21-17), but saw Detroit record scoring advantages in the paint (26-24) and through its bench (27-12) ... Detroit shot 45.6 percent from the field, dropping UIC to 0-9 this season when its opponent shoots a higher percentage.
UIC head coach Howard Moore, and sixth-year Milwaukee mentor Rob Jeter have similar "blood in the bricks." Both served as assistant coaches under Bo Ryan at Wisconsin before taking advantage of their first head coaching opportunity. Moore was an assistant with the Badgers for the last five years, while Jeter worked under Ryan for 10 of his 11 seasons as an assistant coach.
Senior forward Paul Carter leads the Flames with six double-doubles on the season, including three-straight in Horizon League play ... 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), Wright State (1/6/11) and Detroit (1/8/11) ... He is second in the Horizon League in double-doubles, behind only Detroit's Eli Holman (8).
Milwaukee leads the all-time series against UIC, 34-22. The Panthers defeated the Flames three times last season by a total of 15 points, including in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament.
UIC's longest-standing rivalry within the Horizon League, the series between the Flames and Panthers began in the 1955-56 campaign, with UIC claiming a 57-47 home win. Milwaukee rolled off wins in the ensuing five meetings, and also defeated the Flames 10-consecutive times from 1970-80.
The Flames won four-straight in the all-time series between the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns, but Milwaukee has won the last five meetings, dating back to the 2008-09 season.
CLOSING THE GAP
UIC enters the third full week of Horizon League play with a 0-5 record, the only team in the conference yet to record a victory. But the Flames haven't been far off in their losses - three of those setbacks have been one-possession games, including last Saturday's 72-69 loss against Detroit. In fact, four-of UIC's losses this season have come by just two points -- the Flames are 2-5 this season in games decided by five points or less.
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 (1,369). 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).
CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
As mentioned, UIC has out-rebounded 11-of its 17 opponents this season, including the last six, and all five Horizon League foes. In conference play, the Flames lead the league in offensive rebounds (14.4 rpg), while ranking second in rebounding margin (+5.6).
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 seventh in the conference in scoring (15.5 ppg), seventh in assists per game (3.4), third in free throw percentage (.843), fifth in three-point field goals per game (2.1), ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.409) and eighth in defensive rebounds (3.9 rpg).
Senior forward Paul Carter has been the overwhelming catalyst for the Flames' success on the boards this season. The Horizon League's second-leading rebounder (8.2 rpg), Carter has led the Flames in rebounding 10 times, and also grabbed nine or more caroms on nine 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 0-8 on 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.
Carter comes from a strong sports family. Ron Carter, Paul's father, was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1978, and his older brother, Ron III, was an All-American triple jumper at California State-Long Beach.