Game #20: Flames Return Home to Face Milwaukee Wednesday

Senior point guard Gary Talton
Senior point guard Gary Talton

Jan. 22, 2013

UIC vs. Milwaukee (Game Notes)Get Acrobat Reader

Game #20: Flames Return Home to Face Milwaukee Wednesday
UIC Flames (11-8/2-4 HL) vs. Milwaukee Panthers (5-14/1-4 HL)

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 • UIC Pavilion • 7:00 p.m. CST
Audio/Video: Horizon 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: 26-54 (3rd season)
UWM Head Coach: Rob Jeter • Record at UWM/Overall: 126-117 (8th season)
In-Game Twitter Updates: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

The Last Meeting
February 28, 2012
Horizon League Tournament First-Round
Milwaukee Eliminates UIC From Horizon League Tourney, 68-55
The Flames placed three players in double figures, but fourth-seeded Milwaukee raced out to an early 19-6 lead, and held off a second-half surge to post a convincing 68-55 win over the UIC men's basketball team in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament Tuesday night at the Klotsche Center.

UIC's Last Game Starters
#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. In Horizon League games, is averaging a League eighth-best 15.0 ppg. Has scored in double figures 16 times this season, and 37 times during his two-year career. At home, has posted a stellar 4.8 assist turnover ratio (43 assists, 9 turnovers). Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#3 Joey Miller • SG
Has appeared in all 19 games this season, and made first-career start at Detroit. Has posted three double-digit scoring outputs, and seen at least 20 minutes of action seven times this season. Transferred to UIC from Eastern Illinois in April 2012.

#20 Anthony Kelley • SF
Has started the past two games after seeing action in just four-of the first 17 games of the season. Pulled down a career and team-high nine rebounds at Detroit. UIC's lone four-year senior.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Ranks ninth in the Horizon League in rebounding. Enters Wednesday's game as Flames' third-leading scorer. Shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 38.8 percent from three. Has led the Flames in scoring five times, and been the leading rebounder on eight occasions. UIC's career active leader in both rebounds and blocks.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in 11-of the last 16 games. In Horizon League play, is the Flames' second-leading scorer (10.7 ppg) and leading rebounder (6.2 rpg). Averaging 2.5 assists per game, second-most on the team. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

Series Information: Milwaukee leads, 39-22
Milwaukee has recorded 10-straight wins over the Flames, dating back to the 2007-08 campaign. Overall, Milwaukee leads the all-time series, 39-22. The Panthers have eliminated UIC from the Horizon League Tournament in two-of the past three seasons. The Flames' last home win over UWM took place on Dec. 6, 2007.

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team (11-8, 2-4 Horizon) will look two collect its eighth home win Wednesday, when the Flames host Milwaukee (5-14, 1-4 Horizon) at the Pavilion beginning at 7:00 p.m. UIC is coming off a convincing loss at Detroit last Saturday, while the Panthers dropped a three-point decision against visiting Youngstown State.

Back on the Horizon
UIC is in its 12th season of Horizon League play - the Flames have compiled a record of 81-111 (.422) 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).

50 is Thrifty
Wednesday's contest will mark the 50th career game for senior point guard Gary Talton, junior forward Hayden Humes and sophomore wing Marc Brown. Talton could also reach the 600-point plateau in his 50th career appearance - he enters Wednesday's game with 597 career points.

Converting the Freebies
UIC has been one-of the best free throw shooting teams in the Horizon League all season long, and enters Saturday's game ranked 14th in the nation in the category (.760). At the beginning of Horizon League play, UIC put together a pair of flawless efforts from the free throw line against Valpo (18-18; Jan. 9) and Green Bay (8-8; Jan. 12).

Protecting the Pill
Despite a season-high 21 turnovers last Saturday at Detroit, UIC has been one of the most efficient teams in the country this season when taking care of the ball. The Flames enter Wednesday's game against Milwaukee ranked 19th in the nation in turnovers per game (11.2). UIC has turned the ball over on just 17.7 percent of its possessions. Notably, the current national leader in turnovers per game is Wisconsin (9.1), where current UIC head coach Howard Mooreserved as an assistant coach for five seasons prior to taking over the reins with the Flames.

Ryan Disciples Square Off at the Pavilion
Speaking of Wisconsin, a pair of Bo Ryan disciples will be patrolling the sidelines when Milwaukee visits the Pavilion Wednesday night. UIC head coach Howard Mooreand Milwaukee mentor Rob Jeter both honed their head coaching skills under Ryan's tutelage at Wisconsin. As mentioned, Moore served five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Meanwhile, Jeter worked under Ryan for 10 of his 11 years as an assistant coach. He took over the head coaching duties at Milwaukee prior to the 2005-06 campaign. Moore replaced Jeter on Ryan's staff after a one-year (2004-05) stint as an assistant coach at Loyola.

Key Statistic
Rebounding margin. The team that effectively attacks the glass on both the offensive and defensive end could have a decisive advantage in deciding the outcome of Wednesday's game. The Flames (-3.0) and Panthers (-4.1)are the respective eighth and ninth-ranked teams in the Horizon League in rebounding margin. However, UIC is 4-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponent.

Scouting the Panthers
Milwaukee, who was picked sixth in the preseason Horizon League poll, is 5-14 on the season, with a 1-4 mark in Horizon League play - the Panthers have dropped four-of their last five, but played well in last week's homestand, defeating Cleveland State (69-57) on Jan. 17, and coming up just short versus Youngstown State last Saturday, 75-72. Senior guard Paris Gulley, a native of Peoria, Ill., has led UWM's offensive attack, averaging 15.7 points per game. Point guard Jordan Aaron has added 14.1 ppg to go along with 81 assists, while forwards Demetrius Harris and James Haarsma have each averaged a team-high 5.4 rpg.

Milwaukee currently leads the Horizon League in three-point field goal defense (.276) while ranking fourth overall in three-point field goals made (6.9). In League play, the Panthers are averaging 7.0 offensive boards per game, which ranks first in the conference. Conversely, Milwaukee ranks ninth in the League (all games) in scoring defense (69.5 ppg), scoring margin (-6.8), field goal percentage (.379), three-point field goal percentage (.302), rebounding margin (-4.1), assists per game (10.6), turnover margin (-1.8) and assist/turnover ratio (0.7).

Talton Elevates Game in Horizon League Play
Senior point guard Gary Taltonhas taken his game to another level since the outset of Horizon League play on Jan. 2. Talton enters Wednesday's contest ranked sixth in the League in scoring at 15.0 points per conference game. He is also shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 50 percent (11-22) from three-point range in Horizon League play. Talton has continued to maintain his success from the free throw line, shooting 87.5 percent (21-24) from the charity stripe in conference games.

Stealin' the Show
Senior guard Daniel Barneshas been one of UIC's most consistent shooters during his career with the Flames. Where the Oak Park, Ill., native has most noticeably improved his game is on the defensive end, especially since the beginning of Horizon League play. Entering Wednesday's game against Milwaukee, Barnes is averaging a League-best 2.8 steals per game, with a total of 14 thefts.

Barnes has put together some of the most noteworthy individual statistical performances in the past three years under head coach Howard Moore. He is the only player to score 30 or more points (30 vs. Eastern Michigan, [12/15/12]) in a single game under Moore, has converted six three-pointers twice in the past two years, and his eight steals against Valparaiso (1/9/13) are also the most for an individual player under Moore's tutelage.

Newcomer of the Year Material
Senior center Josh Crittleisn't new to Division I college basketball, but he is new to the Horizon League, and is one of the leading favorites for the Newcomer of the Year Award as the half-way point of the League season approaches. The first-year transfer from UCF is averaging 10.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg in Horizon League play, while shooting 51.9 percent (27-52) from the floor. His scoring and rebounding outputs both rank second among all Horizon League newcomers.

Seeking the Winning Formula
In the 11 UIC victories this season, the Flames have held their opponents to just 51.7 points per game and 35.3 percent shooting, and dished out an average of 13.7 assists per game. However, in the eight losses, UIC opponents are shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and scoring an average of 72.2 points per contest. Additionally, in the setbacks, the Flames have distributed 10.6 assists per game, nearly three helpers less than in their wins.

The Word on the Flames
• UIC primarily plays a man-to-man defensive scheme, occasionally mixing in various zone looks. Head coach Howard Moore has used a rotation of seven or eight players this season, depending on the match-up.
• UIC is allowing just 60.4 points per game, which would represent the lowest point average for its opponents in school history, and ranks 50th in the country. • UIC currently ranks 14th in the nation in free throw percentage, at 76.0 percent. The Flames have shot 75 percent or better from the charity stripe in 11 games this season.
• The Flames are averaging only 11.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 19th nationally. UIC has turned the ball over on just 17.7 percent of its possessions.
• When UIC holds its opponent between 30-39 percent shooting, the Flames are 8-1 on the season. UIC is also 7-1 when leading at halftime, and 4-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.
• UIC leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage and defensive field goal percentage (.399).
• The Flames are 7-1 at the Pavilion this season, including Horizon League home wins over Youngstown State (1/2/13) and Loyola (1/16/13).

Even More on the Flames
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 13.1 points per game, with a total of 248 points on the season. He is also the team leader in free throws made (67) and free throw percentage (.870) - Talton is shooting at an 86.8 percent clip from the charity stripe for his two-year career.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes is scoring 11.3 points per game - he is shooting 38.3 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from three-point range. Barnes is also the team and Horizon League leader in steals (28), and enters Wednesday's game averaging 3.8 rebounds per game. He sat out last Saturday's contest at Detroit after suffering a minor knee injury during pregame warm-ups.
• To go along with his 10.7 points per contest, junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from three. The second-year transfer from Toledo passed the 600 career-point plateau for his Division I career against Valpo (1/9/13).
• Senior center Josh Crittle is averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on a 51.9 percent (27-52) effort from the field in Horizon League play. The UCF transfer has scored in double figures in four-of the Flames' six conference games. On the season, Crittle is averaging 9.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 2.5 apg on a 44.1 percent effort from the field.
• UIC returns four starters (Talton, Barnes, Marc 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 campaign, 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 2-2 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.

What's Trending?
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in 11 games, and dished out three or more helpers 15-of-19 contests. In home games, the Dallas native is averaging 5.4 assists per contest, and has posted a stellar 4:8 assist/turnover ratio (43 assists, nine turnovers).
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 22-of the last 26 contests, including six-straight.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes has been limited to single-digit scoring efforts in each of the last three games, just the second time that has occurred in his two-year career with the Flames.
• Sophomore point guard Jay Parker, a first-year transfer from Highland C.C. in Freeport, Ill., has played a combined 56 minutes off the bench in the past three games (14.0 mpg). Before the Valpo game (1/9/13), Parker had played double-digit minutes just once, against Roosevelt (12/5/12). Parker has turned the ball over just four times in the past 73:00 of action.

The Season Accolades
• Senior point guard Gary Talton was named Horizon League Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 26, 2012 after averaging 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while committing just two turnovers in a pair of wins over Iona (11/19/12) and Southeast Missouri (11/24/12).
• Senior center Josh Crittle chalked up Horizon League Newcomer of the Week (11/24/12) honors after averaging 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 48 percent (.476) from the field against Iona and SEMO.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes collected his first Horizon League Player of the Week honor on Dec. 17 after exploding for 30 points in UIC's convincing 74-48 win over Eastern Michigan (12/17/12), where he began his college basketball career. Barnes became the first UIC player to score 30 or more points in a single game since Jeremy Buttell at Youngstown State on Jan. 7, 2010.
• Senior center Josh Crittlewas named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week (1/7/13) for the second time this season after scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds in UIC's 65-60 win over Youngstown State (1/2/13).

UIC-Milwaukee: Revisiting the 2011-12 Season
Milwaukee swept the regular season series versus UIC in 2011-12, and eliminated the Flames from the Horizon League Tournament. The Panthers outlasted UIC in overtime, 73-71 at U.S. Cellular Arena (12/3/12), and defeated the Flames 72-61 at the Pavilion during the final homestand (2/23/12) of the season. Five days later (2/28/12), UWM began its postseason run with a 68-55 victory at the Klotsche Center.

In the overtime setback at U.S. Cellular, the game was a tale of two halves in terms of pace and tempo. In the opening 20 minutes, both teams combined to shoot just 54.7 percent from the field. But in the second half, UIC collectively shot 53.6 percent, converting 15 field goals, while UWM was 12-of-25 (.480) from the field. The Panthers out-scored UIC 14-12 in overtime to seal the victory.

In the late season return game at the Pavilion, the Flames placed four players in double figures, including a team-high 17 points by Marc Brown, but Milwaukee drilled 14 three-pointers and shot 54.5 percent in the second half to overcome a 32-29 halftime deficit.

In the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament, fourth-seeded Milwaukee raced out to an early 19-6 lead, and held off a second-half surge to post a convincing 68-55 win over the Flames. Forward Hayden Humesscored a team-high 14 points, while Milwaukee's James Haarsma poured in a game-high 18 points.

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 (10 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 1-5 on the season. In contrast, when the Flames hold the opposition between 30 and 39 percent from the field, UIC is 8-1.

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 53 games played, Barnes has drilled 114 three-pointers, an average of 2.2 threes per game. With just one more three-point field goal, 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 142 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.