Feb. 9, 2011
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» The Flames will be looking to secure their second-straight Horizon League home win, after defeating visiting Youngstown State (83-61) at the UIC Pavilion on Jan. 29.
» Senior guard Robo Kreps scored a game-high 22 points at Butler (2/7/11), becoming only the ninth player in school history to score 1,500 or more points. It marked Kreps' third-consecutive effort of scoring at least 20 points. Kreps enters Thursday's game with 499 career field goals, just one short of 500.
» Senior forward Paul Carter recorded his 11th double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) of the season at Butler, and his league-leading eighth double-dip during Horizon League play -- also scored his 700th career NCAA Division I point (between Minnesota and UIC).
» UIC is the top-ranked offensive rebounding team in the Horizon League, averaging nearly 14 offensive boards (13.5) per game. The Flames also lead the league in rebounding margin (+5.8) during conference play.
» Paul Carter posted his seventh double-double of the season, but UIC fell behind by double-digits mid-way through the first half and never recovered, dropping a 74-50 decision versus Green Bay at the Resch Center on Jan. 15. Green Bay was led by Rahmon Fletcher, who poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
UIC will host Milwaukee Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) in the front-end of a men's-women's basketball doubleheader at the UIC Pavilion. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
The Panthers (13-11, 8-5 Horizon), who defeated UIC 87-75 on Jan. 13, are currently tied for fourth-place in the Horizon League alongside Butler.
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.
Green Bay: Brian Wardle, who spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Green Bay, is in his first year at the helm of the Phoenix.
With a 44-24 (.647) record over the past two years, the Phoenix made back-to-back appearances in the College Basketball Invitational, its first postseason trips since 1996. The 24 Horizon League wins over the past two seasons were the most in back-to-back years dating back to 1996 and 1997.
In the 2008-09 campaign, the Phoenix collected 22 victories, its highest total in more than a decade, and finished as runner-up in the Horizon League regular season race with a 13-5 mark.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC is 6-19 (1-12 Horizon) on the season, including a 3-6 record at home. The Flames are coming off an a 72-65 loss at Butler Monday night.
Senior guard Robo Kreps is leading the Flames offensively, scoring 15.8 points per game -- he has also dished out a team-high 73 assists. Minnesota transfer, senior forward Paul Carter is averaging 14.2 points per game, while also leading the Flames in rebounding with 8.4 caroms per contest, second-best in the Horizon League. Kreps currently ranks sixth in the conference in scoring, while Carter is 11th.
In Horizon League play, Kreps (14.8; 8th) and Carter (14.0; 9th) both rank in the top-10 in the conference in scoring, while Carter is second in rebounding, at 8.8 caroms per game. He is averaging 6.2 defensive rebounds per contest in UIC's 13 Horizon League games.
UIC is averaging 63.1 points per game, and allowing its opponents to score 68.9 points per contest. In Horizon League play, UIC leads the conference in both offensive rebounds (13.5 rpg) and rebounding margin (+5.8).
SCOUTING THE PHOENIX
Green Bay, who dropped an 88-75 decision at Milwaukee last Saturday, is 12-12 on the season, including a 6-6 record in Horizon League play. The Phoenix currently sits in sole possession of seventh place in the Horizon League standings.
Rahmon Fletcher, a preseason First-Team All-Horizon League honoree, is leading Green Bay offensively, averaging a team-high 16.5 points per game -- Bryquis Perine (11.9 ppg) has joined him in double figures, while Alec Brown is scoring 9.4 points per contest. In Horizon League play, Perine leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio (2.3).
Jarvis Williams is averaging 5.7 rebounds per game, leading a group of three Green Bay players averaging at least five rebounds per outing. Perine (75) and Fletcher (71) have combined to dish out 146 assists on the season.
In Horizon League action, the Phoenix currently ranks third in the conference in both defensive field goal percentage (.440) and assists per game (12.8).
LAST TIME AGAINST GREEN BAY
Senior forward Paul Carter posted his seventh double-double of the season, but the UIC men's basketball team fell behind by double-digits mid-way through the first half and never recovered, dropping a 74-50 decision versus Green Bay at the Resch Center on Jan. 15.
Carter scored 11 points and corralled 10 rebounds, securing his fourth double-double during Horizon League play. Senior forward Brad Birton joined Carter in double figures, chipping in 12 points to go along with nine rebounds, including six offensive boards.
Green Bay was led by Rahmon Fletcher, who poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Bryquis Perine (16) and Alec Brown (11) also tallied double-digit scoring outputs.
The Flames were 0-for-12 from three-point range, while Green Bay shot 8-of-20 from beyond the arc. UIC scored 38 points in the paint, but saw the Phoenix score 21 points off turnovers, and out-score the Flames 14-0 through the fast break.
Green Bay leads the all-time series against UIC, 47-34. The Phoenix dominated the outset of the series, winning the first 16 meetings between 1970-79.
UIC then captured wins in 12-of the ensuing 13 meetings, including nine-straight between the 1981-82 and 1985-86 campaigns. Since 2004-05, Green Bay has controlled the series, winning 11 out of the last 14 games.
BACK TO THE CONFINES
Starting with Thursday's game against Green Bay, the Flames will spend the majority of the Horizon League stretch run inside the confines of the UIC Pavilion. UIC will also host Milwaukee (2/12/11), Loyola (2/16/11) and Butler (2/19/11) in succession, before wrapping up the Horizon League regular season at Valparaiso on Feb. 26.
BREAKING DOWN THE BUTLER GAME
Seniors Robo Kreps (22 points) and Paul Carter (17) both scored in double figures, securing their respective 20th and 22nd double-digit scoring outputs ... Kreps converted nine field goals, his second-highest output this season ... The Flames built an early four-point advantage, and gained a total of six leads in the first half ... Butler's Shawn Vanzant hit a deep three as time expired, giving the Bulldogs a 34-33 lead heading into the locker room at halftime ... After falling behind by 13 points with 7:42 remaining in the second half, the Flames charged back, out-scoring Butler 12-3 over the ensuing 3:04, and pulled back within four (62-58) with 4:38 left ... The Flames shot 45.0 percent for the game, countered by Butler's 50.9 percent field goal effort -- UIC also drilled six three-pointers ... The Flames committed 13 turnovers, leading to 20 points for Butler ... The Bulldogs out-rebounded UIC 34-32, just the second Horizon League team to record a positive rebounding margin against the Flames this season ... Both teams scored 34 points in the paint ... Butler enjoyed scoring advantages off turnovers (20-10) and through the fast break (6-0) and bench (31-15) ... UIC scored 14 second-chance points ... There were a combined 18 ties and lead changes in the game.
KREPS ON A TEAR
Senior guard Robo Kreps averaged 22.3 points per contest in UIC's road trip last week, stringing together his best three-game stretch during Horizon League play. Against Detroit, he scored a game-high 25 points to move into a tie for ninth-place on the all-time scoring list. Two days later at Wright State, Kreps contributed a team-high 20 points on a season-high five three-point field goals. In Monday night's 72-65 setback at Butler, he scored a game-high 22 points to join the 1,500 career-point club, converting nine field goals. Kreps has nine 20-plus point performances this season.
Senior forward Paul Carter leads the Flames with 11 double-doubles on the season, including a league-leading eight 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), Detroit (1/8/11), Green Bay (1/15/11), Loyola (1/22/11), Youngstown State (1/29/11), Wright State (2/5/11) and Butler (2/7/11).
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH FOR KREPS
Senior guard Robo Kreps has moved from 16th to ninth on UIC's all-time scoring list this season, and is just 38 points away from moving into an eighth-place tie on the all-time scoring list (1,538). Kreps is also within reach of several other milestones as the stretch run of the regular season approaches. He enters Thursday's game against Green Bay with 499 career field goals, just one short of 500; Kreps also has 290 career free throws, only 10 freebies away from becoming just the eighth player in school history to equal 300; he is also only 17 rebounds short (383) of matching 400 caroms for his career.
BIRTON STEPPING IT UP IN LEAGUE PLAY
Senior forward Brad Birton strung together the best two games of his career in UIC's last homestand (against Cleveland State on 1/27/11 and Youngstown State on 1/29/11), twice equaling his career-high in both points and rebounds and recording back-to-back double-doubles. Birton was also the Flames' leading scorer and rebounder in both contests. In conference play, Birton has posted all six of his double-digit scoring outputs, and four-of his top-seven rebounding efforts.
UIC enters Thursday's contest as the Horizon League's top offensive rebounding team (in conference games), averaging 13.5 offensive boards per game. It has been a collective effort on the glass, with Brad Birton (3.0 rpg; 4th), Paul Carter (2.7 rpg; 5th) and Paris Carter (1.9 rpg; 10th) all ranking in the top-10 of the league in offensive rebounds during Horizon League play.
CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
UIC has out-rebounded 16-of its 25 opponents this season, including 11-of the last 14, and 10-of-13 Horizon League foes.
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 (8.4 rpg), Carter has led the Flames in rebounding 15 times, and also grabbed nine or more caroms on 14 occasions.
THE 70-POINT PLATEAU
UIC's improved defensive effort has had a direct result on its won-loss fate as the Flames enter the stretch run of 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 0-12 on the season.