Feb. 27, 2012
► The UIC men's basketball team will look to keep its postseason hopes alive Tuesday, when the Flames begin their run in the Horizon League Tournament against fourth-seeded Milwaukee. UIC represents the No. 9 seed in the tournament.
► UIC and Milwaukee will be facing off in the postseason for the second time in the past three seasons. The fourth-seeded Panthers eliminated No. 9 UIC in the first round of the 2010 Horizon League Tournament (73-67) at U.S. Cellular Arena. UIC is 3-2 all-time versus Milwaukee in the postseason.
► Milwaukee swept the 2011-12 regular season series against UIC, recording a 73-71 overtime win at U.S. Cellular Arena (12/3/11), followed by a 72-61 victory at the UIC Pavilion last Thursday (Feb. 23).
► UIC finished the 2011-12 regular season with an 0-9 record in Horizon League road games. Four of the Flames' road setbacks in conference play were decided by six points or less. UIC's last road win at Milwaukee took place on March 1, 2008, in the Horizon League regular season finale.
► NEXT UP: With a win over Milwaukee, UIC would advance to the second round of the Horizon League Tournament, and face the winner of the Butler (No. 5) vs. Wright State (No. 8) game on Friday (March 2), at the Athletics Recreation Center (ARC) in Valparaiso, Ind. The Crusaders won the regular season Horizon League title, earning the right to host the second round-semifinals.
UIC: Howard Moore(Wisconsin, `95) is in his second season as the head coach at UIC. He spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping the Badgers to five-straight NCAA tournament berths. The Chicago native also served assistant coaching stints at Loyola (2004-05), Ball State (2003-04) and Bradley (1999-2003). Moore picked up his 15th head coaching win on Feb. 18 at Eastern Illinois.
Milwaukee: Rob Jeter, the 2011 Horizon League Coach of the Year, is in his seventh season as the mentor at Milwaukee. Jeter guided the Panthers to last season's Horizon League Championship game, and along with Howard Moore, is a Bo Ryan (Wisconsin head coach) disciple.
» Milwaukee was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's head coaches, media panel and sports information directors.
» Senior Tony Meier, a preseason All-Horizon League Second-Team selection, is the Panthers' leading scorer (11.3 ppg).
» Senior point guard Kaylon Williams (11.0 ppg), a preseason All-Horizon League First-Team honoree, and James Haarsma (10.5 ppg) (10.4 ppg) are both averaging double figures in scoring -- Williams averages a League-best 6.5 assists per game.
» The Panthers are 12-3 at home this season, including a 7-2 Horizon League home record. Milwaukee will be playing its second game this season at the Klotsche Center -- the Panthers defeated Nebraska-Omaha (12/17/11), 86-50, at the facility during non-conference play. Due to a scheduling conflict at U.S. Cellular Arena, Tuesday's game is being played at the Klotsche Center.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC boasts two-of the Horizon League's top-20 scorers, in junior point guard Gary Talton (11.7 ppg; 12th) and junior guard Daniel Barnes (10.6; 19th) ... Senior center Darrin Williams ranks eighth in the League in rebounding (6.2 rpg), fourth in blocks (1.5 bpg) and fifth overall in field goal percentage (.544) ... Talton leads the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.864), and is sixth in assists (3.3 apg) ... Barnes is averaging 2.2 three-point field goals per game, the fourth-best mark in the League, and ranks sixth in the Horizon League in steals (1.4 spg) ... Sophomore forward Hayden Humesranks sixth in the League in three-point field goal percentage (.419) ... Talton is scoring a Horizon League ninth-best 13.2 points per League game ... The Flames are 1-14 on the road this season ... On the road, UIC is scoring 61.3 points per game, while shooting 39.4 percent from the field, 28.2 percent from three-point range, and 69.8 percent from the free throw line.
Milwaukee has recorded nine-straight wins over the Flames, dating back to the 2007-08 campaign. Overall, Milwaukee leads the all-time series, 38-22. The Panthers have recorded four-straight wins over UIC in Milwaukee, and eliminated the Flames from the 2010 Horizon League Tournament.
UIC captured Horizon League Tournament championships at the conclusion of the 2001-02 and 2003-04 campaigns, garnering the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament ... Since the official inception of the Horizon League prior to the 2001-02 season, the Flames have compiled an 11-7 record in Horizon League Tournament games ... UIC last advanced to the second round of the Horizon League Tournament in 2009 ... The Flames are 5-2 all-time in the first-round of the Horizon League Tournament ... The Flames' most common opponent in the Horizon League Tournament has been Milwaukee, whom UIC has taken on five times in the postseason.
THIS SEASON VERSUS MILWAUKEE
Dec. 3 at U.S. Cellular Arena: There were a combined six ties and lead changes ... Junior point guard Gary Talton (18 points), senior forward Paris Carter (14) and senior center Darrin Williams(10) all scored in double figures ... It was a tale of two halves in terms of pace and tempo -- both teams combined to shoot just 26.9 percent (14-52) from the field ... 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 Flames led 59-58 with 20 seconds remaining, and missed potential game-winning shots at both the end of regulation and in overtime ... The Panthers out-scored UIC 14-12 in overtime to seal the victory ... UIC's bench out-scored the Panthers' reserves, 28-13.
Feb. 23 at the UIC Pavilion: Milwaukee drilled 14 three-pointers, the most for a UIC opponent this season, and shot 54.5 percent in the second half ... UIC held a 32-29 lead at halftime ... There were a combined nine ties and lead changes ... Freshman Marc Brown (17 points), sophomore forward Hayden Humes (13), junior point guard Gary Talton (11) and senior center Darrin Williams(11) all scored in double figures ... Milwaukee was led by Kaylon Williams, who scored 19 points and dished out 10 assists -- Tony Meier (17) and Ryan Allen (11) also tallied double-digit scoring outputs ... The Panthers out-scored the Flames 43-29 in the second half.
MORE ON THE SERIES ... UIC VS. MILWAUKEE
Junior point guard Gary Talton (14.5 points), freshman wing Marc Brown (11.5), sophomore forward Hayden Humes (11.0) and senior center Darrin Williams(10.5) all averaged double figures in scoring in two games against the Panthers this season ... The Flames have averaged 66.0 points per contest vs. Milwaukee (4.9 points above season average), but surrendered 72.5 points per game ... UIC posted a +4.5 rebounding advantage in the two games against the Panthers ... The Flames shot 78.1 percent from the free throw line in the two games ... UWM's Kaylon Williams averaged 16.0 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds against UIC this season -- Tony Meier (13.0), James Haarsma (11.5), Kyle Kelm (10.0) and Ryan Allen (10.0) also averaged double figures ... In the two games, the Panthers drilled 20 three-pointers, converting from long range at a 43.5 percent clip (20-46).
HUMES TRENDING FORWARD
Hayden Humes, a first-year transfer from Toledo, has become one of UIC's most reliable scoring and rebounding threats heading down the stretch of the regular season. Humes has posted double-digit scoring outputs in six-of the last eight games, and led the Flames in rebounding in nine-of the last 11 contests. In the regular season finale versus Green Bay (2/25/12), Humes paced the Flames in both points (13) and rebounds (9).
ONE OF THE LEAGUE'S FINEST
Junior point guard Gary Talton, in his first season in a Flames' uniform, posted double-digit scoring outputs in 14-of UIC's 18 Horizon League games, and scored in double figures 20 times overall during the regular season. Against Milwaukee this season, Talton averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game on a 45.8 percent (11-24) effort from the field. Talton enters Tuesday's game with 97 assists, just three helpers short of becoming the first UIC point guard to dish out at least 100 assists in a single season since Spencer Stewart(122) in 2009-10.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Senior center Darrin Williams, the Flames' career active leader in points (417), rebounds (279), offensive rebounds (105), defensive rebounds (174) and blocks (51), has posted 16 double-digit scoring outputs this season, including three double-doubles.
DOWN TO THE WIRE...
UIC's men's basketball team has seen no shortage of nail biters this season, playing a total of 12 games decided by five points or less -- the Flames have held second-half leads in 10-of their 21 losses this season.
SEEKING THE WINNING FORMULA
When comparing the Flames' stats in wins and losses, the differences on the boards and in their team defense are noteworthy. In victory, UIC is holding its opponents to only 39.8 percent shooting, while losses have seen the Flames' opponents shoot 47.7 percent from the field. In wins, UIC owns a +5.4 rebounding margin, but just a -0.5 margin in defeat.
SHOOTING FROM DISTANCE
UIC averaged 6.6 made three-point field goals per game during Horizon League play this season, the fifth-best mark in the conference. The Flames have converted at least five threes in 22 games, and their top-two three-point shooting performances (10, both games versus Detroit) both took place during Horizon League play. In the Howard Mooreera, the Flames have drilled 308 threes, an average of 5.5 triples per game. UIC has drilled 187 threes this season, compared to 146 triples during the 2010-11 campaign.
THAT 70'S SHOW
UIC's success during over the past two seasons has been largely based on 70 points. When the Flames have allowed their opponents to score 70 or more points during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns, UIC owns a record of 1-30. Conversely, when UIC's foes score less than 60 points, the Flames are 5-1 this season, and 8-3 under second-year head coach Howard Moore.
PLENTY OF NEW FACES
The UIC men's basketball team has fielded the 16th youngest team in the NCAA Division I ranks during the 2011-12 season. Head coach Howard Mooreand his staff welcomed nine newcomers to the mix, including seven freshmen. For a chart of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I basketball at the outset of the 2011-12 season, see page 5.
GORSKI, SNIDER, WIEGAND SIGN FOR 2012-13
UIC head men's basketball coach Howard Moore announced the official signings of 7-foot center Matt Gorski and 6-foot-8 power forward Jake Wiegand, of Fisburne Military Academy in Virginia, along with 6-foot-1 guard Gabriel Snider from Whitney Young High School in Chicago on Nov. 9. The trio will represent UIC's recruiting class for the 2012-13 campaign.