Men's Basketball Faces First Exhibition Test on Tuesday against Marathon Oil

Senior Thor Solverson and the UIC men's basketball team will play their first two exhibition games on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.
Senior Thor Solverson and the UIC men's basketball team will play their first two exhibition games on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

Nov. 6, 2000

Chicago, Ill. - It's been close to four weeks since Midnight Madness has passed and the UIC men's basketball team is itching to play a team other than their own.

"They're looking good and they're anxious - anxious to the point that they're bickering about small things amongst each other, pushing and shoving," Head Coach Jimmy Collins said of his squad. "Now is about the time where we need to face someone else for competition."

That someone else is the Marathon Oil basketball team. The two teams will square off Tuesday night, Nov. 7, at 8:00 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion in an exhibition showdown. The game may be an exhibition, but Collins plays to win.

"I tell (the team) to do everything game-like," Collins said. "And I have to approach it the same way. As far as I'm concerned, this is a game and I expect them to respond as if this is a regular-season game. We want them to do the things that we've gone over.

"Of course it's not as important as a regular-season game, but as far as them executing and doing the things that we've tried to teach them for the last month and a half, we expect them to respond."

Tomorrow night will provide Collins the opportunity to see how his players react in certain situations and maybe even crack the starting line-up.

"I don't have the line-ups set yet," Collins said. "We want to see how guys respond in game-like situations. That will help us. There are a few guys that I think will probably be in the starting line-up, but again, it's been very competitive and on certain days, those guys haven't looked as good as they should. We'll get the opportunity to see how they respond in a game."

Marathon Oil sports a 1-2 record coming in as it has defeated Akron, but fallen to Ball State and Cleveland State. The Oil roster will feature some familiar foes in UW-Green Bay's B.J. LaRue and Jerry Carstensen and fellow Flames' star and all-time leading scorer Kenny Williams. Last season, Carstensen led the Phoenix with 14.3 points per game followed by LaRue's 13.8 points an outing.

"We can expect a good game from them," Collins said. "Those guys were good when they played in college. They're older now and they're more experienced. There is no pressure on them, they're going to play well. We just have to come out, play hard, play smart and play together."