Men's Basketball Resumes Paradise Jam Against Mercer Saturday Afternoon

Junior forward Hayden Humes
Junior forward Hayden Humes

Nov. 17, 2012

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Game #3: UIC Flames (1-1) vs. Mercer Bears (2-1)
Location: St. Thomas,Virgin Islands • Arena: UVI Sports and Fitness Center
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. AST (1:30 p.m. CST) on Saturday, Nov. 17
Radio: UIC Flames Radio Network (Dave Juday/Kenny Williams) • Flagship: WMVP-AM 1000

UIC's Projected Starters
#4 Gary Talton • PG
Boasts a 5.5 assist/turnover ratio (11 assists, two turnovers) with a pair of double-digit scoring outputs this season, and enters Saturday's game as UIC's leading rebounder. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team after scoring 13.2 ppg in League play.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
Scored 11 points on three triples against New Mexico. Scored a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season, and ranked fourth overall in the Horizon League in three-point field goals made (64). Recorded 16 double-digit scoring outputs, and led the Flames in scoring on eight occasions.

#10 Marc Brown • SF
Has started 29 of the 33 career games he has played in. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests. Scored six or more points on 15 occasions, and led the Flames in scoring five times.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
Scored a team-high 16 points on a career-best six field goals against New Mexico. Scored in double figures in seven-of the last nine games of the 2011-12 season, and led the Flames in rebounding in 10-of the final 12 contests. Ranked sixth in the Horizon League in three-point field goal percentage (.418). Recorded 13 double-digit scoring outputs, and led UIC in rebounding 17 times.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has solidified UIC's starting center position - despite foul trouble against New Mexico, scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds. Played in all 31 games for UCF last season, garnering 25 starts. Prior to transferring to UCF, appeared in 51 games over two seasons (2008-09/2009-10) at Oregon.

Setting the Scene
Following a 66-59 loss to New Mexico in Friday's opening game of the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, the UIC men's basketball team will turn its attention to a second round contest against Mercer on Saturday afternoon. The Bears also came up short in round one, dropping a 52-49 decision versus George Mason in the opening game of the tournament. Saturday's game can be heard live on ESPN Chicago (WMVP-AM 1000) and

UIC vs. New Mexico Recap
Junior forward Hayden Humes and senior point guard Gary Taltoncombined to score 30 points and the Flames held New Mexico to just five field goals in the second half, but the UIC men's basketball team's comeback came up just short, 66-59, against the Lobos in its first game of the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.

UIC trailed by 14 points (37-23) at halftime, but was within one possession twice in the final 1:33. New Mexico went 9-for-9 from the charity stripe in the last 46 seconds, including a 4-for-4 effort from both Kendall Williams and Alex Kirk. Along with holding New Mexico to just the five second-half field goals, UIC also limited the Lobos to only a 31.3 percent effort from the floor. Meanwhile, the Flames shot 44.4 percent in the second frame. The Lobos were also forced into 18 turnovers, spearheaded by UIC's eight steals.

Running the Show
Senior point guard Gary Taltontallied his 23rd career double-digit scoring output Friday night against New Mexico, but his efficiency in running the offense has been even more impressive early on this season. Talton has dished out 11 assists against just two turnovers through UIC's first two games of the season, an assist/turnover ratio of 5.5.

Finding Their Groove
It hasn't taken long for Division I transfers Josh Crittle and Joey Millerto get acclimated to UIC. In their first-ever games at UIC, the duo combined to score 29 points, representing the Flames' top two scorers in a 59-52 victory over UC Riverside. Crittle (15 points) was 5-for-11 from the field, while Miller (14) was 4-of-6, all from three-point land. The tandem also combined to shoot 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Crittle and Miller have been key members of the rotation, averaging 30.5 and 20.0 minutes per game, respectively.

All About Balance
UIC may have found the recipe that will help the Flames turn the corner this season in last Sunday's 59-52 win over UC Riverside: offensive balance. The Flames had four players in double figures (Josh Crittle with 15 points, Joey Miller with 14, Hayden Humes and Gary Talton with 10 points apiece), and senior guard Daniel Barnesfinished with eight points bolstered by a pair of three-pointers. On Friday against New Mexico, UIC also had three players in double figures (Humes with 16, Talton with 14, Barnes with 11), while Crittle chipped in with eight points.

What's Back?
UIC's four returning starters include senior point guard Gary Talton (11.6 ppg/3.3 apg), senior guard Daniel Barnes (10.4 ppg), junior forward Hayden Humes (8.2 ppg) and sophomore wing Marc Brown(6.7 ppg). Talton was a Horizon League All-Newcomer Team selection last season after leading UIC in scoring, field goals made (122), free throw percentage (.867), free throws made (78) and assists per game (3.3). Overall, UIC returns 65 percent of its scoring from the 2011-12 campaign.

New to the Scene
Head coach Howard Moore and his staff have welcomed seven newcomers to the mix, including two Division I transfers that will be immediately eligible. Senior center Josh Crittle, a native of Bellwood, Ill., spent the past two seasons at UCF, where he started 25 games as a junior (2011-12) -- he is enrolled in UIC's graduate school, and will have one season of eligibility remaining with the Flames. Crittle began his college career at Oregon after a stellar prep career at nearby Hales Franciscan.

Sophomore guard Joey Millerplayed his first season of college basketball at Eastern Illinois before transferring to UIC -- he was given immediate eligibility with the Flames after being granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA. Miller scored 10.4 points per game in his freshman season with the Panthers, and was named the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Freshman of the Week on three occasions.

Other newcomers include point guard Jay Parker (So.), a transfer from Highland C.C., along with freshmen post players Matt Gorski and Jake Wiegand, a pair of Virginia natives that both played one year of postgraduate basketball at Fishburne Military Academy (Va.). Gorski is a 7-footer that possesses both the size and upside to be a dominant center in the Horizon League.

Gabe Snider, a local product from Whitney Young High School in Chicago, joins the Flames after a standout prep career. One of the top shooters in the state of Illinois as a senior, Snider helped the Dolphins capture back-to-back regional titles and make two deep runs in the IHSA State Tournament. Also joining the program are freshmen guard walk-ons Austin Angel (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) and Ngijol Songolo(Madison, Wis./Memorial).

Scouting Mercer
Mercer, UIC's second round opponent in the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, is off to a 2-1 start this season after recording home wins over Sewanee (65-36 on Nov. 10) and Oglethorpe (70-25 on Monday), and dropping the aforementioned 52-49 decision versus George Mason Friday afternoon. Mercer is a veteran team - the Bears are returning 11 letterwinners, including four starters from last year's squad, which won 27 games (27-11, 13-5 Atlantic Sun) and advanced to the Postseason Tournament. In the first two games of the season, Mercer has been led offensively by Travis Smith, who is averaging 11.5 points per game. Mercer is coached by Bob Hoffman, who is in his fifth season.

Scouting Wake Forest
Now on the Flames' side of the bracket ledger is Wake Forest, who dropped a 77-71 decision against No. 23 UConn Friday night. With the Deacons leading 52-49 at the 10:14 mark, the Huskies scored 12 straight points to take a 61-52 lead with under eight minutes to play. Wake Forest drew no closer than four points down the stretch. The Deamon Deacons are 1-1 on the season after opening with a 79-67 win over Radford on Nov. 9. Wake Forest enters Saturday night's game against Iona with three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by C.J. Harris' 18 points per game. The Deamon Deacons are coached by Jeff Bzdelik, a UIC alum that is in his third season at the helm.

Scouting Iona
Wake Forest's second round opponent in the Paradise Jam will be Iona, which dropped a 98-92 overtime decision versus Quinnipiac Friday night. The Gaels' Lamont Jones poured in 40 points in the loss, breaking a seven-year old tournament record for most points in a single game. Iona is off to a 1-1 start after a season-opening 65-58 win over Denver on Nov. 9. The Gaels are being led in scoring by Jones, who is averaging 30.0 points per game entering Saturday's action. Sean Armand has also scored 18.5 points per contest, while Tre Bowman is averaging 13.0 points per game. Iona is coached by Tim Cluess, who is in his third season.

Crunching the Numbers on Talton
Senior point guard Gary Taltonreturns for his second season in a Flames uniform, and will look to expand upon a debut campaign that saw the Dallas native lead UIC in scoring (11.6 ppg), field goals made (122), free throw percentage (.867), free throws made (78) and assists per game (3.3). Talton ended the 2011-12 campaign ranked 12th in the Horizon League in scoring, seventh in assists, and led the League in free throw percentage. Talton was named to the League's All-Newcomer Team after raising his scoring average to 13.2 points per game in Horizon League play.

Leaders of the Pack
Heading into the 2012-13 season, senior guards Gary Talton and Daniel Barnesrepresented the highest scoring returning backcourt in the Horizon League. In just their first season playing together, the duo combined to average 22.0 points per game in 2011-12. Along with Talton leading UIC in five offensive categories last season, Barnes ranked sixth in the League in steals per game (1.5), and fourth overall in three-point field goals made (64), while ranking second on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per contest.

Humes Returns for Second Season
One of UIC's preseason All-Horizon League performers is junior forward Hayden Humes, a transfer from Toledo that enters his second season with the Flames. Humes scored in double figures in seven-of the last nine games of the 2011-12 season, and led the Flames in rebounding in 10-of the final 12 contests. The Valparaiso, Ind., native shot 41.8 percent from three-point range last season, ranking sixth in the Horizon League.

UIC Basketball Inks McGuire, Whitaker in Early Signing Period
During the first week of the early signing period, head men's basketball coach Howard Mooreannounced the official signings of Elkhart (Ind.) Memorial combo guard Markese McGuire, along with Lance Whitaker, a wing from Bartlett High School. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound McGuire is regarded as one of the top shooters in the state of Indiana heading into his senior season. He averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists for Elkhart Memorial as a junior. Whitaker is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound wing (guard/forward) that averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds for Bartlett High School as a sophomore. Along with his scoring ability, Whitaker is also known as one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the state of Illinois.

Moore's Second Recruiting Class Garners National Praise
Thanks to the addition of Division I transfers Josh Crittle and Joey Miller, along with incoming freshmen Matt Gorski and Jake Wiegand, the UIC men's basketball 2012-13 recruiting class was recognized at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in its Horizon League men's basketball preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section earlier this month. The publication pointed out those four players in particular, but as mentioned, UIC has seven total newcomers on its 2012-13 roster.

Barlow Transfers to UIC
Former Purdue guard Kelsey Barlow, who played in 93 games for the Boilermakers over the past three seasons, also transferred to UIC during the offseason. The Indianapolis, Ind., native will be required to sit out the 2012-13 campaign to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Last season, in 26 games played, Barlow averaged 8.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. Barlow, who will be permitted to practice with the Flames this season, was also named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman Team in 2009-10.