Flames Set for Showdown versus Colorado State Saturday Afternoon

Senior point guard Gary Talton
Senior point guard Gary Talton

Dec. 7, 2012

UIC vs. Colorado State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Game #9: UIC Flames (7-1) vs. Colorado State Rams (6-1)
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 • UIC Pavilion (Chicago, Ill.) • 3:00 p.m.
Audio/Video: UIC Flames Radio Network/Horizon League Network • Radio Flagship: ESPN Chicago
Radio/HLN Talent: Dave Juday/Kenny Williams/Jonathan Hood
Television: Comcast SportsNet Chicago: Dave Wills/David Kaplan/Jimmy Collins
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 22-47 (3rd season)
UIC Athletic Communications Contact: Brett McWethy • Office Phone: 312.996.5880
Cell Phone: 815.751.1015 • E-mail: • Press Row: 312.413.5712/5710
Twitter Coverage: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

#4 Gary Talton • PG
UIC's second-leading scorer, and leads the Flames in both assists (39) and steals (15). Paces the Horizon League and ranks 31st in the nation in assist/turnove r ratio (3.9). Scored 11 points, dished out eight assists against zero turnovers and swiped three steals against Roosevelt. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
Has drilled 18 three-point field goals this season, an average of 2.3 threes per game. Enters Saturday's game with 397 career points, just three tallies short of 400. Scored 11 points on three field goals against Roosevelt. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Dating back to the 2011-12 season, has started the last 22 games. UIC's best perimeter defender. Shooting 81.8 percent (18-22) from the free throw line. Has scored seven points in each of the last two contests. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
UIC's leading scorer and rebounder. Shooting HL third-best 53.8 percent (42-78) from the field and 52.8 percent (19-36) from three, which ranks second in the Horizon League. Drilled a career-high five three-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points against Roosevelt. Dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, has posted double-digit scoring outputs in 14-of the last 18 games.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Named the Horizon League Player of the Week by College Sports Madness for his performances against NIU and Northwestern. Averaging 2.6 assists per game, second-most on the team. Playing 28.0 mpg this season after averaging just 14.1 mpg in his previous three seasons of Division I basketball. Transferred to UIC from UCF in September.

First meeting

Setting the Scene
The UIC men's basketball team will look to remain unbeaten at home, and collect its seventh-straight victory Saturday, when the Flames host 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Colorado State at the Pavilion beginning at 3:00 p.m. CST. Both teams enter the matinee with just one loss on the season.

Key Match-Up
In the middle. UIC senior center Josh Crittleversus Colorado State big man Colton Iverson. Crittle has scored in double figures in four-of the last five games, and has led the Flames in rebounding three times. Iverson, a senior from Yankton, S.D., has posted five-consecutive double-doubles and ranks 11th in the nation in rebounding. Both Crittle and Iverson are first-year transfers from previous Division I institutions (Crittle from UCF/Oregon and Iverson from Minnesota), and exhausting their final year of collegiate eligibility.

Eyeing #8
With a win over Colorado State, UIC would collect its eighth win of the season and match its entire victory total from the 2011-12 campaign (8-22, 3-15 Horizon League) with at least 22 games remaining.

What's Trending?
• Junior forward Hayden Humes has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in six-of UIC's eight games this season, including a game-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting against Roosevelt. He has also converted at least two three-pointers in six games.
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes has scored in double figures in each of the past five games, and is averaging 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds during that stretch.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in five games, and dished out three or more helpers seven-of-eight contests. The Dallas native handed out eight assists against zero turnovers against Roosevelt.
• Senior center Josh Crittle has averaged a team-high 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 blocks during UIC's three home games at the Pavilion this season.
• Talton, who had his seven-game streak of scoring in double figures snapped at Northwestern, chipped in 11 points versus Roosevelt. Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 13-of the last 15 contests.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brownhas played at least 30 minutes in three-of the past four games, including a career-high 38 minutes last Saturday at Northwestern. Prior to the stretch, Brown was averaging just 24.0 mpg.

• Humes (14.3 ppg), Talton (12.3), Barnes (11.2) and Crittle (10.2) are all averaging double figures in scoring.
• UIC is averaging 65.5 points per game, and giving up just 49.2 points per contest, a scoring margin of +16.3.
• The Flames have swiped 46 total steals (7.7 spg) over the six games, while their opponents have recorded just 20 steals. UIC has also committed 30 less turnovers (57) than its opponents (87) during the stretch.
• UIC has made 112 trips to the free throw line over the six games, compared to just 75 attempts for its opponents.

2012-13 Season Snapshot
• Junior forward Hayden Humes leads the Flames in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting a team-best 53.8 percent from the field and 52.8 percent from three-point range.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton leads UIC in both assists (39) and steals (15). Talton enters Wednesday's game ranked first in the Horizon League in assist/turnover ratio (3.9).
• Humes (14.0 ppg; 9th), Talton (12.4; 15th), Barnes (10.8; 19th) and Crittle (10.5; 20th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-20 in scoring.
• UIC returns four starters from the 2011-12 team, including four-of its top five scorers. Overall, the Flames bring back 65 percent of their scoring from last season.
• During the 2012-13 season, UIC will play at least 14 games this season against teams that made appearances in the 2012 postseason, including four NCAA Tournament foes.

UIC vs. Roosevelt Recap
Junior forward Hayden Humesscored a game-high 21 points on an efficient 8-of-9 shooting, and the UIC men's basketball team limited visiting Roosevelt to just a 29.5 percent effort from the field in a convincing 81-43 win over the Lakers at the UIC Pavilion Wednesday night. Humes' outburst led a group of four Flames posting double figures in scoring.

With the win, UIC improved to 7-1 overall, its best start to a season since 1997-98, when the Flames jumped out of the gate with a 10-1 record en route to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. UIC also upped its record to 3-0 at the Pavilion.

Senior guards Daniel Barnes and Gary Talton each chipped in 11 points, while sophomore forward Ahman Fellsscored a career-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Roosevelt's Jeremiah Jackson doubled up the Flames, scoring 11 points to go along with 12 rebounds. The Flames scored 22 points off the Lakers' 16 turnovers and finished with a 12-0 advantage on the fast break after swiping a season-high 10 steals. UIC's bench also out-scored Roosevelt's reserves, 27-9.

Flames Crack Mid-Major Poll, Power Rankings
After earning a pair of road wins over non-conference foes Northern Illinois and Northwestern last week, UIC cracked the Mid-Major Top-25 poll, released on Monday afternoon. The Flames are ranked No. 22 in the weekly poll, which is voted on by 30 Division I head coaches across the country.

Additionally, the Flames are ranked No. 15 in the "College Basketball Nation" power rankings. UIC was tabbed the mid-major "Team of the Week" by virtue of its 50-44 win at Northwestern.

Crittle Receives Weekly Recognition from College Sports Madness
Senior center Josh Crittlewas named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Monday. The Bellwood, Ill., native posted back-to-back double-digit scoring outputs, and filled the stat sheet in nearly every other offensive and defensive category in leading UIC to a pair of non-conference road wins over Chicagoland foes Northern Illinois and Northwestern.

Against NIU, Crittle scored 10 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists against zero turnovers in 27 minutes. He also recorded one block and swiped one steal.

In the Flames' 50-44 win at Northwestern, Crittle scored a team-high 13 points on five field goals, corralled a game-high nine rebounds, handed out four assists and tallied four steals in 35 minutes. He was also a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.

On the Fast Track
UIC is off to a 7-1 start for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign, when the Flames jumped out of the gate with a 10-1 record and eventually advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The last time UIC won seven-consecutive games was also during the 1997-98 campaign, when the Flames tallied one seven-game winning streak, and one eight-game spree.

Climbing to the Top (Of the Nation)
In the Dec. 1 version of the NCAA statistics, UIC ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense (52.9 ppg), 19th in defensive three-point field goal percentage (.254) and ninth in the country in turnovers per game (10.1). Entering Saturday's game against Colorado State, UIC is surrendering just 51.6 points per game, allowing opponents to shoot just 24.3 percent from three-point range, and averaging just 9.8 turnovers per contest.

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held five opponents under 35 percent shooting (six under 40 percent), including each of the last four. UIC has also limited five opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time in more than 60 years. During the 1949-50 campaign, just UIC's third season of basketball, the team held nine-of their 18 opponents under 50 points.

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 on Wednesday versus Roosevelt, UIC limited the Lakers to just 12 first-half points, which set a new UIC Pavilion record.

Running the Show
Senior point guard Gary Taltonhas tallied his 28 career double-digit scoring outputs, including seven this season, but his efficiency in running the offense has been even more impressive. Talton has dished out 39 assists against just 10 turnovers, a Horizon League-best assist/turnover ratio of 3.9. For his two-year career, Talton has produced a 1.5 assist/turnover ratio, with 138 assists versus 92 turnovers.

All About Balance
The Flames may have found the recipe that will help them turn the corner this season: offensive balance. In seven-of its eight games, UIC has seen at least three players score in double figures. Additionally, UIC has had four players post double-digit scoring outputs in four individual contests. The main staple has been senior point guard Gary Talton, who has posted seven double-digit scoring outputs. Junior forward Hayden Humes and senior guard Daniel Barneshave each scored in double figures in six-of UIC's eight contests.

Guards on the Boards UIC has also enjoyed balance in the rebounding category, particularly in the backcourt. Entering Saturday's game against CSU, four players are averaging at least 4.5 rebounds per game, including shooting guard Daniel Barnes (4.9 rpg) and point guard Gary Talton(4.5). Barnes' 4.4 defensive rebounds per game rank sixth overall in the Horizon League.

Scouting the Rams
Colorado State, a member of the Mountain West Conference, is off to a 6-1 start this season. The Rams rolled off six-consecutive wins to begin the campaign, before dropping a 70-61 decision at in-state rival Colorado Wednesday night. In that game, CSU fell behind by 25 points in the first half, but pulled within three points mid-way through the second stanza. The Rams' leading scorer and rebounder is the aforementioned Colton Iverson, who is scoring 16.9 points per game to go along with 11.6 rebounds per contest.

Dorian Green (13.4 ppg/3.3 apg), Greg Smith (11.0 ppg/5.7 rpg) and Wes Eikmeier (10.3 ppg) have all joined Iverson with double-digit scoring averages. The Rams are coached by Larry Eustachy, who is in his fifth year at the helm. Colorado State earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament last season, and is currently collecting votes in both the Associated Press (5) and USA Today Coaches Poll (3).

Looking Ahead
UIC will wrap up its three-game homestand next Saturday (Dec. 15), when the Flames host Eastern Michigan at the Pavilion beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Eagles are 5-2 on the season, and had their four-game winning streak snapped in an 84-48 loss at Syracuse on Monday. EMU will host Purdue in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Saturday afternoon.

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's2012-13 class was ranked at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in the publication's season preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section.

This Weekend in the Horizon League
Saturday, Dec. 8
• Cleveland State at #25/24 North Carolina State, Noon CST
• Rochester (Mich.) College at Detroit, 1:00 p.m. CST
• Loyola at #19/17 Michigan State, 1:00 p.m. CST
• #rv/rv Colorado State at UIC, 3:00 p.m. CST
• VMI at Wright State, 6:00 p.m. CST
• Hiram at Youngstown State (Covelli Center), 6:05 p.m. CST
• Valparaiso at #18/20 New Mexico, 8:00 p.m. CST

Sunday, Dec. 9
• Milwaukee at DePaul , 4:00 p.m. CST