Men's Basketball Travels to Miami University Saturday

Senior center Josh Crittle
Senior center Josh Crittle

Dec. 20, 2012

UIC at Miami University Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Game #12: UIC Flames (9-2) at Miami RedHawks (3-6)
Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012• Millett Hall (Oxford, Ohio) • 12:30 p.m. CST
Audio: UIC Flames Radio Network • Flagship: ESPN Chicago (WMVP-AM 1000)/
Radio Talent: Dave Juday (Play-by-Play)/Kenny Williams (Color Commentary)
Live Video: (Subscription)
UIC Head Coach: Howard Moore • Record at UIC/Overall as Head Coach: 24-48 (3rd season)
UIC Athletic Communications Contact: Brett McWethy • Office Phone: 312.996.5880
Cell Phone: 815.751.1015 • E-mail: • Pavilion Press Row: 312.413.5712/5710
Twitter Coverage: @UICFlamesSID/@uicflamesdotcom • Hashtags: #uicbasketball, #HLMBB

#4 Gary Talton • PG
The Flames' leading scorer. Paces the Horizon League in both assists and assist/turnover ratio (3.0) while ranking second in steals (19). Scored eight points at Western Illinois, just the second time this season he has been limited to a single-digit scoring performance. Member of the 2012 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.

#1 Daniel Barnes • SG
Has drilled a Horizon League second-best 28 three-point field goals this season, an average of 2.5 threes per game. Named the HL Player of the Week after poured in a career-high 30 points against Eastern Michigan. Enters Saturday's game with 97 career three-pointers. Averaged a team second-best 10.4 points per game last season.

#10 Marc Brown • SF/W
Has started all 11 games this season, and played at least 30 minutes in five games. Shooting 80.0 percent (24-30) from the free throw line. Averaging 7.6 points per game over the last five contests. Scored exactly 200 points in freshman season, starting 27 contests.

#13 Hayden Humes • PF
The Flames' leading rebounder. Ranks fourth in the Horizon League in field goal percentage (.490) and third overall in three-point field goal percentage (.478). Began his Division I career at Toledo, a Mid-American Conference member. Dating back to the 2011-12 campaign, has posted double-digit scoring outputs in 14-of the last 21 games.

#34 Josh Crittle • C
Has posted double-digit scoring efforts in six-of the last eight games. Enters Saturday's game as UIC's second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer. Averaging 2.3 assists per game, second-most on the team. Playing 27.2 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.

Setting the Scene
The first-place UIC men's basketball team will look to bounce back from its first road loss of the season on Saturday, when the Flames travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami University in a non-conference affair beginning at 12:30 p.m. CST. UIC will be facing its third Mid-American Conference foe of the season.

Key Statistic
Rebounding. Both UIC and Miami are being out-rebounded by their opponents this season. The Flames enter Saturday's game with a -3.6 rebounding margin, while the RedHawks have been out-rebounded by an average of 9.3 boards per game. UIC has been out-rebounded eight times this season, but is 6-2 in those contests. Meanwhile, Miami has been out-rebounded seven times, going 1-6 during those games.

Summing Up the Streak
UIC saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday at Western Illinois, a stretch that lasted 32 days. It marked the first time since the 1997-98 NCAA Tournament season that the Flames strung together eight-consecutive wins. UIC posted a +16.6 scoring margin during the spurt, averaging 66.4 points per game while surrendering just 49.8 points to its opponents. Intermingled in the streak were wins over foes from the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), the Ohio Valley Conference, the Mid-American Conference, the Big Ten and the Mountain West. The Flames were 4-0 at the UIC Pavilion, 2-0 on the road and 2-0 in neutral site games during the eight-game spree.

Biancalana-Sullivan Ties
When the Flames and RedHawks tip-off at Millett Hall for Saturday's matinee, there will be a familiar connection on both benches. UIC Associate Head Coach Al Biancalana is the former high school coach for Will Sullivan, a sophomore guard for Miami University. Biancalana coached Sullivan for three years at York High School in suburban Chicago before joining Head Coach Howard Moore's staff at UIC. Sullivan, the all-time leading scorer at York, has seen action in all nine of the RedHawks' games this season, and started Wednesday night at Wright State.

What's Trending?
• Senior guard Daniel Barnes has scored in double figures in seven-of the past eight games - he had his seven-game double-digit scoring streak snapped at Western Illinois. Over the past eight games, Barnes is averaging 13.1 points per contest.
• Senior point guard Gary Talton has handed out at least four assists in seven games, and dished out three or more helpers 10-of-11 contests. The Dallas native is averaging 5.8 assists per game over the past four contests.
• In road games, senior center Josh Crittle (12.3 ppg) and junior forward Hayden Humes (10.3) have both averaged double figures in scoring, and have been the catalysts on the boards, averaging 6.3 rebounds per road contest. Leading scorer Gary Talton has been limited to 8.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game on the road this season.
• Dating back to last season, Talton has tallied double-digit scoring outputs in 15-of the last 18 contests.
• Humes has been held to single-digit scoring performances in three-straight games for the first time in more than a calendar year, and for just the third time in his UIC career. Humes scored eight points against Eastern Michigan, was held to two points versus Colorado State and chipped in five points at Western Illinois.
• Sophomore wing Marc Brown has scored seven or more points in four-of the last five games. He enters Saturday's game averaging 5.7 points per game on the season.

2012-13 Season Snapshot
• Senior point guard Gary Talton is averaging a team-high 12.5 points per game, with a total of 138 points on the season. Talton also leads the Flames in both assists (54) and steals (19). He enters Saturday's game with 487 career points, just 13 tallies shy of 500 for his two-year career.
• Junior forward Hayden Humes is averaging a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game - he pulled down nine rebounds Tuesday night at Western Illinois. Humes is also shooting 49.0 percent from the field and a team-best 47.8 percent from three-point range. • Barnes (12.5 ppg; 11th), Talton (12.1; 13th) and Humes (11.5; 16th) all rank in the Horizon League's top-20 in scoring.
• Talton, Barnes, Humes, sophomore forward Marc Brown and senior center Josh Crittle have each started all 11 games for the Flames this season. That group is currently occupying 77.2 percent of UIC's minutes played.
• UIC currently has three players shooting at least 80 percent from the free throw line - Humes (.900), Talton (.860) and Brown (.800).
• 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. The Flames are 2-0 this season against 2012 NCAA Tournament foes (Iona and Colorado State).
• UIC was picked to finish eighth in the nine-team preseason Horizon League poll, conducted by the League's coaches, media and sports information directors.

UIC vs. Western Illinois Recap
Sophomore guard Joey Miller came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points, but the UIC men's basketball team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end, 70-54 inside Waste Management Court at Western Hall Tuesday night. The Leathernecks out-scored the Flames 45-27 in the second half to win their fifth-straight game.

Miller's 15 points represented his best all-around game at UIC - he also scored 14 points in the season opener against UC Riverside. Senior center Josh Crittle chipped in 14 points, including an 8-for-10 effort from the free throw line, to join Miller in double figures. Western Illinois was led by Terell Parks, who tallied a double-double with a game-high 19 points (8-11) and 11 rebounds. The Flames led 27-25 at halftime, but Western Illinois claimed a 31-30 lead with 18:07 remaining in the second half, and never trailed again.

Barnes Collects HL Player of the Week Honors
For his 30-point outburst against EMU (12/15/12), senior guard Daniel Barnes was named the Horizon League Player of the Week, League officials announced from their Indianapolis-based headquarters Monday.

Barnes, who appeared in 12 games for Eastern Michigan in 2008-09, busted the Eagles' 2-3 zone with a career-high 10 field goals, including a career-best six three-pointers. He scored 15 points in both the first and second halves. Barnes became the first UIC player to score 30 or more points in a single game since Jeremy Buttell at Youngstown State on Jan. 7, 2010, a span of 86 games.

Flames Climb to No. 15 in Latest Mid-Major Top-25
After improving to 5-0 at home this season with a 74-48 win over Eastern Michigan at the Pavilion last Saturday, the UIC men's basketball team jumped one spot from No. 16 to No. 15 in Monday's Mid-Major Top-25 poll. The weekly poll is voted on by 30 Division I head coaches across the country. The Flames have been ranked in the poll for each of the past three weeks, after debuting at No. 22 on Monday, Dec. 3.

Making Their Mark
With its win over EMU last Saturday, UIC surpassed its entire win total from the 2011-12 campaign (8). Through the first one-third of the season, the Flames are on pace to post the third-biggest turnaround among the 345 teams in the Division ranks. UIC won just 26.7 percent of its games last season (8-22, 3-15 Horizon), but this season, owns a winning percentage of 81.8 heading into Saturday's game at Miami (Ohio), an increase of 55.1 percent.

On the Fast Track
UIC is off to a 9-2 start for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign, when the Flames went 24-8 (13-5 Horizon) and captured the Horizon League Tournament Championship en route to a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to Tuesday night's loss at Western Illinois, UIC was 9-1 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 "Big Dance" for the first time in school history.

Climbing to the Top (Of the Nation)
In the Dec. 17 version of the NCAA statistics, UIC ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense, 10th in defensive field goal percentage and ninth in three-point field goal defense. UIC was also well-represented on offense, where the Flames ranked seventh in turnovers per game and 30th overall in assist/turnover ratio. Entering Saturday's game at Miami University, UIC is allowing its opponents just 53.3 points per game, only 36.4 percent shooting and just a 25.3 percent effort on three-point field goals. The Flames are averaging 10.2 turnovers per game while posting an assist/turnover ratio of 1.3 (142 assists, 102 turnovers).

Gettin' Defensive
UIC is on its way to enjoying its most successful team defensive season in program history. The Flames have held seven opponents under 35 percent shooting (eight under 40 percent), including six-of the last seven. UIC has also limited six opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time in more than 60 years (1949-50).

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

Offensively Speaking
While UIC's vastly improved, stingy defense has been the main catalyst for its early-season turnaround, the Flames' balanced offense shouldn't be overshadowed. Heading into Saturday's game at Miami (Ohio), four players (Gary Talton, Hayden Humes, Daniel Barnes and Josh Crittle) have already scored 100 points on the season.

RPI Tidbits
While the first version of the official NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) has not been released, plenty of media outlets and services have begun mirroring the NCAA RPI formula, which ranks all 345 Division I teams based on (1) Division I winning percentage (25 percent of RPI), (2) Opponent strength of schedule (50 percent) and (3) Opponents' opponent strength of schedule (25 percent). Below is a summary of where UIC currently stands in many of the outlets measuring RPI through the first 10 games of the season. (formerly 28 (Yahoo! Sports): 28 28 29 23

Running the Show
Senior point guard Gary Talton has tallied his 30 career double-digit scoring outputs, including nine this season, but his efficiency in running the offense has been even more noteworthy. Talton has dished out 54 assists against just 18 turnovers, a Horizon League-best assist/turnover ratio of 3.0. For his two-year career, Talton has produced a 1.53 assist/turnover ratio, with 153 assists versus 100 turnovers.

Danny ... For 3!
Over the past two years, senior guard Daniel Barnes has shown an ability to score in bunches from beyond the three-point arc. In 46 games played, Barnes has drilled 97 three-pointers, an average of 2.1 threes per game. With just seven more three-point field goals, Barnes will crack the top-10 of UIC's career three-point field goals made list. Barnes has converted six three-point field goals twice in his career, including last Saturday against Eastern Michigan.

All About Balance
The Flames may have found the recipe that will help them turn the corner this season: offensive balance. In eight-of its 11 games, UIC has seen at least three players score in double figures. Additionally, UIC has had four players post double-digit scoring outputs in five individual contests.

Guards on the Boards
UIC has also enjoyed balance in the rebounding category, particularly in the backcourt. Entering Saturday's game at Miami University, five players are averaging at least 3.5 rebounds per game, including point guard Gary Talton (4.5 rpg), shooting guard Daniel Barnes (3.9) and 6-foot-4 wing Marc Brown (3.5).

Scouting the RedHawks
Miami University is undefeated at Millett Hall this season, having posted home wins over Grambling State (11/13/12) and James Madison (11/24/12). The RedHawks are led by junior guard Allen Roberts, who is averaging 12.2 points per game. Reggie Johnson, Jon Harris and Bill Edwards are scoring 9.8, 9.6 and 8.9 points per game, respectively. Quinten Rollins has dished out 42 assists against just 16 turnovers, while Harris is averaging a team-high 5.2 rebounds per contest.

Jon Cooper, the former head coach at Tennessee Tech, is in his first season as the mentor at Miami. The RedHawks enter Saturday's game on a four-game losing streak, including a 67-59 setback at Wright State Wednesday night.

On the Road Again
Life away from the UIC Pavilion hasn't exactly been kind to the Flames in recent years. Heading into the 2012-13 season, UIC had won just a combined three road games in as many seasons, dating back to the 2009-10 campaign. All three of those victories took place in non-conference play. But early on this season, UIC has begun to buck that trend. The Flames are 2-1 in true road contests, winning consecutive games against Chicagoland non-conference foes Northern Illinois (11/27/12) and Northwestern (12/1/12) before dropping their first road decision on Tuesday night at Western Illinois.

Attack on the MAC
Against Miami (Ohio), UIC will be playing its third member of the Mid-American Conference this season, but just its first opponent from the MAC-East. The Flames are 2-0 against MAC-West foes, having defeated Northern Illinois in DeKalb on Nov. 27, and Eastern Michigan at the UIC Pavilion last Saturday (12/15/12). UIC will play its fourth Mid-American Conference foe next Saturday (12/29/12), when the Flames travel to the Glass City to take on Toledo. During head coach Howard Moore's three-year tenure, the Flames have played 11 games against Mid-American Conference foes, going 5-6 in those contests.

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's 2012-13 class was ranked at the "Head of the Class" by USA Today in the publication's season preview and "Rating the Recruiting" section.