FLAMES FALL SHORT AT EMU IN OPENER, 68-57
Posted Friday, November 11 at 12:08 a.m.
The bus ride back to Chicago is a non-surprising quiet one, as UIC looks to re-group from a tough loss at Eastern Michigan in the season opener. This was not an 11-point game, despite the score (68-57) indicating so. UIC held the lead for the majority of the second half, and was using its size to its advantage in getting into a nice offensive rhythm, before foul trouble to Darrin Williams, Paris Carter and Hayden Humes ultimately caught up to the Flames.
Player of the Game: Paris Carter, without a doubt. When he was in the lineup, he was the most dominant player on the floor. Eastern really had a tough time with that match-up. The Flames' perimeter players did a nice job finding Carter in the post, which was difficult to do with the 2-3 zone defensive look that EMU used all night. It certainly looks as if Carter is primed to have a great season. The most encouraging stat to me: he got to the free throw line 12 times.
Key Stat: UIC commits 20 turnovers. As head coach Howard Moore would tell you, it's tough to win a game when you commit that many mishaps, especially on the road. That being said, this is a very young team, as has been documented. The coaches will live with some of those turnovers as long as the guards are being aggressive and playing within the offense. On the night, UIC's primary point guards (Gary Talton and Greg Travis) combined to dish out four assists against only three turnovers.
What we learned: Quite a bit. The coaches will have some great film clips to review and breakdown with the players. Moore and Associate Head Coach Al Biancalana are both re-watching the game as we speak. What's glaring is that this team is going to be much better defensively. Marc Brown is going to be a very difficult player to score on -- he has great length, and stayed in front of EMU's dribble penetrators tonight. Also, the continued improvement of Darrin Williams and Paris Carter inside should upgrade the interior defense -- Williams had three blocks alone tonight. And while this isn't breaking news, UIC's biggest strength on the offensive side of the ball is in the frontcourt, as well. Dan Barnes appears that he will emerge as a shot-maker this season.
Postgame Notebook: Junior Gary Talton, sophomore Hayden Humes and freshmen Marc Brown, Will Simonton and Greg Travis all played their first-career games in a UIC uniform ... Brown scored nine points (2-9), while Talton scored two points (1-5), pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists against zero turnovers ... The Flames were 4-of-20 from three-point range (.200) in the game, with Barnes (2), senior Matt Bush (1) and Brown (1) all hitting threes ... UIC shot 61.1 percent from the free throw line (11-18) ... The Flames, who were the top offensive rebounding team in the Horizon League last season, corralled 15 offensive rebounds against the Eagles ... UIC was forced into 20 turnovers ... Making his return to Eastern Michigan, Barnes' line read as follows: 10 points (4-12 FG, 2-8 on 3-Pt. FGs), three assists, four steals ... Williams scored eight points, six in the first half, and pulled down five rebounds to go along with three blocks ... The Flames dropped their road opener for the fourth-straight season ... UIC is now 0-4 all-time against Eastern Michigan.
SPOTLIGHT: SENIOR CENTER DARRIN WILLIAMS
Posted Friday, November 11 at 12:08 p.m.
Senior center Darrin Williams, who was named Preseason All-Horizon League by CollegeSportsMadness.com, will be counted upon to be a significant focal point of UIC's offense this season. Head coach Howard Moore speaks regularly about the importance of "touching the post" in UIC's offense, and that effort begins with the 6-11 center from Louisville. Williams, who lost more than 35 pounds during the offseason, scored a career-high 14 points against Mid-American Conference member Northern Illinois last season (12/14/10).
LET'S GET IT STARTED!
Posted Friday, November 11 at 12:08 p.m.
The UIC men's basketball team opens the 2011-12 campaign Friday night at Eastern Michigan in a 6:07 p.m. tip-off from the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. Get all your pre-game coverage RIGHT HERE, and check out the Photo Gallery (below) from Thursday night's shootaround session.
EASTERN MICHIGAN PREVIEWS
Posted Friday, November 11 at 12:13 p.m.
In preparation for Friday night's season opener at Eastern Michigan, head coach Howard Moore (@Howard_Moore) caught up with Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune for a game-day preview. Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times also provided a snapshot.
Posted Monday, May 16 at 1:40 p.m.
Head coach Howard Moore caught up with Scott Powers from ESPNChicago.com, and Lindsey Willhite of the Daily Herald at the conclusion of the 2010-11 campaign. Among the topics of coversation were the new and fresh faces in the program, the mentality of the program heading into year two of Moore's tenure, and the importance of player development in the rebuilding effort.