UIC Preview February 19, 2018

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UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Commissioner » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:14 pm

UIC

When: Monday, February 19, 8:00 p.m. EST
Where: UIC Pavillion, Chicago, Ill.
TV: ESPN 3
Radio: 910 AM

Well, the Titans have equalled last year's year's victory total with at least 4 games left to play. But since we have one more game scheduled this year, we have not quite yet guaranteed an improvement or even equalling last year's record--at least one more win is needed for that tiny moral victory. The first chance comes on Monday, but it may be the most difficult, as the Titans travel to Chicago to face the Horizon's hottest team, the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames.

The Flames have won 8 of their last 9, with only a bizarre home loss to Cleveland State eight days ago marring the streak. The Flames were predicted for third place in the pre-season Horizon League poll, but looked a cropper early, going 3-8 against D-I schools in non-conference play and then losing their first two conference games. Since then, however, they have gone 11-2, including a solid 78-69 victory at Calihan Hall two weeks ago.

What has sparked the Flames' turnaround? It may be the return of sophomore point guard Tarkus Ferguson, who missed all of December and whose return coincided exactly with the Flames' 11-2 record since. Ferguson is a fine player, a good defender, passer, and three point shooter (though he's struggled this year), and surely he's made a difference. OTOH, the Flames were just 2-4, with wins only over North Carolina Central and Delaware State, when he went down with his injury. It may be star Dikembe Dixson, after missing most of last year with an injury, getting back into the swing of things after the rehab and layoff, but both his scoring and rebounding numbers are actually down in conference play. It may just be an easy schedule--since losing it's first two conference games to co-leadres Wright State and Northern Kentucky, UIC has played just 1 team with a winning record--Oakland. The Flames have played OU twice, losing at home but winning at Oakland. In the latter game, the Flames held Kendrick Nunn to 3 of 22 shooting from the floor, and OU point Brailen Neely went down with a season ending injury midway through the second half. Maybe it's all three things, and more.

The Flames pose a number of difficulties for the Titans. First, they are the best three point shooting team in the conference, at least in conference play. They actually don't shoot a lot of threes--in fact they are last in the conference in 3 point attempts, which partly accounts for that. They are selective. But against Detroit's porous three point defense, this still poses a big problem. In the first Titan matchup, the Flames took just 17 shots from beyond the arc (actually 1 below their season average) but made 8. On the other side of the ball, they lead the Horizon in three-point defense--and threes are the Titans' biggest weapon. Teams shoot a lot of threes against UIC--the Titans fired up 27 attempts at Calihan, but made just 4 (all by Josh McFolley, who finished with 30 points). If teams shoot a lot of threes against UIC, it may be because UIC has the league's, and one of the nation's, best interior defenders in senior center Tai Odiase.

At Calihan, the Titans were without Corey Allen, Jermaine Jackson, Jr., and Isaiah Jones, and played with just 7 scholarship players. Those three are all expected to play on Monday. And if the Titans have been weak on the road--just 2 true road wins this year (St. Louis and Friday's win over Youngstown), UIC has not been a particularly good home team (7-5 against D-I competition). UIC has much to play for--winning out would guarantee them at least a share of the regular season Horizon title--but the Titans might also hope to catch them looking ahead to next weekend's games against co-leaders Northern Kentucky and Wright State, the two teams the Flames must beat to claim that title share.

The Flames, by the way, are one of the younger teams in the country, ranking 286th in Ken Pomeroy's calculation of experience. Six of their top 7 in minutes played are sophomores. Things could get better in Chicago.

Probable Starters:
PG: Tarkus Ferguson, 6-4 Soph. (8.9 ppg, 5.2 apg, 5.0 rpg)
G: Marcus Ottey, 6-2 Soph. (13.4 ppg, 35.7% 3PtFG)
F: Dikembe Dixson, 6-7 RS Soph. (13.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
F: Jordan Blount, 6-8 Soph. (6.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
C: Tai Odiase, 6-9 Sr. (9.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.1 bpg)

Key Bench:
PG: Godwin Boahen, 5-11 Soph. (8.7 ppg, 45.5% 3PtFG)
SG: Dominique Matthews, 6-2 RS Soph. (9.0 ppg)
F: Clint Robinson, 6-8 Sr. (4.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg)
F: Michael Diggins, 6-8 Fr. (2.5 ppg)
Titan All Americans Calihan Swanson Sparrow Ebben DeBusschere Murray Haywood Long Tyler Duerod Phillips Green McCallum
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby R.B.J1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:27 pm

Excellent preview commissioner, I will be satisfied if we can keep this game within 15 points.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Why is Josh wearing #14?
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Tacitus651 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:02 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:Why is Josh wearing #14?


Could be they forgot his jersey, or he's wearing 14 as a tribute to someone. I'm guessing the broadcasters won't say given it's an away game.
"Anything that can be done in college basketball can be done from right here.” - Coach Davis
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Titan JJ » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:11 pm

Nice lead by the Titans so far!
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Tacitus651 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Detroit Mercy MBB twitter says McFolley is wearing 14 due to a jersey issue. I was thinking maybe he was wearing it to honor BA's 14th D1 victory (an accomplishment that would be more celebratory in one season rather than two).
"Anything that can be done in college basketball can be done from right here.” - Coach Davis
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:38 pm

Tacitus651 wrote:Detroit Mercy MBB twitter says McFolley is wearing 14 due to a jersey issue. I was thinking maybe he was wearing it to honor BA's 14th D1 victory (an accomplishment that would be more celebratory in one season rather than two).


Oddly enough, we average 14 turnovers a game.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:40 pm

Chatman, a great offensive player, wears his average number of defensive rebounds on his jersey.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Tacitus651 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:42 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:Chatman, a great offensive player, wears his average number of defensive rebounds on his jersey.


Classic.
"Anything that can be done in college basketball can be done from right here.” - Coach Davis
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:43 pm

Kam, sorry. I was just joking.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby R.B.J1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:46 pm

I have been watching this game intermittently, but every time glance over to watch the game, Kam Chatman is dribbling on a treadmill and shooting the ball.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Rogobob77 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:57 pm

It’s halftime in our game, time to look at some other scores around the Horizon League. In a game that just went final, IUPUI 74, Oakland 67.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby R.B.J1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:06 pm

Rogobob77 wrote:It’s halftime in our game, time to look at some other scores around the Horizon League. In a game that just went final, IUPUI 74, Oakland 67.


Its funny how OU always plays their "A" game against UDM. This is turning out to be a very disappointing season for OU and I love it.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:09 pm

We may not win but we are a completely different team than earlier in the year
and last year. We are at least competitive and playing in control. I would not give
up on this program or coach. I will be the first to say that we could actually win the Horizon tournament.
At least we can be competitive and upset some teams if not gelling at the right time.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:13 pm

They were not playing college basketball they were playing AAU ball until the last 5 games or so.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Resurget Cineribus wrote:We may not win but we are a completely different team than earlier in the year
and last year. We are at least competitive and playing in control. I would not give
up on this program or coach. I will be the first to say that we could actually win the Horizon tournament.
At least we can be competitive and upset some teams if not gelling at the right time.


I really like you, RC. Even more optimistic than I am. But you might want to put the bottle away for this evening. :D
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:15 pm

Okay now get Jackson out after a play like that.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Titans96 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:59 pm

We need more JJJr!!! My god, is there a worse shooting player in college basketball? Why do the coaches play him? He wouldn’t play on a GLIAC team. Let’s see, 0-4 from 3. 1-5 for all shots. 3 turnovers. You couldn’t find a better player. Yet the mighty Titans keep playing him. Don’t worry, his shooting will come around. Hell, shooters shoot! BA and JJSr sure know how to coach.
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Re: UIC Preview February 19, 2018

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:15 pm

I really like you, RC. Even more optimistic than I am. But you might want to put the bottle away for this evening. :D[/quote]

Hey Moose I’d like to buy you a beer at Saturday’s game in the Titan Club. Deal?
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