At a Glance: UIC

A closer look at Illinois next opponent -- the UIC Flames.

Illinois (10-2) vs. UIC (5-8)
Sat., Dec. 28, 2013 - 1 p.m. CST - Chicago - United Center (20,000)
Big Ten Network: Dave Revsine, PBP, Shon Morris, analyst

Notes (per UIC sports info):

Senior Kelsey Barlow was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the period of Dec. 9-15 for his near triple-double performance against SEMO last Saturday. Barlow guided the Flames to victory and posted his first collegiate double-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. His rebounding and assist totals serve and career-highs and new team-season bests. This marks the first career weekly conference accolade for Barlow and UIC's first Horizon League honor of the 2013-14 season.

Freshman Pat Birt is playing like a veteran in his last seven outings with a 8.3 points per game average, while hitting 37 percent from downtown and converting all 11 of his free throw attempts. Birt received his first collegiate start in UIC's 75-69 win at SEMO on Dec. 14 and remained in the lineup against Purdue Calumet. versus the Peregrines. The Plano, Texas native netted a career-high 14 points and five made field goals in just 21 minutes of action.

UIC is averaging just 11.7 turnovers per game this season, which ranks second-best among all Horizon League programs. If that mark holds through the season it would set a single season program record for UIC since entering the Division-I ranks in 1981. The Flames have posted fewer turnovers than nine of their 12 opponents so far this year.

Junior Marc Brown is having one of the best breakout seasons in the Horizon League this year. The Dallas native is averaging 13.3 points per game, up more than seven points from the end of last year, and began the 2013-14 campaign with three straight 20-point efforts. Brown became the first Flame to post a trio of 20-point games since Robo Kreps did it in the 2010-11 season. He currently ranks 13th in the Horizon League in points per game with a 12.7 average.

Probable starters:
Marc Brown: G, Jr., 6-4, 200 - 12.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Kelsey Barlow: G, Sr., 6-5, 200 - 16.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Pat Birt: G, Fr., 6-5, 190 - 6.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Hayden Humes: F, Sr., 6-8, 216 - 7.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Jordan Harks: F, Sr., 6-8, 220 - 7.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Off the bench:
Jake Wiegan: F, So., 6-8, 235 - 7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Gabe Snider: G, So., 6-4, 185 - 5.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Markese McGuire: G, Fr., 6-3, 200 - 4.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Series history:
Series record: Illinois 12-2
Record @ United Center: 2-1
Last meeting: UIC 57, No. 12 Illinois 54 (Dec. 18, 2010)
Groce vs. UIC: First meeting

Fun fact:

Scenes for the movie The Blues Brothers were filmed on Maxwell Street, where the UIC South Campus is located… Also, the television show ER, which was set in Chicago, used UIC and the UIC Medical Center as filming locations.

Notable quotable:

Coach John Groce on UIC senior guard Kelsey Barlow: "He's really talented. I had a lot of respect certainly for Missouri's perimeters going into the game on Saturday. I've watched a lot of clips of Barlow here over the holidays. He's really talented. I think a little bit like Clarkson, it's unique you have a point guard that 6-foot-5. He's had seven games of five or more assists, so he can make guys better. He shoots it well enough, you've got to guard him on the 3-point line and then that sets up his drive game. He's pretty good at finishing with his size around the basket and really seeing. He handles it well, he's good in transition, he's got great length. I think he's a really good player. He's a big key for them, obviously, because he's got his hands not only involved in their scoring but he's got his hand involved in about every play in terms of making guys better. He has his hands on the ball so much that he makes plays not only for himself but for others."

UIC team information:

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