Will get a chance to see just how Northwestern stacks up against a veteran team with NCAA Tournament experience as the Cats renew their uptown/downtown rivalry with the University of Illinois - Chicago Flames."> Will get a chance to see just how Northwestern stacks up against a veteran team with NCAA Tournament experience as the Cats renew their uptown/downtown rivalry with the University of Illinois - Chicago Flames.">

Dousing the Flames?

<b>Those of you Wildcat Fans who have been worried about our pre conference schedule...</b> <br><font color="#000000">Will get a chance to see just how </font><b><font color="#330033">Northwestern</font></b><font color="#000000"> stacks up against a veteran team with <b>NCAA Tournament</b> experience as the <b>Cats</b> renew their uptown/downtown rivalry with the </font><b><font color="#CC0000">University of Illinois - Chicago Flames</font></b>.

NU Guard Jitim Young knows all about UIC:

UIC is a very tough team, and you have to have a lot of intensity to beat them [Jitim Young-Chicago Sports]
Jitim should know, he's from Chicago's Gordon Tech and he personally knows and has played against at least 5 of the Flames. UIC's Junior Guard Martell Bailey [left - Chicago Westinghouse HS] is one player who knows Jitim. Guard Cedrick Banks [also Westinghouse HS] is another.
I've played against Jitim in AAU ball,'' Banks said. [Sun-Times] Northwestern is a good team, but we'll play as hard as we always do.
So here we go, its too bad this is during the Winter break, because you can expect a really good turnout from Chicago for this one. UIC is probably the best non-conference foe we've seen at home for a while. Add in all the local talent [Jitim and TJ Parker for us/Baily and Banks for them] and this could be a dandy. The Coach
The Head Coach of the Flames is Jimmy Collins [UIC Photo] - in his 6th year. Heading to Chicago, his credentials were primarily that he'd been an assistant to Lou Henson at Illinois, had played Guard with the Bulls, and had been a star guard at New Mexico State.

But don't dismiss Collins as just another assistant who hung around long enough to land a head coaching job.

He's had the Flames in the NCAA Tournament Twice since he took over in Chicago in 1996. His class of 2000 was one of the more highly regarded in Div I, and most of those players will be in Evanston tonight.

Collins also has had an interesting career outside of basketball. He's run a trucking business, has worked as both a hearing and probation officer, and was the voluntary Head Coach at St. Thomas School in Chicago. His coaching there provided many contacts in the Chicago Public League, and that leads to UIC signing talented, but overlooked players who can really play.

The Starters
At Forward:   Armond Williams [UIC Photo-right/#30 Jr 6-5] and Aaron Carr
[#32 Jr 6-4]

At Center:  Joe Scott [#42 Jr 6-9]
At Guard:  Martell Bailey [#03 Jr 5-10] and Jonathan Schneiderman [#13 Sr 6-1]

[All are from the Chicago Area]

The Big Gun [s]
Off the Bench: 6-3 Jr Forward Cedrick Banks [#34 - left] appears to be the primary sub and has been tearing it up since finishing up his 4 game suspension for academic problems. He had 22 points/5 boards against SIU, and 22 pts and 8 boards while celebrating his birthday against Samford. I'd be surprised if he didn't begin to start for the Flames.

Off the Boards: Martell Bailey had his first double double against Samford, but 6-9 Junior center Joe Scott seems to be the man under the basket, grabbing the rebounds - he's had 8 in each of his last two games.

6-1 Senior Guard Jonathan Schneiderman looks like the man who likes to shoot from beyond the arc.

The Rest of the Team
The Flames are shooters - They've hit better than 50% of their shots from the field 3 times in this young season. The Cats will need to play a little defense tonight but UIC plays almost all their game inside the 3 point arc. Jon Schneiderman [left] seems to be the only player UIC really going for 3s.

Coach Collins rotates 6-8 Senior Forward Kyle Kickert [#5], 6-9 Junior Forward Richard Lesko [#14] and 6-8 Freshman Forward Josh Williams during games.

The UIC site doesn't report minutes so we're not sure who plays the most but its interesting that all of the bench players appear to be forwards.  The Flames carry only 4 Guards among the 16 players on their roster.

Cedrick Banks is really hot right now - you'd expect him to be playing a lot of minutes up in Evanston tonight.

So the Big Question is...
Can their Chicago kids overpower our Chicago kids? The Flames may be playing on the road in Evanston, but they're from the neighborhood. They may actually have more fans in Welsh Ryan than Northwestern.

And maybe the 2nd question is: can the Cats keep UIC out of the middle and force them into an outside shooting game. They hit 50% of their shots from the field, probably because they're inside, taking the high percentage shots.

For the Wildcats

Purple Wildcats Top Stories