Jan. 4, 2010
Milwaukee (8-7, 1-3 Horizon)
SIU Edwardsville (2-12)
Tues. Jan. 5 7 p.m. CST
Vadalabene Center Edwardsville, Ill.
Printable Game Notes
The Short List
UWM returns to non-league play for a Tuesday night contest at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The Panthers are playing away from home for the 11th time in their first 16 games. After Tuesday, UWM will get to play five of its next seven games at home.
UWM dropped a pair of league games in Indiana this past weekend. After losing a 55-54 heartbreaker at Valparaiso on New Year's Eve, the Panthers fell at Butler, 80-67, on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Anthony Hill scored a season-best 18 points in Saturday's loss. He is averaging 10.5 ppg in his last six games. True freshman Ja'Rob McCallum is adding 11 ppg off the bench in his last six outings.
Tuesday's game is a homecoming of sorts for a pair of Panther players, as both Tony Meier and Lonnie Boga played their high school basketball in the St. Louis area.
On The Air
UWM men's basketball airs live on WISN (AM 1130) in Milwaukee, with Bill Johnson on the call. Pregame coverage starts 15 minutes before tipoff. All home games also include "Panthers Extra ... live from Major Goolsby's." The postgame show, with hosts Bob Brainerd and Adrian Tigert, follows the game broadcast.
Tickets for Tuesday's game are available at the doors of the Vadalabene Center on gameday. Tickets for all UWM home games are priced at $20, $15 and $10 and are available through Ticketmaster or at the U.S. Cellular Arena on the day of the game. As always, UWM students are admitted free with a valid UWM ID.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team returns to non-league play with a trip to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Tuesday night.
UWM leads the all-time series with SIU Edwardsville, 7-4, though last season's meeting between the two schools was the first since 1989-1990. That season - UWM's final one before moving back to Division I - saw the Cougars sweep a home-and-home series.
Last Year With The Cougars
James Eayrs scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds as UWM captured a 70-59 non-league win over SIUE Jan. 12 at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Panthers overcame 34.3 percent shooting and 19 turnovers to claim a seventh win in their last nine outings. UWM did it in large part with strength inside, collecting 21 offensive rebounds that led to a 22-8 advantage in second-chance points. Milwaukee's 57 total rebounds set a new Division I school record. The Panthers also got 15 points from Tone Boyle and made liberal use of their bench throughout the game, with 12 players seeing action in the first half.
UWM's trip to Edwardsvillle, which is located just outside of St. Louis, provides a chance for a pair of Panthers the chance to play near where they starred in high school. Sophomore Tony Meier was a standout at Lafayette High School, where he was an all-league performer. Freshman Lonnie Boga played at McCluer High School, where he earned all-state honors.
Reviewing The Non-League Slate
Tuesday's contest at SIU Edwardsville is the second-to-last non-league game of the regular season for the Panthers, who still have a BracketBuster contest against a to-be-determined opponent set for late February. So far, UWM is 7-4 against non-Horizon League competition, with its losses to notable foes Wisconsin, Marquette, Western Kentucky and Indiana State. In fact, those teams have combined to go 38-15 entering play this week. That said, Milwaukee's seven regular season non-league wins are its most since the 2005-06 season, when the Panthers also won seven non-league contests during the regular season. The last time Milwaukee won eight non-league regular season games was in 2004-05.
On The Road Again
Tuesday's game at SIUE brings to a close an extended run of road games for Milwaukee. In fact, it will be the fourth-straight away from home for UWM, which has also played at home just once since Dec. 5. Overall, Milwaukee is playing 11 of its first 16 games away from its homecourt. The Panthers are 2-4 in true road games and 2-2 in neutral site contests this season. UWM went 3-10 in true road games last season and, if you include three neutral-site games, went 5-11 away from Milwaukee in 2008-09.
Solid Away From Home
It's always better to be at home, but early in this season the Panthers are posting better shooting numbers on the road. Milwaukee is shooting just 39.9 percent from the floor in five regular season home games, including just 22.4 percent (28-of-125) from three-point range. Away from home, UWM is shooting 43.7 percent from the floor overall and 36.9 percent (80-of-217) from beyond the arc.
Boyle Out, Set To Redshirt
UWM now knows it will be without one of its senior guards for the duration of the season. Preseason all-league selection Tone Boyle has not yet played in a game this season because of a back injury, and with the season now passing the midpoint the decision has been made to redshirt him. He will return in 2010-11 as a fifth-year senior. Boyle originally hurt the back last February, an injury that caused him to miss UWM's game at Cleveland State. He returned to play the rest of last season and wound up averaging 13.2 points per game while shooting 36 percent from three-point range. Those numbers actually dipped late in the season, though, while he battled the injury.
Pretty Decent Decade!
The first decade of the 21st Century was certainly a good one for the Panthers. In fact, UWM went 180-125 over the 10-year period, including a 103-60 mark in league play. That is a major step up from the decade of the 1990's, when UWM went 108-149 overall and 25-68 in league play. The decade for UWM included three regular season league titles, three league tournament titles, three NCAA Tournaments, an NIT appearance, four postseason wins and four 20-win seasons.
The League In The 2000's
Just two Horizon League schools got to 100 wins during the first decade of the 21st Century, with Butler collecting 121 and UWM tallying 103. Those two schools have also won or shared the last 10 regular-season league titles. The decade standings (noting YSU and Valpo were not in the league for the entire decade):
Wright State 92-71
Green Bay 79-85
Cleveland State 65-97
Youngstown State 35-100
To celebrate the highlights of the last decade for Panther men's basketball, UWM has launched voting for its latest All-Decade Team. Fans are able to participate in the selection process by voting online at uwmpanthers.com or by casting a ballot at UWM home games in January. Selections will also be decided upon through input from present and former coaches, as well as a committee of current and former UWM staff. Plus, over the next six weeks, the Verizon Wireless Panther BlogZone will feature a look back at some of the greatest moments in Panther basketball over the last decade. The men's ballot consists of 12 players, with fans able to pick five. The list includes: Boo Davis; Ricky Franklin; Jason Frederick; Chris Hill; Ronnie Jones; Ed McCants; Dylan Page; Paige Paulsen; Avery Smith; Adrian Tigert; Clay Tucker; and Joah Tucker. A women's team will also be selected, with both squads unveiled Feb. 18 during the basketball doubleheader at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
About The Last Time Out
Shelvin Mack scored 25 points to lead Butler to an 80-67 win over UWM Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Panthers pulled within six points early in the second half but could never get any closer in falling for the third-straight time. Butler also got 16 points from Gordon Hayward and 12 from Shawn Vanzant. The Bulldogs have won 20 of their last 21 regular season league home games. Anthony Hill scored 18 points to lead Milwaukee, which shot 46.4 percent from the floor but could not overcome a 23-11 scoring deficit from the foul line. James Eayrs added 11 and Ja'Rob McCallum nine for the Panthers, who were outrebounded, 38-24, and gave up 20 second-chance points.
A Hill To Climb
Junior Anthony Hill had his best game of the season Saturday at Butler, and the effort adds to a nice string of games he has put together in the last month. Hill had 18 points off the bench against the Bulldogs, making 7-of-10 from the floor. At Wisconsin Dec. 23, Hill made all six of his field goal attempts and scored 12 points. Hill has been in double digits off the bench in four of his last six games, averaging 10.5 ppg in that span while making 22-of-38 from the floor. He averaged just 3.7 ppg in the first nine games of the year
Where would the Panthers have been Thursday night at Valparaiso without the stellar efforts of true freshman Ja'Rob McCallum? He poured in a collegiate-best 20 points while making six 3-pointers, and he gave the Panthers a lead with a three-pointer twice in the last two-plus minutes. His six made 3's are tied for the second-most by a freshman in school history, while his 20-point night ranks just outside the top 10 all-time for freshmen. He added nine points in the loss at Butler Saturday and the true freshman has now made 16 of his last 32 three-point attempts while reaching double figures off the bench in three of his last five games.
Boosts From The Bench
The recent offensive efforts from Ja'Rob McCallum and Anthony Hill have added to a growing list of consistent contributions from the bench for the Panthers. UWM had 35 points off the bench in Thursday's loss at Valpo and then had 38 points off the bench Saturday at Butler. Milwaukee has now had 29 or more points from its bench in five of the last six games, and as a team, UWM has now had 11 double-figure efforts from its bench in the first 15 games of the season.
Youngsters In The Backcourt
With Tone Boyle sidelined by injury, the Panthers are counting on a number of youngsters in the backcourt. In addition to the play of Ja'Rob McCallum off the bench, true freshman Lonnie Boga has started the last five games. On the season, he is averaging 6.3 points per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor. Redshirt freshman Patrick Souter also continues to see time in the backcourt. He had six assists in 14 minutes Thursday night at Valpo and is averaging nearly 13 minutes per game.
Crashing The Glass
UWM found itself outrebounded, 38-24, in its loss at Butler Saturday, one of the few times this season the Panthers haven't had the edge on the glass. UWM has reached double figures in offensive rebounds nine times in 15 games, including three games where Milwaukee has had at least 16 offensive boards. UWM has outrebounded its opponent in 12 of its first 15 games, and dating back to last season the Panthers have outrebounded their opponent in 25 of their last 31 contests. On the season, UWM now has 165 offensive rebounds in 15 games and holds a 2.5 rebound-per-game edge on its opponents.
Ricky Franklin is up to 990 career points ... he also had 413 rebounds and 257 assists ... in UWM's eight wins, it has made 160 free throws; in its seven losses it has made just 57 ... Milwaukee turned the ball over just seven times in consecutive games against Miami and Wisconsin. The stretch marked the first time since the 2000-01 season where the Panthers had been in single digits in the turnover column in back-to-back games ... after allowing three of its first four opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor, UWM has let that happen just once in the last 11 games ... the Panthers have now had eight different players record at least one double-figure outing over the first 15 games of the season, with seven players collecting at least two double-digit games ... the Panthers are 4-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points, and are 15-2 when doing so over the past two seasons ... James Eayrs has made just 21 of his last 67 shots from the floor since earning Horizon League Player of the Week honors Nov. 30. He is also yet to make a three-pointer in four league games, standing 0-for-12 from beyond the arc ... Eayrs has passed 500 points for his career, totaling 532 entering play Tuesday.
Emptying The Notebook
Milwaukee is now 68-24 in regular season and postseason contests at The Cell since its return in 2002-03. Even better, if you combine games at both the Klotsche Center and The Cell, UWM is 66-16 in regular season Horizon League home contests over the last 10-plus seasons ... UWM has scored 80 or more points four time this season. The Panthers did it five times last season after doing it just four times total over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns ... Milwaukee has scored 90 or more points twice this season, the first time since 2005-06 the Panthers have done that ... Dec. 3 against UIC, the Panthers shot just 29.2 percent from the field, the lowest in a Panther victory since Milwaukee shot 28.9 percent in a 62-58 victory over Green Bay in the 2000 MCC Tournament. Meanwhile, the 57 points UWM scored in the win are the fewest in a Panther win in two seasons, with Milwaukee claiming a 55-53 win over Detroit in January of 2008 ... the Panthers made 10 or more three-pointers in three-straight games (Texas State, Colgate, Bowling Green) ... UWM posted season-highs in points (96), shooting percentage (52.1) and three-pointers (12) in its win over Texas State Nov. 23 ... also its 96 points were the most by the Panthers since Milwaukee claimed a 98-57 win over Youngstown State in 2006. The Panthers haven't scored 100 points since the season-opener to the 2004-05 season against Prairie View A&M.
UWM's 2009-10 roster is a nice mix of young and old. At this point, the Panthers have three seniors on the active roster, with Ricky Franklin, James Eayrs and Jason Averkamp all playing key roles. Two other seniors - Tone Boyle and Burleigh Porte - have been sidelined by injury early in the year, with Boyle now done for the year. Meanwhile, UWM is also starting a junior (Jerard Ajami) while getting excellent contributions from a number of underclassmen. Sophomore Tony Meier has started every game this season and now has 43 starts in his career, while true freshmen Lonnie Boga and Ja'Rob McCallum along with redshirt freshmen Patrick Souter and Riley Walker continue to get regular playing time.
"Official" Preseason Honors
Two UWM players earned spots on the Horizon League's Preseason All-League Team as the Panthers were picked to finish fourth in the league standings. Seniors Tone Boyle and James Eayrs were each placed on the second team in voting by the league's coaches, sports information directors and media members. Boyle led the Panthers in scoring and three-pointers made a season ago, earning a spot on the All-Horizon League Second Team as well as on the league's all-newcomer team. He wound up averaging 13.2 points per game and shot 36 percent from three-point range. Boyle was also the team leader in minutes played. Eayrs averaged better than 13 points per game in league play, claiming a spot on the league's all-newcomer team. He played in all 31 games a season ago, starting the final nine contests of the year. He reached double figures in points 17 times and had three double-doubles, averaging nearly 16 points per game as a starter. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder also wound up making 44 three-pointers while tying for third on the team with 23 steals.
UWM is bringing back its special holiday ticket packages that were a big hit last season. The "New Year's Four-Pack" includes four tickets to any January men's game, plus four hot dogs, four sodas and four Panther t-shirts. January home games include weekend contests with Green Bay (Jan. 9), Wright State (Jan. 16) and Butler (Jan. 31). The special men's package starts at just $50. The Verizon Wireless "Half-Price, Full Fun" games will feature all $10 men's tickets available for just $5. Verizon Wireless "Half-Price, Full Fun" games. Remaining games in the package include Jan. 14 against Detroit, Jan. 29 vs. Valparaiso and Feb. 15 against Youngstown State.
The Bright Lights Of TV
Time Warner Cable Sports 32 will again be the home for UWM basketball during the 2009-10 season. The men's package includes 12 confirmed broadcasts on Sports 32, including a pair of games in the new HLN Game of the Week package. In addition to those games, UWM has a game at Youngstown State set for ESPNU and a contest at Wisconsin that will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Sports 32 is also again the home for "The Rob Jeter Show," which airs weekly on Wednesday at 5 p.m., with a number of repeat performances. Daron Sutton returns as the television play-by-play voice for the Panthers. This season, Sutton is joined on the broadcasts by former Panther Adrian Tigert.
Milwaukee men's basketball games are heard on NewsTalk 1130 WISN. Bill Johnson returns for his 11th season as the play-by-play voice of Panther men's basketball, with his coverage of every Panther men's game beginning 15 minutes prior to tipoff with Panther Preview. Johnson also does a complete, on-site postgame show - Panthers Rewind - following each contest. The WISN team for men's games also includes the return of Bob Brainerd as host of "The Panthers Postgame Party,' which airs live from Major Goolsby's. The expanded postgame show airs following every home men's game. Former Panther star Adrian Tigert will join Brainerd as co-host of the show. Plus, the weekly "Rob Jeter On Basketball" show airs Mondays from 6-7 p.m. live from Harry's in Shorewood.
Signing On The Dotted Line
UWM has added three players in the early signing period, as Kyle Kelm, Evan Richard and Leek Leek have all signed National Letters of Intent. Kelm, a 6-foot-9 center, averaged 17.1 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior at Randolph High School, helping his squad to a 21-3 record. Those efforts helped earn him a spot on the WBCA All-State team. Richard, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 24.9 points per game as a junior at Cuba City High School, earning honorable mention Associated Press all-state honors while finishing fourth in the state in scoring. Leek, who was born in the Sudan, is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. The 6-foot-6 senior plays at High Point Wesleyan in North Carolina.
UWM finally returns to the U.S. Cellular Arena, welcoming in-state rival Green Bay for a Saturday afternoon contest. That starts a three-game homestand for the Panthers, who also host Detroit (Jan. 14) and Wright State (Jan. 16).