Jan. 18, 2012
| Game #20 | Milwaukee (13-6, 6-1) @ Youngstown State (9-8, 4-3)
|| Friday, Jan. 20 | 6 p.m. CST
|| Beeghly Center | Youngstown, Ohio
| Milwaukee TV/Video
|| ESPN3 (Greg Rakestraw and Jimmy Collins)
|| WISN-AM1130 (Bill Johnson and Kevin O'Connor) - Listen Live
|| Live Stats | ESPN3 Broadcast
| More Information
|| Milwaukee Game Notes | Tickets
The Hot List
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team opens a weekend road trip to eastern Ohio with a Friday night contest at Youngstown State.
The Panthers start the week alone in first place in the Horizon League, one game ahead of both Valparaiso and Cleveland State. UWM has already won at Valpo.
UWM rode hot shooting and a stellar first half to an 84-74 win over Detroit Saturday night. Milwaukee led by 20 at the half and by as many as 26 in the second half before hanging on down the stretch.
Milwaukee made 14 three-pointers in the game, including six from Paris Gulley. The Panthers are second in the league in three-pointers made per game (7.5).
UWM has won 15 of its last 16 regular season Horizon League games. One year after sharing the league title with Butler and Cleveland State, the Panthers were picked to finish fourth in the league.
Milwaukee's defense has been the Panthers' biggest key to success. The Panthers are allowing only 58.7 points per game and opponents are shooting just 39.2 percent from the floor. UWM is also leading the nation in defending the three-point shot, with opponents making 23.5 percent of their long-distance tries.
UWM is still battling injury troubles this season. Ja'Rob McCallum and Lonnie Boga continue to be out with injuries, with Boga likely to redshirt while McCallum is still hopeful of returning this season. Tony Meier missed the first six games of the season with a calf injury while Kyle Kelm missed two contests with a shoulder injury. Ryan Allen is also recovering from an ankle injury while Evan Richard has been battling a bad back and did not play Saturday. The Panthers have yet to play a game with what was expected to be their regular starting lineup in tact.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team starts a weekend road trip to eastern Ohio with a Friday night contest against Youngstown State.
About Youngstown State
The Penguins are 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the league ... YSU was swept on the road this past weekend, losing at Valpo and Butler ... the Penguins do own a win at Cleveland State ... YSU is also 5-1 at home this season ... the Penguins lead the league in three-pointers made per game, averaging better than nine ... four players are in double figures in points for YSU and the Penguins have used the same starting lineup in all 17 of their games.
UWM and Youngstown State have met 20 times since the Penguins joined the Horizon League in 2001-02, and the Panthers have won 16 of the 20 meetings ... Milwaukee has swept the season series from YSU each of the last two years ... all but one of UWM's losses to YSU lately has been extremely tight, with a two-point loss last season, a three-point loss in 2006-07 and a one-point loss in 2003-04 ... meanwhile, Milwaukee's last seven victories in the series had come by an average of more than 15 points before UWM needed overtime to beat YSU at the Beeghly Center at the end of last season ... overall, UWM holds a 24-5 edge in the series.
Off On The Right Foot
UWM is off to a very nice start in Horizon League play, sitting at 6-1 in the league and alone in first place heading into a key weekend road swing. UWM also started 6-1 in the 2008-09 season and then wound up getting swept in two games on the road. The last time Milwaukee was 7-1 in league play was in 2005-06, when the Panthers started their league slate 9-1. Dating back to last season, UWM has won 15 of its last 16 regular season league games.
Tough Road Swings
UWM is in Ohio this weekend for the second of its four true road league weekends of the season. With the addition of Valpo to the league, the Horizon schedule has returned to a more traditional format, with Thursday-Saturday (or Friday-Sunday) road trips again the norm. And those trips are always difficult, even in years where UWM would have only one in a season. In looking only at league road swings that involve two games in three days since the 2001-02 campaign, UWM has won both games of a trip six times, split a trip nine times and been swept seven times. Last year, Milwaukee entered this road trip needing two wins to clinch the regular season title and the Panthers indeed claimed those two victories, capturing its first sweep on this trip.
On The Road Again
After a three-game homestand, the Panthers are back on the road this weekend. UWM has found a way to some success on the road in recent seasons, and this year the Panthers have already won four true road games. In league play, Milwaukee has split its two road games and has now won six of its last seven league road contests. If you go back a bit further, the Panthers have won 10 of their last 14 regular season league road games.
UWM has found itself working through a number of injuries this season. The current injured list includes Lonnie Boga, who is expected to redshirt after undergoing surgery last week. Meanwhile, Ja'Rob McCallum has missed the last 13 games with a wrist injury. He could still return this season but would be eligible for a medical redshirt should he not return to full health. Ryan Allen (ankle) and Evan Richard (back) also continue to work through some difficulties. Allen's injury came Thursday against Wright State but he did fight his way in the lineup Saturday against Detroit. Richard sat out a game for the first time this season Saturday. Two others have returned from injuries earlier this season. Tony Meier missed the first six games with a calf injury while Kyle Kelm missed the games against Wisconsin and Nebraska-Omaha with a shoulder injury. In all, returning letterwinners have recorded 40 missed games because of injuries. And, Milwaukee is yet to play a game with what was its expected starting lineup.
Breaking Down Some Numbers
There are some striking differences in the numbers in UWM's 13 wins and its six losses, and nearly all of those are on the offensive end. In fact, while certainly Milwaukee has been even better on defense in its 13 victories, the Panthers have been pretty solid on defense in all 19 games. The bigger ups and downs have come on offense. A numbers breakdown:
FG% 44.3 35.9
PPG 68.6 53.5
3FG% 37.1 22.6
FG% against 38.9 40.7
PPG against 56.2 64.2
3FG% against 18.6 34.9
Pts Per Poss. 1.04 0.85
A Decade-Plus Of Horizon Success
Over the last 11 years, Milwaukee and Butler have established themselves as the top two programs in the Horizon League. In fact, since 2000-01, Milwaukee has the second-most league wins behind Butler and those are the only two schools to average more than 10 league wins per season. UWM has been below .500 in league play just once in 11 years - only Butler and Wright State can also make that claim. And, Milwaukee has now won 10 or more league games in eight of 11 years while winning four regular season crowns. The standings over the last 11 years, including Youngstown State (joined 2001) and Valparaiso (2007).
Butler 142 47
Milwaukee 125 64
Wright State 110 80
Green Bay 92 97
Detroit 90 100
Cleveland State 84 105
UIC 83 106
Loyola 74 115
Youngstown State 43 132
Valparaiso 41 38
The Panthers have been picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League, according to the results of the league's official preseason poll. Butler claimed the top spot in the poll, Detroit was picked second and CSU is third. Meanwhile, Kaylon Williams and Tony Meier each claimed spots on the official Preseason All-Horizon League Team. Williams was a preseason first-team all-league selection while Meier was voted onto the preseason second team.
The Last Time Out
Paris Gulley poured in 26 points and UWM blitzed Detroit with a 51-point first half en route to an 84-74 win Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Panthers made 10 three-pointers in the first half alone and wound up leading by as many as 26 points in the second half before hanging on. UWM shot 58.5 percent for the game, making 14 three-pointers. The Panthers actually tried 24 fewer field goals than the Titans but efficiently remained in first place in the Horizon League. Gulley's 26 points came courtesy of a season-best six 3-pointers. James Haarsma added 17 points while Ryan Allen and Kaylon Williams added 12 apiece, with Williams also dishing out nine assists.
More Than One Way To Win
UWM swept its two games this past weekend in decidedly different fashion. Thursday against Wright State, the Panthers posted a record-setting defensive performance, while Saturday against Detroit it was an offensive barrage that led the way. The Panthers limited Wright State to just 25.5 percent shooting, the fifth-best effort in the school's Division I history and the best since Youngstown State shot 24.5 percent in 2008. And, the 38 points allowed are the fewest the Panthers have ever allowed against a Horizon League opponent. Against Detroit, the Panthers posted a season-best 51 first-half points, made 14 three-pointers (second-most this season) and shot 58.5 percent overall (second-best this season).
So How About That Defense?
- For the season, opponents are shooting 39.2 percent and scoring 58.7 points per game.
- Over the first 19 games, nine of UWM's opponents have failed to get to 60 points. That happened just five times all of last season. UWM has also now held four opponents under 50 points. The last time that happened was in 2004-05.
- Milwaukee has now held two opponents to fewer than 40 points, the first time in the modern era (post-1940's) that has occurred. UWM held three opponents under 40 points during the 1948-49 campaign, though one of the three appears to have been an exhibition game.
- The Panthers have held 17 of their 19 opponents to under 44 percent shooting, with 10 of the 19 failing to reach 40 percent.
- Milwaukee is holding opponents to just 23.5 percent from three-point range. That mark leads the country.
- Milwaukee is chasing down the best defensive season in Division I history, with the current lows at 64.3 ppg (2004-05) and 65.1 ppg (2000-01). The lowest points per game in the last 30 years was in 1982-83, when UWM gave up just 60.7 points per contest.
- The Panthers have never finished a season holding opponents to less than 30 percent shooting from three-point range.
From Paris With Love
Junior college transfer Paris Gulley seems to be getting more and more comfortable as the season goes along. His recent span of solid games certainly peaked Saturday against Detroit, when he poured in 26 points while making six 3-pointers. It actually marked the third time in the last four games that Gulley has reached double figures, and he is now shooting nearly 42 percent from three-point range for the season. He has also started the last 13 games in the absence of Ja'Rob McCallum. Gulley has been a key to Milwaukee's success this season, as the Panthers are 8-1 in games Gulley makes a three-pointer and 5-1 when he reaches double figures.
The Big Shot ... And Plenty Of Assistance
Kaylon Williams always seems to come through when it matters most. Two weeks ago, he hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to send Milwaukee past Green Bay. He also hit the game-winning three with under a minute left at Valparaiso earlier this season and tied last year's game at Detroit at the buzzer. But needless to say the big shot isn't Williams' only contribution. He has 37 assists in the last four games alone and is easily the league leader in the category. He now has 296 assists in his brief Panther career and is trying to become just the ninth Milwaukee player in over 100 years of basketball at the school to tally more than 300 assists in a career. He and Marc Mitchell (345) would be the only two players to do it in just two seasons.
A Little More On The Inside
Milwaukee continues to try to find the right balance between post play and the three-point shot. Looking at some recent games, the Panthers seem to be inching closer to the right formula. Saturday night UWM tried 23 three-pointers (made 14) while also getting to the foul line 34 times. Almost two weeks ago against Green Bay, the Panthers attempted just 14 three-pointers and scored 51 of their points from either in the paint or at the foul line. Last Thursday, UWM scored 38 of its 58 points from either in the paint or at the line. This latest run comes on the heels of a game at Western Michigan Jan. 3 where Milwaukee tried 36 three-pointers. UWM still finds itself on pace to near the single-season school record for attempts, having tried 429 this season, with the record sitting at 747 (2009-10).
Other Tips And Trends
Milwaukee has won four games this year when scoring fewer than 60 points. The last time Milwaukee won that many times with less than 60 points was all the way back in 1950-51, with Milwaukee claiming five such wins ... Basketball Reference keeps track of "Win Shares" for college basketball, and Ryan Allen leads the league with 3.7 win shares, while James Haarsma is ninth at 2.5 win shares. The stat considers every offensive and defensive statistical category. Last year's leaders in the category, by the way, were Matt Howard and Norris Cole ... Milwaukee has won eight of the 10 games where Kaylon Williams has collected at least seven assists ... James Haarsma is averaging 13.2 points per game in his last five league outings ... Milwaukee collected 23 wins in 2011, the most since UWM had 27 in 2005 and the second-most in a single calendar year in school history ... the Panthers are 5-1 this season and 35-19 under Rob Jeter in games decided by five points or less.
The Non-League Notebook
Ryan Allen had a school-record six blocks to go with 16 points and 13 rebounds at Marquette ... Milwaukee had made 15 threes - including 10 in the first half - in a win over Nebraska Omaha ... the 36-point margin of victory against UNO surpassed the 35-point margin in UWM's win over Texas Southern and was the biggest since a 41-point win over Youngstown State in 2006 ... this is also the first time since 2004-05 Milwaukee has tallied at least two wins of 30 or more points ... the victory at DePaul was UWM's first over a BCS foe since a 2006 win over Oklahoma in the NCAAs and the first road win over a BCS team since the Panthers won at Purdue in 2005 ... the Panthers shot an Allstate Arena record 61.7 percent from the floor, the fourth-best in Milwaukee's Division I history.
Milwaukee is at Cleveland State Sunday.