April 18, 2012
Milwaukee (20-14, 11-7 Horizon)
College Basketball Invitational First Round
Third Place - Horizon League
Printable Season In Review
The Hot List
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team finished the 2011-12 season with 20 wins and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational.
UWM finished the regular season with a flurry, winning its last five games to move into third place in the Horizon League alongside Detroit and Butler.
UWM has hit the 20-win milestone for the second time in three seasons, marking just the 11th time in 115 years of basketball at the school where the team has recorded 20 or more victories in a season. Plus, it is Rob Jeter's third 20-win season as a head coach.
Milwaukee made its sixth-ever NCAA Division I postseason appearance by claiming a spot in the CBI.
A pair of Panthers were honored when the Horizon League announced its postseason awards. Kaylon Williams earned a spot on the All-League Second Team while Ryan Allen captured a spot on the all-defensive team.
Williams (10.8 ppg) was one of three Panther regulars averaging in double figures on offense, with Tony Meier (11.3 ppg) and James Haarsma (10.8 ppg) also finishing the season in double digits.
Williams set a school record for assists in a single season (215) while also setting a new career assists rcord (393). He led the Horizon League in assists for the second-straight season and finished ninth nationally in the category.
Allen set a single-season school record for blocks (41).
UWM's team defense was solid all season long. The Panthers allowed just 62.5 points per game, a tally that ranked 58th nationally and was the lowest figure since Milwaukee allowed just 60.7 points per game in the 1982-83 season.
The 29 percent three-point shooting tally for opponents finished eighth in the country and marks the first time the Panthers have ever held opponents below 30 percent from the three-point arc in a season.
Milwaukee made 264 three-pointers this season, setting a new single-season school record. The Panthers also attempted a school-record 763 three-pointers.
UWM battled injury troubles all season long. Returning letterwinners missed a total of 73 games because of injury.
The 2011-12 Season
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team won 20 games this season, earning a spot in the College Basketball Invitational.
How We Got Here
UWM rode a bit of a roller-coaster through the 2011-12 Horizon League schedule. The Panthers won six of their first seven league games and stood alone in first place on Jan. 15. Milwaukee proceeded to drop six of its next eight to land in danger of falling out of a home game in the league tournament. But, the Panthers rallied to win their final three league contests, including a pair on the road. UWM officially wound up in a third-place tie in the final standings, finishing as the fourth seed after tiebreakers.
UWM put together a number of nice performances outside of league play this season, posting an 8-5 mark against non-league foes during the regular season. The Panthers claimed their first win over a BCS foe since 2006 when UWM rolled past DePaul in December, shooting better than 60 percent from the floor in an 87-76 win. The Panthers also own a road win at Arkansas-Little Rock, which has been leading its division of the Sun Belt Conference much of the season. Also noteworthy was UWM's effort against nationally-ranked Wisconsin, as the Panthers had the game tied in the final minutes before falling, 60-54. Most recently, UWM snapped Fairfield's six-game winning streak in claiming a BracketBusters victory. In all, Milwaukee's non-league schedule was full of tests. In the final coaches' poll, UWM opponents Michigan State (seventh), Marquette (10th) and Wisconsin (12th) were all ranked. In the Associated Press poll, Michigan State was fifth, Marquette 11th and Wisconsin 14th.
A League Tournament Summary
The Panthers got knocked out of the Horizon League Tournament in a second round game March 2, falling to Butler, 71-49. Milwaukee never got on track against the Bulldogs, shooting just 32 percent from the field while getting outrebounded 46-25 and outscored in the paint, 52-16. The loss came three days after UWM rolled past UIC in a first round game, 68-55. The Panthers jumped to a 34-6 lead in the contest and were never seriously threatened after that.
And In The Postseason
Milwaukee made its sixth-ever NCAA Division I postseason appearance, falling at TCU in the College Basketball Invitational. UWM is 3-5 in Division I postseason games, including runs into the Sweet 16 (2005) and second round (2006) of the NCAA Tournament. Plus, Rob Jeter is one of only two coaches to lead Milwaukee to the Division I postseason. UWM was one of five Horizon League teams that played in the postseason this year, a record for the league.
An Injury-Plagued Year
The injury bug hit the Panthers all season long. In all, returning letterwinners missed 73 games because of injury this season. Lonnie Boga has missed the entire year with a shoulder injury while Ja'Rob McCallum was sidelined for the last 28 games by a wrist injury. The walking wounded has also included Tony Meier (six games - calf), Kyle Kelm (two games - shoulder) and Evan Richard (six games - back and ankle). Then, to cap it all off, James Haarsma, Ryan Haggerty and Christian Wolf all missed the BracketBusters game against Fairfield because of the flu.
Quest For 20 Wins
UWM hit the 20-win milestone for the second time in three seasons thanks to the first round league tournament win over UIC. This was just the 11th time in 115 years of basketball at the school where the team has recorded 20 or more victories in a season. Plus, it is Rob Jeter's third 20-win season as a head coach, with Bruce Pearl the only other UWM coach to post three 20-win seasons.
Three Milwaukee seniors - Tony Meier, Kaylon Williams and Ryan Allen - wrapped up their college careers this season.
Meier was a four-year standout for UWM who played in 119 games and made 97 starts. He went past 1,000 career points with a 26-point performance at Loyola Feb. 25 and finished with 1,044 career points. He also wound up with 486 career rebounds and made 189 three-pointers. He is also a standout in the classroom, having earned Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association Scholar-Athlete honors twice and Capital One Academic All-District 6 accolades this season. He is a business major with a 3.65 grade-point average.
Williams started 64 games in his two seasons and became UWM's all-time Division I assists leader in February. He averaged nearly eight assists per game in the six contests after that and wound up with 393 assists in his career. This season he finished with 215 assists, a total that the single-season UWM Division I record. Williams also tallied 631 points in his two years in Milwaukee and, if you include his one season at Evansville, the guard finished his career with 826 points and 544 assists in three years of Division I basketball. Williams was on the league's all-newcomer team last season and earned a spot on the all-league team this season.
Allen was a key reserve a year ago started every game this season, earning a place on the league's all-defensive team. He finished with 459 career points and 256 rebounds and set a new single-season blocks record with 40. He had five steals against UIC in the first round of the league tournament and set a single-game record for blocks earlier this season when he collected six against Marquette, a game in which he also had 16 points and 13 rebounds.
A Decade-Plus Of Horizon Success
Over the last 12 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 12 years - only Butler can also make that claim. And, UWM has now won 10 or more league games nine times while winning four regular season crowns. The standings over the last 12 years, including Youngstown (2001) and Valpo (2007).
Butler 149 51
Milwaukee 130 70
Wright State 113 87
Green Bay 99 101
Detroit 98 102
Cleveland State 91 109
UIC 84 116
Loyola 75 125
Youngstown State 49 137
Valparaiso 51 35
It's All About The Defense
UWM's defense was awfully good all year long, allowing the Panthers to put together a long list of stellar defensive efforts.
- 13 of UWM's opponents failed to get to 60 points. That happened just five times all of last season. UWM also held five opponents under 50 points.
- Milwaukee 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 in 1948-49.
- The Panthers held 23 of their opponents to under 44 percent shooting, with 16 failing to reach 40 percent. UWM also held a pair of league teams to under 30 percent.
- Milwaukee was able to chase down the best defensive season in Division I history, allowing just 62.5 points per game. That bested the 64.3 ppg allowed in 2004-05 and the 65.1 ppg allowed in 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.
- For the first time ever, the Panthers finished a season holding opponents to less than 30 percent shooting from three-point range. Opponents shot just 29 percent from beyond the arc, the eighth-best defensive mark in the country.
Shooting The Three
Milwaukee turned to the long-distance shot quite often during the season. In fact, UWM made 264 three-pointers, best the 262 made in the 2004-05 season. The Panthers also attempted 763 three-pointers, beating the 747 from 2009-10. UWM made 95 three-pointers in its last 10 games entering the postseason, a stretch in which Milwaukee shot 40.9 percent (95-of-232) from beyond the arc. UWM reached double figures in three-pointers in three-straight games at the end of the month of February, making 14 at UIC before adding 11 apiece at Loyola and in the first round tournament rematch against the Flames. The Panthers hit double figures in three-pointers made 11 times, with its season-high at 15 in a win over Nebraska-Omaha in December. UWM wound up finishing 45th nationally in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 7.8 per contest. Plus, Tony Meier finished 87th nationally in three-pointers made per contest.
More About Kaylon
Point guard Kaylon Williams finished ninth in the nation in assists per game, averaging 6.5 per contest. He also won the Horizon League assist title for the second-straight year, becoming the first player to lead the league in assists two years in a row since Martell Bailey (UIC) did it in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Plus, his 6.5 assist per game average is the highest since Javier Mendiburu (Green Bay) tallied 7.1 assists per contests in 2004-05. Williams finished the year with five 10-assist games this season, while there were only four others total around the rest of the league.
The Panthers enjoyed tremendous success on their homecourt this past season. In fact, UWM went 13-3 at home, tying a school record for home wins in a season. The Panthers are now 94-34 in regular season and postseason contests at The Cell since their return in 2002-03. Even better, if you combine games at both the Klotsche Center and The Cell, UWM is 85-21 in league home contests over the last 12-plus seasons. Rob Jeter's teams are 73-32 at home.
UWM certainly loses some key seniors but also has some very successful players back in the fold for next year. James Haarsma will return after finishing the season second on the team in scoring while leading the squad in rebounding. In fact, Haarsma averaged 15.5 points per game over his final six outings of the season. Paris Gulley is also back, having averaged 8.5 points per game while making 59 three-pointers. Kyle Kelm (20 starts) heads the list of other returnees.
Tony Meier is the 25th person in UWM history to reach 1,000 career points. He also finished fourth on the Division I list for games played (119), fifth on the list for starts (97) and ninth in Division I history in rebounds (486) ... along with already owning the Division I single-season and career assists records, Kaylon Williams has two of the top five entries on the minutes-played record list. He played 1,114 this season ... James Haarsma collected 85 offensive rebounds, fourth on the Division I single season list ... UWM's rebounding total of 1,179 was fourth in Division I school history ... ... UWM went 14-3 when Williams has at least seven assists ... the Panthers were 15-5 in games Gulley makes a three-pointer and 9-2 when he reaches double figures ... UWM went 7-4 this season and is 37-22 under Rob Jeter in games decided by five points or less ... Milwaukee won five games when scoring fewer than 60 points ... the 36-point margin of victory against UNO was the biggest since a 41-point win over Youngstown State in 2006 ... this was also the first time since 2004-05 Milwaukee has tallied two wins of 30 or more points ... the Panthers had double-digit leads in the second half of three of their seven league losses ... UWM has won 17 of its last 23 February games.