Nov. 25, 2013
Need To Know
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team returns home for a Tuesday night contest against Judson University.
The Panthers continued their impressive start to the 2013-14 season with a 70-63 win at Tennessee Tech Saturday.
Austin Arians scored 17 points to lead three Panthers in double figures in the win, which saw Milwaukee rebound from a 28-24 halftime deficit. The Panthers also overcame significant foul trouble, 18 turnovers and a 21-12 disparity in offensive rebounds.
UWM now has three true road wins this season after collecting just one all of last season. And, all five of the Panthers' victories this year have come outside of the city of Milwaukee.
Kyle Kelm made his first start of the season in Saturday's win at Tennessee Tech while Austin Arians reached double figures for the seventh-straight time.
Tuesday is just the second home game of the season for Milwaukee, which plays 18 of its 30 games away from home this year.
The Panthers are back at the U.S. Cellular Arena after a one-year absence. In all, since returning to the Division I ranks in 1990, the Panthers have played 209 regular season and postseason home games at The Cell.
Milwaukee enters play Tuesday with four players averaging in double figures. Matt Tiby tops the charts with 15.3 points, and he adds 8.6 rebounds per contest. The Panthers have already had seven different players collect at least one double-figure scoring outing.
Judson, an NAIA school from Elgin, Ill., is 3-6 on the young season.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team returns to the U.S. Cellular Arena for a Tuesday night contest against Judson University.
A Quick Scout
Judson enters Tuesday's contest at 3-6 ... the Eagles are a NAIA school from Elgin, Ill. ... Judson plays in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference ... the Eagles lost to Mount Mercy, 121-80, Saturday ... Judson's wins this season have come over Indiana-Northwest, Great Lakes Christian and Goshen ... Andrew Eck (12.0 ppg) and Turner Schwarz (10.3 ppg) lead the Eagles in scoring.
This is the first-ever matchup between the Panthers and Judson ... UWM has not lost to a non-Division I foe in a regular season game since 1994, when Milwaukee dropped an 80-79 contest to Parkside.
Milwaukee is making its second regular season appearance at the U.S. Cellular Arena Tuesday after UWM announced this summer it will be returning its home games to The Cell. The University and the Wisconsin Center District have signed a five-year agreement that puts the Panthers back downtown after a one-year absence. Before moving to the on-campus Klotsche Center this past year, Milwaukee had played nearly all of its home games downtown since the 2003-04 campaign. Nine of Milwaukee's 12 regular season home games will be downtown this season, with every home game expected to be played at the off-campus venue in following seasons. In all, since returning to the Division I ranks in 1990, the Panthers have played 209 regular season and postseason home games at the Cell. Upon returning downtown for the 2002-03 league tournament, the Panthers embarked on a tremendous run of success that included three Horizon League regular season crowns, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a 94-37 mark on the U.S. Cellular Arena floor.
Not Home Much
The Panthers certainly aren't spending any extended time on their home court this season. Milwaukee will play just 12 of its 30 regular season games at home this year, with four of the 18 away games will be played on neutral courts. UWM's 12 home games are easily the least in the Horizon League. UIC will play 14 home games plus two additional games in Chicago. Every other league team will play 15 or 16 home contests. The good news is the Panthers have started to make their mark on the road this season. UWM already has three true road wins and five total victories outside of Milwaukee after going just 1-15 in true road games and 1-17 total in games outside of Milwaukee a season ago.
Last Time Out
Three Panthers scored in double figures and UWM made its free throws late to claim a 70-63 win over Tennessee Tech Saturday night at the Eblen Center. The Panthers scored the first seven points of the second half to erase a four-point halftime deficit in claiming its fifth win away from home of the young season. Austin Arians led the way for Milwaukee with 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Matt Tiby had 14 points and Kyle Kelm also scored 14, also with 12 of those coming after the break. Mitch Roelke made four free throws in the final seconds to help secure the win.
Kyle Kelm has gotten his senior season off to a great start. Kelm has been in double digits in six of his seven outings this year and has now earned his way into the starting lineup. His early-season has been highlighted by a 16-point effort against DePaul and a pair of 14-point outings. He has now played in 97 career games and made 33 starts, scoring 556 career points while adding 335 rebounds.
Milwaukee has already used three different starting lineups just seven games into the season, but each and every combination seems to be working just fine. Thierno Niang was in the starting five at the start of the season but wound up sidelined with concussion-like symptoms and was replaced by Austin Arians. Now, Kyle Kelm has used his great run of early-season play to claim a starting spot from J.J. Panoske. UWM has claimed at least one win with all three starting combinations, and the Panthers seem to be settling into a nine-person rotation barring foul troubles.
Oh So Many Options
One thing has become clear over the first seven games of the season - Milwaukee has plenty of options on offense. The Panthers have already had seven different players collect at least one double-figure scoring outing, with four players entering play Tuesday averaging at least 11 points per game. Milwaukee has had five players reach double figures in a game twice and four players do so in three other contests.
And How About That Bench?
UWM got a number of strong performances off the bench a season ago and the trend has continued in the first seven games of the 2013-14 campaign. In fact, the bench efforts have been so strong two players who started the season as reserves are now in the starting five. Kyle Kelm reached double figures off the bench five times this season before moving into the starting lineup for Saturday's win at Tennessee Tech. Austin Arians did it twice before moving into the starting lineup at the NIU Invite in place of the injured Thierno Niang. Plus, Malcolm Moore added a double-figure outing in the win over NIU, giving the Panthers eight double-figure bench efforts in the first six games of the season. They had 18 such outings through all of last season.
Many Other Keys
A handful of other numbers are also big keys to the Panthers' early run of success.
- After committing 18 turnovers in its season-opening loss at Loyola, the Panthers have cut their season turnover average down to just 12.3 per game.
- Milwaukee has made 41 more free throws than its opponents, converting 145-of-193 for a solid 75.1 percent clip.
- The Panthers have outscored their opponents in the second half of five of their seven games this season.
- Milwaukee now has two wins over NCAA Tournament teams (Davidson and James Madison) and has overcome double-digit deficits in two of is three true road wins.
- UWM has started as many as three sophomores this season and its two leading scorers are sophomores.
Making People Take Notice
It is safe to say people have already started to notice Matt Tiby. The sophomore newcomer has put together quite a run to open his career. He scored 20-plus points in each of the first two games of the season before adding his first collegiate double-double in the win over James Madison. He then debuted at home with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the loss to DePaul last Tuesday. Tiby is the first Panther since Ed McCants to score 20 or more points in each of his first two games as a Panthers, as McCants scored 20 and 23 in his first two outings of the 2003-04 season. Plus, Tiby's efforts at Loyola in the opener marked the best scoring debut by a Panther since Paige Paulsen tallied 27 points in the 2006-07 opener vs. Radford. It was also the first time a new player reached the 20-point mark in his debut since Tone Boyle scored 20 in the 2008-09 opener.
The 2013-14 UWM men's basketball team will look to a number of new faces along with some key returnees as it hopes to bounce back from the 2012-13 campaign. The Panthers return seven players that made at least one start a season ago, though that group of seven combined for just 68 starts over the course of the year. Those seven, plus one additional returnee, are joined by a group of 11 new players. Eight of the 11 are eligible this season, and new faces account for eight of the team's 13 scholarship players.
The Star Of The Show So Far
Senior guard Jordan Aaron heads the list of returnees. Aaron was named to the Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team after claiming a spot on the league's all-newcomer team a season ago. He finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game, making 30 starts and reaching double figures a team-best 23 times. He also had 128 assists, including a pair of double-figure assist outings. The biggest change for Aaron this season will be in his position. After playing as Milwaukee's point guard much of last season, he'll move to his more natural off-guard spot this year.
Two Other Pretty Familiar Names
A number of young faces look to have a bright future for the Panthers after strong 2012-13 campaigns. Now-sophomore J.J. Panoske made 16 starts and averaged 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He also set a single-season school blocks record and had a record seven blocks vs. Loyola last February. Another sophomore, Austin Arians, started three times but made his biggest impact off the bench. He finished fourth on the team in scoring at 6.6 points per game, making 42 three-pointers.
The Older Group
A handful of players also return this season with a little more experience under their belts. Kyle Kelm has played in 90 career games entering this year, averaging 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Meanwhile, Evan Richard has played in 51 games in two seasons. One veteran who doesn't have much experience but is being counted on this season is Thierno Niang, who made an early impact last season before being sidelined by a back injury. He has started the first two games of the season.
New But Old
Milwaukee's lineup this season includes a number of newcomers, but two of those new faces were actually part of the squad a season ago. Indiana State transfer Steve McWhorter is the starting point guard after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer regulations. He played two seasons with the Sycamores, including one that ended in the NCAA Tournament. The Racine native's arrival is the piece that will allow Jordan Aaron to move to an off-guard spot. Meanwhile, Iowa native Matt Tiby will play this season after arriving in the middle of last season. Tiby played a single season of junior-college ball before sitting out last season, maintaining sophomore standing and three seasons of eligibility.
Then The Truly New Faces
A number of other players who expect to be part of the rotation are in their first seasons in Milwaukee. JUCO transfer JeVon Lyle comes to UWM after spending the past season in junior college. He also spent a year as a redshirt at Northern Iowa. Fifth-year senior Malcolm Moore is eligible immediately after graduating from UTEP following this past season. He is currently enrolled in graduate school at UWM. And, freshman Cody Wichmann is active this season after starring at Pulaski High School. A number of other newcomers will redshirt in 2013-14, including junior college transfer and Milwaukee native Trinson White, twin freshmen big men Brett and Alex Prahl and Northern Illinois transfer Akeem Springs.
Other News And Notes
UWM collected three wins in three days to claim the NIU Invite Nov. 15-17 ... the tournament title was the first for Milwaukee since the 2002-03 season, when it claimed a title at Missouri State ... Jordan Aaron and Matt Tiby each claimed spots on the all-tournament team ... Steve McWhorter earned Horizon League Co-Player of the Week honors Nov. 18.