Dec. 2, 2013
Need To Know
The Last Meeting
December 1, 2012
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Gulley Scores 24 In Return But Panthers Come Up Short At UNI
Nate Buss scored 17 points off the bench and Northern Iowa made better than 60 percent of its shots in the second half in claiming a 72-61 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday night at the McLeod Center. Northern Iowa (4-3) posted a decisive 15-5 run to overcome a 41-36 Milwaukee lead before hanging on for the win.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team comes home to open the month of December, welcoming Northern Iowa to the U.S. Cellular Arena Tuesday night.
The Panthers finished off November with an 84-79 win at UMKC Saturday night. The win was the seventh in the month for Milwaukee, a new school record.
Jordan Aaron led Milwaukee with 33 points in the win, knocking in seven 3-pointers. It was the second-best single-game performance for the preseason all-league guard.
Milwaukee shot 65 percent in the win, the second-best tally in school history.
The Panthers have four true road wins this season after collecting just one all of last season. And, six of the Panthers' seven victories this year have come outside of the city of Milwaukee. The four non-league road wins are the most since the 2004-05 campaign.
Austin Arians has reached double figures in eight of nine games this season while Kyle Kelm has moved his way into the starting lineup and has reached double digits eight times.
Milwaukee enters play Tuesday with four players averaging at least 12 points per game. Matt Tiby tops the charts with 14.2 points, and he adds 7.2 rebounds per contest. The Panthers have already had nine players collect at least one double-figure scoring outing.
Northern Iowa is 3-3 after finishing third at the Paraside Jam in the Virgin Islands. UNI has wins over Loyola Marymount, LaSalle and Coe College.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team returns home to start the month of December, welcoming Northern Iowa to the U.S. Cellular Arena Tuesday night.
A Quick Scout
Northern Iowa is 3-3 on the young season ... the Panthers played in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands before Thanksgiving, finishing third thanks to wins over Loyola Marymount and LaSalle ... four players are averaging in double figures for UNI, led by Seth Tuttle (13.7) and Deon Mitchell (13.5) ... the Panthers are shooting nearly 78 percent from the free throw line ... UNI was picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference and has reached the postseason for five-straight years.
Tuesday's game wraps up a four-year series between the two schools ... UWM won the last matchup between the two teams in Milwaukee, beating UNI on a Tone Boyle jumper with 2.4 second remaining in November of 2010 ... this is the second of three games Milwaukee is playing this season against schools from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Milwaukee is making its third 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 210 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 95-37 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 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 four true road wins and six 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.
Notable Victory Numbers
Milwaukee is off to a 7-2 start and has hit a number of notable milestones in the process:
- The Panthers set a school record with seven wins in the month of November. The previous best was five, set in both 2009 and 2011.
- The Panthers have won four-straight true road games, besting three-game streaks from 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11. Milwaukee last won five-straight road games in 2004-05.
- Prior to this season, Milwaukee had never won more than two true road games in the month of November.
- Milwaukee's four non-league road wins are one better than the team total from the 2005-06, 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. UWM last won four non-league road games in 2004-05.
- Milwaukee now has two wins over NCAA Tournament teams (Davidson and James Madison) and has overcome double-digit deficits in two of its four true road wins.
Last Time Out
Jordan Aaron scored 33 points and UWM made one final late surge to claim an 84-79 win over Kansas City Saturday night at the Municipal Auditorium. The Panthers led by as many as 17 points in the first half before falling down by four with five minutes remaining in the game. But Milwaukee took the lead back for good on a pair of Matt Tiby free throws with 2:45 left and then made 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to hang on for the win. Milwaukee made 65 percent of its shots from the field, the second-best effort in school history. But it was hampered by 19 turnovers and the game never found a rhythm, as there were 53 fouls called.
Senior Jordan Aaron put together one of his patented big offensive nights in Saturday's win over UMKC, and the Panthers seemed to need every one of his 33 points. He scored 20 points in the first half alone and wound up just one shy of his collegiate-best, a 34-point outing against Ohio Dominican last year. He also made seven 3-pointers, equaling the total he made twice a season ago. Aaron, a preseason all-league honoree, is now up to second on the team in scoring and has hit double-digits in five of nine contests.
Kyle Kelm has gotten his senior season off to a great start. Kelm has been in double digits in eight of his nine 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 three 14-point outings. He has now played in 99 career games and made 35 starts, scoring 583 career points while adding 345 rebounds.
Milwaukee has already used three different starting lineups just nine 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 nine games of the season - Milwaukee has plenty of options on offense. The Panthers have already had nine different players collect at least one double-figure scoring outing, with four players entering play Tuesday averaging at least 12 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 nine 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 last 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 Therein Niang. Plus, Malcolm Moore added a double-figure outing in the win over NIU before J.J. Panoske and JeVon Lyle each hit double-digits last Tuesday. That gives the Panthers 10 double-figure bench efforts in the first nine games of the season. They had 18 such outings through all of last season.
A Winning Ratio
The early-season has found the Panthers sharing the basketball while also taking great care of it, resulting in an amazing turnaround in both assists and turnovers from a season ago. In all, Milwaukee has a +1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio this season through eight games, averaging just over 12 turnovers per contest. Compare this to a year ago, when Milwaukee had a -2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio and was averaging less than 11 assists per contest. Last Tuesday night against Judson, the Panthers collected 26 assists, the most since tallying 32 in a win over Prairie View in November of 2004 and the fourth-most in school history.
The Panthers have done a strong job during the early season of establishing an inside edge and using it to get to the foul line on a regular basis. In fact, Milwaukee has made 178 free throws while its opponents have attempted just 186. Even better, the Panthers are shooting very well from the line, converting on 74.8 percent of their attempts. While there is a long way to go in the season, the school record for free throw percentage is 74.5 percent, set in the 1993-94 campaign. Plus, at just past the quarter point of the season, Milwaukee is on pace to break the single-season record for made free throws (542).
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 Ones That Are Back
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. There are other familiar names on the 2013-14 Panther roster. Now-sophomore J.J. Panoske made 16 starts and averaged 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Another sophomore, Austin Arians, started three times but made his biggest impact off the bench. Kyle Kelm had played in 90 career games entering this year, averaging 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest, while 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.
The New Faces
Milwaukee's lineup this season includes a number of newcomers. Indiana State transfer Steve McWhorter is the starting point guard after sitting out last season. Iowa native Matt Tiby will play this season after arriving in the middle of last season. JUCO transfer JeVon Lyle comes to UWM after spending the past season in junior college. Fifth-year senior Malcolm Moore is eligible immediately after graduating from UTEP following this past season. And, freshman Cody Wichmann is active this season after starring at Pulaski High School. Junior college transfer and Milwaukee native Trinson White, twin freshmen big men Brett and Alex Prahl and Northern Illinois transfer Akeem Springs will all redshirt this season.
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 ... Tiby debuted with 20-plus points in his first two games, becoming the first Panther since Ed McCants to score 20 or more points in each of his first two games in Milwaukee.