Dec. 27, 2012
The Hot List
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team returns to the Klotsche Center to host Ohio Dominican Saturday afternoon.
UWM dropped a 74-53 decision at Wisconsin last Saturday.
The Panthers shot 44 percent in the loss, their best effort of the season. That broke a string of five-straight games below 40 percent.
After making 34 three-pointers in the first three games of the season, the Panthers have made just 51 in their last 10 outings.
Freshman J.J. Panoske posted the best game of his brief collegiate career in the loss to the Badgers. He tallied 13 points to go with six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
With Panoske reaching double figures in the loss at Madison, the Panthers have now had nine players post at least one double figure outing this season.
Paris Gulley has been in double figures in points in five of the first seven games he has played in this season. He missed the first six games of the year with a broken hand. The senior played in all 34 games a season ago, averaging better than eight points per game while finishing second on the team in three-pointers.
Milwaukee has won 21 of its last 24 non-exhibition games in the Klotsche Center. Going further back, UWM is 48-12 in its last 60 non-exhibition contests in the building.
Ohio Dominican, an NCAA Division II school, is 3-7 and has dropped six-straight games.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team wraps up 2012 with a Saturday contest against Ohio Dominican.
A Quick Scout
Ohio Dominican enters Saturday's game 3-7 ... the Panthers are an NCAA Division II team that play in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference ... they return just one starter from their team of a season ago ... Morgan Jones leads the Panthers in scoring (17.7 ppg) and assists (4.4 apg) ... John True is the team's leading rebounder (6.9 rpg).
UWM is playing all of its home games at the on-campus Klotsche Center this season, a spot the Panthers have traditionally had a distinct homecourt advantage. Milwaukee has won 21 of its last 24 non-exhibition games in the building. Going further back, UWM is 48-12 in its last 60 non-exhibition contests in the building. The Panthers have not called the building their permanent home since the 2002-03 season and Rob Jeter has been the head coach for just seven regular season games in the building.
Plenty Of Time On The Road
The Panthers haven't spent much time at home early this season. UWM just wrapped up a stretch that saw it play three of four games on the road, and last month the Panthers played four-straight games outside of Milwaukee. In all, the Panthers will play just six of their 15 non-league games in Milwaukee. And, UWM opens league play in January with two-straight games away from home. The road hasn't been kind to Milwaukee this season, as the Panthers are 0-6 in true road games and 0-8 total in games outside of Milwaukee. But in recent seasons UWM has had pretty good success on the road, as the Panthers won seven true road games a season ago and eight road contests two years ago.
Looking To Get Back On Track
UWM snapped a five-game losing streak with its win over Northern Illinois two weeks ago but the Panthers have now dropped four-straight and nine of their last 10 since a win over Davidson. The five-game losing streak was the first losing streak of more than three games for Milwaukee since the 2007-08 season, when the Panthers dropped six-straight. The Panthers have done a very good job of avoiding long losing streaks in recent seasons. In fact, just since the last time they had lost three in a row (2009-10), Milwaukee had nine different streaks of at least three wins in a row, including runs of five-straight and six-straight victories.
Finally A Break In The Slate
The Panthers have finally had a stretch of time without a lot of games. Milwaukee finished off a run of five games in 11 days when it faced off with Tennessee Tech Dec. 15. The stretch actually included three games in five days and four games in eight days. It was one of the busiest runs of the season for Milwaukee, which will have two stretches of three games in six days during league play in February. And, much of UWM's league schedule has it playing twice in three days, something it is actually also doing four times in non-league play. But, the Panthers finally got to enjoy some down time and practice sessions. Milwaukee has played just once since Dec. 15 and will play only three times in the first two-plus weeks of January.
The Last Time Out
Ryan Evans scored 19 points to lead three players in double figures as Wisconsin claimed a 74-53 win over UWM last Saturday night at the Kohl Center. Paris Gulley had 16 points and J.J. Panoske 13 for Milwaukee, which seemed to break out of its extended offensive slump by making 15-of-27 shots in the second half. But, the outcome was decided in the first half. The Panthers held an early 10-8 lead but Wisconsin scored 37 of the next 46 points to take control of the game.
Some Signs Of Breaking Out
The second half of Saturday's game seemed to be a starting point in getting the Panther offense on track. Milwaukee shot 55.6 percent in the second 20 minutes, making 15-of-27 shots overall and 5-of-13 from three-point range. The Panthers hadn't shot above 50 percent in a half since the second half against Buffalo three weeks ago. For the game, UWM shot a season-best 44 percent, and the Panthers hadn't shot above 40 percent in a game since a loss at Northern Iowa almost a month ago.
More Inside The Overall Shooting
You don't have to look at the stat sheet for very long to see the Panthers are struggling on offense. Milwaukee had shot below 33 percent in three-straight games before the game at Wisconsin. This included just 27.7 percent in the loss to Fairfield Dec. 12 and only 25.8 percent at DePaul Dec. 9. The percentage at DePaul marked the lowest since Milwaukee shot just 26.7 percent in a loss at Marquette a season ago. UWM also made just one 3-pointer in that game, the fewest made threes since Milwaukee went 0-for-13 at Butler in the 2005-06 campaign. And, Milwaukee is 16-of-82 on three-pointers over the last three games. For the season, UWM is shooting 37.1 percent overall and 28.7 percent from three-point range.
But It Can Get Better, Right?
It may seem hard to remember some of the offensive success the Panthers enjoyed in the first three games of the season, but there is some track record to say Milwaukee can shake its offensive doldroms. UWM actually made 34 three-pointers in the first three games of the year, with Milwaukee shooting 41.5 percent from beyond the arc after those first three contests. UWM was also shooting 41.4 percent from the floor overall and was averaging 74.7 points per game. And, while one of the first three games of the year came against Division II Mary, the other two were an overtime loss at South Carolina and a home win over a Davidson team widely expected to return to the NCAA Tournament again this year.
Hey There J.J.
One of the pleasant developments of Saturday's game at Wisconsin was the play of redshirt freshman J.J. Panoske. He played a season-high 27 minutes and tallied 13 points to go with six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Entering Saturday's game, he had played 53 minutes, totaling 10 points and 15 rebounds. But expectations are high for the 6-foot-10 Panoske, who was an all-state performer at Brodhead High School, where he scored more than 1,500 points. As a side note, Panoske's 13-point outing means nine different Panthers have posted a double-figure offensive outing this season.
The Panthers do seem on their way to getting contributions from two inside veterans to go along with the play of freshman J.J. Panoske. James Haarsma has struggled from the field early this year but did post a 14-point, 14-rebound in the Dec. 15 loss to Tennessee Tech. Haarsma made 5-of-11 shots from the field in the game and he is now shooting 30.6 percent from the field for the year. The senior shot 52.5 percent a season ago. Meanwhile, Kyle Kelm had 13 points and 14 rebounds Dec. 12 before adding 10 points and nine rebounds against Dec. 15. The junior has been one of Milwaukee's most consistent performers and has started the last seven games after coming off the bench for the first six games of the season.
Great To Have Him Back
Milwaukee had been looking forward to getting senior guard Paris Gulley back in the playing rotation and that day finally arrived when Gulley stepped on the court for the first time Dec. 1 at Northern Iowa. He scored 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and he hasn't really let up much since, posting an additional 20-plus-point performance while averaging 14.4 points per game. The guard suffered a broken hand in practice in late October and did not play in the first six games of the regular season. Gulley is a welcomed addition to the lineup after averaging 8.5 points per game and making 59 three-pointers in 34 games (29 starts) a season ago.
A New Look
UWM has used a handful of different starting lineups this season. The return of Paris Gulley to the active roster provoked a pair of lineup changes for Milwaukee, and the Panthers added a third new look to the starting five with the last two weeks. Gulley is starting in the backcourt in place of Thierno Niang, who had started the first six games of the season in Gulley's absence. And Kyle Kelm, who started the exhibition win over Parkside before taking a bench role for the first six games of the regular season, returned to the starting five. Then against Tennessee Tech, true freshman Austin Arians made his first collegiate start. He earned the nod in place of Demetrius Harris, who returned to the starting five at Wisconsin. The other recent change in the Panther rotation has come because of injury, with Niang sidelined by a bad back.
Making His Point
It hasn't taken long for junior-college transfer Jordan Aaron to settle into the backcourt for Milwaukee. Aaron has been in double figures in scoring in nine of UWM's first 13 games, including a 28-point effort at South Carolina, a run of 13 points in a row in a win over Davidson and 23 more points in a losing effort against Buffalo Dec. 5. He also reached double figures in assists for the first time in his Milwaukee Dec. 7, as he tallied 11 against Northern Illinois.
A Leader On The Horizon
The Horizon League takes on a slightly new look in 2012-13 with the departure of Butler to the Atlantic 10. That move caused a late adjustment in the league schedule, which now will not begin until early January. UWM also now takes over the mantle of winningest Horizon League program over the last 12 years. The Panthers are the only school to average more than 10 league wins per season in that time and Milwaukee has been below .500 in league play just once in 12 years. UWM's 130-70 mark in 12 seasons bests Wright State (113-87) by 17 games and those are the only two schools to win at least 100 league games in that time.
Time Warner Cable's Sports32 is again the official television home for Panther basketball, while the radio broadcasts return to WISN (AM 1130) as UWM and Clear Channel Radio have inked a new agreement for both men's and women's coverage. Sports32 will carry at least nine games this season, as Daron Sutton and Adrian Tigert return as the voices of Panther basketball on TV. Bill Johnson returns for his 14th season as the radio play-by-play man. The weekly "Panther Sports Report" radio show will also return in January, while "The Rob Jeter Show" is also back on Sports32.
Looking To The Future
UWM has signed three players during the fall signing period. Trinson White of Milwaukee, Cody Wichmann of Pulaski and Brett Prahl of East Troy will all join the Panthers for the 2013-14 season. A 6-foot-5 wing at Indian Hills, White played his high school basketball at Milwaukee Riverside, where he was an all-state performer. Wichmann is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Pulaski High School, where he was a WBCA First-Team All-State honoree as a junior. Prahl is a 6-foot-9 forward from East Troy High School who averaged 12.9 points per game as a junior while earning First-Team All-Walworth County and All-Rock Valley Conference recognition.
More News And Notes
The Panthers have had 15 or more turnovers in nine games this year ... Demetrius Harris has already easily exceeded his totals of a season ago after just 13 games. He has 102 total points in 13 games this season after scoring 39 points all of last year. And, his 60 total rebounds in 13 contests have easily surpassed the 33 boards he posted the entire season last year ... the Panthers are playing 11 games against teams that played in the postseason a year ago ... UWM lost in overtime to South Carolina, the first OT defeat for the Panthers since Jan. of 2009 vs. Green Bay ... Milwaukee then claimed an overtime win over Northern Illinois and is now 10-7 in OT under Rob Jeter.