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Horizon League Notebook

November 20, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Horizon League Notebook

by Nick Dettmann

The season has officially begun. Thank goodness! It has been all too long since the Horizon League season ended with Butler falling to Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Over the weekend, league favorite Illinois-Chicago took part in the annual Dell BCA Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Flames fared quite well going 2-1 in the tournament.

The Flames defeated UC-Irvine 77-65 on the opening night and 75-64 over Mercer in the third-place game on the final day. The lone loss for UIC came in the middle as Mid-Continent Conference favorite Oakland won easily 79-66.

Pre-season Player of the Year Cedrick Banks led the way with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting en route to win over UC-Irvine. What was more impressive was the penny-pinching defense of the Flames as UIC forced UC-Irvine to commit 24 turnovers versus 12 assists.

The Golden Grizzlies had two 20-point scorers against UIC. Rawle Marshall scored 25 points with Pre-season Player of the Year Mike Helms scoring 21 of his 27 in the second half. For the Flames, UIC got 23 points, four steals, three rebounds and two blocks out of their big man Armond Williams.

Despite blowing a 10-point lead, the Flames were still able to use a late rally and tenacious defense to hold off a Mercer comeback. Banks had another strong night as he contributed with a double-double, 20 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Scott, Aaron Carr and Williams rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Flames at 15, 12 and 11 respectively.

The Flames will now prepare for an 8 p.m. tip-off at Evansville on Friday, much when the rest of the league starts their regular season play. Also on tap that night in the Horizon League will be Loyola-Chicago at DePaul and UW-Green Bay at Southeast Missouri State.

Tucker lands pro contract in Europe

Former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee star Clay Tucker signed a contract to play for the Sundsvall Dragons of the Swedish First Division.

Tucker finished his illustrious career with the Panthers as their all-time leading scorer with 1,788 points. Adding to his accolades was the school’s all-time leader in three-point field goals and steals and the school’s Division I all-time leader in field goals made, rebounds and minutes played.

As a senior, Tucker averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. He was named the Horizon League Tournament’s MVP after leading UW-Milwaukee to the league tournament championship and a trip to the Big Dance for the first time in school history.

Watson gets new contract

Beginning his second decade with the University of Detroit-Mercy Titans, Perry Watson was given a welcoming 10th anniversary gift, a contract extension. Watson signed a six-year extension that will keep him patrolling the sidelines until the 2009-’10 season.

Watson needs just six victories to win his 200th game with the Titans. That feat has only been achieved once in school history. Ironically the guy that did it is the name of the building for which the Titans play in, Calihan Hall for Bob Calihan.

Watson has guided his squad to four post-season berths including an appearance in the consolation game of the 2001 NIT at Madison Square Garden. Three former players were named the conference’s player of the year, including Willie Green who is now in his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. Green became the first Titan in 17 years to be selected in the NBA Draft.

Former coach takes on administrative role

Former player and coach Mike Marshall has decided to trade in his clipboard and whistle for a laptop computer. Marshall was hired as the Assistant Sports Information Director, replacing Kelly Antcliff who resigned to take on a roll in an Indianapolis high school.

A 2000 graduate of Butler, Marshall has played a significant role to the success of the program both as a player and as a coach. As a player, his class went 90-39 with three conference tournament titles, two regular season titles and four post-season appearances. He and fellow classmate Andrew Graves became the first players in school history to play in four post-season tournaments.

Marshall grew up less than two hours down the road in Cincinnati where he played football and basketball at St. Xavier High School. He was an All-American linebacker, receiving numerous scholarship offers to play football before deciding on playing basketball at Butler. Marshall earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000 and was nearly immediately offered a job as an assistant coach at Butler shortly afterwards.

Bailey makes cut

David Bailey, a former stand-out at Loyola-Chicago University, made the final roster of the CBA’s Idaho Stampede. Bailey was a sixth-round selection of the Stampede in this past summer’s draft.

Upon his departure, Bailey was the school’s all-time leading scorer 1,933 points. During his junior season, which was his best during his four-year career with the Ramblers, he averaged 21.8 points per game. He earned First-Team All-League honors and All-District honors en route to Loyola falling within one shot of making the NCAA tournament.

Player of the Week:
Cedrick Banks, Illinois-Chicago, averaged 17 points in three games at the BCA Classic.

Newcomer of the Week:
Marcetteaus McGee, Illinois-Chicago, averaged 3.7 points and shot 45 percent in three games at the BCA Classic.

Illinois-Chicago (2-1):

The Flames went 2-1 in the BCA Classic in Cincinnati. They won 77-65 over UC-Irvine and 75-64 over Mercer, but lost 79-66 to Oakland (Mich.). Upcoming for the Flames is a home-and-home series with Evansville on Friday, Nov. 21 and Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Butler Bulldogs (0-0):

If like they do not need the help with talent, the Bulldogs snagged two of the top prospects in the state of Indiana in the first day of the signing period. Head coach Todd Lickliter received commitments from A.J. Graves of White River Valley High School and Gary Patterson of Bishop Noll High School. Graves is a 6-foot-1 guard that is the younger brother to former Bulldogs Matthew, current Butler assistant coach, and Andrew. Patterson averaged 23.3 points, 3.9 assists and 3.7 steals per game as a sophomore and a junior after averaging 14.7 points as a freshman.

In their exhibition closer, the Bulldogs squeezed by Wayne State in Indianapolis 69-60. Upcoming games for the defending regular season champions are a pair of non-conference match-ups against Quincy at the Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday, Nov. 23. Then it will be out onto the road with a game against the Panthers of Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Cleveland State Vikings (0-0):

Cleveland State head coach Mike Garland is making impressive strides in turning around a fallen program. With two impressive exhibition wins, Garland is already making moves in the right direction. Garland signed Michigan all-state guard Mike Redell to join the Vikings next season. “Mike Redell is a winner,” Garland said. “He is a perfect fit for the blue collar style of play that I expect from our team.” As a junior last year, Redell averaged 14.3 and 4.8 assists per game to help lead his team to a perfect 28-0 record and a state championship.

In their last two exhibition games of the season, the Vikings looked very impressive for Garland. Cleveland State pulled out wins of 78-72 over WBA All-Stars and 88-80 over Reality Basketball. As the Garland era begins officially this Saturday at the CSU Convocation Center against Central State. After that, the Vikings hit the road to take on Florida A & M in Tallahassee.

Detroit-Mercy Titans (0-0):

Head coach Perry Watson added much needed size to his recruits for the 2004-’05. Watson inked Ethan Shaw, a 6-foot-8 225 pound forward, and Shawn Morgan, a 6-foot-5 205 pound guard. Shaw comes to Detroit after playing at Iowa Western Community College. In high school at Finney, Shaw averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks a game. Morgan, also a star track athlete, averaged 13 points and nine rebounds a game in his first year at the varsity level.

In an exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 13, the Titans man-handled Saginaw Valley State 79-47 at Calihan Hall in Detroit. After their 65-41 exhibition game win against Rochester College, the Titans will now prepare for their game at Duke this Saturday. After that, it does not get a whole lot easier for Detroit. The Titans will play a pair of in-state rivals in Western Michigan and Oakland, both at home, on Monday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 3 respectively. Then, it is off to the Badger state to take on Wisconsin at the Kohl Center.

Loyola-Chicago (0-0):

In their final contest before the regular season opener, the Ramblers took on a very talented Illinois All-Stars team 81-70 from the Gentile Center. It start-up the season, Loyola will take on their neighborhood rivals DePaul at the Allstate Arena on Friday. After their match-up with the Blue Demons, Loyola will get the Thanksgiving weekend off as they will not play again until Dec. 2 at UMKC.

UW-Green Bay (0-0):

After barely getting a test from regional rival Northern Michigan on Thursday, Nov. 13, the UW-Green Bay Phoenix are preparing for a pair of two tough non-conference road games. The season will kick off with a trip to Cape Girardeau, Missouri to take on Southeast Missouri State on Friday. Then, they will head east to Indianapolis to take on NCAA tournament participant IUPUI on Monday.

UW-Milwaukee (0-0):

Some things are worth waiting for. Head coach Bruce Pearl snagged 6-foot-10 230 pound forward Derrick Ford from Olney Central Community College after trying to get him to UWM for the past three years. Ford will not be the only player to don a Panther uniform from Olney. Current player Ronald “Boo” Davis was also recruited and is playing this season for UWM.

The UW-Milwaukee Panthers finished off their exhibition schedule on Thursday, Nov. 13 with a 103-78 win over Northwest Sports in Milwaukee. Pearl is now a perfect 6-0 in exhibition games as the UWM head coach. The difficult schedule for the Panthers gets going on Saturday as a Big Sky conference favorite Montana pays a visit to Milwaukee. It is the first regular season game for UWM at the US Cellular Arena since the 1997-’98 season. After that, the Panthers will play Concordia-St. Paul at their on-campus facility, the Klotsche Center on Tuesday.

Wright State (0-0):

The Raiders were the only league team to lose an exhibition game last week. They feel to EA Sports 79-70 in Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Biancardi era begins on Tuesday, Nov. 25 with a home game against Cedarville and then on the road on Saturday to the University of South Florida.

Youngstown State (0-0):

Head coach John Robic went with size and post players when signing his latest recruits. Robic went with 6-foot-10 220 pound forward Colin LaForme and 6-foot-10 230 pound center Mitchell Adams to start play next season. LaFormer averaged 17 points and nine rebounds a game as a junior last season at Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario. Adams played at Western Nebraska Community College during the 2001-’02 season before transferring to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. Adams will receive his degree from Indian Hills in December and will enroll at YSU in January.

The Penguins rounded up their pre-season schedule with a hard-fought 96-83 win over the 320 All-Stars in Youngstown. The Penguins will play their first two weekend games away from the Beeghly Center. On Saturday, they will head to Niagara and on Wednesday, they will head to Toledo of the MAC.


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