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NCAA Hoops: SIU tops Wichita; DePaul defeated

NCAA Hoops: SIU tops Wichita; DePaul defeated

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Associated Press

Strong second half not enough for DePaul to overtake Cincinnati
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 points, Ibrahima Thomas added 16 and struggling Cincinnati hung on to beat DePaul 71-68 on Tuesday night.The Bearcats (19-5, 6-5 Big East) had dropped five of eight after a 15-0 start and were coming off back-to-back losses to West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Nothing like playing a last-place team to break a slump.Cincinnati led by 17 early in the second half only to see DePaul (6-18, 0-11) whittle it to four.It got particularly interesting when Moses Morgan converted a four-point play, burying the free throw after nailing a 3-pointer while getting fouled. That pulled DePaul within 69-65 with 1:34 left.Cincinnati's Darnell Wilks hit a free throw to make it 70-65 with 13 seconds left, but DePaul's Brandon Young nailed a 3 with 0.4 seconds left. After Cincinnati threw away the inbounds pass, a shot by DePaul's Jimmy Drew rolled off the rim.
Complete Recap, Box ScoreSIU ends losing skid with victory over MVC-leading Wichita State
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Carlton Fay scored 21 points and hit two clutch free throws to lead Southern Illinois to a 56-53 upset of Wichita State on Tuesday night.The Salukis (11-14, 5-9 Missouri Valley) were playing without four regulars and entered the game having lost five straight. Mamadou Seck scored 14 points for Southern Illinois, and Jack Crowder added 11.The Shockers (20-5, 11-3) saw their conference lead fall to a half-game. Toure Murry led them with 16 points, while J.T. Durley added 10.Southern Illinois took its first lead at 33-31 on Fay's 3-pointer with 17:14 remaining. Seck scored six points in the final 5 minutes to push the Salukis' lead to 54-49 with 50.2 seconds remaining. Wichita State closed within 54-53 on two Durley free throws with 12.2 seconds remaining.But Fay hit two free throws 6 seconds later to clinch it.Wichita State had six assists and 15 turnovers.
Complete Recap, Box ScoreCopyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."