CHICAGO — The UIC men’s basketball team returns to the court for the first time in 18 days on Thursday, Jan. 6, as the Flames resume Horizon League action by hitting the road to take on Wright State. Tip-off inside the Nutter Center is set for 6 p.m. (CT).
• Thursday’s contest opens up a stretch of three scheduled road games in five days as UIC is scheduled to face Northern Kentucky on Saturday and IUPUI on Monday. In total, the Flames will play their next five games on the road for its longest stretch away from Credit Union 1 Arena this season.
• The Flames are looking to secure their second consecutive road win, and third win away from home this season, having defeated Central Michigan by a 71-67 margin last time on the road.
• UIC and Wright State will be meeting for the 66th time in program history, with the Raiders owning a slim 34-31 advantage in the series history.
• Thursday will mark UIC’s first trip to the Nutter Center in almost two years, having last faced Wright State on its home court on Feb. 14, 2020.
• The two teams met at Credit Union 1 Arena on back-to-back days last year, with the Raiders claiming a pair of victories. UIC had won the previous meeting, knocking the top-seeded Raiders out of the 2020 Horizon League Tournament with a 73-56 victory in the semifinals.
DISH IT OUT
• UIC newcomer Kevin Johnson has led UIC’s offense as the point guard this season, handing out a team-leading 66 assists while only turning the ball over 30 total times.
• Johnson’s 6.0 assists per game and 66 total assists both rank second in the Horizon League. He ranks 15th nationally in assists per game and 35th in the country in total assists.
• Jalen Warren and Johnson rank third and fourth, respectively, in assist-to-turnover ratio among all Horizon League players. Warren’s rate is 2.31 with Johnson’s at 2.20.
• As a team, the Flames have 175 assists on the year, second-most in the Horizon League.
• UIC has compiled at least nine assists in all 11 games this season, and at least 15 helpers on six occasions.
• UIC dished out a season-high 28 assists in its 91-50 win over Trinity Christian on Nov. 16. The 28 helpers are the most under Luke Yaklich and were just three shy of matching the program record for most assists in a game (31, twice, last vs. Northeastern Illinois on Dec. 9, 1987).
MARS MAKES IT HAPPEN
• Damaria Franklin leads the Flames in scoring (16.7), rebounding (8.1) and steals (1.5) this year.
• The Niles North High School product ranks sixth in the Horizon League in scoring, fifth in rebounding, and tied for 10th in steals. He is fifth in the conference with four double-doubles
• Franklin has scored 20+ points five times in 11 games in a UIC uniform, including a season-high 24 points last time out against the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday night.
COURTESY UIC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS