Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Central Michigan takes care of Illinois-Chicago 62-52 on road, ends three-game skid

Quick hits
Trey Zeigler
  • Trey Zeigler..still a freshman. Didn't start because of his lackluster defensive performance (and eight turnovers) in CMU's last game, a loss at South Alabama. At UIC, led the team with 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and cut his turnovers down in the first half. He also had a sweet turnaround baseline jumper....but traveled several times and looked a little sped up at times. That'll get better. He still averages 4.2 turnovers per game, more than twice as much as anyone else on the team. Of course he also has the ball more than anyone else, averaging 18.8 points per game to lead the team. But he's got to take better care of the ball, especially down the stretch. 
  • On the bright side: Zeigler's defense looked good, especially in man-to-man against UIC's best player Robo Kreps, who came in averaging more than 19 points per game but finished with 14 on 5-of-12 shooting. Kreps played the whole game, too. 
Amir Rashid
  • Amir Rashid...what's the deal? I can't figure him out. Shows flashes, but Derek Jackson is a better player. Amir still might be the better passer at this point, though. Had a clutch 3 in the second half, but had three turnovers and went 1-for-5 from the field. He's now shooting a paltry 24.1 percent this season after shooting 39 percent last season. His value is in assists...when he doesn't turn the ball over. He's the highest on the team at 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio (pretty good), but that doesn't take into account that when he shoots, it's basically a turnover.
  • Great defense...complacent offense at times. UIC looked stagnant on offense and shot only 32 percent from the field. CMU's 1-2-2 zone really did not give the Flames very many open looks, and when it did, they usually missed the shot. The UIC announcers blamed it on fatigue (UIC played five games in nine days) but really, maybe the reason they were so tired had to do with CMU wearing them down throughout the game. Whatever it was, it worked. 
  • The Chippewas' lead  never was cut to less than seven in the second half. Where past CMU teams almost certainly would have let up after gaining a 28-21 halftime lead and even after taking a 12-point lead with 9:39 remaining (see last year's 18-point second-half collapse at Northern Illinois), this one didn't — evidence enough that this team might make some noise this season. 
  • Will McClure
  • Senior Will McClure really played well. He even got into double figures! His 12 points was a career high, and with his 10 rebounds, he recorded his first double-double. He scored CMU's first four points of the game as the team came out sluggish offensively and had eight points at halftime. Coach Ernie Zeigler loved his clean, hard foul near the end of the game, which made certain that UIC wouldn't get a 3-point play. The CMU announcers quoted Ernie as telling the bench, "That's a senior." McClure also added two blocks. He won't have to worry about losing his starting role anytime soon with that kind of play. Center Andre Coimbra only played 12 minutes largely because of McClure's play, and the lack of UIC's height. McClure also stayed out of foul trouble (2 fouls), another thing that made his play so effective.
CMU coach Ernie Zeigler after the game: 

"I'm elated with what I see (on defense)...we really had great effort out of a lot of guys."

"I'm really proud of (Trey). He could've easily pouted or dropped his head. We wanted an emphasis on defensive effort and positioning. Him, along with Antonio Weary, did an excellent job on Paul Carter."

"It's been like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from our last game at South Alabama to this game."

"It was extremely for our own psyche going home. For our fans, going home 1-4 would've been difficult adversity for us to face."

CMU's Trey Zeigler after the game: 

"He's been focused on me playing better defense. Last game we had a lot of mental mistakes. He came at me personally and I just wanted to come out and respond."

"Tonight defensively I got to guard their best player and did a pretty good job. I'm glad he still trusts me out there."

CMU's Will McClure after the game:

"It's just about keeping everybody's heads up. As seniors we've been through losing streaks before. We want the freshmen to know that it's not the end. We just have to battle back."
UIC coach Howard Moore on CMU after the game:

"They did a lot of traveling lately...but they looked like the freshest team out there."

"They were quicker to the ball..they're a physical team..they really engage you."

Quick stats:

  • Trey Zeigler (CMU): 17 points, seven rebounds
  • Jalin Thomas (CMU): 13 points, 5 rebounds
  • Will McClure (CMU): 12 points, 10 rebounds
  • Andre Coimbra (CMU: 4 points
  • Colin Voss (CMU): 3 points
  • Amir Rashid (CMU): 3 points
  • Robo Kreps (UIC): 14 points
  • CMU: shot 46 percent and had 24 points off the bench (17 from zeigler, though). UIC had only eight off the bench.
  • UIC: held to only 32 percent shooting from the field.


  1. Yeah baby! Sprucing-up the blog. I dig it. -- David.

  2. Haha thanks...Still a ways to go, but I'm tryin.