After winning a grand total of 15 games in Howard Moore’s first two seasons as head coach UIC made an impressive leap in the right direction, improving their win total from last season by ten games in 2012-13.
On the heels of the Flames’ 18-16 campaign (7-9 Horizon League) the school rewarded Moore with a three-year contract extension, extending his deal through the 2017-18 seasons.
“In a very short period of time, Howard and his staff have led our men’s basketball program back to being a contender in the Horizon League,” said UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt in a statement released by the school. “We’re very proud of the strides that have been made. Our recruiting has significantly improved, his players are performing well in the classroom, and the program now has an identity built on playing great team defense.
“We believe that Howard and his staff have an effective plan to consistently win in our league, and we’re excited about him leading our program into the future.”
UIC’s 2012-13 campaign featured a 9-1 start to the season and wins over eventual NCAA tournament participants Colorado State and Iona.
UIC has to replace three of its top four scorers, including guards Daniel Barnes and Gary Talton and forward Josh Crittle, but Hayden Humes returns for his senior campaign and the Flames add Purdue transfer Kelsey Barlow to the rotation.
The roster turnover will make things difficult entering 2013-14, but Moore remains confident that they Flames can continue to take steps towards being a perennial contender in the Horizon League.
“As a staff, we are very proud of the things we accomplished last season – we had great senior leadership, and our young guys really bought into the vision of our program,” said Moore. “But we’re not satisfied. Our goals are to compete for championships year-in and year-out.
“Everything is about our approach – in recruiting, in practice, in the classroom and in competition. We’re very excited about this offseason, and are looking forward to our continual climb to the top of the Horizon League.”
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.