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Flames to open season at BCA Classic

(7/8/03)

Coach Jimmy Collins (pictured) and the UIC Flames now know where they will open up the 2003-04 regular season.

The Gazelle Group officially announced the field Monday for the Black Coaches Association Classic Nov. 15-17, which includes UIC.

The BCA Classic will be played at Cincinnati’s Cintas Center with former MCC member Xavier serving as the host school. Joining the Flames and Xavier in the eight-team field are NCAA tournament participant San Diego, Coppin State, Mercer, Oakland, Ohio and Cal-Irvine.

Five of the eight schools finished first or second in their respective conferences, including Atlantic 10 West Division champion Xavier, Atlantic Sun co-champion Mercer and West Coast Conference tournament co-champion San Diego. Four of the teams in the field won 20 or more games, including the Flames, who were 21-9 last year.

The official pairings will be announced in the near future. If the pairings break right, UIC and Xavier could possibly meet in the finals on Nov. 17. The Flames haven’t played the Musketeers since the 1994-95 season when both were members of the MCC. Xavier won that game 93-90, despite 36 points from Sherell Ford and 33 points from Mike Simmons. Xavier was 26-6 last year and returns highly-touted guard Romain Sato.

DATES ANNOUNCED: In what could be the most anticipated regular-season game in Flames history, UIC will play Illinois at the United Center Tuesday, Dec. 30. Illinois’ pre-conference schedule confirms what was already reported at Whoosh!Net six weeks ago.

Also, the Flames’ road game with Texas-San Antonio will be Saturday, Nov. 29, according to the Roadrunners’ athletic site. UIC also travels to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 2. UIC’s two Horizon League contests with Cleveland State will take place Jan. 17 at the Pavilion and Feb. 14 in Cleveland.

McGEE PLAYS PICK-UP GAMES WITH FLAMES: Marcetteaus McGee, who is hopeful of playing with UIC this season, was seen playing pick-up games with Flames players at the Flames Athletic Center in May. McGee displayed his speed and leaping ability, while playing with Martell Bailey, Elliott Poole, Armond Williams, as well as, former Flame Kyle Kickert.

McGee, a former high school star point guard at Farragut, was released from his scholarship at the University of Wisconsin. He was charged with sexual assault in Madison, Wis., and the case was settled via a plea bargain.

There has been no official word from the University as far as McGee’s future with the basketball team. McGee is currently listed at the school website as being a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In other recent news:
Q&A: Flames head coach Jimmy Collins (6/30/03)
McGee's future in question; schedule news; Horizon apology (5/08/03)
Year-end banquet celebrates accomplishments and awards (5/06/03)
Flame tidbits: Recruiting update, Farmer signs with Vikings (4/29/03)
Western Illinois coaching search includes Coomes (4/12/03)
News, notes and observations from around the Horizon League (4/09/03)
ALUMNI UPDATE: Ford and Miller find success overseas (4/03/03)
Butler does Horizon League proud (plus recruiting update) (3/28/03)
Flames' recruiting update (3/26/03)
FORMER FLAME UPDATE: Hallberg, Brown, Solverson (3/21/03)