UIC is coming off a very poor season that saw only six wins total. The Flames have a better group this season, although whether the group is slightly better or significantly better will depend on the impact of Howard Moore‘s six newcomers.
The new-look Flames open the city on the road, but they stay in the city of Chicago. Their first game will be on college basketball’s opening day, Nov. 14, against DePaul. The Blue Demons are once more looking at a rough season, but their higher levels of talent and athleticism will still make this a difficult matchup.
UIC’s home opener will be Nov. 17 against a Western Illinois team that returns three starters.
UIC hits the road the following weekend, playing three games in three days at the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic. The Flames face Ivy League contender Yale on Nov. 21, then host Kent State, and finally in-state opponent Southern Illinois. This round-robin will be a telling early test for UIC. None of these opponents are dominant mid-majors, but all of them are solid squads that should finish in the top halves of their respective leagues.
The Flames return home before Thanksgiving to square off against St. Xavier, and then Thanksgiving weekend they play at Dayton.
December begins with a four-game home stand. UIC hosts Grand Canyon, coached by former NBA guard Dan Majerle. The Antelopes are still transitioning to Division I, but they figure to be one of the better teams in the WAC this season.
The Flames continue their home stand against Chicago rival Loyola and then wrap it up against UCF and Tennessee-Martin.
UIC goes back on the road, where it will receive its two toughest tests of the year. The Flames face AAC favorite SMU on Dec. 17 and then Northwestern on Dec. 22.
The Flames finish off non-conference play with a tough game at Bradley and then a cupcake against Judson on Dec. 30.
The Flames start the new year with their Horizon League opener at home against Youngstown State on Jan. 2.
“This will be one of the most competitive years in the Horizon League,” Moore said. “Top to bottom, this is a very strong conference with several talented players. It’s always nice to start the season at home, but in this league it doesn’t matter where you play. Each game is going to be a dog fight.”
UIC’s league schedule is one of the more unfavorable ones. The Flames face a three-game road trip in late January, and then another one in mid-February. Meanwhile, they never have more than two home games in a row.
Here is a look at the full schedule, with an early prediction as well.
2014-15 UIC Schedule
Early prediction: 11-20, 5-11 Horizon
* = Horizon League game; # = Men Against Breast Cancer Classic
All times listed CT
Nov. 6—vs. Beloit (Exhibition), 7 p.m.
Nov. 14—at DePaul, 9 p.m.
Nov. 17—vs. Western Illinois, 7 p.m.
#Nov. 21—Yale (in Kent, Ohio), 4 p.m.
#Nov. 22—at Kent State, 6:30 p.m.
#Nov. 23—Southern Illinois (in Kent, Ohio), 1 p.m.
Nov. 25—St. Xavier, 7 p.m.
Nov. 29—at Dayton, TBA
Dec. 2—vs. Grand Canyon, 7 p.m.
Dec. 6—vs. Loyola Chicago, 1 p.m.
Dec. 11—vs. UCF, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15—vs. Tennessee-Martin, 7 p.m.
Dec. 17—at SMU, 7 p.m.
Dec. 22—at Northwestern, TBA
Dec. 28—at Bradley, TBA
Dec. 30—vs. Judson, 7 p.m.
*Jan. 2—vs. Youngstown State, 3 p.m.
*Jan. 4—vs. Cleveland State, 3 p.m.
*Jan. 8—at Valparaiso, TBA
*Jan. 14—vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.
*Jan. 20—at Green Bay, 7 p.m.
*Jan. 24—at Youngstown State, TBA
*Jan. 29—at Milwaukee, TBA
*Jan. 31—vs. Valparaiso, 3 p.m.
*Feb. 4—vs. Oakland, 7 p.m.
*Feb. 8—at Detroit, TBA
*Feb. 12—at Wright State, TBA
*Feb. 15—at Cleveland State, TBA
*Feb. 19–vs. Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
*Feb. 22—at Oakland, TBA
*Feb. 26—vs. Green Bay, 7 p.m.
*Feb. 28—vs. Wright State, 1 p.m.