On campus: Valparaiso’s Hayden Humes leading the way for flaming hot UIC team
By John Mutka Post-Tribune senior correspondent December 17, 2012 11:12PM
Updated: January 19, 2013 6:20AM
Valparaiso may have been named the Horizon League pre-season favorite, but UIC respectfully disagrees.
The 9-1 Flames are off to their best start since 1997. Their eight-game winning streak includes a victory over Northwestern. They also manhandled Colorado State, which came into Chicago with a 6-1 record.
Hayden Humes, a 6-6 junior from Valparaiso, seldom misses no matter where his shot originates. He’s firing 51.7 percent from the field, has connected on 21 of 42 shots from beyond the arc and is 9-for-11 at the free throw line.
The 10-game starter is UIC’s leading rebounder (5.6 average) and is scoring at a 12.2 clip.
Defense has sparked the Flames. Their last six victims have shot less than 35 percent from the field. The latest was Eastern Michigan, which was smothered 74-48 on Friday.
Western Michigan’s Austin Richie (Lowell) ranks fifth in the Mid-American Conference in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.74 average. A dandy distributor, the sophomore floor leader is averaging 3.7 assists.
Richie is scoring at a 6.2 clip through nine games. His high is 13 points.
St. Xavier’s Brad Karp (Valparaiso) was named the Chicagoland Conference player of the week for averaging 25 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games. The 6-4 guard fell only one rebound short of back-to-back double doubles and boosted his career total to 1,525 points.
Center Dan Manick (Dyer/Lake Central) is expected to make his 38th career start Friday for Ball State, which meets Central Florida in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. The four-year letterman extended his streak to 20 starts in a row before sitting out the Army and Toledo games with an ankle injury. The 9-3 Cardinals take a six-game winning streak into post-season play.
Offensive tackle Matthew Page (East Chicago) appeared in every game and started against Central Michigan. Others on BSU’s roster are linemen Pete Parks (Crown Point) and David Raffin (Chesterton) and kicker Kyle Schmidt (Chesterton).
Senior wide receiver Kurt Monix (Crown Point/Lowell) represented Manchester in the Bowl of Stars, which was played in Guadalajara, Mexico Saturday. Monix was named the Spartans MVP in their postseason banquet. He caught 51 passes for 751 yards to help the Spartans win six in a row after an 0-4 start.
Accolades continue to pile up for St. Francis of Fort Wayne’s Taylor Brown (Chesterton), who was named an NAIA All-American by the AFCA. The sophomore safety averaged 9.5 tackles with a high of 19 against Taylor. He led the Cougars in solos with 49.
“This is a great achievement,” said Coach Kevin Donley. “Taylor worked hard, had a great season.”
Earlier, Brown was named to the all-Mid-States League-East Division first team.
Junior Cameryn Brady (Lowell) picked up his first victory at Indianapolis, winning 11-5 in a dual with Newberry. The 149-pounder transferred from Manchester, where he was a two-time national qualifier before the sport was dropped.