PREVIEW: No. 24 WashU Opens UAA Play Saturday at Chicago

PREVIEW: No. 24 WashU Opens UAA Play Saturday at Chicago

No. 24 WashU (8-3, 0-0 UAA) at Chicago (8-3, 0-0 UAA)
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 • 3 p.m. (CT) • Chicago, Ill.

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Download the complete WASHU game notes by clicking HERE (PDF).

BEAR HEADLINES – The No. 24-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team opens University Athletic Association (UAA) play at University of Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 7. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in the Windy City.

EDWARDS NAMED COACH OF THE WEEK – Head coach Mark Edwards was named the Coach of the Week on Jan. 3. Edwards guided the Bears to a pair of victories at the 54th Annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic last week in Wooster, Ohio. The Bears defeated Ohio Wesleyan 82-66 on Dec. 29, and then rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit to defeat host Wooster 94-91 in overtime Dec. 30. The victory over Wooster was Edwards' 650th of his career.

KUCERA EARNS MVP HONOR – Junior guard Kevin Kucera was named the Most Valuable Player of the 54th Annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic after helping lead the Bears to a pair of victories. Kucera scored 26 points and dished out a career-high 11 assists in the victory over Wooster Dec. 30. He averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior forward Andrew Sanders was named the Tournament's Defensive MVP, while senior forward Clinton Hooks was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

SCOUTING CHICAGO – The Maroons have lost their last two games, and enter conference play with an 8-3 record. Chicago has played the 45th toughest schedule so far, with its opponents sporting a 60.4 winning percentage.

Senior forward Blaine Crawford (16.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg), senior forward Waller Perez (15.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), sophomore guard Noah Karras (13.9 ppg) and senior guard Tyler Howard (11.1 ppg, 5.2 apg) score in double figures for Chicago. The Maroons rank first in the UAA in field-goal percentage (52.2), free-throws made (166) scoring offense (85.1), three-point field-goal percentage (40.6) and three-pointers made (106). Chicago also ranks fifth in NCAA Division III in field-goal percentage.

Head coach Mike McGrath is in his 18th season as head coach of the Maroons. McGrath owns an overall record of 262-181 (.591). A three-time UAA Coach of the Year, he has guided UChicago to four NCAA Tournament appearances and four UAA titles.

SERIES NOTES – WashU leads the all-time series with Chicago, 49-20, and the Bears have won 14 of the last 20 meetings. Chicago won the conference opener a year ago 70-69 on Jan. 9 in St. Louis, while the Bears posted a 67-54 win in the Windy City on Feb. 27.