The Howard Moore Team Camp at UIC this past weekend brought 48 different teams and over 500 players onto gym floors donning the Flames logo. That in itself is a recruiting positive for UIC head coach Howard Moore and his staff.
The team camp concept is such a valuable and underrated recruiting tool. Yes, it's an opportunity for a coaching staff to get a close look at prospects, but it's also a chance to put themselves in front of prospects. A program can showcase the facilities, the campus, the personalities of the coaching staff and build relationships with players, high school coaches and various basketball people who were on hand Saturday and Sunday.
There was a window of opportunity for UIC and its basketball program to shine this past weekend and it did just that, including two days of quality, organized basketball. There was a comfort level, a feel-good atmosphere and vibe for participating teams, players and their families.
After taking in two days of action, UIC extended offers to several prospects in the Class of 2015, including Bogan guard Luwane Pipkins. In addition, high-profile guard Hyron Edwards of East Chicago picked up a scholarship, along with the junior duo from Geneva, 6-5 guard K.J. Santos and 6-6 forward Nate Navigato.
Several other players on hand, including De La Salle junior Brandon Hutton, Homewood-Flossmoor junior Tai Odiase, Naperville North sophomore Jelani McClain and Willowbrook freshman Alonzo Verge, Jr., are planning on visiting the UIC campus later this month.
There is a lot of positive momentum with the UIC basketball program right now, including the fact the head coach is in place for the foreseeable future with a recent contract extension through the 2017-2018 season.
When Moore took over the program in August of 2010, the cupboard was bare and the Flames were coming off an 8-22 overall record and a 3-15 mark in the Horizon League. This past season, Moore's third as head coach, UIC improved to 18-16 overall and 7-9 in the Horizon League. The 2012-2013 season included a win over NCAA Tournament team Colorado State and a victory over Big Ten and local foe Northwestern.
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