Flames Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Missouri Valley (2022-present)
Past Conferences: Horizon League
City: Chicago, Il.
Arena: Credit Union 1 Arena
NCAA Tournaments: 3 (1998, 2002, 2004)


National Championships: None
Conference Tournament Titles: 2 (2002, 2004)
Conference Regular Season Titles: 2 (1984, 1998)

Team History

The University of Illinois at Chicago Flames has been a Division I program since 1981. UIC joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 2022 following 28 years in the Horizon League. The conference also added Ohio Valley Conference staples Belmont and Murray State, while it lost Loyola Chicago to the Atlantic 10.

UIC’s only regular season title in the Horizon League came in 1998, when it went 22-6 under second-year coach Jimmy Collins. The Flames received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost as a No. 9 seed to Charlotte in the opening round. In 2002 and 2004, the University of Illinois at Chicago earned automatic bids following Horizon League Tournament titles and lost in the first round to No. 2 seed Oklahoma and No. 4 seed Kansas, respectively.

Collins, the Flames’ all-time winningest coach, boasted a .512 winning percentage over 14 years. The Flames made the NCAA Tournament three times under his watch and appeared once in the National Invitational Tournament. He retired following the 2009-2010 season, in which the Flames went 8-22 overall and 3-15 in the conference.

The Flames have finished with a winning record only three times in the post-Collins era. They also have made the postseason only three times during that span, including in 2017, when they reached the College Basketball Invitational semifinals despite being under .500.

UIC is currently coached by Luke Yaklich. The former Illinois State, Michigan and Texas assistant, who took over in 2020, still has a fairly significant rebuild on his hands. The odds were certainly stacked against the Flames entering 2022-23, as they ranked 11th out of 12 schools in the MVC preseason poll.

The school’s last postseason appearance was a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament final in 2018, under Steve McClain. The Flames lost to Northern Colorado, concluding a 20-win season.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Cedrick Banks: 2,097
    • Kenny Williams: 2,025
    • Sherell Ford: 2,012
  • Rebounds

    • Chuck Lambert: 1,181
    • Greg Olsen: 971
    • Sherell Ford: 807
  • Assists

    • Craig Lathen: 755
    • Martell Bailey: 656
    • Tarkus Ferguson: 632


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