CHICAGO – Following a 73-65 win over the University of Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday night, Southern Methodist University head coach and Hall of Fame member Larry Brown took issue with the NCAA's new, stringent defensive rules.
"If Allen Iverson played today, he'd average 3,000 points," Brown said. "I understand the intent of this rule, but there's no flow to basketball anymore."
Nic Moore scored 20 points and dished out seven assists to lead SMU over UIC in the first-ever meeting between the programs.
Markus Kennedy added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Mustangs.
SMU (8-2), playing for the fourth time in six days, won its third straight game behind balanced scoring. Ten Mustangs scored in the first half and 11 reached the scoring column for the game. SMU shot 54.2 percent from the floor.
The teams combined for 39 personal fouls and 44 free throw attempts.
The 74-year-old Brown spoke about how the game has changed over his nearly 50 years of involvement.
"I'm just sitting here trying to figure out all these bright people that understand the game ... let's try to figure out how to get more shots," he said. "The best way to learn how to take more shots is to start teaching these kids when they're real young how to play.
"(Teach them) how to pass, how to catch, how to get a pivot foot, how to try to make someone else better . then I think we'd have a better game."
UIC head coach Howard Moore empathized with Brown's plight.
"We're giving up 12 more free-throw attempts per game than we were a year ago," Moore said. "We're doing the same defensive principles and philosophy that we've had since I came here. All of a sudden teams are shooting 12 more free throws per game.
"The new rules changes the way people play. It changes your mindset as a player. Do you take a charge, do you get out of the way or do you try to block a shot? That has hurt my bigs, to be honest. They're not sure if they should try to stay in there and take a charge, and it's hurt us when the secondary defender comes over and we're not getting those charges that we were a year ago."
Kelsey Barlow scored a game-high 31 for UIC (3-5). The senior poured in a career-high 38 last Wednesday in a 94-78 victory.
Barlow was 12 for 15 from the free-throw line. He went 17 for 19 in his 38-point performance.
SMU jumped to a 12-0 lead, taking advantage of a rusty UIC team that hadn't played in a week.
"Our guys came out a little shell-shocked, to say the least," Moore said. "I thought we were just a little slow in getting into a rhythm. Our cuts were late, we didn't get into our offense crisp enough."
The Flames battled back to tie the game three separate times in the second half, but SMU found an answer each time UIC tried to seize momentum.
More often than not, Moore was that answer.
Four of Moore's six second-half field goals came with SMU leading by at least two points. Two were 3-pointers.
The undersized Flames also struggled to find an answer for 6-foot-11 Yanick Moreira, who scored the Mustangs' first six points, cleaning up on the offensive glass. Moreira finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Barlow, coming off a career-high 38 points a week ago in a 94-78 drubbing of Wagner, continued draining shots with ease, but his teammates struggled to follow suit, going 8 for 28 from 3-point range for the game, and their coach let them hear it.
"I called out Hayden (Humes), and I called out Marc Brown, two of my leaders," Moore said. "They're good kids, and they mean well, but sometimes good kids can finish last. They've got to pick it up."
The Flames shot 35.7 percent from the floor overall.
Despite the rule changes, Brown, who is the only head coach to win an NBA and NCAA championship, said he still loves being around the game as much as ever.
"I enjoy being around young coaches, I enjoy being around young kids who want to get better. I love being around the practice environment."