While he didn't receive the possessions of fellow teammates Josh Mayo and Scott VanderMeer, Robert "Robo" Kreps was still a key part of UIC's attack during his sophomore season. The shooting guard from Forsyth, Ill. made opponents pay for sagging down onto VanderMeer or collapsing on a Mayo drive with his deadly three-point eye. Kreps was especially proficient during the second half of Horizon League play when he had just one game in single digits (a nine-point effort against Butler). Now those two players are gone and Kreps will lead a bunch of younger players onto the court at the Pavilion.
Importance: With Spencer Stewart suspended, Kreps is the lone remaining back court option available that had any significant impact last season. Thus, Kreps will have to take on a bigger chunk of the UIC offensive load this season. How he adapts to being "the man" on offense for the Flames could be a big determinant in how UIC does in 2009-10.
- Name: Robert "Robo" Kreps
- Class: Junior
- Position: Guard
- Height/Weight: 6'0" 185 lbs.
Key Stats: Kreps played a lot of minutes last season, so he'll probably be prepared to play even more in 2009-10. He played 81.2 percent of UIC's total team minutes, 255th in the nation. That worked out to an average of 32.6 minutes per game. Kreps used 17.9 percent of UIC's possessions and took 20.8 percent of the Flames' shots. (A nod to his low 15.0 percent turnover rate.) Kreps shot 40.6 percent from beyond the arc - tied for 8th in the Horizon League. His overall 112.2 offensive rating ranked 292nd in the country. He scored 12.3 points per game.
Expectations: It's going to be quite the reality check for Kreps as he moves from being third on an opponent's scouting report to first. He thrived last season as UIC's third option on offense, but when teams concentrated on shutting him down they often accomplished the task. Kreps is going to need to develop a strong dribble-drive game and attack the rim more often. He should concentrate on two things this season - scoring and defense. Leave the rebounding to someone else. Though he might need to improve on his 1.5 assists per game from last season.
I doubt almost 45 percent of Kreps' shots will come from three-point range like they did last season. Can he develop into a legitimate go-to-guy in the Horizon League? That's the question that will likely determine the outcome of many games for UIC this season.