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JwgreDeux

UAB preview

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Auburn (5-1) takes on UAB (4-3) this Saturday night at 7:30 in Bartow Arena, where the Blazers are 3-1.  This is a very intriguing game for many reasons, not the least of which is dynamic between the instate foes. Auburn is coming off an unsatisfying win vs USC Upstate, and UAB off of a dominating win over Alabama A&M. That is a microcosm of the seasons these two teams have had up to this point, Auburn getting wins vs good competition (SOS of 57) and UAB dominating subpar teams (SOS of 186).

Looking at UABs SOS at 186 is shocking when you see that they have played Kansas and St. Mary’s, both highly ranked teams. The reason, is UAB has also played some terrible teams, including wins over three teams with RPIs in the 300s. Their best win is over Troy, RPI 143, and their worst loss is to Furman, RPI 262.  This is puzzling since UAB returns 80+ % of their scoring and rebounding production from last year’s team that went to the NIT, and some guys from the team that went to the NCAA the season before.  The best explanation is likely their new head coach, combined with the loss of their starting point guard to a season ending injury.  You better believe that UAB has this game circled as one they want to win badly, and have the experience to do it.

Looking in the mirror, we have the talent to win this game, frankly we have the talent to blow them out in their own gym.  However, we also could be on the other end of that blowout if we don’t do a couple of very important things. More on that in a moment. Currently we are steadily moving up the RPI standings, currently sitting in the 50-60 range depending on the site you value, and road wins are always good.

UAB doesn’t have an overly impressive roster. They boast a 7 footer, but he only plays 2 minutes a game and averages less than a point per game. They are small, their starting forwards are 6-9 and 6-8, and they bring one more 6-9 guy off the bench, everyone else is 6-4 and under. Cokley #3 is their best player at 6-7, a forward who doesn’t shoot many jump shots.  They have 10 guys averaging 10 minutes of playing time, but only 8 have played in every game, which is their standard rotation.  In all your basic statistical categories they are very similar to us.

Matchups I think we have a chance to take advantage of will sound familiar, our big wing players. Herron, Purifoy (as a stretch 4 he is mostly a wing), Dunans, and Lang will all have a size advantage over their defenders. I would expect UAB to run mostly a man defense with a lot of switching of screens (sound familiar?).  I would like to see Heron and Purifoy focus on doing most of their work going to the basket, possibly posting up at the extended elbow. Additionally, slipping screens and cutting to the hoop can be very effective against a team switching all screens. UAB struggles to rebound in a similar fashion to our boys, so desire and effort will go a long way to seeing who wins the rebounding battle in this one.

We need to avoid foul trouble, as UAB is a very good free throw shooting team. We also need to avoid the second half let-down that we have experienced in our last several games. 

I think winning this game is as simple as rebounding and playing a high level of defense. Our offense should be fine, and if our shooters finally find their range we could score a season high.  I expect both teams to be in the 70s scoringwise, unless something unusual happens.

Right now this game would look like a bad loss is we lose. However UAB could very well end up winning their conference and go back to the tourney, so the impact of this game on our RPI is a bit of an unknown win or lose.

UAB is the team from this state that is expected to make the post season, a win tonight could open some eyes about our team's potential. A loss would be a serious set back, but not fatal to post season dreams. Middle Tennessee State dominated Ole Miss last night, kinda shows you what can happen if we have an off night against a top tier team in a lower tier conference. 

Vegas line (not released yet, I’d make it at UAB favored by 3 points).

Go get’em boys.

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Cokley is very good. another to watch is william lee. He is 6-9 and physical.  all conf usa defense for both his freshman and soph years while also being 2nd in cusa and 8th in ncaa in blocks per game last year. this will not be a show up and win game. Bartow is not an easy place to come play. luckally for AU, Haase isn't on the other side from pearl. 

Edited by auburntiger1987

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 Couple more thoughts before the game tomorrow. One of the interesting aspects of this game will be for coach person who applied for the UAB job and was  turned down or passed over however you'd like to view it. 

 

 Also, as one of the other posters pointed out, this is our first true road test of the season and it will not be a friendly environment. This could particularly calls problems on the defense of end where we have seen numerous miscommunications leading to open shots. Hopefully somehow Coach Bruce Perl has found a way to limit  these occurrences this week. 

 

 Also of note, the Vegas line is out and it is UAB favored by 2.5 points  

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Hoping the crowd is split even though UBA want $35 a ticket for this one. Though about going but can't imagine paying $140 for a basketball game for the family. Glad I have Bien Sports on SlingTV to catch this one on TV. 

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11 minutes ago, jared52 said:

Hoping the crowd is split even though UBA want $35 a ticket for this one. Though about going but can't imagine paying $140 for a basketball game for the family. Glad I have Bien Sports on SlingTV to catch this one on TV. 

Ticket prices at some places for basketball games getting like football.  Around my state, NC .....at some schools BB tickets exceed football prices.   Getting where there are not many college sports that a family can afford.  The best bargains if you just like good sporting events and the campus atmosphere are baseball, softball and gymnastics.  As far as excitement, baseball is tolerable I guess but the ladies sports seem to have more flare at the moment.  JMO

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2 hours ago, AU64 said:

Ticket prices at some places for basketball games getting like football.  Around my state, NC .....at some schools BB tickets exceed football prices.   Getting where there are not many college sports that a family can afford.  The best bargains if you just like good sporting events and the campus atmosphere are baseball, softball and gymnastics.  As far as excitement, baseball is tolerable I guess but the ladies sports seem to have more flare at the moment.  JMO

I agree. We enjoyed the women's soccer games we attended this season a lot. Plan to make a softball game or tow this year as well. 

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Good read, puts a better perspective on a 4-3 team that will be tough for our boys.  Looking forward to the game, but will have to listen as I dont have the TV connection.

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1 hour ago, GBAU83 said:

Good read, puts a better perspective on a 4-3 team that will be tough for our boys.  Looking forward to the game, but will have to listen as I dont have the TV connection.

Stream it on Facebook. bein sports page 

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I still can't believe that in 2016 a game like this isn't on cable somewhere. All kind of crappy games shown all day on a variety of channels. As usual, the SEC alternate channel is unused and just waiting for a game like this. Ok, end of rant. :)

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8 hours ago, NoALtiger said:

I still can't believe that in 2016 a game like this isn't on cable somewhere. All kind of crappy games shown all day on a variety of channels. As usual, the SEC alternate channel is unused and just waiting for a game like this. Ok, end of rant. :)

It was on cable.... Maybe not your package.

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