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JwgreDeux

UAB - Preview / Review (updated)

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A budding rivalry continues today as we welcome UAB to the plains. We are off to a hot 7-1 start while UAB is only 6-3, however they have won 3 in a row, including a nice win over Memphis. UAB is a nice team with several capable players, but defeating them comes down to one guy, Cokely. Cokely is averaging almost 18 pts a game and 10+ rebs. He has recorded 6 double doubles already this season. While they have two other guys scoring 10 pts a game, limiting Cokely is the key. Bryant and Sullivan can get hot from the field, but without Cokely going off, I think we can overcome it. He has good size at 6-8 and 238lbs. He will be an interesting matchup for our smaller post players. 

 

They aren't real deep, only playing 8 guys double digit minutes per game, with 6 guys playing 25+ minutes. They are a pretty good rebounding team and shoot fairly average percentages, their most impressive stat is FT% at 80% (top 10 in country). I wouldn't expect them to hurt themselves too much, but they can play sporadically when pressured. We will need to take the game to them early, and not let them get comfortable and settle into the game. They have looked good in several games, but also allowed Richmond to beat them, the only win Richmond has on the season (1-8). 

 

The biggest key to the game is Heron's health. Without him we are in trouble, with him we are the better team. Cokely is nursing a sore ankle, but shouldn't be too limited. So how well does Heron feel and play? I'll be watching that right from the opening tip. 

 

Currently, we are favored by 10 points, we are at 40 in the Ken Pom vs their 119. This UAB team is not as good as some we have seen in the past. That being said they should be a good test for where we stand right now. 

I would expect an up tempo game that plays to both teams' strengths, but our strengths are better than theirs and we should come out on top in a track meet. 

 

War Eagle! 

 

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Well most of the things I was concerned about happened and we still got the W; I'm very encouraged by that. Cokely had a big night with 26 & 9. 10 of his points came from the free throw line, where UAB shot nearly 90%. Tough Cokely had a big night, we did a good job frustrating most of UAB's other scorers. They put up 80, but that was expected with the pace these teams like to play at. I predicted a track meet and except for the game being slowed down by fouls, we saw one. We made an in-game adjustment to the refs, as UAB shot 17 free throws in the first half and only 9 in the second. 

 

I think CBP made the right call starting Dunbar at the 3, rather than moving Murray to the 3 and starting Okeke at the 4. I pointed out in one of my reviews earlier in the season, how much Murray struggled to defend the 3 position, and Dunbar played pretty well at that spot, contributing an efficient 9 points, and 6 boards. Harper stepped up his shot attempts in Heron's absence, and Brown had a great night as well. Murray continued to play well and combined with Brown and Harper, they scored 75% or so of our scoring. We continued our team rebounding, winning that battle 35-31 with McLemore (9) and Murray (7) leading the way. We played 8 guys meaningful minutes, and got production from everyone. The low point was Spencer, who struggled all night, only recording 2 points, 1 rebound, and 4 fouls (including a tech). I am really hoping to see him bounce back. 

 

The most telling stat of the game: Lead Time 39:43. That means other than the opening 17 seconds when the game was 0-0, we held the lead the entire game, wire to wire. This was  a good win, especially without Heron. The resilience this group is showing is making this a fun season to watch.  Good team win, hopefully we get Heron back ASAP. War Eagle!

Edited by JwgreDeux
Updated with Review
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58 minutes ago, SumterAubie said:

Thanks. This is always a favored post.

 

What is the nature of Heron's injury?

Something in his lower back is what they said. Hopefully just a strain or spasms. I️ guess we will see. 

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Auburn off to a very hot start ...up by a dozen right away.....Harper hitting the 3s....18-6

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D is a bit loose the last couple minutes....some very open shots by UAB...  Brown hit a nice three....not wearing his had band this afternoon...

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