BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UAB basketball is back. In front of a nearly full student section and a hungry crowd, the Blazers put on a clinic against Division II Lindenwood.
Before the ball was even tipped it was clear this would be a one sided affair. As we all know, UAB is incredibly deep and experienced, and the Lions of Lindenwood started just one player from their most frequent starting lineup last season.
Despite being severely outmatched, the Lions ran their offense effectively scoring 32 first half points, while shooting 46 percent. Don’t check me on this, but I’m pretty sure Lindenwood attempted more threes tonight than the Warriors did all last season.
Lindenwood’s 16 made 3-pointers eclipsed last year’s high of 13 made by BYU in the NIT. Coach Rob Ehsan mentioned in his post game presser that he’s not sure he’s ever faced a team that attempted 35 3-point shots in a game.
Dirk Williams was unstoppable. His 10-of-11 shooting was seemingly effortless. His slashes in the paint to the basket were crisp and his 3-point shot was a work of art. The senior is going to have a special year and will likely step right into Robert Brown’s shoes as the leading scorer on the team this season.
William Lee has taken his offensive game to another level. His dribble-drive moves are stronger and more deliberate, and his 3-point shot is significantly smoother and shot with more confidence than last season. He appeared to be on cruise control the entire game, beaming with confidence.
The block party has officially begun.
Tyler Madison attempted a 3-point shot tonight. This is significant because he attempted just one all last season. Madison brought his typical physical play in the paint on both ends of the court, but what stood out was how Coach Ehsan intends to use the senior on the offensive end. I’d expect more mid-range and perimeter offensive looks from Madison this season.
Freshman Javien Williams appears to have picked up right where he left off in the scrimmage. This kid does not lack confidence. Once the ball is in his hand he is looking to score, whether it be from behind the arc or slashing to the basket. Williams’ defense is developed far beyond his years as well. Big things are in store for the local product.
The entire team played double-digit minutes aside from Thomas Smallwood, and all had bright spots. Deion Lavender handled the point duties effectively, while Norton was out and he showed the ability to be one of the better finishers at the rim on the team.
Quotes Of The Night
In the post game presser Coach Ehsan revealed that Denzell Watts has been feeling ill of late, which resulted him not playing tonight.
Ehsan informed the media that following positive discussions with he and junior forward Lewis Sullivan, he’ll be redshirted this season.
As I mentioned earlier, Ehsan commented that he’s never seen a team attempt as many 3-pointers in a game as the Lions did tonight. He mentioned that UAB’s defensive really only gave them 10 or 11 good looks at three. The rest were contested well.
Highlight Of The Night
Photos Of The Night