Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
A streak’s end is an opportunity for a new one to begin.
The quest for 27 begins Thursday night.
The 2-0 Troy Trojans will venture up I-65 for the fifth time since 2008. The prior four occasions all resulted in Blazer wins. In fact, UAB has never lost to Troy holding a 8-0 advantage over the program all-time.
The most recent meeting between the two team was last year in Pike county where UAB pulled away from a 32-32 tie at the 16:13 mark of the second half via a Robert Brown 3-pointer. The Blazers never looked back.
Lewis Sullivan had a career night scoring 22 points in 21 minutes.
Troy vs Eastern Illinois 11/14 Highlights
Varnado Hits Winner As Troy Defeats Eastern Illinois 70-67
The 2016-17 Trojan squad returns all but one starter from last season. The missing piece, forward John Walton, had nine points and 10 rebounds against the Blazers last November.
In this week’s addition of “pump the breaks” I’m going to state the claim that this may be the best Troy team UAB has ever faced.
- Wesley Person ¦ 6-foot-3, 190 ¦ Guard ¦ Junior
- Jordon Varnado ¦ 6-foot-6, 215 ¦ Forward ¦ Sophomore
- Kevin Baker ¦ 6-foot-2, 180 ¦ Guard ¦ Junior
- Alex Hicks ¦ 6-foot-8, 215 ¦ Forward ¦ Sophomore
- DeVon Walker ¦ 6-foot-6, 203 ¦ Guard ¦ Senior
If you’re over the age of 40 and are a hoops fan, the name Person likely jumped out at you. Wesley Person is the son of former Auburn and Pacer great Chuck Person who is now an assistant at Auburn under Bruce Pearl. I suppose I should also mention Person interviewed for the vacant UAB men’s basketball head coaching job last spring.
Person led the Trojans in points per game last season with 16.8, while carrying the load of 35.1 minutes per game. He hit 96 threes and in my opinion is one of the best shooting guards in the mid-majors.
Sophomore forward Jordon Varnado (brother of Jarvis) looks to have gotten bigger and better in the mid-range during the offseason, which is a scary thought. Last season against the Blazers he had 24 points and was seemingly unstoppable in the paint. In Troy’s win over Eastern Illinois he dropped 22 and 10 posting his first double-double of the season.
I assumed we’d see the same point guard from last year, Daniel Peace, but it appears newly acquired Kevin Baker will have the starting duties. You can see some of Baker in the highlight above wearing #0. He has 6 threes through two games.
Florida graduate transfer DeVon Walker and JUCO big man Alex Hicks round out the new additions that started the first two games for Troy.