Russell Brasseale (@)
This is a big game for both teams. Marshall comes into Birmingham having suffered its first loss in conference play to Middle Tennessee last night 69-57. UAB comes into the game having won its last three conference games and avenging last seasons early exit from the CUSA tourney by beating Western Kentucky 72-54 last night. For the Herd, Jon Elmore is a baller. He averages 20.5 points a game and also leads the team in assists. Expect a high scoring game because when these two teams met last year the scoreboard almost broke. UAB reminded Conference USA Thursday night that they better not have forgotten about last seasons regular season champs. Many would probably agree that is the best UAB has looked all year. If they continue to play like that, everyone in Conference USA should be concerned. When the season is over we may look back and say the insertion of Denzel Watts as the starting point guard is when the season turned around. The Blazers will need William Lee to keep playing like he has been, and when Tosin Mehinti is blocking shots, rebounding, and scoring it only makes UAB better. As good as UAB is playing, I’m going with the Herd in this one. Marshall will look to rebound from the Middle loss, and Jon Elmore will lead the way. If UAB does win though, look out Conference USA.
Score Prediction: Marshall 87 UAB 84
Connor Gentry (@)
When I saw that UAB was playing Marshall on Saturday, I almost cried. The Herd have been hot and UAB has been cold up until this past week. Before the WKU game I would have counted this game as a loss, but with the clinic that the Blazers put on against the HillToppers, I have changed my mind. The Blazers reminded the conference that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
The Herd were, and still are realistically, one of the teams to beat in Conference USA this year, but they were thoroughly dismantled by MTSU Thursday evening. After what I have seen this past week I believe the Blazers have turned a corner and will collect their fourth straight win.
Score Prediction: UAB 72 Marshall 65
Jack Ryan (@)
This is going to be a very important matchup for UAB. UAB is currently on a positive uptick with three straight wins. The team that came out against WKU was arguably the best effort on both ends of the floor from UAB this season. We all know that given the chance, Marshall can and will shoot the lights out. Just look at the Cincinnati game. They were up 20 in the blink of an eye because they hit something like 14 threes in the first half. The full court press against WKU worked really well. They forced a few traveling violations and really threw WKU off of their game. I feel as though UAB will have to do the same against Marshall. I really do not think that UAB can repeat the crazy 95-91 shootout like what happened last year at Marshall. If UAB can keep the momentum rolling from Thursday’s win, this could be a fun game to watch.
I think UAB keeps the wins coming, but in a much closer fashion than Thursday.
Score Prediction: UAB 85, Marshall 83
Jake Mastroianni (@
Well, the Blazers sure proved me wrong on Thursday night. They played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm – the way I expect them to play every game. Western Kentucky didn’t know what hit them, but I also recognized that it was nothing like the HillTopper team that eliminated UAB from the CUSA Tournament last year. As I said before the WKU game, if the Blazers win I think they will go on a roll. However, Marshall is a very good team, and if we don’t bring the same intensity that was displayed on Thursday night we will get ran out of the gym. I don’t like messing with streaks, so I’m not going to change up my habit of picking against UAB. I think the Blazers get humbled on Saturday – and here’s to hoping they prove me wrong again.
Score Prediction: UAB 81, Marshall 87