Russell Brasseale (@)
Well Thursday night was interesting to say the least. UAB defeated the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech to move into sole possession of second place in Conference USA, but not before the Royal Rumble broke out in Bartow. Hakeem Baxter will be suspended for Saturday nights game against Southern Miss for what went down against Louisiana Tech. His on ball defense will be greatly missed, and UAB should not take the Golden Eagles from Brett Favre country lightly.
For the first 34 minutes of the game on Thursday the Blazers looked dominant, and once they broke the 1-3-1 zone they had their way in transition. What was most impressive was the defense from UAB on the perimeter as the Bulldogs only shot 20 percent from 3-point land.
Southern Miss comes into the game losing to Middle Tennessee on Thursday night, with a record of 6-14. The Blazers shouldn’t let that record deceive them and still come out with high energy and play to their potential. Quinton Campbell leads the Eagles in scoring with 12.4 points per game. I can see UAB coming out kind of flat early in this one still trying to recover from Thursday night without its best defender, but eventually find their groove.
The Blazers still have plenty to play for as they sit alone in second place as stated earlier. I don’t see Middle running the table in conference and the Blue Raiders still have to come to Bartow later in the season. First, UAB has to handle its business Saturday night with Southern Miss. It most likely will be a slow start and probably won’t be a pretty game, but UAB gets it done.
Score Prediction: UAB 72 USM 62
Connor Gentry (@)
What a crazy game Thursday, huh? On to Southern Miss.
The line for the game, at the time of writing this, is 17 points in UAB’s favor. That in itself shows what this game SHOULD go like.
Hakeem is suspended for this game due to the fight during the La Tech game, but honestly, I believe this should be an easy win for the good guys. This was the case for FIU as well, but I don’t think the Blazers will play down to their opponents level again.
Score Prediction: UAB 90 USM 70
Jack Ryan (@)
Well what a weird game. UAB played a very solid game for 34 minutes. They had a small hick-up against the 1-3-1 but were able to adjust and get good shots up. Then everything broke down and there was fighting. Hak is suspended, buy oh well, it gives him a chance to rest his knee. I am glad I finally predicted a game wrong though and UAB was able to walk by La Tech.
This Southern Miss game can be a weird one if UAB comes out like they did against FIU. I don’t think this will be like the FIU game though. I also don’t think we will see some crazy overtime game like last year. I think UAB comes out with good composer and takes this one pretty easily.
Jake Mastroiannin (@ShortStopBall)
Thursday night was obviously a wild game for UAB, and the fight overshadowed what was a big win for the Blazers. While Hakeem Baxter certainly didn’t start the fight, he did not respond the way you hope a senior would to a little push in the back. However, it’s not a terrible thing that he gets to sit out the game against Southern Miss and rest his ankle. The Blazers should still be able to handle the Golden Eagles rather easily. Of course, that’s what we all said against FIU as well. This game being in Bartow should give the Blazers the energy they need to stay focused and not slip up against an inferior team.
Score Prediction: UAB 88, USM 72