Russell Brasseale (@)
UAB comes into Thursdays contest with a record of 15-11, currently sitting in fourth in the standings and Marshall at 14-11 is sitting one game back. To say this is a big game is an understatement.
For the Herd, we know they are going to live and die by the three. That’s just what they do. They are going to shoot the ball and many know UAB struggles defending the arc. Jon Elmore leads them in scoring 20 points a game. If the Herd get going early, it could be a long night for the Blazers. This was a weird game last year when the Blazers went to Huntington. Herd fans swear the refs missed a call that would of given possession to Marshall, but after video review they didn’t find conclusive evidence and the ball stayed with UAB who went on to win the game.
The vibe in Conference USA that I’m getting is that UAB is done, an afterthought, season is over. I fully believe that this team in its last five regular season games figures out how to play a 40-minute game and get hot at the right time. This is the time you want your team playing good basketball. Also, seeding is very important. These games matter and will determine what seed the Blazers end up with in the conference tourney.
This should be a better game, but I think UAB will come out with a lot of energy and play good basketball. They will need someone else on offense to help William Lee, but I think they get the win. The only way Marshall wins this game is if they get hot from 3-point land and if Christian Thieneman and his bench squad actually play and put up big numbers. They could be the difference in a tourney run for the Herd. It’s almost tourney time, so enjoy the end of the regular season of hoops.
Score Prediction: UAB 71 Marshall 70
Connor Gentry (@)
This game, like last time, will be decided by Marshall’s 3-point shooting. If we can defend the three ball like we did the last meeting between these two teams, then we should win. However, if we let someone on their team get in rhythm early, then we are in big trouble.
Offensively, we need more than one player getting involved. Sure, it’s awesome HaHa scored 26, but when no one else scores in double-digits, you get blown out.
These last three games are very important. If we want a top four seed in the conference tourney, then we need to win at least 2-of-3. If we do not, it’ll be a pretty low seed and a pretty low opportunity of making a run in it.
Score Prediction: UAB 68 Marshall 71
Jack Ryan (@)
Hats off to ODU for being able to hit literally every shot that went up. UAB has to forget about that game and move forward to a good Marshall team.
Last time they met, I did not think UAB could score more than 80, and they went out and put up 94. UAB’s defense was impressive against a hot shooting team. There is plenty of tape out there on how to beat Marshall now. UAB needs to press Marshall hard and not let Marshall get off a shot every 12 seconds. HaHa could potentially go off again if he gets confidence early. They just need to get stops this game. It’s not everyday that a team shoots 70 percent against you, and I am sure Ehsan worked to make sure this does not happen again. It is always hard to get a win on the road, and Marshall’s offense seems to be more comfortable in Huntington than anywhere else. UAB is going to have to come out firing and put Marshall out of the game early.
Score Prediction: UAB 84 Marshall 82
Jake Mastroianni (@ShortStopBall)
Fortunately baseball season starts for me this weekend, because the basketball team has disappointed me all year. I just can’t understand how a team this talented struggles to play good, consistent basketball. You can blame it on a first year head coach if you want, but at some point the players have to take over and live up to their potential. I still believe this UAB basketball team has the talent and ability to win any game they play, which is what makes this season so frustrating. However, until I see them do it on a consistent basis I have no confidence in this team, especially on the road against a Marshall team hungry for revenge.
Score Prediction: UAB 81 Marshall 87