At this point of the season for UAB, our record doesn’t mean crap. We’ve lost the chance to get a first round bye in the C-USA Tournament, but we’re guaranteed to be one of the top 12 teams invited. What we want to see at this point is improvement and signs of hope. Despite the close loss to our neighbors up I-65, UAB is showing both.
- UAB’s 9 turnovers versus MTSU’s 10
- 54 percent shooting from the field
- 19 assists on 22 made baskets
- 39 combined points for Lee and Cokley against the best front court in Conference USA
- UAB’s ability to get to the line and converting 16-of-20
- MTSU’s 12 offensive rebounds
- Too many late shot clock possessions
First, let me defend the late shot clock possessions by reminding everyone that MTSU runs one of the best and most complex defenses in all of college basketball. UAB did a masterful job for the most part taking care of the ball, especially in the second half where they only turned it over twice. Overall, the Blazers played a hell of a game against a team that is likely to be in the AP top 25 tomorrow when the rankings come out.
Are we finally seeing a 100 percent Chris Cokley? What I witnessed today I haven’t seen the entire season prior. His footwork and quickness bested JaCorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw, and Brandon Walters nearly every time he got the ball. He and Lee put together a fantastic game that would have beaten any other team in the conference at home or on the road.
UAB will be favored against both the Florida squads this week, and against their first round opponent in the C-USA Tournament. I believe our first round opponent will be either Southern Miss/Charlotte/FAU (please not WKU).
UAB has a great chance to be on a 3-game winning streak going into Thursday’s quarterfinal game in the tournament. If we play like we did today from here on out, I like our chances to meet Middle Tennessee in the championship game on ticket punching Saturday at Legacy Arena.
Here’s a look at the bracket as of today.