For those who keep up with basketball statistics more closely than the average fan, the release of Ken Pomeroy’s preseason projections is the official start of the new season. 

I’ll start off by stating that these projections are to be taken with multiple grains of salt. He develops his predictions by combining information from last season as well as experience and minutes continuity returning. With that being said, they still give us a pretty good look at what to expect. You can imagine that the predictions will be skewed given we played the entire season without Nick Norton.

UAB is ranked 155 out of 351 Division 1 teams. We finished last season at 196. Our projected record is 18-11.

The Non-Conference

Once behind KenPom.com’s pay wall you’ll get into the projections of all of UAB’s upcoming games. In the non-conference we’re predicted to win eight games not including the Cayman Island tournament games beyond the Richmond match-up. Here are some other tidbits from the non-conference section.

  • We’re projected to lose to Richmond 74-72 though that may change closer to a “pick-em” based on how each team starts their season.
  • We’re projected to beat Memphis 72-70. This is the first time we’ve been favored since the ratings began in 2002.
  • We’re projected to lose at Troy 76-72, which is surprising. This will most certainly change as the season goes on if we start off hot.
  • We’re projected to lose at number 46 Auburn 85-71. Auburn is the only top 50 team on our schedule unless we were to meet Cincinnati in the Cayman tournament.
  •  UAB has one “A-Rated” game (Auburn) in the non-conference compared to four last season.

Conference Outlook

There are some interesting things to look at in the conference projections. UAB is ranked fourth among the 14 conference teams behind La Tech, ODU, and MTSU (third-first). Our projected record is 10-8. Considering we finished 9-9 in conference last season, this is a favorable projection from the computations. The three teams in front of us are the only teams in the conference ranked in the top 100. This is really bad and why our conference is projected to be 20th among the 32 conferences. Here are some other tidbits from the conference section.

  • MTSU is projected to go 13-5, which tells me they are far from being seen as a dominate team among their conference peers.
  • WKU is projected to finish in the eighth position, which is far too low if you’ve been paying any attention to their recruiting.
  • *Opinion: I believe Nick Norton is worth 5-7 wins. With that being considered, UAB should be a 25-win team if they can gel like they did two seasons ago. Our conference is really soft outside of the top eight.
  • UAB’s tempo from last season was ranked 275th out of 351. Expect that number to jump up significantly based on our roster make-up. Scoring and attempts will take a big jump forward.

So what does this all mean? To summarize, we’re projected to be better than last season, which by our expectations was a disaster. These projections do not have the ability to predict what Jalen Perry or Scootie Bryant, who I think we’ll be significant contributors, will bring. In my opinion we have the best core foundation in the conference and a super weak non-conference schedule. Twenty wins would be a disappointment and 25-plus is a real possibility.

 

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