Basketball is back and UAB will tip off the 2017-18 season at home against their old Sun Belt conference mate the Jacksonville Dolphins on Friday night.

The Blazers hosted the Dolphins a couple times in 2007 and 2011 winning both games, and they played them 31 times between 1979 and 1995. UAB leads the all-time series 25-8.

Scouting The Dolphins

Last season the Dolphins finished 17-16 and 5-9 in the Atlantic Sun conference. has them ranked 312 out of 351 Division 1 teams. Jacksonville is faced with replacing seven seniors from last year’s squad that played an 11-man rotation. However, they do return all-conference freshman Tanner Rubio who shot just under 50 percent from three last season.

Honestly there are a lot of unknowns when looking at this team, which I imagine is discomforting for our staff in preparation. They played a hurricane relief game against Florida at home, and as you’d imagine they got destroyed 88-47, but were only down 37-26 at the half. Tanner Rubio hit three 3-pointers for his nine points, and freshman guard JD Notae had 10 points.

(Some more insight on Jacksonville via Casual Hoya)

Blazer Keys To Victory

In every facet of the game UAB will have the advantage and should win this one comfortably. Artis Gilmore ain’t walking through the door. What I would like to see is an improvement in taking care of the ball after what we saw in the exhibition. We have some new pieces that are still learning their rolls, and Nick will continue to shake off the rust. I predict we’ll see the same starting line-up of Nick, Nate, Haha, Coke, and Scootie.