A terrible Blazer shooting night resulted in an inexcusable loss to a young, inferior Richmond team at the Cayman Island Classic. Our November tournament woes continue and I hate arachnids. 

I’m mad. I’m not sure what that first half was but we need to throw it in to the Gulf and never ever repeat it again. UAB allowed a mediocre at best Richmond team run them out of the gym in the first 20 minutes and that is unacceptable.

Good teams lose to bad teams on occasion. Great teams come out ready and hungry when the ball tips. Our backs are now against the wall and the competition will only get tougher as the expected MAC champ Buffalo Bulls will be pointing their horns our way tomorrow.

Scouting The Bulls

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The Turner Battle Classic is going to pair two of the best mid-major front courts in the country. Battle played and coached at Buffalo and was the MAC player of the year in 2005. This doesn’t mean crap but I’m happy that Turner gets a chance to best his alma mater.

Back to the front courts, UAB really struggled against Richmond Monday afternoon largely due to a superb game plan from Richmond. The Spiders sold out in the paint with every big they had and UAB couldn’t make them pay shooting 0-11 from beyond the arc in the first half. The Spiders may have revealed the early blueprint in beating UAB — load the paint and make the guards win the game.

Like the Blazers, the Bulls have a pair of pre-season all-conference players in guard C.J. Massinburg and forward Nick Perkins. I’m sad to report UAB had their chance to beat an inferior team in Richmond because this Buffalo team is certainly better than the Spiders and is as good or better than UAB.

The Blazers and Bulls are eerily in similar in their makeup as both teams like to work inside-out in their half court sets. Two experienced teams are going to look to avoid their second loss tomorrow.

Buffalo is off to their best start in program history since joining Division 1 and they’ll have a lot of confidence after playing #12 Cincinnati very close in the first round. Aside from the two mentioned above, junior 6-foot-7 transfer guard Jeremy Harris has been key for the Bulls averaging 10 points a game and led the team against the Bearcats scoring 14 in the loss.

Three Keys To Victory for the Blazers

  1. We must get in transition through steals or missed shots. UAB is not a great team in the half court right now. Our guards are too good to repeat what we did against Richmond. We are deep enough to pressure early and often.
  2. Our 3-point shooting was abysmal against Richmond but we can’t give it up now. If Nate and others can get going early we become very dangerous.
  3. Buffalo will be one of the most physical teams we’ll see all season similar to Old Dominion. Our front court will have their work cut out for them. We must be a threat from behind the arc early or we’ll get the L again.