After a disappointing loss at La Tech, UAB must shift their focus to a feisty Southern Miss team.
For the fourth straight game UAB has failed to score more than 61 points. After averaging nearly 80 points in the non-conference it comes as a bit of a surprise that we’re seeing such a regression as the season comes closer to an end.
What has changed that has caused the Blazers to see such a fall off offensively? I’d attribute it to the fact that UAB has been unable to produce consistency outside of Cokley and Bryant. Both players get their lion’s share of points in the paint area as we now and to counter this teams have opted to protect the rim and make UAB’s other pieces beat them which more times than not we’ve been unable to do. Bryant and Cokley might provide 30 or so points a night but UAB has struggled mightily to get 40-50 points from the others.
Going forward I don’t see a quick fix for this team. The perimeter defense is what it is and too many players are struggling offensively due to slumps, injuries, or whatever. At this point of the season it’s probably a good idea to shake the rotation up and try some new things.
Scouting the Golden Eagles
I don’t like this match up against Southern Miss given the way we’re playing currently. The Golden Eagles hit 15 3-pointers against us in Birmingham last month and one would think they’ll be poised to do the same tomorrow in the comfort of their own arena.
Coach Sadler understands his personnel and won’t try to counter UAB’s interior with size (which they don’t have). I keep referring to UAB as having an interior presence but let’s be honest it’s really just Cokley and sometimes Sullivan. William Lee is more of a stretch four these days and rarely scores in the paint.
I’d expect them to use the speed of their guards against us and screen us to death to get open perimeter looks. Scootie fouled out last night and will be tasked to defend their best offensive guard again tomorrow. Let’s hope for the best I guess.
3 Keys to Blazer Victory
- Southern Miss in ranked third in the country in offensive turnover percentage. Turning teams over isn’t one of our strong suits so don’t expect them to beat themselves. I think our best defense is going to be man mixed with some three-quarter court pressure.
- It makes sense for UAB to look to Cokley early but I’m expecting they’ll be doubling him all night. We have to hit some perimeter shots early to open things up.
- If we can turn it over less than 10 times I think we win this game on the road.