UAB has won the last four at home in the series against Marshall.
Really the only thing worth discussing this late in the season is UAB’s potential seeding in the C-USA tournament. I took a look at the standings and from what I can tell the Blazers can finish no higher than sixth and fall no further than the ninth spot.
Here is a look at the bracket if the tournament began today.
In looking at every team’s remaining games, as long as we don’t lose the next two there’s a really good chance we’ll avoid the top half of the bracket.
Let’s now take a look at Marshall who has won six of their last seven.
Scouting the Herd
Since little has changed in Marshall’s scheme and personnel let’s go back to our preview of their team from last month.
The team we’ll see tomorrow night will have many familiar faces and the token fast and frantic offense Dan D’Antoni loves to run. The Herd are led by all-conference point guard Jon Elmore for the third straight season and he is once again putting up video game numbers. Elmore is averaging 22 points, six rebounds, and seven assists per game. His most lethal weapon is his ability to get to the rim where he’ll usually either score or get to the free throw line.
As great as Elmore is, the name you’re going to want to remember is Ajdin Penava who is one of the most improved players in the country. The 6-foot-9 junior forward has seemingly come out of nowhere and become the far and away best shot blocker in Division 1. His 122 blocks and 4.5 a game average are both top in the country. He is averaging 16.2 points per game and can score from anywhere on the court. Strangely enough his KenPom.com player stat comp is last year’s William Lee.
Arguably Marshall’s best player of late has been junior guard CJ Burks. He is averaging 20 points per game over the last five and scored 36 at Rice a couple of weeks ago. He is a killer from behind the arc having hit six or more in a game twice during C-USA play.
Marshall is going to push the tempo, shoot a lot of threes, and frankly just try to out-score us rather than clamp down on us defensively. We’ve seen them do this for years and we know we can be successful against them if we can score inside.
As inconsistent of a perimeter shooting team as we’ve been this season, I’d say the only key to victory here is Cokley, Lewis, and Sullivan getting a lot of baskets around the rim. This is going to be a tough game and will require us to be very efficient offensively. Let’s see which UAB teams shows up tomorrow.