VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE


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January 5, 2009

Hinkle Fieldhouse Photos

January 5, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Blazer fans,

I hope you had a wonderful, restful, gift-laden holiday season! I apologize for not blogging during the holidays, but the travel, the games, the family, the shopping, and a bit of the crud in Indianapolis kept me wondering where the days went. The disappointing performance at Louisville (where UAB never really arrived at Freedom Hall) and the tough loss at Butler (where the Blazers played a great first half only to see Butler shoot 32 free throws to seven for the green and gold) may have had something to do with that crud.

It was great to be back at home on Saturday, where UAB picked up a solid win over Savannah State, an unusual team to play, for any number of reasons. The Tigers play a ton of people, force a lot of turnovers but can't score to save their lives. The 37 points allowed is the fewest given up by UAB since allowing 37 to Charlotte in March of 2000. The Blazers didn't play a perfect game, by any stretch, but they did shoot the ball well, which makes everyone feel better.

Now the team has a full week to get ready for the start of Conference USA action. UAB visits the Houston Cougars this Saturday night. Tom Penders' team is 8-3 after a loss at Mississippi State on Saturday, and the Cougs entertain Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tomorrow night. They've got four players scoring in double figures...they can rebound the basketball...and based solely on the season box score, it looks like they might be playing a little more defense this year.

The schedule makers didn't to Mike Davis any favors. The Blazers play two of their first three on the road to start the C-USA slate (at UH on Saturday and at Memphis next Saturday). The only home game is against UCF next Tuesday. I'll have a talk with coach Davis about being nice to the folks in the Conference-USA home office, as well as the officials (and, yes, he could have that same talk with me, but that's a blog for another day). Maybe a nice bouquet of flowers and some candy sent their way might help us open the C-USA slate at home for a change next year.

I'm blogging from the Highway 280 location of Buffalo Wild Wings, our home for the radio version of Blazers All-Access for the rest of basketball season. We hope you'll join us in person each Monday night, or you can tune in to WJOX-FM 94.5 in Birmingham for the broadcast. One other broadcast note...the television version of Blazers All-Access will return this Sunday night, January 11th, at 11:05 PM on Alabama's ABC 33/40 here in Birmingham. We'll have highlights from the holiday road trip and a recap of the Savannah State win.

Other random thoughts before I get ready for tonight's show...the trip to Butler was awesome, despite the loss, because of getting to play at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Basketball buffs know it was the setting for the movie Hoosiers, and it is truly an amazing building. I took some pictures before the game and just as we signed on. There's a link to the photos here on the blog...how about Boston College? It was disappointing to lose to the Eagles in the consolation game at the NIT in New York, but that loss looks a lot better after they waltzed into Chapel Hill and knocked off previously unbeaten North Carolina. So much for perfection...the only bad news for those that aren't fans of powder blue is that may simply tick off Roy's boys...oh well, enjoy it while you can. Glad Louisville didn't gag and lose to Kentucky on Sunday...that wouldn't have done much for our opponent's RPI, which can hurt our RPI...is this sounding like the BCS formula? Yikes.

Well, on that note, time to get ready for the broadcast...have a great week...Happy New Year...and GO BLAZERS!!

DC

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