VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE
TIME TO TURN THE HEAT UP
After last weekend's weather, and the trip to Huntington, WV, we are all in need of some warmth. The forecast calls for more cold weather this week, and I can't think of a better place in which to stay warm than Bartow Arena. The UAB men will be back at home on Wednesday night, as East Carolina visits the Magic City. The Blazers will be looking to get hot, again, after the tough loss at frigid Marshall ended a nice, four-game win streak.
Maybe we can blame the weather for some of UAB's problems...the Green and Gold shot a chilly 35% from the field for the entire game. Weather had little to do with the Blazers getting out rebounded by the worst rebounding team in Conference USA heading into the game. Robert Vaden caught fire in the second half, but, regrettably, on that frosty Saturday night, there was really no one else lending a hand on the offensive end.
Let's hope we can simply take that game, wad it up, throw it away and get set for the Pirates. I do think short-term memory has been a strong point for this year's team. This bunch has had plenty to deal with, already, this season, and they always seem to bounce back from tough situations relatively quickly. There's no point in wallowing around after the loss to the Herd. If it's not studied/evaluated and then "deleted" from the memory fairly quickly, we may have another one to add to the list.
East Carolina comes in playing much better basketball under Mack McCarthy. The Pirates had a miserable season last year, and the coaching change seems to have had a positive effect on the program. ECU can shoot the three, and they're averaging more than 70 points per game. Their struggles have come on the defensive end. The Purple and Gold have totaled 1127 points this year (70.4 ppg) but have allowed, remarkably, 1126 points (also 70.4 ppg).
Tip time is set for 7 PM at Bartow, and we'll be on the air beginning at 6:30 PM. Wednesday's game is presented by our great friends at Golden Flake...as you know, the favorite chip of the UAB Blazers! After that game, Mike Davis and company will enjoy their final open date of the regular season this Saturday. The Blazers will return to action next Wednesday at surprising UCF...not excited the Knights are playing well, but I am excited about seeing their new basketball arena.
Both the men and the women saw their winning streaks come to an end last weekend. The women dropped a heart-breaker at UTEP last Friday before they rebounded with a good win at Tulane on Sunday. Audra Smith's team has the week off, and the Blazers will continue the road swing this coming Sunday when they travel to Memphis. UAB beat the Tigers in the Conference USA opener a few weeks back here in Birmingham.
I hope to see you at Bartow on Wednesday night...let's get the Green and Gold back on a hot streak.
Stay warm, and GO BLAZERS!!!