VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE
NO MORE REST TIME
I hope you enjoyed your final "open" weekend of basketball season. I certainly did. My brother and I flew to California for the weekend to visit family. Now, we all have to be ready to go to work, without a break, for the rest of the regular season.
I'm sitting in a hotel in Orlando as I write this week's blog. The Blazers are set to meet UCF on Wednesday night at the Knights' new arena. I assume they replaced the nets after UCF's last home game, a throttling of UTEP last Wednesday. The Knights blistered the twines by shooting 70% for the GAME! A trip to Dallas apparently cooled them off, as SMU surprised UCF in overtime this past Saturday. Upsets in basketball are so common these days that I'm sure a lot of people weren't terribly surprised by the score. But on the heels of such a remarkable performance, I have to admit I was shocked to see the Knights drop that game.
Let's hope for the "Upset Hangover." That was UCF's first loss in Conference USA, and you know they'll be eager to get back on a roll at home. The new UCF Convocation Center seats about 10,000 fans for basketball, and from all the pictures we've seen, it looks very impressive, much like their new on-campus football stadium.
UAB should be eager to get back on the floor after having been off since last Wednesday's win at home over East Carolina. It was good to see the Green and Gold bounce back following the tough loss at Marshall. There seemed to be continued improvement from the recent "arrivals" to the line-up...Channing Toney and Jeremy Mayfield. The new-look line-up also seemed to provide a needed spark. We'll see if those changes continue on Wednesday night here in Orlando. Winning on the road is never easy, but this would be a mighty big one for Mike Davis' bunch to get.
As road trips go, this one is fairly easy. A non-stop flight from Birmingham to Orlando...short ride to the hotel (assuming you go to the correct one)...campus nearby. Let's all hope the ease of travel will pay dividends come tip time. We're back at home on Saturday night, with a chance for a little payback. The Thundering Herd comes to Bartow Arena for a 7 PM tip. Tickets remain, so stay online and order yours now, or call the ticket office at 975-UAB1.
We need to keep building those home crowds. Your support means so much to the players, and a perfect season at Bartow Arena would be awfully special. PLEASE don't wait to order your tickets for future games, do it now. Come join us on Saturday night. Besides, remember what happens to he or she who hesitates.
Well, it's about time to head to the arena to check things out. It's always good to know the lay of the land...got to find out where the restrooms and the free food are!
Have a great week...listen on Wednesday night at 5:30 PM central time for pre-game...and BE THERE on Saturday when Marshall comes to town.