VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE
What a night! I can't tell you how much fun I had on Saturday inside Bartow Arena. I salute and applaud all of you that helped make it one of the most electric atmospheres I've ever been a part of. The two teams put on a spectacular show, and we all know how close the Tigers were to seeing their dream of a perfect season get washed away in a sea of green and gold...PAINFULLY close, if you are a UAB fan.
As for the post-game excitement...I refuse to let the actions of a few high-spirited individuals ruin an amazing evening. I commend the support staff and security personnel at Bartow Arena for reacting quickly and decisively to head off any major incidents. The conference office will analyze things, the UAB staff will look over things, and there may be a few tweaks made...maybe not. It is ultimately up to every person who enters an arena or stadium to "act right."
I realize the loss to Memphis was one that can put a strain on the ticker and weigh heavily on the emotions, if allowed. I know there weren't many smiles at my house on Sunday. The key is to make sure there is no "hangover" on Wednesday night. Coach Davis and I talked about it in the post-game interview...you can't allow the Memphis loss beat you again when Houston comes to town. The Cougars are currently in second place in Conference USA and have one of the league's top scorers in Robert McKiver. UH loves the three-pointer, so the Blazers will have to be physically and mentally ready for a different style of play.
It's back on the road this weekend, as we're off to Dallas to take on SMU. We'll tip at 7 PM on both Wednesday and Saturday, and pre-game on the Blazers ISP Sports Network will begin at 6:30 PM.
The calendar and the weather are telling us winter is coming to an end. That means it's time to start thinking about enjoying some baseball and softball. The UAB softball team has gotten off to a good start, and the Blazers opened the home schedule with a double-header on Tuesday afternoon. Marla Townsend's team visits San Luis Obispo, CA, this weekend before returning home to play host to Mississippi State next Tuesday.
The baseball Blazers open their season this Friday. The NCAA, for better or worse, decided that every team will start on the same day. February 22nd. Coach Shoop enters his second season with UAB, and the Green and Gold should be improved. I hope you'll come out and enjoy some hardball this year, and we're excited to be airing a select number of games on WSPZ-AM 690 here in Birmingham. We'll also have other games available online. The Ball State Cardinals visit the Magic City this weekend, with first pitch set for 3 PM on Friday, a double-header starting at 12 PM on Saturday and the finale set to start at 1 PM on Sunday.
And, by the way, just because the calendar and the weather are telling us winter is ending, don't believe it. We don't get our final blast of serious cold UNTIL baseball and softball season start!
Alright, get those heads up. I expect to see you again at Bartow Arena on Wednesday. There's no reason we can't have that type atmosphere for every single UAB basketball game. If you didn't believe it before Saturday, you certainly know now how big an impact you can have on a game.
Have a great week, and GO BLAZERS!!!