Wow! What an exciting, exhilarating and important win last Saturday in Louisville against the tradition-rich University of Kentucky. In front of a national television audience and some very vocal and supportive UAB fans, our guys found a way to come from 14 points down in the second half to knock off an SEC opponent. What will be remembered most is Robert Vaden's scintillating shooting performance in that second half going off for 28 points in the final 20 minutes. But there were some huge plays made throughout the comeback that contributed to the win as well. How about Walter Sharpe's basket as the shot clock wound down that tied the score...or Reggie Huffman's huge rebound (1 of his 12 by the way) to seal the win... Or Aaron Johnson's wrap around pass to Frank Holmes that lead to a big basket...or Ed Berrios' clutch free throws to give us the 3 point lead after sitting for several minutes prior to being called on...all significant contributors to the win.
For Vaden's performance he was named C-USA Player of the Week AND Sporting News and ESPN.com National Player of the Week. Congratulations to RV who has worked extremely hard to become the player he is. His performance was so special that I received several emails, text messages and voicemails from friends at Indiana offering their congratulations to him and to our team for the victory. Speaking of congratulatory messages, when the staff checked our phones following the game we had no less than 10 messages apiece congratulating us...Coach Davis had close to 100 text messages following the game. Clearly this was a special time for the team but we all recognize it was one game. Now our attention has turned to our next game - a road contest at a very tough place to play, Wichita State. We expect a sell-out because they sell out every game. Our challenge will be to keep our guys focused on the task at hand and not start their Christmas break before the game. They will be able to head home following the game or the very next day and will spend Christmas with their families. We will get back to work the day after Christmas to prepare for our home game against a very good Old Dominion team.
We want to bottle the emotion from the locker room following the UK win. Our guys enjoyed the celebration and the 6-hour bus ride home following the game. I think we kinda like that feeling. Here's to repeating that celebration many more times this season. Have a wonderfully blessed holiday season. Be safe and have fun! GO BLAZERS!!!
Assistant Head Coach