Feb. 26, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Having won three of its last four games this season, the UAB men's basketball team continues its three-game road swing with a trip to Rice on Thursday. The Blazers and Owls tip at 7 p.m. CT at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Fans can listen to the action on the Blazer IMG Sports Network on HOT 107.7 FM with David Crane (play-by-play) and Bobby Frasor (analyst) on the call.
Five Things To Know
• UAB, which has won three of its last four games, looks to continue its nine-game win streak against Rice on Saturday. The Blazers are 9-0 all-time against the Owls, including four victories at Tudor Fieldhouse.
• The Blazers are one of the top rebounding teams in country, averaging 45.4 boards per game -- the second-highest average in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. Meanwhile, Rice boasts the league’s top rebounder in freshman Sean Obi, who averages 9.8 per game.
• UAB ranks second in Conference USA in scoring offense with 75.0 points per game, while Rice ranks 16th, averaging 63.2 points per game.
• UAB freshman point guard Denzell Watts has stepped up for the Blazers since conference play began. Watts has played 20 minutes or more in 10 of the team’s 13 league games.
UAB-Rice Series Information
» UAB is a perfect 9-0 all-time against Rice, including a perfect 4-0 at the Owls’ Tudor Fieldhouse. In a series that dates back to Dec. 29, 1980, when the two teams met at the BJCC, the Blazers have won each meeting by an average of 13.6 points per game. The Owls took the Blazers to overtime in 2012 (UAB’s last trip to Rice) -- a 61-60 UAB victory for UAB.
UAB Nation’s Second-Best Rebounding Team
» According to ESPN.com’s statistical rankings, UAB is the No. 2 rebounding team in the nation, averaging 45.4 boards per game. The Blazers have recorded over 50 rebounds nine times this season (54 vs. Rutgers, 53 vs. Troy, 62 vs. New Mexico, 52 vs. North Carolina 51 vs. Alabama A&M, 50 vs. Newberry College, 53 at North Texas, 50 at Tulsa, and 51 at Marshall). The 62 against New Mexico represented just the fifth time in school history that UAB has had 60-plus rebounds. The school record is 69, which came against South Alabama on Dec. 20, 1994.
Williams Lands On UAB’s Career Rebounds Chart
» UAB senior guard Robert Williams has moved into 10th place on the Blazers’ all-time career rebounds chart. Williams, who has recorded 562 rebounds in his career, is just 19 rebounds shy of ninth place, which is held by Chris Giles (581).
Trio Of Freshmen Stepping Up
» UAB’s freshmen trio of Denzell Watts, Tyler Madison and Tosin Mehinti have seen increased minutes in Conference USA action. Watts has logged 20 minutes or more in 10 of the team’s 13 C-USA games and has scored in double figures twice -- 11 vs. Southern Miss and 10 vs. Tulane. Mehinti has seen action in every game this season. In conference play only, Mehinti is UAB’s most efficient scorer, hitting 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) from the field. Madison is averaging six minutes per game in C-USA play, but tallied a season-high 10 minutes at Marshall on Feb. 20.
Back-To-Back Road Wins For The Blazers
» The Blazers downed Marshall and Charlotte in back-to-back road games this past week. It marked the first time since wins at Marshall and Tulane last season (Feb. 23 and 27) that UAB has won back-to-game league games away from Bartow Arena. UAB looks to make it three in a row against Rice on Thursday. The last time the Blazers won three-straight road C-USA games was during the 2011-12 season, when UAB won at Rice (Jan. 18), at Marshall (Jan. 25) and at UTEP (Feb. 4).
Blazers’ Defense Stifles Marshall And Charlotte
» UAB has held its last two opponents below 40 percent shooting (Marshall (38.3 percent) and Charlotte (39.3 percent), marking the 12th time this season the Blazers have held an opponent below 40 percent shooting. UAB is 11-1 when holding opponents below the 40 percent mark in a game.
When The Blazers Are At Their Best
» UAB is now 16-3 this season when point guard Chad Frazier has recorded three or more assists in a game. Frazier recorded eight assists against Marshall on Feb. 20 and has registered 10 assists in a single game twice this season.
» The Blazers are also 11-2 this season when senior guard Jordan Swing hits at least one 3-point basket in a game.
Swing Approaching 1,000 Career Points
» UAB guard Jordan Swing is approaching the 1,000 career point mark. The Birmingham native, who now has 998 career points, began his career at Western Kentucky before transferring to the hometown Blazers for his final three seasons.
» Rice enters Thursday’s game with a 7-19 record and 2-11 mark in Conference USA action. The Owls are led in scoring by Austin Ramljak and Sean Obi, who each average 11.7 points per game. Obi also averages 9.8 rebounds per contest, which is the top mark in Conference USA.
» Rice scores just 63.2 points per game, which is last in C-USA. The Owls also average just 32.5 rebounds per game, which is 13 less than the Blazers.