Game No. 30: March 3, 2001 at First Round of the OCG Conference USA Tournament
No. 8 UAB (16-13, 8-8) at No. 9 Louisville (12-18, 8-8)
Freedom Hall (18,865), Louisville, Ky. (7 pm EST)
RADIO: Blazer Sports Radio Network (WAPI-AM 1070 in Birmingham)
Gary Sanders, Play-By-Play,
Matt Coulter, Color,
Jon Gentile, Producer,
Bill Lewis, Spotter/Statistics
TV: WABM-68 (all UAB C-USA Tournament Games will be televised on WABM)
Lou Canellis, Play-By-Play, Charlie Spoonhour, Color
PROBABLE STARTERS ...
G, 4, LeAndrew Bass, 6-3, 205, Sr., Birmingham, Ala., 14.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg - Collected 9th 20+ scoring night vs. UofL with 21
G, 24, P.J. Arnold, 6-5, 205, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 13.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg - Lowest scoring output of 2 pts. against SLU
F, 30, Eric Batchelor, 6-7, 210, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 11.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg - Converted 18 of last 21 free throws for 85.7%
F, 50, Igor Nikolic, 7-1, 240, Sr., Zemun, Serbia, 5.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg - Ranks tied for 7th in career blocks at UAB with 67
C, 54, Will Campbell, 6-8, 245, Jr., Elmira, N.Y., 8.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg - Averaging 9.3 rebounds over last four games
WHILE IN LOUISVILLE: The Blazers are expected to arrive in Louisville via charter bus late Monday evening and will headquarter at the Executive Inn. The hotel is located at 978 Phillips Lane in Louisville. UAB associate sports information director Jack Duggan will be staying with the team during its entire stay for the C-USA Tournament. Should you need any additional during the week, the telephone number at the hotel is (502) 367-6161 and the fax number is (502) 363-1880.
UAB HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: Murry Bartow (UAB, 1985) is in his 5th season as head coach of the Blazers. He has a 89-65 (.578) overall mark and is 42-36 (.538) in C-USA games. Bartow has taken the Blazers to postseason action in three of his first four seasons and has compiled a pair of 20-plus win campaigns. UAB captured the 1999 Conference USA National Division title and made the program's 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the first for UAB since 1994.
UNDER MURRY BARTOW: The Blazers have ...
* made 3 postseason visits in 4 years
* posted back-to-back 20-victory seasons during the 1997-98 & 98-99 campaigns (the 1st since 1992-93 & 93-94)
* reached the C-USA Tournament semifinals in 3 of 4 seasons
* has led one of only five C-USA schools to at least 70 victories over the previous 4 seasons
* led UAB to NCAA Tournament appearance in 1999, the first trip for the school since 1994
* averaged 18.3 wins per season over his first four campaigns
* has won at least seven C-USA games in each of his five seasons
UAB IN THE C-USA TOURNAMENT: The Blazers have tallied a 4-5 overall record in the C-USA Tournament since its inception during the 1995-96 season and have reached the semifinals in three of the last four campaigns. The Blazers have been a different seed each year of the event including third, fourth, sixth, seventh and 10th while holding the No. 8 seed for the tournament this year. Here is a list of scores from UAB's games in the C-USA Tournament:
1996 - The Pyramid, Memphis, Tenn.
3/6 No. 11 South Fla. 73, No. 6 UAB 57 (1st)
1997 - Kiel Center, St. Louis, Mo.
3/5 No. 7 UAB 55, No. 10 Houston 54 (1st)
3/6 UAB 74, No. 2 Tulane 70 (Qtrs.)
3/7 No. 3 Charlotte 67, UAB 65 (Semi)
1998 - Shoemaker Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
3/5 No. 4 UAB 76, No. 5 SLU 74 (Qtrs.)
3/6 No. 1 Cincinnati 100, UAB 85 (Semi)
1999 - Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham, Ala.
3/4 No. 3 UAB 79, No. 6 DePaul 73 (Qtrs.)
3/5 No. 2 Louisville 77, UAB 68 (Semi)
2000 - The Pyramid, Memphis, Tenn.
3/4 No. 7 Charlotte 76, No. 10 UAB 73 (1st)
CLOSE ONES IN THE TOURNAMENT: In the nine previous C-USA Tournament games, the Blazers have had six contests decided by six points or less with the Blazers holding a 4-2 mark in those contests. In fact, the scoring margin in the nine tournament games is 6.4 points for the winning team.
ALL-TIME IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS: The Blazers are 24-17 all-time in postseason conference tournaments. UAB collected a 20-8 record during its tenure in the Sun Belt Conference which included four SBC tournament titles. Here is a breakdown of UAB's records in conference tournaments:
League Record No. (Yrs.)
Sun Belt 20-8 (.714) 12 (1980-91)
Great Midwest 0-4 (.000) 4 (1992-95)
C-USA 4-5 (.444) 5 (1996-2000)
TOTALS 24-17 (.585) 21
AGAINST THE CARDINALS: The Blazers will meet Louisville for the second time in nine days after beating the Cardinals for the first time in three tries at Freedom Hall 74-57 on Feb. 27 (see page 20 of release for box and recap). UAB trails in the series 6-3 but has won the last two games over the Cards. UofL, though, won the only time the two schools have met in the C-USA Tournament -- beating the Blazers 77-68 in Birmingham during the 1999 event. The only other postseason meeting was the two school's first back in 1982 when UofL ended the Blazers' season in an Elite Eight matchup. That was the best finish for the Blazers in their men's basketball history.
Louisville series (Cardinals leads 6-3)
3/19/82 L 68-75 BJCC
1/17/96 L 70-78 ARE
2/10/96 L 66-81 A
1/3/97 L 79-93 ARE
1/15/98 W 55-53 ARE
2/25/99 L 60-91 A
3/5/99 L 68-77 BJCC
1/12/00 W 56-50 ARE
2/27/01 W 74-57 A
CLINCHED A WINNING SEASON: The Louisville win last week guaranteed the Blazers a winning season in 2000-01. The program now has achieved winning records in 21 of 23 seasons. UAB has finished once at .500 and has had one losing season in its history.
NIKOLIC NAMED DISTRICT IV ACADEMIC TEAM: Senior Igor Nikolic was named Feb. 22 to the Verizon/ College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District IV Academic team. The Zemun, Serbia, native achieved a 3.97 undergraduate grade point average in electrical engineering and graduated last March. He was voted the UAB School of Engineering's Student of the Year in 2000. In graduate school, Nikolic has achieved a 4.0 gpa. Since his enrollment at UAB, after spending a year at Garden City (Kansas) Community College, Nikolic has not been credited with a grade lower that an A. Here is a list of players who made the District IV squad and who will be placed on the national ballot for All-America consideration: Wes Burtner, Belmont (3.77, finance), Mike Ensminger, Miami University (3.83, political science), Craig Haese, Youngstown State (3.66, elementary education), and Nate Schindewolf, Akron (special education, 3.58). The district includes Division I schools from Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan.
UAB HOLDING OPPONENTS UNDER 40% SHOOTING: The Blazers have held its opponents to under 40% shooting from the field 14 times this season, including a seven-game streak last month that was ended in a win over Marquette (2/14). UAB is 12-2 in those contests.
CAMPBELL CONTINUES TO REBOUND: Will Campbell just missed his chance for his 13th double-digit rebound performance against Louisville when he collected nine rebounds. Campbell did notch his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds against South Florida (2/21) and followed that performance with 14 rebounds against DePaul Feb. 24. Currently, over the last 14 games, Campbell is averaging 11.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. Earlier this season, Campbell garnered C-USA Player of the Week honors (Feb. 4) and recorded 20 rebounds against Houston (1/31) marking only the seventh time in league history that a player has notched at least that many in a contest.
BLAZERS SURRENDER SEASON-LOW POINTS: UAB gave up just 53 points against Houston (1/31), marking the fewest points the Blazers have given up this season and the lowest output from an opponent since Louisville collected just 50 last season (1/12/00) in a UAB 56-50 victory over the Cardinals. In fact, the Blazers kept its opponents to under 60 points in back-to-back games when USM managed just 59 on Feb. 3. The Blazers also allowed just 57 points to Louisville in their first meeting this season to mark the fourth time UAB has limited its opponent to under 60.
MARCH GAMES: The Blazers hold a overall 35-38 (.479) record during the month of March. UAB is 454-269 (.628) in its 23rd season.
BARTOW ANNOUNCES RANSOM AND FINLEY TO REDSHIRT: UAB coach Murry Bartow announced both Myron Ransom and Morris Finley will redshirt this season due to injury. Ransom, a senior from Birmingham, tore his ACL in his right knee in a game over the summer, while the sophomore Finley from LaFayette, Ala., sustained a fractured vertebra in his back earlier this fall.
SPEAKING OF INJURIES: The Blazers have lost a total of 21 player games this season due to illness or injury. The biggest loss was Sidney Ball for 11 games, while Tony Johnson has missed six, David Walker two, LeAndrew Bass and Jason Reese each have had to sit out one game for various reasons. If you throw in both Ransom and Finley, then that total is 79 games.
REBOUNDING MARGIN: This season the Blazers are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 3.6 per contest as they have accumulated 41.1 boards per game. Three times this season UAB has had a 20-plus rebounding advantage coming against Texas Tech (+21), Tulane (+22) and a whopping plus-34 against Centenary as UAB tied a school record by grabbing 65 rebounds. UAB is 13-3 this season in games when they outrebound its opponent.
BLAZERS DO WELL WHEN THEY SCORE 70 OR MORE: UAB is 13-4 when they score at least 70 points in a contest this season. The Blazers are 14-3 when they hold their opposition to 70 points or less -- the last being Louisville on Tuesday to 57 points.
LINEUP CHANGES: Through the first 29 games, the Blazers have started 13 different lineups. Senior LeAndrew Bass was the only Blazer to start in every game this season, before missing the Marquette game (2/14) due to a sinus infection. Of the 12 eligible players for UAB this season, 10 different Blazers have drawn starting assignments this season. The starting tandem of Bass and Tony Johnson at the guards, Eric Batchelor and David Walker at the forward and Will Campbell at center has been the most used lineup as that starting five has taken the floor eight times during 2000-01.
ALL-TIME HOME RECORD: UAB has collected a 152-34 record (.817) at Bartow Arena in its 13th season in the facility. UAB finished the regular season with a 10-5 mark in the building and have now won at least 10 games there in 12 of 13 campaigns the arena has been the home of the Blazers. In all-time home games, the Blazers are 285-70 (.803).
KENTUCKY HOMECOMING: Two UAB players, Tony Johnson and Tom Frericks, will enjoy a homecoming of sorts as both hail from the state of Kentucky. Johnson is from Morganfield, while Frericks calls home in Bowling Green.
IGOR TIED FOR SEVENTH ON UAB BLOCK CHART: Senior Igor Nikolic finds himself in a three-way tie for seventh place on the UAB charts for career assists. Nikolic has 67 blocks during his tenure for the Blazers. The following is a list of UAB's Top 10 in that category:
UAB CAREER BLOCKS
1. Alan Ogg ('86-90), 266
2. Jerome Mincy ('82-86), 131
3. Norman Anchrum ('80-82), 125
4. Anthony Gordon ('82-86), 93
5. Frank Haywood ('90-94), 82
6. Oliver Robinson ('78-82), 67
Donnie Speer ('78-82), 67
Igor Nikolic ('97-), 67
9. Anthony Thomas ('94-96), 63
Carlos Williams ('94-97), 63
BASS NOW FIFTH IN CAREER ASSISTS: LeAndrew Bass moved into fifth place on the UAB career chart for assists Feb. 27 against Louisville by dishing six in the contest. Bass now has 408 for his career. With seven assists against Memphis (1/27), Bass went over the century mark for assists this season (currently with 133) to become the first Blazer to record 100 in a campaign since Eric Holmes had 102 during the 1998-99 campaign. The following is UAB's top 10 career assist leaders:
UAB CAREER ASSISTS
1. Steve Mitchell ('82-86), 597
2. Jack Kramer ('88-91), 586
3. Barry Bearden ('86-90), 530
4. Corey Jackson ('91-94), 423
5. LeAndrew Bass ('97-), 408
6. Michael Charles ('84-88), 403
7. Cedric Dixon ('94-98), 329
8. George Wilkerson ('89-94), 307
9. Stanley Jackson ('89-93), 302
10. Oliver Robinson ('78-82, 290
P.J. POURS IN THIRTY: Junior P.J. Arnold recorded the first 30-point performance for the Blazers in 2000-01 Feb 24 at DePaul. The last time a UAB player collected at least 30 points, Eric Holmes poured in 34 in the 1st round of the C-USA Tourney with Charlotte (3/8) last season.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR THE BLAZERS: Four times this season, UAB has had a pair of players collect double-doubles in the same game. David Walker (10 pts, 13 rebs.) and Sidney Ball (10 pts., 10 rebs.) accomplished that feat most recently at Memphis (2/19). Will Campbell (14 pts., 12 rebs.) and Eric Batchelor (17 pts., 12 rebs.) collected a duo double-double against Centenary, while Walker (19 pts., 13, reb.) and Campbell (19 pts., 12 reb.) achieved that feat against Tulane (1/7). Campbell notched 11 points and 12 rebounds, while LeAndrew Bass recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds against Virginia Commonwealth (12/30).
MORE ON THE DOUBLE-DOUBLES: The Blazers collected their 17th double-double of the season against DePaul by their sixth different player as Igor Nikolic notched a 12-point, 10-rebound day. Will Campbell leads the Blazers with eight double-doubles this season, while David Walker, who has 11 for his career, has five.
2000-2001 UAB Double-Doubles:
Sidney Ball -
10 p, 10 r at Memphis (2/19)
Eric Batchelor -
17 p, 12 r vs Centenary (2/12)
LeAndrew Bass -
14 p, 11 r vs. VCU (12/30)
Will Campbell -
10 p, 15 r vs. LaSalle (11/25)
11 p, 12 r vs. VCU (12/3)
19 p, 12 r vs. Tulane (1/7)
10 p, 10 r at Cincinnati (1/17)
18 p, 20 r vs. Houston (1/31)
12 p, 11 r at South Fla. (2/10)
14 p, 12 r vs. Centenary (2/12)
15 p, 11 r vs. South Fla. (2/21)
Igor Nikolic -
12 p, 10 r vs. DePaul (2/24)
David Walker -
11 p, 11, r at Bradley (12/3)
12 p, 11 r vs. CSUN (12/21)
20 p, 13 r at Hawai'i (12/23)
16 p, 13 r vs. Tulane (1/7)
10 p, 13 r at Memphis (2/19)
ONE-POINT GAMES: With its 61-60 loss to South Florida (2/10), the game marked the 32nd time in UAB history a men's basketball game has been decided by a single point. The Blazers are 15-17 lifetime in those games and the younger Bartow is 2-2 when the outcome is decided by one point.
COACHES SHOW TIME CHANGE: The Murry Bartow Show will air on Friday evenings at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast. It will also be replayed on the following Tuesday at 5 p.m. The show had originally been slated for 5:30 p.m.on Fridays.
NEXT OPPONENT: If the Blazers beat Louisville in the opening round of the tournament, they will then face No. 1 seed Cincinnati in the quarterfinals. The Blazers trail in the UC series 11-6 including a 90-83 loss at the Shoemaker Center earlier this season. For more information on that game with the Bearcats, please refer to page 16 of this release.