Oct. 11, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --The Jerod Haase era officially got underway at UAB, when the 2012-13 men's basketball team held the first official practice of the upcoming season on Friday.
The practiced for nearly two hours at Wallace Gym, showcasing what will be an exciting new version of UAB hoops. Haase, who became the fifth head men's basketball coach in UAB history this past March, was anxious to get things going on Friday night.
"There is no doubt we are excited to officially begin practicing," Haase said. "We've done a lot of work in the summer and fall, so we are looking forward to tipping it up for real. We have been able to practice a little and get to put some of our stuff in, but not we will have more time and we will be able to get a lot more done. I am anxious to get things started."
The first-year head coach is creating a lot of excitement around the Magic City heading into the season. Next week, on Oct. 19, the Blazers will host "Hoops On The Haase-Phalt." The event is a first of its kind in the state of Alabama, as the city will close down 14th Street South to erect an outdoor basketball court near Heritage Hall, which will showcase the members of this year's Blazer squad.
For more information on the event, which is free to the pubic, click here.
UAB returns four players with starting experience from last year's team, which ended the season by winning eight of their final 11 contests. In all, Haase and the Blazers return eight letterwinners from a year ago.
Leading the list of returnees will be junior guard Jordan Swing, who returns as the team's top scorer (11.2 ppg). Swing also led the team in three-point shooting (38.7 percent) and free throw shooting (84.5 percent) during the 2011-12 campaign.
Purifoy started 21 contests and played in all 31 games last season. He averaged 8.6 points per game, and ranked second on the team in three-point shooting (37.4 percent) and free throw percentage (81.5 percent).
Taylor and Williams also made significant contributions last season. Taylor start 28 of the 29 contests he played, averaging 6.4 points and leading the team with 3.0 assists per game. Wiliams made 23 starts and saw action in all 31 contests, averaging 3.7 points and 4.0 boards a contest.
The Blazers also welcome four newcomers to this year's team, each of which Haase expects to make an impact.
The newcomers include gradaute transfer Terence Jones, who averaged 13.7 ppg on his way to honorable mention all-Southland honors. Sophomore guard Isiah Jones, who sat out last season due to an NCAA ruling, will be eligible to suit up this year along side junior college transfers Fahro Alihodzic and Rod Rucker.
The Blazers will open the 2012-13 campaign with an exhibition contest on Nov. 3 when they host North Alabama (2 p.m.). UAB will open the regular season when it hosts Young Harris College on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.