Nov. 30, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- The UAB men's basketball team will play its second nationally ranked team on the road this season, traveling to Chapel Hill, N.C. to take on No. 14/13 North Carolina on Saturday. Game time is set for 5 p.m. CT at the Dean E. Smith Center.
UAB Falls to North Carolina
Deon Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead stingy North Carolina to a 60-55 victory over UAB Tuesday night at Bartow in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals. With the loss, the Blazers finish the season with a 25-9 overall mark.
UAB enters Saturday's contest after defeating Troy on the road, 75-55, while UNC lost its most recent game, 83-59, at No. 1 Indiana.
UAB (4-3) at No. 14/13 North Carolina (5-2)
Date: Sat., Dec. 1, 2012
Time: 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Venue: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750)
Talent: Clay Matvick (pxp), Jay Williams (analyst)
Radio: 107.7 WUHT-FM
Talent: David Crane (pxp)
Live Stats: www.goheels.com
Inside The Series
All-Time Series: UNC leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: UNC 60, UAB 55 (3/23/10)
The Blazers and Tar Heels have met twice prior to Saturday's contest, both coming in postseason play. UAB and UNC faced off in the 2010 NIT Quarterfinals at Bartow Arena and in the 1986 NCAA Second Round in Ogden, Utah at the Dee Events Center (L, 77-59).
In the last meeting, UNC's Deon Thompson paced the Tar Heels with a double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds). Current Associate Director of Operations George Drake played for the Blazers, scoring five points and grabbing five rebounds and Elijah Millsap posted 18 points in a losing effort. The Blazers managed to shoot just 28.8 percent (15-for-52) from the floor.
Last Time Out
UAB 75, Troy 55 (Trojan Arena - Troy, Ala.)
The Blazers defense held Troy scoreless for the final 8:29 of the first half to help propel UAB to its first win away from Bartow Arena of the season.
UAB: Jerod Haase (Kansas, '97)
Record at UAB: 4-3 (1st season)
Career Record: 4-3 (1st season)
UNC: Roy Williams (UNC, '72)
Record UNC: 262-70 (10th season)
Career Record: 680-171 (25th season)
UAB head coach Jerod Haase both played and served as an assistant coach for current UNC head coach Roy Williams prior to taking the reigns of the Blazer basketball program. Haase played for Williams at Kansas from 1994-97 and was on Kansas' staff from 1999-2003.
In 2003, Willams left Kansas for North Carolina, and Haase served on the Tar Heels staff until last season. Haase held positions at UNC as assistant coach, JV head coach and director of operations.
In addition, current UAB Director of Operations Bobby Frasor played at North Carolina from 2005-09, including a NCAA National Championship during his senior season. Another former Tar Heel on the UAB staff is graduate student manager David Dupont, who spent the last two seasons as a walk-on at UNC.
On The Blazers
• The Blazers enter Saturday's game with a 4-3 overall record after winning on the road against the Troy Trojans, 75-55, on Tuesday.
• UAB is averaging 76.6 ppg, ranking third in Conference USA. The Blazers are outscoring their opponents by 8.4 ppg and out-rebounding the opposition by 6.3 per contest.
• In UAB's four victories, the Green and Gold have reached 75 points each time. The Blazers are 0-3 when failing to reach 75 points in a game.
• The offense for UAB features a balanced attack, with all five starters almost averaging double figures. The Blazers have used the same starting lineup in all seven games consisting of: Jordan Swing (14.1 ppg), Rod Rucker (14.0 ppg), Fahro Alihodzic (10.6 ppg), Robert Williams (9.6 ppg) and Terence Jones (9.4 ppg).
• UAB has done a great job of being unselfish with the basketball, leading C-USA in assists per game with 17.4 per contest. The Blazers have also been aggressive on defense, recording an average of 8.6 steals per game, ranking second in the league.
• After a poor foul shooting game in a loss to TCU, UAB bounced back at the line, shooting a league-best 93.3 percent (14-of-15) on foul shots at Troy. For the season, the Blazers are shooting 74.1 percent on free throws.
Points - Swing (14.1)
Rebounds - Rucker (8.9)
Assists - T.Jones (4.6)
Blocks - Rucker (0.8)
Steals - Alihodzic (1.7)
FG % - Rucker (57.7)
FT % - Alihodzic (91.7)
On The Tar Heels
• North Carolina entered the week ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 and 13th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
• UNC fell on the road to No. 1 Indiana, 83-59. The Hoosiers built off a nine-point halftime lead, expanding to as large as 32. The Tar Heels did post four players in double figures, led by Dexter Strickland's 14 points. UNC shot just 37.7 percent (26-for-69) for the the game.
• UNC and UAB share similar characteristics on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Like the Blazers, the Tar Heels distribute the basketball with three players averaging in double figures and seven posting 7.9 ppg or better.
• The Tar Heels also dish out assists at a high rate, just like UAB, distributing 17.6 per game, second in the Atlantic Coast Conference. UNC tops the ACC is steals per game, swiping 10.4 per game.
• Overall, UNC averages 81.6 ppg and holds opponents to 66.0, outscoring the opposition by 15.6 per game. The Tar Heels are shooting 45.8 percent from the floor, while opponents are making 37.5 percent of total attempts.
• In the Tar Heels’ five victories this season, they are winning by an average of 28.8 points. Saturday's contest marks just the third home game of the season for UNC, the first since Nov. 11 vs. Florida Atlantic.
• James Michael McAdoo, the second cousin of UNC All-America and Naismith Hall of Fame Bob McAdoo, tops the team in points (15.9) and rebounds (8.9) per game.
• A weakness for UNC this season has been the free-throw line, shooting just 55.6 percent (64-for-113) for the season.
Points - McAdoo (15.9)
Rebounds - McAdoo (8.9)
Assists - Strickland (3.4)
Blocks - Hubert (1.3)
Steals - Strickland (2.1)
FG % - Johnson (61.7)
FT % - Hairston (78.6)
Ranked Road Trips
Saturday's trip to Chapel Hill to take on No. 14/13 UNC, marks the second ranked opponent that UAB will face in three road contests this season. The Blazers played their first road game of the year at then-No. 14/13 Creighton, falling 77-60.
Defense Silences Men Of Troy
In UAB's game at Troy (11/27), the Blazers buckled down, holding the Trojans scoreless for the final 8:29 of the first half. UAB had trailed 20-18 before embarking on a 17-0 run to close out the first stanza up 35-20 and cruise to a 75-55 victory.
By holding Troy to only 20 points in the first half, it marked the first time the Blazers held an opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half since last season when SMU recorded just 16 points in the second half (2/15/12).
Taking Advantage Of Free Throws
UAB made 14 of 15 foul shots at Troy, shooting 93.1 percent at the line. The Blazers percentage was the highest by a C-USA team this season. In fact, it marked UAB's best single-game foul shooting percentage with at least 15 attempts, since going 15-for-16 (93.8 percent) vs. USF on Dec. 21, 2006 in a 78-62 victory at Bartow Arena.
Entering the game at Troy, UAB had shot a combined 26 of 44 (59.1 percent) from the line in its two previous games, losses to Illinois State and TCU at the South Padre Island Invitational.
Swing's Scoring Streak Continues
Jordan Swing has scored in double figures in all seven games in the 2012-13 season, after posting 18 points at Troy, including 16 in the second half. Dating back to last season, Swing has reached 10-plus points in nine consecutive games. The last time Swing was held to nine points or fewer was at UCF on March 3, 2012 when the Birmingham native netted five points.
Against Troy, Robert Williams tied a career-high with nine rebounds as the starting off-guard. Williams has now corralled exactly nine boards in three of the last four games and is now averaging 6.3 rebounds per game. In the victory, Williams also poured in a career-high 18 points, sinking four 3-pointers.
Big Man Does The Little Things
Center Fahro (Faz) Alihodzic leads the Blazers in a pair of statistics that are not usually associated with 6-foot-10 players. Alihodzic tops UAB in both foul shooting (91.7 percent) and steals (12). At the line Alihodzic has sank 22 of 24 attempts, which ranks fourth in C-USA and his 1.7 steals per game average is eighth in the league.