Game No. 4: December 5, 2000 UAB (3-0) at Bradley (2-3) Carver Arena (11,300), Peoria, Ill. (7:05 pm CT)
UAB HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: Murry Bartow (UAB, 1985) is in his 5th season as head coach of the Blazers. He has a 76-52 (.594) overall mark and is 34-28 (.548) 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 1st for UAB since 1994. The year-by-year breakdown for Bartow:
UNDER MURRY BARTOW: The Blazers have ... * made 3 postseason visits in 4 years * posted back-to-back 20-victory seasons during the 1997-98 & 1998-99 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 last four seasons * led UAB to first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1999, the first trip since 1994 * averaged 18.3 wins per season over his first four campaigns
OFF TO BEST START IN FOUR YEARS: With its 3-0 beginning to the campaign, the Blazers are off to their best start since Murry Bartow's first campaign in 1996-97. This is the seventh time in Blazer history a UAB team has started off at 3-0. A win at Bradley and the Blazers would enjoy the second-best start in school history. The best start for UAB came in 1983-84 when that Blazer squad reeled of five straight victories to begin the year and go on to a 23-11 record, including a Sun Belt Championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance.
UAB IN 23RD YEAR OF BASKETBALL: The Blazers have accumulated a 441-236 overall record in this their 23rd season of basketball for a 65.1 winning percentage. UAB has reached reached postseason play 17 times in its history with 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
ALL-TIME HOME RECORD: UAB has collected a 144-29 record (.832) at Bartow Arena in its 13 season in the facility. UAB was 11-2 in the building last season and has won at least 10 games at there in all but one campaign. In all-time home games, the Blazers are 277-65 (.810). UAB has captured its last four home contests and 14 of the last 16 games played at Bartow Arena dating back to the 1998-99 season.
AGAINST THE BRAVES: This will be the third meeting between the two schools in men's basketball with each team capturing a game in the series. The Braves captured the last contest 96-90 in Peoria on Feb. 15, 1989.
FIRST ROAD SWING ENDING: The Bradley game is the second of two straight games on the road for UAB. The Blazers return home to face Murray State on Dec. 8 and then play host to Chattanooga (Dec. 13) before beginning their longest road swing of the season when they play four games over an eight-day span with a contest at Fresno State (Dec. 16) and then three games at the Nike Invitational at the University of Hawai'i. The games in Hawai'i include Cal State Northridge (Dec. 21), Georgia State (Dec. 22) and the host Rainbows (Dec. 23). The Texas Tech contest began a string of six of eight games away from home prior to Christmas for the Blazers.
SCORING POINTS: The Blazers continue to put up big scoring numbers as they average 86.3 points per game, ranking second in Conference USA. UAB has scored at least 80 points in all but one contest this season and has a season-high scoring output of 97 against Alabama A&M in the season opener (11/15).
BASS HAS BANNER NIGHT: Senior LeAndrew Bass enjoyed a fantastic night against Texas Tech that included 23 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Bass' point total is a career best for the Birmingham native, whose previous best was 21, a mark he tied in the season opener against Alabama A&M. The nine rebounds also tied a career high.
WALKER PLAGUED WITH INJURY: Despite missing practice the Sunday and Monday prior to the Texas Tech game because of a sprained right ankle suffered against LaSalle (11/25), senior David Walker recorded 14 points and added six rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. Walker had missed the season opener with a left foot injury. An MRI done on Nov. 22 ruled out a stress fracture in his foot and Walker added seven points and seven rebounds off the bench in 17 minutes of action versus LaSalle. Walker should be available for the Bradley game.
MORE INJURIES: Two players will not be available for action tonight as a result of various injuries - Myron Ransom - Suffered a ACL injury in right knee injury during a game with teammates over the summer. The knee was operated on (Aug. 21) and Ransom continues to work toward returning to practice. Morris Finley - Has a back injury sustained over the summer and is out indefinitely.
BALL RETURNS: Sophomore Sidney Ball, who had knee surgery prior to the season, returned to action for the season opener against Alabama A&M and notched six points and eight rebounds. Ball, though, has experienced continued knee pains and has missed the last two games. His status for the Bradley game is questionable.
THE ROSTER: The Blazers return eight players from last year's squad, while welcoming six newcomers into the fold. Of the 14 players on the 2000-2001 team, seven hail from the state of Alabama, while three call Tennessee home, along with two from Kentucky, one from New York and one from Serbia. The roster lists five seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.
BASS RANKS 10TH IN ASSISTS: Senior LeAndrew Bass ranks 10th on the school charts in assists with 278. Bass needs 13 to move ahead of Oliver Robinson who tallied 290 from 1978 to 1982.
HITTING FREE THROWS: Through the first three games this season, the Blazers are hitting 80 percent of their free throws. In the season opener the Blazers shot a whopping 82.1 percent from the line as they made 32-of-39 free throws in that contest. Against Texas Tech, UAB notched 8-of-10 from the line for another 80 percent showing.
DISHING THE BASKETBALL: The Blazers tallied 20 assists for the season time this season against Texas Tech. UAB notched at least 20 assists just three times all of last season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: In the Blazers' first three games, four dfferent players have scored in double digits in each contest. The following is a list of double-figure scorers through the first three games.
Double Digit Scorers: AAMU - Batchelor 21, Bass 21, Arnold 17, Woods 10 LaSalle - Arnold 25, Batchelor 12, Bass 12, Campbell 10 Texas Tech - Bass 23, Batchelor 20, Nikolic 16, Walker 14
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR CAMPBELL: In only his second game as a Blazer versus LaSalle (11/25), Will Campbell collected UAB's first and only double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds. The 15 boards were the most recorded by a UAB player since Torrey Ward notched 16 against Auburn on Dec. 12, 1998.
EARLIER START TMES: With the exception of two 8:30 p.m. television games this season at home, the Blazers have moved their home game times up 30 minutes this season. In all, 15 of the 17 home contests at Bartow Arena will take place at 7 p.m.
GAME TIME CHANGE: The Feb. 3 game slated at Southern Mississippi has been moved from 5 to 3 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN Regional television. The USM game is one of three ESPN Regional telecasts slated for broadcast. The other two are at South Florida (Feb. 10) and at DePaul (Feb. 24). The Blazers open C-USA play with an ESPN2 broadcast against Tulane.
THE LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: The UAB men's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the National Division of Conference USA by the league's 12 coaches in their annual preseason poll. The Bearcats of Cincinnati have been picked to win their sixth straight league championship in 2000-2001, while South Florida junior forward B.B. Waldon garnered the preseason Player of the Year nod. Waldon collected 17.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Bulls last season.
NEXT OPPONENT: The Blazers return home to face Murray State in a 7 p.m. contest Dec. 8. The Racers are 2-1 heading into a contest with Western Kentucky (Dec. 5) on the year after dropping a 91-64 decision to Detroit on Saturday.