Game No. 5: December 8, 2000
Murray State (3-1) at UAB (3-1)
Bartow Arena (8,500), Birmingham, Ala. (7 pm CT)
G, 4, LeAndrew Bass, 6-3, 205, Sr.
G, 21, Tony Johnson, 6-4, 180, So.
F, 30, Eric Batchelor, 6-7, 210, Jr.
F, 11, David Walker, 6-5, 205, Sr.
C, 54, Will Campbell, 6-8, 245, Jr.
TODAY'S OFFICIALS: John Clougherty (Referee), Curtis Shaw & Tom Eades (Umpires).
UAB HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: Murry Bartow (UAB, 1985) is in his 5th season as head coach of the Blazers. He has a 76-53 (.589) 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.
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
UAB IN 23RD YEAR OF BASKETBALL: The Blazers have accumulated a 441-237 overall record in this their 23rd season of basketball for a 65.0 winning percentage. UAB has 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 13th season in the facility. UAB was 11-2 in the building last season and has won at least 10 games 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.
NON-CONFERENCE HOME AFFAIRS: Entering the Murray State tilt, the Blazers have won their last seven non-conference home contests at Bartow Arena and 14 of the last 15 dating back to the 1997-98 season. Overall, Murry Bartow is 23-2 (.920) against non-conference foes in Bartow Arena.
AGAINST THE RACERS: Tonight's meeting with Murray State will be the second in men's basketball between the two schools. UAB dropped its first and only meeting with the Racers back on Dec. 29, 1982, in a 81-75 contest played at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. The meeting came in the championship game of the UAB Classic that season.
DECEMBER GAMES: The Blazers play some of their best basketball in the month of December as they have accumulated an 83.5 percent winning mark during the the final month of the calendar year. UAB is 147-29 all time in the month of December.
FIRST ROAD SWING ENDS: The Bradley game finished a string of of two straight games on the road for UAB with the Blazers splitting a pair of games. The Blazers face Murray State 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 in 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: Despite scoring a season-low 64 points Tuesday night at Bradley, the Blazers continue to put up big scoring numbers as they average 80.8 points per game, ranking second in Conference USA. UAB has scored at least 80 points twice this season and has a season-high scoring output of 97 against Alabama A&M in the season opener (11/15).
ARNOLD LEADS TEAM IN SCORING AGAIN: Off the bench, junior P.J. Arnold once again led the Blazers in scoring with 17 points in UAB's 75-64 loss at Bradley. It was the second time this season he has paced the team in scoring in a game.
HITTING FREE THROWS: Through the first four games this season, the Blazers are hitting 77.5 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 have tallied 20 assists in a game twice already this season as opposed to reaching that total just three times all of last season.
INJURIES: Three players will not be available for action tonight as a result of various injuries -
Myron Ransom - Suffered an ACL injury in his right knee 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.
Sidney Ball - 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 three games.
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 280. Bass needs 11 to move ahead of Oliver Robinson who tallied 290 from 1978 to 1982.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: In the Blazers' first four games, at least three different players have scored in double digits. 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
Bradley - Arnold 17, Batchelor 16, Walker 11
DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR THE BLAZERS: David Walker collected the Blazers second double-double of the season with both 11 points and rebounds against Bradley on Tuesday. It was Walker's seventh career double-double. In only his second game as a Blazer versus LaSalle (11/25), Will Campbell collected UAB's first double-double 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 Chattanooga in a 7 p.m. contest Dec. 13. The Mocs are 2-4 heading into next week's contest. Chattanooga last played at the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge and dropped decisions to both Iowa (79-60) and Santa Clara (83-81 in overtime).