Dec. 15, 2000
Game No. 7: December 16, 2000
UAB (4-2) at Fresno State (5-2)
Selland Arena (10,220), Fresno, Calif. (7 pm PT)
UAB Probable Starters
G, 4, LeAndrew Bass, 6-3, 205, Sr., Birmingham, Ala., 15.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg
G, 24, P.J. Arnold, 6-5, 205, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 15.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg
F, 30, Eric Batchelor, 6-7, 210, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 15.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F, 11, David Walker, 6-5, 205, Sr., Springfield, Tenn., 10.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg
C, 50, Igor Nikolic, 7-1, 240, Sr., Zemun, Serbia, 7.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg
UAB HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: Murry Bartow (UAB, 1985) is in his 5th season as head coach of the Blazers. He has a 77-54 (.588) 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 442-238 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 145-30 record (.829) 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 278-66 (.808). UAB has won four of the last five home contests.
AGAINST THE BULLDOGS: It will be the second meeting between UAB and Fresno State, after the Blazers captured a 103-99 overtime victory in Birmingham last season (12/16/99) in the Arby's Hardwood Classic played in the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. Morris Finley led five Blazers with 32 points off the bench, while Myron Ransom and Mark Kimbrough each added 22 for the Blazers. It was one of two games UAB won in overtime last season.
DECEMBER GAMES: The Blazers play some of their best basketball in the month of December as they have accumulated an 83.1 percent winning mark during the the final month of the calendar year. UAB is 148-30 all time in the month of December.
LONGEST ROAD SWING BEGINS: The Blazers embark on their longest road swing of the season with the FSU game when they play four games over an eight-day span After the contest with the Bulldogs, UAB travels to play at the Nike Invitational in Hawai'i which includes games with Cal State Northridge (Dec. 21), Georgia State (Dec. 22) and the host Rainbows (Dec. 23). The Texas Tech game last month began a string of six of eight games away from home prior to Christmas for the Blazers.
REBOUNDING MARGIN: This season the Blazers are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 8.2 per contest as they have accumulated 41.3 board per game. UAB has outrebound its foes four times - every time in double digits - and has won each of those contests.
LINEUP CHANGES: The Blazers started their third lineup in the first six games of the campaign when Igor Nikolic and P.J. Arnold were inserted into their first five Wednesday at Chattanooga for Will Campbell and Tony Johnson. It was the first start of the year for Nikolic and the fourth for Arnold.
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. UAB has dished out a total of 92 assists already this season for a 15.3 per game average. The 1999-2000 Blazers averaged 13.0 assists per game.
HITTING FREE THROWS: UAB is hitting 72.7 percent of its free throws this season and have collected a pair of 80 percent or better nights at the line this season and twice have hit at least 70 percent from the stripe.
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 stress fracture in his back that he sustained over the summer and is probably out for the season.
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 five 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 TIED FOR EIGHTH IN ASSISTS: With four assists against Chattanooga Wednesday night, senior LeAndrew Bass went over the 300 mark for a career in that category and finds himself tied for eighth place on the UAB career chart with 302. Bass is tied with Stanley Jackson, who tallied that mark from 1989 to 1993.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: In the Blazers' first six games, at least three different players have scored in double digits and a season-high five players notched at least 10 points against Murray State (12/8). The following is a list of double-figure scorers through the first five 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
Murray State - Bass 16, Batchelor 14, Arnold 13, Walker 10, Campbell 10
Chattanooga - Bass 16, Arnold 15, Walker 10
DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR THE BLAZERS: David Walker collected the Blazers second double-double of the season with both 11 points and rebounds against Bradley (12/5). 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 TIMES: 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 for the Blazers slated for broadcast. The other two are at South Florida (Feb. 10) and at DePaul (Feb. 24). UAB opens 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 continue their road swing with three games at the Nike Invitational in Hawai'i. The first contest of that tournament is next Thursday and the Blazers will play Cal State Northridge, who has accumulated a 5-3 record through a 74-71 victory (Dec. 7) against Wyoming. The Matadors play again Monday at James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va., before traveling to Hawai'i. to meet UAB.