Dec. 15, 2013
By: Steve Irvine, UABSports.com
Thaddeus Rideau spent the early portion of his UAB career waiting for his chance. On Sunday, during the Blazers’ 84-62 victory over Georgia Southern, Rideau got an opportunity and he responded with a pair of 3-pointers and a layup after a steal.
“It feels really good,” said the 6-foot-4 junior college transfer from Port Arthur, Texas. “I was being very patient and waiting for Coach (Jerod Haase) to call my number. That’s all there was to it.”
Rideau played in three games prior to Sunday night with his longest stint coming when he played 10 minutes in a regular season opening win over Columbus State. He missed all four of his shots, including two 3-pointers, coming into Sunday. This time, though, he was on the mark with a 3-pointer just after entering the game in the second half and he was 3-of-7 overall in 12 minutes of action.
“It was a real big boost,” Rideau said of his first 3-pointer. “I’ve got them (his teammates) in my ear, telling me to shoot. They always tell me to shoot. I shot it and made the first one. It boosted my confidence.”
Haase wasn’t surprised with Rideau’s shooting or his confidence in taking the shots.
“In practice lately, he should have a lot of confidence because he’s made a lot of shots,” Haase said. “There was an opportunity a little earlier than some games to be able to get him out there and he did a really nice job.”
*UAB freshman Tyler Madison made his fifth appearance on Sunday. He played seven minutes and contributed five rebounds and two assists. Fellow freshman Denzell Watts, who has played in all 10 games, saw 12 minutes of action and also had five rebounds and two assists. Neither player scored but they did make solid contributions.
“There are certainly things to learn from,” Haase said. “I think both of them had some highlights where they did some really nice things on both ends of the floor. Then there were some things to learn from as well. Overall, I think it’s important for them to get that experience being out there because they’re going to be called on, not only in the future, but this year.”
*UAB started the same lineup for the 10th consecutive game. Starters were Chad Frazier, Rod Rucker, C.J. Washington, Jordan Swing and Fahro Alihodzic.
*Tosin Mehinti had six points, three rebounds and four blocked shots in 14 minutes on Sunday. The 6-foot-9 freshman leads the team with 11 blocked shots while playing just over 11 minutes per game.
*The Blazers outrebound their opponent for the ninth time in 10 games. UAB, the nation’s top rebounding team, won the battle of the boards, 47-38, with Rod Rucker grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. It was the fourth time this season that Rucker had double digits in rebounds.
For only the second time this year, though, UAB had less offensive rebounds than its opponent. Georgia Southern had 17 offensive rebounds while UAB grabbed 15 offensive boards. The only other time UAB lost that category was when New Mexico edged the Blazers in offensive rebounds, 25-22.