NOTEBOOK: Blazers Improve To 9-2

Fahro Alihodzic recorded a career-high four blocked shots.

Dec. 18, 2013

Fahro Alihodzic, UAB’s big man in the middle, had a big impact in the Blazers’ 67-52 victory over Chattanooga on Wednesday night at Bartow Arena.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound had eight points, 10 rebounds, a career-high four blocked shots and an assist. He also altered several shots by the Chattanooga players and made life uncomfortable for the Mocs inside.

“He had a great impact tonight,” said UAB head coach Jerod Haase. “I thought he came out slowly and didn’t play overly effective for the first 10 minutes. As the game wore on, he was a big presence inside; not only blocking shots, but being in position so that they have to score over his long body.

*It wasn’t surprising that Rod Rucker had a positive impact on the offensive end of the floor for UAB. It was surprising, however, that three of his 14 points came on one shot from the left corner. Yes, Rucker hit a 3-pointer late in Wednesday night’s game, marking his first 3-pointer in 12 attempts while wearing a UAB uniform.

“It feels good,” Rucker said. “I have been joking around with the coaches. In practice, they are trying to get me to jump up more on my jump shots. I had to play around with it. I was able to knock it down.”

“I was surprised,” said Jordan Swing, who had the assist on the play. “I just came off that pick and dished it to him. I didn’t know if he was going to shoot it or not. Coach was probably over there jumping out of his shoes but when he made it, he was alright with it.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that Rucker now gets the green light from outside the 3-point stripe.



*UAB changed its starting lineup for the first time this year because of the absence of C.J. Washington, who was dressed out but did not play due to a banged up knee. Robert Williams started for the first time this season alongside regular starters Chad Frazier, Rod Rucker, Fahro Alihodzic and Jordan Swing.

Haase said afterward that Washington’s status is “day to day.”

“Today is a little bit better than yesterday,” Haase said. “I don’t think it’s something that’s going to last weeks or months or anything like that. Right now it’s just rehab day by day and see how it goes.”

*UAB outrebounded its opponents for the 10th time in 11 games. The Blazers outrebounded Chattanooga, 46-30, with Robert Williams (11 rebound) and Fahro Alihodzic (10 rebounds) leading the way on the boards. Six of Williams’ rebounds came on the offensive end.