Men's Basketball Game Notes Versus Virginia Commonwealth

Game No. 11: December 30, 2000
Virginia Commonwealth (7-5) at UAB (5-5)
Bartow Arena (8,500), Birmingham, Ala. (7 pm)

G, 4, LeAndrew Bass, 6-3, 205, Sr., Birmingham, Ala. , 16.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
G, 21, Tony Johnson, 6-4, 180, So., Morganfield, Ky., 4.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg
F, 30, Eric Batchelor, 6-7, 210, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F, 11, David Walker, 6-5, 205, Sr., Springfield, Tenn., 12.2ppg , 7.9 rpg
C, 54, Will Campbell, 6-8, 245, Jr., Elmira, N.Y., 4.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg

TODAY'S OFFICIALS: Rick Hartzell (Referee), Terry Noble & Mark Schnur (Umpires).

UAB HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: Murry Bartow (UAB, 1985) is in his 5th season as head coach of the Blazers. He has a 78-57 (.578) 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

UAB IN 23RD YEAR OF BASKETBALL: The Blazers have accumulated a 443-241 overall record in this their 23rd season of basketball for a 64.8 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.

BARTOW ANNOUNCES RANSOM AND FINLEY TO REDSHIRT: UAB coach Murry Bartow has announced both Myron Ransom and Morris Finley will redshirt this season due to injury. Ransom, a senior from Birmingham, tore his ACL in his right knee in a game over the summer, while the sophomore Finley from LaFayette, Ala., sustained a fractured vertebra in his back earlier this fall. Sophomore Sidney Ball, who has also been sidelined with a knee problem, returned to practice Thursday.

AGAINST THE RAMS: The meeting with the Rams will be the 31st between the two schools in men's basketball and the first clash since Jan. 23, 1991, when the Blazers collected an 89-68 win at the Bartow Arena. The Blazers have won five of the last six meetings and eight of the last 11. UAB holds a 12-4 mark over the Rams in Birmingham and have won all three previous meetings held here in Bartow Arena. The two teams were both members of the Sun Belt Conference at one time as the Blazes were a member of the league from the 1979-80 season until 1990-91. The game will be the first time the two teams have met with it not being a SBC regular season or tournament contest. The Blazers collected a 12-12 mark against the Rams in SBC regular season tilts and were 4-2 in conference tournament games.

Virginia Commonwealth (UAB leads 16-14)
1/7/80 W 82-71 BJCC
2/10/80 L 75-90 A
2/25/80 L 88-105 N
1/10/81 W 6765 BJCC
2/15/81 L 69-79 A
3/1/81 L 61-62/ot N
1/2/82 L 54-55 BJCC
2/20/82 W 56-55 A
2/28/82 W 94-83 BJCC
1/4/83 L 65-67 BJCC
2/17/83 L 68-80 A
3/5/83 W 61-59 BJCC
1/19/84 L 61-63 BJCC
2/6/84 L 43-49 A
3/3/84 W 54-52 BJCC
1/26/85 W 66-62 BJCC
2/13/85 L 53-67 A
1/9/86 W 72-70/ot BJCC
2/6/86 L 57-63 A
1/20/87 W 79-70 A
2/5/87 W 79-71 BJCC
2/4/88 W 78-64 A
2/13/88 L 88-89 BJCC
1/26/89 L 75-79 A
2/23/89 W 78-62 ARE
1/18/90 W 80-59 A
2/8/90 W 74-51 ARE
3/3/90 W 83-68 BJCC
1/7/91 L 64-66 A
1/23/91 W 89-68 ARE

DECEMBER GAMES: The Blazers play some of their best basketball in the month of December as they have accumulated an 81.9 percent winning mark during the the final month of the calendar year. UAB is 149-33 all time in the month of December.

NON-CONFERENCE HOME AFFAIRS: UAB has captured eight of the last nine non-conference games at Bartow Arena and Murry Bartow is 25-3 (.893) against non-conference foes in the Arena.

LONGEST ROAD SWING FINISHED: Just prior to Christmas, the Blazers completed their longest road swing of the season - four games in eight days - and went 1-3 over that span with their only victory coming against Cal State Northridge in Hawai'i's Nike Festival. In fact the final game of the trip against Hawai'i, UAB also completed string of playing six of eight games on the road.

REBOUNDING MARGIN: This season the Blazers are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of 4.6 per contest as they have accumulated 39.0 board per game. UAB has outrebound its foes five times - every time in double digits - and has won each of those contests.

LINEUP CHANGES: Through the first 10 games, the Blazers have started five different lineups and eight UAB players have made at least one start. Only senior LeAndrew Bass and junior Eric Batchelor have started every game for UAB this season.

HITTING FREE THROWS: UAB is hitting 72.5 percent of its free throws this season and have collected a pair of 80 percent or better nights at the line this season and four times have hit at least 70 percent from the stripe.

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 IS SEVENTH IN CAREER ASSISTS: Senior LeAndrew Bass finds himself in seventh place on the UAB career chart for assists with 321. Bass needs nine to move into sixth place ahead of Cedric Dixon, who collected 329 from 1994 to 1998.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: In the Blazers' first 10 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).

DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR THE BLAZERS: David Walker has amassed three of UAB's four double-double including two in the Nike Festival in Hawai'i. For his career, Walker has notched nine double-doubles including a career-tying 20 points and career-best 13 rebounds against Hawai'i (12/23). Will Campbell collected the other double-double for the Blazers. In only his second game as a Blazer versus LaSalle (11/25), Campbell collected 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: UAB continues its three-game homestand next Wednesday when they face Alcorn State who has accumulated a 2-8 record after a Dec. 22 loss versus Buffalo 74-69. The Blazers lead the all-time series 3-0.