In yet another guard oriented opponent for the Tide, UTPA relies heavily on their senior laden starting lineup that averages 30.6 minutes per starter per game. Starters are Paul Stoll (5-11, senior point guard), Brian Burrell (6-3, senior shooting guard), Dexter Shankle (6-0, senior shooting guard), Zach Trader (6-7, senior forward) and Nathan Hawkins (6-6, sophomore center).
The Broncs lost their opening round game of the tourney to Missouri State (Bama's next opponent) 64-53 this past Monday night.
On offense, UTPA averages 72.6 points per game as a team while being led by Burrell with 15.2 points per game and Trader with 15.1 points per game.
The Broncs shooting percentages are 44.7-percent from the floor, 34.9-percent (90-258) from the three point line, and 73.3-percent from the foul line.
UTPA is a perimeter team with four out of the five starters having made multiple three pointers. The Broncs also make a living from the charity stripe by averaging over 23 attempts per game.
Over half of their team's point average comes by way of the two shooting stripes on the floor. UTPA distributes the ball at the rate of 15.9 assists and 13.8 turnovers per game.
Defensively, UTPA's opponents average 74.5 points per game while averaging 49.3-percent from the floor and 36.4-percent from the arc. The Broncs average 32.1 rebounds, 6.3 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game.
Their opponents have out rebounded them by averaging 34.2 per game while turning it over 16.2 times an outing. Look for UTPA to deploy some type of zone to off-set the Tide's size advantage while cutting off the passing lanes.
For Bama, their shooters will again be given the task of dissolving the opposition's zone in efforts to get the ball inside. Foul shooting continues as an area of needed improvement as the Broncs will likely send the Tide to the foul line instead of an easy basket.
Defensively, Bama will also need to get back on track by out rebounding smaller opposition as they lost that battle against Wofford by double-digits. The Tide should man for most of the game in order to cover up UTPA's shooters.
Look for Bama to lasso the Broncs on their way west to Las Vegas.
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