Mick Cronin and the Bearcats hit the road Saturday and go into one of the toughest arena's from UC's days in Conference USA. UAB plays in Gene Bartow arena; it seats 8500 and has more often than not been a house of pain for the Bearcats. UAB owns a home record of 6-3 all time over UC.
The UAB Blazers head coach is Mike Davis formerly of Indiana. In his first season Davis led his team to a 15-16 record, but eight new comers to the roster has revamped the lineup. This season the Blazers are 5 -3 with a schedule similar to UC's. The biggest test was against Florida State which resulted in an eight point loss.
The Blazer lineup has been completely overhauled, 5 of the top 6 players with minutes played are new this season. The top scorer is 6-5 225 lb guard Robert Vaden who was an All Big Ten performer is a transfer from Indiana. This will be great test for UC freshman Larry Davis to see how far his development has come. Vaden averages 18.9 ppg.
On the baseline UAB offer both size and athletes who can move. Walter Sharpe is a 6-9 forward who started his career at Mississippi State. Sharpe plays all around big man game averaging 15.3 ppg to go with 7.4 rebounds and 15 blocks.
UAB's other big man is Reggie Huffman from Western Oklahoma JC. Huffman goes 6-7 and averages 10 ppg. What Huffman does is give UAB second chance opportunities on offense; he has 23 offensive rebounds for the season. His output on the offensive glass equals John Williamson (18 in 6 games) and doubles Adam Hrycaniuk (10 in 6 games).
I've said from the beginning of the season that success for this season's Bearcats will be measured more by progress made than wins and loses. UAB with their height and athleticism and a coach that has taken teams deep into the NCAA tournament will be a very good measuring stick to see how far UC has come.
Preview UAB Blazers
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