Scouting Report UAB Blazers

Mick Cronin's Cincinnati Bearcats fresh off a tough lost to rival Xavier on Sunday but get back at it Wednesday night. The Bearcats fell in the polls to 25 after the lost, but must refocus as they travel to take on the 8-1 UAB Blazers. I will post in the forum during the game to keep everyone posted, so get on and let's exchange UC Basketball talk.

Getting to know Bearcat opponent

UAB Blazers (8-1)

Head Coach: Mike Davis, (68-40, 4th season at UAB, 183-119 in 10th season overall)

2009 Record: 22-12, (11-5) in Conference USA

Key Players: Junior Guard Elijah Milsap 15.8 ppg, 9.3 rbp; Forward Howard Crawford 14.2 ppg; Guard Aaron Johnson 9.4 ppg, 4.2 apg

Five Things to Watch

1. Blazers have not played in 12 days due to exams so rust could be factor early and effective UAB's timing.

2. UAB is middle of the pack in Conference USA in rebounding (just over 36 per game), one of Cincinnati's greatest strengths

3. The Bearcats had a tough lose Sunday, but must play with great intensity to get a win over a solid UAB team, who beat a SEC (Southeastern Conference) opponent in Georgia earlier this season.

4. UAB is the second ranked defense in Conference USA, holding opponents to just 59.1 ppg

5. UAB has not played an opponent in the TOP 100 of the RPI (ratings power index)

Key Matchups to Watch

Lance Stephenson vs. Elijah Milsap

Milsap is a 6'6 guard who is a great rebounder averaging over 9 rebounds per game and leads UAB in scoring; this will be another tough matchup for Stephenson who has been UC's best defensive player.

Keys for Bearcats

1. Continue to apply defensive pressure and cause the Blazers in to Turnovers (UAB averages over 11 a game).

2. Get off to fast start, Control crowd early by protecting the Basketball as Blazers turnover opponents (14 turnovers forced per contest) with there aggressive defensively style.

3. Must Defend Elijah Milsap and make him work for every opportunity and get no cheap offensive rebounds.

4. Rebounding, UAB isn't a great rebounding team overall, but there second in Conference USA in offensive rebounding (118, 13.1 per game).

5. Patience offensively will be key, no quick shots force UAB to play defense and where them down, to slow down attacking style.

Cincinnati Leads All-Time Series: 15-9 UC, But UAB holds a 7-3 All-time record at home versus the Bearcats.

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