GAME THREAD: UAB vs FAU - 02/08/14 @ 7:00 PM
What: UAB (14-8, 3-5 C-USA) vs FAU (8-15, 3-5 C-USA)
When: Saturday, February 8th @ 7:00 PM
Where: FAU Arena
Live Video: Here *FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Live Stats: Here
Blazer Team Site: Here
G Chad Frazier 18.1 ppg
G Robert Williams 9.0 ppg
F Rod Rucker 10.8 ppg
F C.J. Washington 14.5 ppg
C Fahro Alihodzic 9.3 ppg
G Marquan Botley 9.9 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 10.0 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 18.2 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.3 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.7 ppg
The teams have met just one time. The Blazers came away victorious by a 76-43 margin back on December 22, 2008 in Jarvis' first year as Head Coach for FAU. The Owls struggled from long range, connecting on just 3-of-20 attempts (15.0%), and were led by former standout Paul Graham's 16 point effort.
UAB at a Glance:
UAB travels to Boca Raton Saturday night after being upset by FIU in the final minutes of the game.
The team’s loss to the Panthers continues a trend for the Blazers in that they can’t win conference games. They had no problem upsetting No. 16 North Carolina early in the season, nor do they have problems beating almost everyone else on their schedule that does not have C-USA stitched on their jersey. Five of the squad’s eight losses have come to conference opponents.
UAB’s main playmaker is guard Chad Frazier. The junior picked up his eighth 20+ performance Thursday night against FIU, while also leading the team in assist and blocks. The JUCO transfer has made an immediate impact for the Blazers and leads the squad in points per game (18.1) and assists per game (4.4). Frazier’s points average has landed him 3rd in Conference USA.
Aiding Frazier’s scoring efforts is fellow JUCO transfer CJ Washington. Similar to Frazier, the junior has a knack for scoring points (14.5 ppg). Four of the Blazers starters average 6+ rebounds per game and are ranked amongst the top 20 contributors in the conference. Washington uses all 6’8” of his frame to lead the way. Overall, UAB is number two in the nation with 46.2 per outing.
Senior forward Rod Rucker has not lived up to the hype he built last year. Rucker finished the 2013 season leading the team in scoring, rebounds, and FG%. And while the senior has fallen in the background due to the stellar play of the two JUCO transfers, don’t sleep on Rucker as he can still put up an easy 20 points if you let him.
The team is a talented group of athletes that have the potential to win on the big stage. UAB’s head coach Jerod Haase is a Roy Williams product and it is evident in the similar styles of play between UNC and UAB.
When the Blazers do lose, it is not without a fight. The squad has only three losses when they were outscored by more than ten: Temple (87-66), LSU (86-63), and North Texas (76-65).
FAU at a Glance:
Despite a valiant effort in the final minutes by Marquan Botley the Owls loss to Middle Tennessee Thursday night knocked them to 8-15 on the season and 3-5 in the conference.
“I know that our guys are going to fight,” said head coach Mike Jarvis. “To me it is like a 15 round championship fight, and as long as these guys keep fighting anything is possible and hopefully we will get healthy and then I think we can do some damage.”
Marquan Botley finished the game with 19 points and 5 assists, with five of his six made attempts coming from beyond the arc. Botley’s assist numbers and his ability to protect the ball would give him the second best assist to turnover ratio in the conference at 2.55 to one if he had the required three per game fro consideration.
However, as is usually the case, Coach Jarvis however is still expecting more out of his rising star.
“I see a kid who is getting better, but I do not see the kid I want yet. I want to see him more on defense. He is shooting the ball better than I ever thought he could, and now I am expecting more from him, particularly on defense. He needs to become more of a nuisance on that side of the ball,” stated Jarvis.
Although Botley was player of the game, it was Pablo Bertone who walked away with the most memorable night. In the fourth minute of the second half Bertone became the 11th Owl in program history to score 1,000 career points, and he made the most of the evening tallying 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Center Justin Raffington was limited to just four points after throwing down 19 against Marshall. The outing dropped his points average under double-digit mark though his lack of scoring did not effect his aggression for rebounds. FAU’s big man finished the night with 10 boards, his 12th double-digit rebounding effort of the season.
FAU has lost 3 of the last 4 games with an average margin of loss coming in at 7.3 ppg. The Owls need to get their offense rolling earlier in the next eight games if they hope to have any momentum going into the Conference USA tournament.
Owl's Nest Prediction
This one could go either way in all reality. FAU showed resiliency against a tough MTSU opponent as evidenced in the potential comeback, however we think that UAB's physicality and scoring ability will prove to be the difference.
G Chad Frazier
G Robert Williams
F Rod Rucker
F C.J. Washington
C Fahro Alihodzic
G Marquan Botley
G Jackson Trapp
G Pablo Bertone
F Kelvin Penn
C Justin Raffington
Looks like no action from them tonight.
UAB gains first possession and makes quick points out of it.
FAU 4 UAB 4
But UAB answers..
Still tied at 7!
FAU 9 UAB 11
Owls start the game hot! Pablo Bertone leads the offense with 7 points!