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Previewing UAB

2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan
2010 Stats
2010 Roster
2010 Schedule


UAB Offense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.3 79
Turnover Rate 16.4 9
Off Reb Rate 28.6 295
FTA/FGA 34.6 215
UAB Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.4 239
Turnover Rate 20.4 169
Off Reb Rate 35.5 70
FTA/FGA 45.4 32







Mike Davis's '09 club, led by fellow Indiana refugee Robert Vaden and the freak of nature otherwise known as Paul Delaney (dude is 6-2, attempted 263 twos, and made 60% of them), succeeded by scoring efficiently inside the arc and taking care of the basketball, the other stuff be damned.  The character of this year's team is completely different, which is understandable considering the team endured a significant amount of roster turnover.

The Blazers are more about winning ugly these days, crashing the glass and attacking the rim to earn as many trips to the line as possible with the hope that it will mask some of their poor shooting.  If nothing else, it's evidence that Davis is perceptive enough to make critical adjustments--if you can't shoot, you'd best hit the boards.

Give Davis credit: he's held it all together.  This offense isn't as effective as it was a year ago, but the results are the same (22-12, 11-5 in '09; 24-8, 11-5 in '10).  As is so often the case with mid-major programs, they've won in spite of continuity, not because of it.  Six seniors left the program after last season.  Relying on jucos and assorted D-I transfers has to drive coaches a little bit mad.

There are a lot of similarities between this offense and South Florida's.  UAB is a bit worse from two, a bit better from three, and a bit more inclined to attempt threes.  Both need to grab their own misses and get to the line in order to be successful.  Both shoot free throws at an average rate, both rely on guard-heavy lineups.

So the plan shouldn't change much for Sidney Lowe and his staff, which is nice.  They can take the lessons learned from South Florida and apply them to UAB.


Aaron Johnson (5-8, 185) -- His size, steal rate, and free throw rate point to a player that is very, very quick.  His first two years, he struggled from the field the way you might expect from a 5-8 kid.  This season he's had no trouble scoring inside or out.  He's a scary but small part of the offense, less interested in shooting than distributing the ball to his teammates.  Turnovers have been a problem throughout his career.

Jamarr Sanders (6-4, 200) -- UAB's biggest outside threat, no question.  He's no good from two; gotta make him put it on the floor.

Elijah Millsap (6-6, 210) -- A similarly-built, poor man's Do Jo in many ways--he's a combo guard that needs to draw fouls in order to be efficient and isn't very effective from outside.  Millsap isn't the ballhandler or free throw shooter that Jones is, but he is an exceptional rebounder at both ends.  I love combo guys that can rebound.  His rebounding percentages are good by any standard, but for a 6-6 guy? Incredible.  And that's what's especially tough about him.  You have to be aware of him at all times not just because he's the go-to guy offensively, but also because he's a threat to grab a rebound at either end at any time.  He makes for two different sets of concerns, potentially requiring two different types of defenders.  That's tough.

Ovie Soko (6-8, 225) -- UAB goes with four guards more often than not, but I think Soko will get the nod out of necessity.  The five fouls he has to give are about the extent of his utility.

Howard Crawford (6-8, 240) -- Crawford was excellent as a complementary scorer in 2008 and 2009.  He's had to step up into the #2 spot this season and takes over a quarter of the team's shots, which has hurt his effectiveness inside.  But he's diversified his game by adding a reliable-if-occasional outside shot, and he's no liability at the free throw line.  Good offensive rebounder, poor defensive rebounder.


George Drake (6-4, 215), Kenneth Cooper (6-10, 260), Dexter Fields (6-2, 190), Cameron Moore (6-10, 225).  If Soko doesn't start, Drake most likely will.  Drake's terrible shooting at Vanderbilt transferred along with him to UAB.  Unfortunately for the Blazers, he's their second most frequent outside shooter (23-105, .219).  Knock it off, George.  Fields appears to have some promise but takes too many shots in general and too many threes in particular.  Cooper rebounds well but is not someone UAB wants attempting shots in the paint.


UAB Defense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.9 112
Turnover Rate 20.3 167
Off Reb Rate 29.1 34
FTA/FGA 30.4 45
UAB Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 45.4 40
Turnover Rate 21.5 96
Off Reb Rate 28.0 24
FTA/FGA 37.5 175







The Blazers' real strength is at this end; they've been a top-40 defense in each of the last two seasons.  Their interior defense is good, in terms of both field goal percentage and defensive rebounding percentage.  Looks like a big challenge for Tracy.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes UAB by three.  UAB is as methodical as we are, so don't be surprised if we find ourselves in the 50s once again.