There are the normal people. Like you and me. Then there are hipsters. They were reading my articles before they were cool. Then there are internet hipsters. They’ve brought us phrases like “OMG” and of course “Cool story bro. Needs more Dragons.” Well, good news internet hipsters. You’re going to love this article.
I’m going to give you a high level look at UAB’s basketball program, and what UNC will be looking towards when they meet on December 1st. The Blazers, who have a dragon as their team logo, look like a team UNC should not worry about. That’s exactly what they want you to think.
You say they were 16-17 last year. Fair point. I’d tell you that they had a new coach with a new philosophy and learning a new way to play doesn’t happen overnight. I’d also tell you they lost one of their top five scorers from last year. That means they’ve had a full year to get on board with Jerrod Haase and his new system.
Speaking of Coach Haase, here’s a guy that knows the UNC system pretty well. Just a few guys down from him is Bobby Frasor, who ran that system just a few years ago. So to summarize, team with a mediocre record last year that oh, by the way, lost to UNC and will likely get overlooked. Check. Team that has a good volume of scoring coming back. Check. Team that has intimate knowledge of UNC and how they do things. Check. Nervous yet? This team should garner a healthy respect.
The Blazers aren’t very tall. Their tallest player is 6’10 and they only have three players above 6’7. Height will be on UNC’s side. We well know that height doesn’t win games. It helps though.
Rod Rucker is returning as last year’s leading scorer, putting in just over 14 ppg last year and just over 8 rpg. Jordan Swing will be the 3 point threat, as he shot 36% from behind the arc last season. He was also a perfect 5 for 5 against UNC last year.
This team will fight hard, and they will give UNC their best shot. If UNC underestimates this team, they could lose. If UNC comes out prepared and focused, the win should go to UNC.