University of Alabama - Birmingham (Green and Yellow) WHERE:
PMAC (13,215, 47th largest NCAA) WHEN:
Saturday, December 21st - 4:00PM HOW:
TV: CST, Radio: 98.1FM, Stream: ESPN3.com
After a gritty win over Texas Tech, LSU goes on to face a veteran UAB team. UAB already has wins over Rutgers, Nebraska, and UNC. Yes, that UNC. They start 3 seniors and 2 juniors and are the leading rebounding team in the country. They also don't start anyone under 6'4". The Blazers are very good.
While they don't particularly shoot well, They offensive rebound 42.7% of their missed baskets. They outrebounded UNC 52-37. They are currently holding teams to 26.5% three point shooting and have the 10th best FTA/FGA defense. They don't foul and they rebound.
There are a few spots that they do not excel. They are dead last, 351st, in the NCAA in forcing turnovers. They turn their opponents over 11.8% of the time. For reference, LSU forces turnovers 18.4% of the time. That is very good for an LSU team who has been prone to turning it over. They are also shooting only 46.5% inside the arc. LSU is shooting 53.5% from that range. LSU's defense has held opponents to only 41.1% (14th NCAA) in that category which could mean a long night shooting for UAB.
It will be interesting to see how LSU plans on defensing these tall guards. Jones has shown he trusts Stringer to guard larger players, but Morgan and Quarterman's roles could increase due to the Blazers size advantage.
Coleman didn't start against Texas Tech, but still carried the majority of the minutes. Over his last 6 games he is shooting 11/18 from deep for an incredible 61%. He has at least 2 three pointers in 5 of those 6 games. Keys to the Game: Rebounding
- UAB probably outrebounds LSU in this one, however, LSU must keep it close. The Tigers have to find a way to keep Blazers out of the paint and away from rebounding positions. Turnovers
- If LSU allows a large rebounding margin, they have to protect the ball. UAB hasn't forced turnovers this year. The Tigers cannot buck that trend and throw away 15+ possessions. Energy
- LSU beat Texas Tech by being the first to every ball. They were more motivated and out hustled the Red Raiders. LSU has to continue that trend in the PMAC.
UAB would easily be a top half SEC team. This could turn out to be one of the best home games of the season. The Tigers NEED you to come support them this weekend for an afternoon game that could really jump-start this team. Prediction:
LSU 80, UAB 74