By Ryan Nelson (@TheRyanNelson_)
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Welcome to '#Blockingham'
UAB is 21st in the country in total blocks (42), and the Blazers are coming off their second double-digit block performance (11) of the season against Alabama A&M. The Blazers are first in Conference USA in blocks. Louisiana Tech is second with 25 on the season.
F William Lee ranks 19th in the country with 21 blocks on the season.
By comparison, the Auburn Tigers have just over half as many blocks on the season (26). Auburn ranks ninth in the SEC in blocks. For perspective, the Blazers would rank third in the SEC in blocks. Only No. 1 Kentucky (53), and No. 24 Florida (50), have more.
The Blazers are scorching, but only in spurts
The Blazers shot an impressive 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the field in the second half of action. F Tosin Mehinti, who came off the bench, went 5-of-5 from the field on the way to a 13-point performance.
Head coach Robert Ehasn emptied his entire bench early in the second half against Alabama A&M. By the time his starters returned with 8:53 left in the game, the Blazers were in front 59-37. Bench players G Javien Williams, G Nate Darling, G Denzell Watts, G Tyler Madison, and Mehinti, combined for 34 points.
The Blazers rarely burn their halftime leads
UAB was 20-2 in the 2015-16 when taking a lead into halftime. Through seven games, the Blazers are 4-1 when taking a lead into the second half.
The Blazers are scoring just 73.7 PPG, which is tied for 200th in the country. Moreover, the Blazers lead Conference USA with 106 turnovers this season.
The Blazers will need to find an offensive spurt, and avoid turnovers against the Tigers. Auburn ranks 28th in the country in steals per game (9), and leads the SEC in steals (54).
UAB head coach Robert Ehsan on Tosin Mehinti’s performance …
“We need to get Tosin playing at the level that he’s capable of. 13 points and five rebounds and maybe the best thing was three blocks, that’s the Tosin that we know and we need to get that more often.”
UAB Forward William Lee on the team’s defensive effort versus Alabama A&M…
“The first half we got off to a slow start on the defensive end, but picked it up a little bit. Second half was the same thing, we got off to a slow start but at the end of the day we held them to 45 points. That’s pretty good.”
Senior forward Tosin Mehinti…
“He told us in the locker room to go in and play hard and play defense. Right now coach is more worried about us playing hard every time. When the first group went in he didn’t feel that there was a lot of energy out there so he put us in. He told us to go in and play defense.”