Sitting at center court in Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala., awaiting 2 p.m. start between Illinois State and UAB. The Redbirds are 3-3, while UAB is 3-5. Not much of a crowd expected here today. Very nice arena with all green seats. It can hold about 8,600, but probably not more than 2K today. Let's get the conversation going.
UAB has some familiar Bloomington-Normal faces as I noted in my pregame story. Central Catholic grad Nick Norton is the Blazers' starting PG and has done an outstanding job against some of best teams in country in Wisconsin, Florida and UCLA. The Blazers' associate coach is former ISU assistant and Central Catholic head coach Jeff Wulbrun. Had a chance to talk with Jeff before the game. The same great guy and just loves being in Birmingham.
Today's game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net Chicago. The announcers are from the American Sports Network with Conference USA announcers.
Good question. I asked Dan about that on Friday. He said couldn't really play 3 guys at 5 spot vs. VCU. Seems MiKyle is taking a lot of the spare minutes at the 4. But I also got the impression that John Jones didn't practice very well before VCU. Dan said practice determines a lot who will play, so read into that what you want. If JJ practiced better in the last couple days, we'll see him today. My guess is he will be in game before Ransom today.
Not much of a crowd here 23 minutes before the tip. Really, really poor.
Is Buckeye Girl happy today with Ohio State getting the No. 4 seed in College Football Playoff?
They had a Black Out Bartow on Thu in protest of dropping the football program and had a season "high" crowd of 3,029. Yes, high.
UAB has some long, athletic looking players. Just shook hands a minute ago with Nick Norton. Great kid from a great family.
Eight of you on here ... some of you have questions or comments. I like comments.
If listening on radio today, Eric Stock is pinch-hitting for Dick Luedtke, who did the ISU football playoff game on Saturday in Normal. Redbirds go to Eastern Washington at 3 p.m. Saturday for quarterfinal playoff game.
Actually, play by play announcer today is former WHOI sportscaster Doug Bell. Some of you old-timers will remember him.
See Scott Hendrichs talking to Coach Muller. Heard Scottie and Mike Cushing played a little golf down here the last two days. I bet Cush whipped him pretty good.
Mike Matthews just tossed an Orange Slice to Bobby Hunter. Whatever works...
15 minutes left ... questions, pleeze
I think Daishon Knight is going to have a big game today. He seems due. Who does everyone else think might go off today?
Gotta say watching Justin MCloud warming up, he's got a pretty pure stroke. Only problem is a lot of 2 guards on team ahead of him. He'll play next year.
In all probability, yes. I've been told for it to go away will take about 6-8 weeks after season not doing anything strenuous. Got to keep the fingers crossed.
I agree would like to see the posts react faster. It could improve as rotations shorten and same guys on the court more together.
I think Paris Lee is one of ISU's least concerns. Agree it would be nice if he could shoot better, which he did vs. VCU, but he's by far best ball handler on team and good on-ball defender.
Two minutes left til horn sounds. Any last questions?
Really think ISU will come out fast today and try to get on top early and keep pressure up. UAB has faced Wisconsin, Florida and UCLA, so they won't back down. Not going to be much home court advantage.
Thanks for participating. We will do so again a week from today before ISU faces DePaul in Rosemont.