In case you missed it, be sure to check out Tuco's answers to UAB Basketball blog "The Daily Dragon."
Auburn is currently sitting at 5-1 for the season and looking to continue building momentum in the non-conference schedule before beginning SEC play at the end of the month. It's been a fun start to the season for Tigers fans. There are certainly issues like not closing out games well, but the talent on the court is so obviously deeper and more talented than years past.
Over the last few years, there is no doubt that UAB has been the best basketball team in the state of Alabama. They've been to the NCAA Tournament. They've been competitive for conference titles and other tournament births. Auburn's victory over the Blazers to begin last season's campaign was a big deal because of that.
For the Blazers, big man Chris Cokley has been the leading scorer. The 6'8, 229 lbs junior is averaging 13.7 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. He's not the only Blazer in double figures, as Dirk Williams and William Lee are averaging 11.3 and 10.4 ppg respectively.
UAB is 4-3 on the season, but two of those three losses are to top 15 teams. They lost 83-63 to #5 Kansas and 76-63 to #15 St. Mary's. The other loss was a bad 84-74 to Furman at home.
You can bet the Blazers and their fans are going to be hyped for this game. Last year's game came down to the last second and a Horace Spencer block to seal the win for the Tigers.
Auburn is going to have to play a complete game in this one - something they've struggled with at times - to come away with the win. Auburn also has three players averaging 10+ per game. For the Tigers, they're all freshmen.
Mustapha Heron leads the way with 16.2 ppg. He's followed by Danjel Purifoy with 14.7 and Jared Harper with 10.5. The Tigers will need good production from all three in this one, and it would help if the three point shooting arose from the cold dark grave it seems to have fallen into over the last two games. If Bryce Brown ever breaks out of the slump he's been in, then the Tigers could score a lot of points in a hurry.
One thing that bodes well for Auburn is that UAB doesn't really have a huge size advantage. The Blazers have two players who are 6'9, but otherwise, they're pretty close to the Tigers in size. The intensity of play, how well Auburn plays defense, and the shooting from beyond the arc could be the deciding factors tonight in Bartow Arena.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 8:30 Eastern / 7:30 Central
TV: beIN SPORTS
What the heck is a beIN SPORTS!?!?!
Stream: Well, if you don't get that channel, thankfully you can still stream the game on the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.
Listen: Auburn Sports Network