Just two days after it was reported that rising senior point guard Quincy Taylor has decided to transfer from UAB, head coach Jerod Haase landed an important recruit in the form of Gulf Coast State guard Chad Frazier (6-4, 190 pounds).
In 29 games this season Frazier, who at various points in his career committed to Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per contest.
Frazier’s decision is a big one for the Blazers as Taylor (3.0 apg) and Terence Jones (3.6 apg) were the team leaders in assists last season. UAB welcomes three point guards among its seven newcomers, as Frazier joins incoming freshmen Dayshawn Watkins and Denzel Watts.
Both Watkins and Watts have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UAB.
Leading scorers Rod Rucker (14.5 ppg, 82 rpg) and Jordan Swing (14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.7 apg) return for the 2013-14 season, and with many of Conference USA’s best basketball programs moving to the American Athletic Conference this summer the Blazers may be able to improve their status within the conference.
How successful Haase and his staff are in doing so will hinge on how well the returnees mesh with the seven newcomers.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.