BIRMINGHAM – The UAB men’s basketball team will host UNC Asheville to open its 2021-22 regular season under second-year head coach Andy Kennedy. Tuesday night’s game, which will be the 500th regular season game played in Bartow Arena, will tip off at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday night’s regular season opener will stream live on CUSA.tv. It will be the first meeting between the two teams in the respective programs’ histories.
UAB opened its 2021-22 season with a 101-70 exhibition victory over Auburn Montgomery on Monday, Nov. 1, in Bartow Arena. The Blazers scored 67 of their 101 points in the second half. USF transfer guard Justin Brown sparked the second-half surge, going 5-for-5 from behind the 3-point line in the second half. Brown finished the game with a team-high 19 points. Fellow Blazers KJ Buffen, Quan Jackson and Trey Jemison also reached double figures. UAB shot over 52% from the field in the second half to earn the 31-point victory.
UNC Asheville has not played an exhibition contest this season, finishing 10-10 in 2020-21. The Bulldogs finished 9-5 in Big South Conference play this past season, falling to Longwood in the conference tournament quarterfinals. The Bulldogs placed two players on the Preseason All-Conference Teams with returning leading scorer Tajion Jones being named First Team All-Big South and LJ Thrope being named Second Team All-Big South. The Bulldogs also added Tennessee transfer Drew Pember and Lees-McRae transfer Quay Kimble to the 2021-22 roster.
500th *REGULAR SEASON* GAME IN BARTOW
Tuesday night’s game will not only kick off the start of alumnus Andy Kennedy‘s second season back in Birmingham, but it will also mark the 500th regular season game in Bartow Arena. The Blazers have played a total 506 total games in Bartow, but seven of those contests were postseason NIT games where the Blazers hold a 6-1 record. UAB will need just three more home victories to hit 400 regular season victories in its home since the start of the 1988-89 season. UAB holds an all-time record of 403-103 in Bartow Arena, a winning percentage of .796.
In October, the league’s coaches selected UAB as the favorite to win the Conference USA regular season championship. The Blazers, who won a league-best 13 C-USA games this past season, earned eight of the 14 first-place votes.
UAB IN SEASON OPENERS
Tuesday marks the beginning of the 44th season of UAB men’s basketball. The Blazers hold a 29-14 record in season openers, winning their past five lid-lifters.
AK IN SEASON OPENERS
Kennedy is 13-1 in his season-opening contests, almost doubling up Alcorn State 99-50 to open the 2020-21 season. AK’s only setback was at the beginning of the 2014-15 season when Ole Miss fell to eventual Big South Champions Charleston Southern. The Rebels, however, later earned an NCAA Tournament berth and advanced into the second round.
WELCOME TO THE 205
Head coach Andy Kennedy‘s philosophy over the offseason was to target the transfer portal and hit it hard. He succeeded. The Blazers added eight new players over the offseason, all of which were transfers. UAB added three SEC transfers to its 2021-22 roster — KJ Buffen (Ole Miss), Josh LeBlanc, Sr. (LSU) and Jamal Johnson (Auburn). The Blazers also added Division I transfers Jordan Walker (Tulane), Tyreke Locure (South Alabama) and Justin Brown (USF) to round out their six Division I transfers. UAB also added Odessa Junior College teammates AD Diedhiou and Elijah Tate to its roster for the upcoming season.
Blazer men’s basketball games are set to air on 100.5 ESPN JOX 2 with David Crane and Murry Bartow on the call.
In addition, Crane will host Blazer Sportsline every Tuesday beginning Dec. 28. The show takes place live from Iron City Grill in downtown Birmingham and features men’s basketball head coach Andy Kennedy and women’s basketball head coach Randy Norton.
The nine-episode show, airs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Blazer Sportsline can be heard on 100.5 ESPN JOX 2 and fans will be encouraged to tweet questions to @BlazersLIMGC.
Fans may also follow the Blazers this season by downloading the free TuneIn Radio app, online through Blazers All-Access at UABSports.com, or on the UAB Gameday mobile app.
Both games will be streamed through CUSA.tv This is also a subscription-based service.
The Blazers will continue their three-game homestand to open the season with a matchup against defending Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Champions Morehead State on Friday. Friday’s game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. UAB’s second game of 2021-22 will air on Stadium.
MEN’S BASKETBALL TICKET INFORMATION
UAB men’s basketball single-game tickets start as low as $12 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling the UAB Athletics Ticket Office at (205) 975-UAB1. Season tickets are also still on sale and provide the most cost-effective way to attend games during the 2021-22 men’s basketball season with individual season tickets starting as low as $100 within Blaze’s Corner. Season ticket holders also have access to the best seating locations in Bartow Arena. You can request more information or purchase by clicking here.
Discounted group tickets and fan experiences are available for a minimum purchase of 15 tickets to any home basketball game during the 2021-22 season. Groups are encouraged to complete the UAB Basketball Group Ticket Request Form or call the UAB Athletics Ticket Office for more information.