Troy plays host to in-state rival UAB tonight at 7 p.m. at Trojan Arena.
UAB (3-3) is coming off losses to Illinois State and TCU at the South Padre Island Invitational. Its wins have come over Young Harris College, Navy and Prairie View A&M.
Troy (4-2) has won three straight, but will be outsized, as they will be most of the season, when the Blazers come to town. The Trojans have never defeated UAB in five tries.
“We haven’t beaten UAB yet, so that’s not a rivalry game,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said after the team’s 66-62 win over Alabama State on Sunday. “You can’t have a rivalry if you never win. It should be a good game, though. It should be competitive.
“UAB can really shoot the basketball. They have some great shooters on the outside. But I think if we’re ready to play it will be a very competitive game and it should be good for the fans.”
The Blazers have three players averaging double-digits, Rod Rucker (14.7), Jordan Swing (13.5) and Fahro Alihodzic (11). Troy has just two players who are averaging 10 points or more, Hunter Williams (10.8) and Emil Jones (10).
One good sign for the Trojans is the return of Justin Wright. The senior missed the first five games of the season as he recovered from offseason knee surgery. Wright played 15 minutes against Alabama State and went 1-for-6 from the field, the one basket was a three-pointer.
Troy lost to UAB 71-59 last season in Birmingham.