Bartow will be working extra hard to take up the slack in his team's sometimes sloppy play. The six-point lead UAB blew with 3:30 to play in its NCAA overtime loss to—oh, my—Memphis State was exceeded only by the 19-point lead with 8:55 to play that evaporated against Old Dominion. Behind the starting players there's little experience. Sophomore Michael Charles, a 6'4" swingman, will be first off the bench if he's not starting. In any case, he should increase his average of 16 minutes per game.
Also of concern to Bartow is the fact that UAB finished last in the Sun Belt in scoring and free-throw percentage, and next-to-last in field-goal percentage. But Mitchell insists that the current team is more enlightened. "We've all learned a valuable lesson here," Mitchell says. "Never take fashion tips from your coach."