Saturday, February 9, 2013
UAB's standout addition
By Matt Giles
Rod Rucker's decision to commit to UAB was a pivotal step for new coach Jerod Haase. The wing was part of Steve Forbes' first season at Northwest Florida State, and as Brad Winton of Juco Recruiting states, Rucker was transformed in his time with Forbes, buying into his structure and become a team leader almost immediately.
So it is no surprise, then, that Rucker is having a stand-out first season in Birmingham. Rucker is using the highest percentage of minutes on the squad, and while his offensive rating is sub 100, he is the rare mix of player who can attack the glass -- grabbing 10.7 percent of UAB's offensive boards -- and also convert from the perimeter.
According to Rucker, Forbes' decision to move him off the ball has helped accelerate his learning curve at the Division I level. "Coach Forbes said I know you play point guard, but we have a 1 coming in, so could I get job done if I played down low," says Rucker. "The position change has helped me a lot when I arrived at UAB, because I never played on the post before, but now I can play inside and outside."