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Haase signs first recruit, prepares for next season
After 13 seasons of coaching under Roy Williams, Jerod Haase was finally named head coach for the UAB Blazers basketball team this past March. During the introductory press conference Haase explained that he doesn’t have a five year plan—his plan starts now. He has committed to creating a winning program.
Haase sees today’s job is the most important job, and things will go from there. UAB athletic director Brian Mackin is confident that he has found another great addition to the athletic program with Haase. Haase signed a five-year contract with annual incentives.
Jerod Haase isn’t here to play games—he is here to win them. Since March, Haase has been working hard. He hired his first two additions to the UAB coaching staff, Robert Ehsan and Jeff Wulbrun. Both Ehsan and Wulbrun coached at Virginia Tech before joining Haase at UAB. He still has one more assistant coaching position remaining and is expected to fill it soon.
Since adding to his coaching staff, Haase has focused on finding additional players for the team. Haase’s first signee to the team was a versatile junior college transfer, Rod Rucker. Rucker will be transferring from Northwest Florida State College, where he played four positions as a sophomore and received all conference point guard during his freshman season.
Rucker’s recruiting with UAB basketball began while Mike Davis and his coaching staff were still present. Rucker reported he was worried Haase and his new coaching staff might not be interested in him, especially since it’s not like Haase to recruit junior college players. However, Rucker was already on the recruiting board.
“We are very excited to have Rod join the UAB family,” Haase said. “We have a real need for the type of player he is, which is a proven rebounder and a proven warrior. He does all the little things to help his team win games and I think he will be an immediate impact type of player.” Rucker plans to graduate in the spring and be a fifth year graduate student looking for immediate eligibility at another school.
Haase’s second addition was Terence Jones, a 6’2” junior transfer student from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. Jones is expected to graduate this spring and plans to apply for a graduate transfer waiver allowing him to transition into his final season of college sport eligibility at UAB. After being a redshirt for the 2008-2009 season, Jones played in 93 games and started 73 times in three seasons. He averaged three rebounds with nearly two assists per game.
After these two additions, the Blazers have at least two remaining open scholarships for the next season. At this point, forward Ovie Soko is the only player who has announced he will be transferring from UAB. If there are any more defections from the current roster the number of open scholarships could grow. The whole for a big man continues to grow with the departure of Soko and with seniors Cameron Moore, Todd O’Brien and Beas Hamga graduating.
Haase looks to have a productive season in his first year as head coach, and will try to build the team back to postseason form as UAB will try to make the NCAA for just the second time in six years after losing the pre-season C-USA player of the year.