Jan. 6, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will play its first Southeastern Conference contest of the season when it hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU. This will mark the lone contest between the Tide and Commodores this season and will mark the 133rd meeting between the longtime rivals.
Tuesday night's contest will be televised on ESPNU, with Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Dino Gaudio (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) calling all the action. The Alabama radio call can also be heard nationally on Sirius Channel 108 and XM Channel 199. There will be live updates throughout the game available on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Vanderbilt and Alabama will meet for the 133rd time in series history on Tuesday night, making the Commodores the ninth-most common opponent in UA program history. Alabama owns a 67-65 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1923-24 season. The Tide has an all-time record of 42-18 when playing Vanderbilt in Tuscaloosa, including a 24-11 mark when the two teams square off in Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns an 92-59 (.609) record during his time at the Capstone and is 168-84 (.667) in eight seasons as a head coach. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings is in his 15th season and has guided the Commodores to a record of 285-180 (.613). Now in his 21st season as a head coach, Stallings has a career record of 408-243 (.627).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
Alabama leads all SEC schools with 12 straight home wins vs. league competition coming into Tuesday night's contest vs. Vanderbilt. The last time an Alabama team lost at home against an SEC opponent came when it dropped a 61-52 decision to then-No. 14 Florida on Feb. 14, 2012.
Guards Retin Obasohan leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 2.9 steals a game, while Trevor Releford's 2.5 steals per contest ranks second in the league and 14th in the nation. Together, the duo is averaging 5.4 steals per game, which ranks second in the NCAA among all duos in terms of takeaways.
Alabama's non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN.com. In fact, the Tide's seven losses have come against teams with a combined record of 79-21 (.790) as of Jan. 6 [Oklahoma, 12-2; Duke, 11-3; Drexel, 8-5; USF, 9-6; Wichita State, 15-0; Xavier, 12-3; UCLA, 12-2].
All seven of Alabama's losses have been by 10 or fewer points for a combined total of 39 points (5.6 points per loss).
- The Crimson Tide has a record of 42-13 (.764) when it scores at least 70 points in a game under head coach Anthony Grant. However, UA has lost 19 straight games when allowing 70 or more points in a contest.
Alabama snapped a three-game losing streak when it captured a 64-56 victory over Robert Morris this past Saturday. The eight-point win marked the first time this season the Crimson Tide has won a game when decided by 10 or fewer points (1-7). Senior guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with a game-high 18 points and a career-best tying six steals, while sophomore guard Retin Obasohan added 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals off the bench.
Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 18.5 points per game, which ranks sixth in the SEC. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 52.4 percent (75-of-143) of his shots from the floor and a team-best 42.9 percent (30-of-70) from beyond the arc, while also averaging 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
Obasohan also averaging double figures with 12.8 points per game. He tops SEC and ranks sixth nationally with 2.9 steals per game, while also leading Alabama in blocks per contest (1.3) and free throws made (67) and attempted (89).
Junior guard Levi Randolph (9.9 ppg) and junior forward Nick Jacobs (9.6 ppg) both average more than nine points a game. Randolph also ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.5 rpg) and three-point field goal percentage (.350, 14-of-40).
Alabama currently ranks third in the SEC and 22nd in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.6 percent). The Tide also ranks third the SEC in free throw shooting (.706). Furthermore, UA ranks among the SEC and national leaders in blocked shots (5.3 bpg; 6th/47th) and steals (7.8 spg; 5th/55th) per game.
As a team, UA is shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is outrebounding the competition by 0.8 rebounds a game (34.9-34.1) and outscoring foes by 5.9 points a game (72.6-66.7).
ALABAMA-ROBERT MORRIS: QUICK HITS
Last Saturday's contest between Alabama and Robert Morris marked the first time the two teams have played on the hardwood.
After trailing by three points at the half (23-20), Alabama outscored Robert Morris 44-33 over the final 20 minutes. It is the first time this season that the Tide has won a game when trailing at the half (1-4).
Trevor Releford finished with a career-high tying six steals on the night. It marked his second consecutive game with five or more steals, which is the second time in his career he has achieved that feat. The only other time came during his sophomore season when he collected five steals in two consecutive contests against Ole Miss (2/4/12) and at Auburn (2/7/12).
Alabama shot 64 percent (16-of-25) in the second half and finished shooting 54.5 percent for the game. It was the Tide's third-highest field goal percentage for a game this season.
The Crimson Tide outrebounded Robert Morris, 29-23. Alabama improves to 6-1 this season when owning the advantage on the glass (0-6 when being outrebounded).
The Tide finished the contest with a season-high 12 steals and forced Robert Morris into 19 turnovers. As a result, Alabama finished the contest with a 26-17 advantage in points off turnovers.
ALABAMA-VANDERBILT - SERIES NOTES
Alabama and Vanderbilt will play for the 133rd time in series history, with the Tide holding a slim 67-65 lead in the all-time series.
Eight of the last nine games played between the two teams have been decided by 10 or fewer points, with six of those contests being decided by five or fewer points.
The Tide captured a 58-54 win at Vanderbilt last season. Prior to that victory, Alabama had lost 11 straight games at Memorial Coliseum, dating back to 1987.
Alabama has a record of 42-18 when playing Vanderbilt in Tuscaloosa, including a 24-11 mark at Coleman Coliseum. However, the Commodores have won two consecutive games over the Crimson Tide under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum.
There has been 11 overtime contests in series history, with Vanderbilt winning seven of those games (7-4).
This year's match-up will mark the lone meeting between the two schools.
The series began during 1923-24 campaign.
Alabama will play its first road game in SEC play when it travels to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 11. The contest is set to tipoff at 3 p.m. CT and will be televised on SECTV.
Saturday's match-up will mark the 141st meeting between the two teams, which is the sixth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Tide owns a 93-47 lead in the all-time series.
Seventeen of the last 20 meetings have been decided by 10 or fewer points.
Alabama has won 12 of the last 17 meetings overall in the series, including five straight and six of the last seven.
This year's match-up will mark the lone meeting between the two schools.
Guards Trevor Releford and Retin Obasohan both rank among the nation's leaders in steals per game as Alabama enters SEC play.
Obasohan leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 2.9 steals a game, while Releford's 2.5 steals per contest ranks second in the league and 14th in the nation.
Together, the duo is averaging 5.4 steals per game, which second in the NCAA among all duos in terms of takeaways.
Below is the top-five duos in the nation (as of Jan. 6) in combined steals per game:
1. Weber (3.9)/Brandenburg (1.9) - VCU 5.8
2. Obasohan (2.9)/Releford (2.5) - Alabama 5.4
3. Adams (3.3)/Anderson (1.8) - UCLA 5.1
4. Hammond (2.8)/Mosley (2.2) - Ark. Pine Bluff 5.0
5. Ennis (2.7)/Cooney (2.2) - Syracuse 4.9
LETTING THE GAME "RUN" AWAY
Alabama comes into SEC play with a 6-7 overall record. But the Tide's record could look entirely different had UA finished some of the close games it has lost.
Alabama has a record of 1-7 this season in contests that have been decided by 10 or fewer points. The Tide's seven losses have been by a combined total of 39 points - an average of 5.4 points per game.
In each of its seven losses, Alabama either held the lead or was within striking distance late in a game. However, in each instance, the Tide allowed the opposition to go on a game-deciding run late in the second half.
Below is a break down of each loss, including the decisive run that occurred.
OPP Score (time) Opp. Run | run-length | score Final
vs. Okla. 66-67 (6:07) 10-1 | 5:01 | 67-77 73-82
vs. Duke 51-56 (5:17) 13-8 | 4:44 | 59-69 64-74
vs. Drexel 61-57 (1:07) 4-0 | 1:07 | 61-61 83-85 (3ot)
at USF 46-42 (10:34) 18-6 | 8:03 | 52-60 64-66
Wichita St. 58-58 (4:44) 13-8 | 3:33 | 66-71 67-72
Xavier 57-50 (8:30) 18-6 | 5:24 | 63-68 74-77
at UCLA 67-67 (1:34) 8-0 | 1:34 | 67-75 67-75
Alabama's non-conference strength of schedule is ranked as the fourth-toughest in Division I by ESPN.com.
The Tide's seven losses have come against teams with a combined record of 79-21 (.790) as of Jan. 6 [Oklahoma, 12-2; Duke, 11-3; Drexel, 8-5; USF, 9-6; Wichita State, 15-0; Xavier, 12-3; UCLA, 12-2].
Of the seven losses, five have come against teams ranked among the top 60 RPI, according to KenPom.com.
SEC HOME COURT WINNING STREAK
Alabama leads all Southeastern Conference schools with 12 straight home wins vs. league competition coming into Tuesday night's contest vs. Vanderbilt.
The Tide won its final three home SEC contests in 2012 and finished last season 9-0 at home against league competition.
The last time an Alabama team lost at home against an SEC opponent came when it dropped a 61-52 decision to then-No. 14 Florida on Feb. 14, 2012.
Since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 27-6 (.818) against SEC competition, including a 23-2 (.920) mark in the past three years alone.
HALE MAKING IT RAIN
Freshman forward Shannon Hale has been solid for head coach Anthony Grant over the Tide's last three contests.
Coming off his first career start last at UCLA on Dec. 28, Hale had nine points and a season-best nine rebounds against the Bruins. This coming off a career-high 14 points against Xavier (12/21).
Through his first nine games, Hale had a total of 24 points and 20 rebounds, an average of 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
After not playing against Wichita State (12/17), Hale has since collected a total of 30 points and 15 rebounds over Alabama's last three contests, which is an average of 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds a contest. Over that same span, he is shooting 58 percent from the floor and 44 percent from deep.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 58-14 (.805) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 6-2 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 13.5 points a game (74.1-60.6).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 54 of the last 63 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (54-9; .857).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 523-118 (.818) in the facility's 47th season of use.
Grant also led UA to 24 straight home victories that spanned the final home game of the 2009-10 season through the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is 6-2 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this year. However, the Tide has yet to win a game away from home, going 0-5 thus far, including an 0-3 mark in neutral site games.
In its eight home games, the Tide is shooting 48.9 percent from the floor and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 42.7 percent shooting from the floor and 28.2 percent from deep.
Below is a breakdown of key numbers on the road and at home this season.
OPP OPP OPP
PPG PPG FG% FG% 3FG% 3FG%
HOME 74.1 60.6 .489 .397 .377 .288
AWAY 70.2 76.4 .427 .444 .282 .280
NATION'S UNLUCKIEST TEAM
The Tide can argue it is the unluckiest team in the NCAA and has the statistics to back it up.
According to KenPom.com's "Luck" category, the Tide ranks 351st, last among all NCAA D-I men's basketball teams, with a -.201 ranking, thus earning the moniker as the nation's unluckiest team. For comparison, the nation's luckiest team according to the website is Missouri State with a +.233 rating.
The "Luck" category is defined by Ken Pomeroy as "A measure of the deviation between a team's actual winning percentage and what one would expect from its game-by-game efficiencies. Essentially, a team involved in a lot of close games should not win (or lose) all of them. Those that do will be viewed as lucky (or unlucky)."
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 70
It seems the 70-point mark will be a key for the Alabama men's basketball team this season.
Through the first 13 games, the Tide is 4-3 when scoring 70 or more points on the year, but 0-6 when the opposition goes for 70 or more points.
In fact, Alabama has lost 19 straight games when the opposition reaches the 70-point plateau. The last time the Tide won when giving up 70 or more to an opponent came on March 3, 2010 when it captured a 79-70 win at South Carolina.
As a comparison, UA has a record of 42-13 (.764) when it scores 70 or more points during head coach Anthony Grant's tenure (2009-pres.).
Thirteen games into the 2013-14 season, there have been a few noticeable trends when it comes to the Alabama basketball team.
One of the biggest trends to keep in eye through the course of a game is the battle of the boards. The Tide owns a record of 6-1 when outrebounding the opposition, but is 0-6 when getting outrebounded.
Below is a breakdown of a few other key factors to look into during a game. Alabama is:
- 6-1 when holding teams to below 70 points
- 0-6 when allowing 70 or more points
- 6-1 when outrebounding the competition
- 0-6 when opponents outrebound Alabama
- 6-2 when UA shoots better than opponent
- 0-5 when opponent shoots better than UA
- 5-0 when games decided by 11 or more points
- 0-7 when games decided by 10 or fewer points
- 0-4 when scoring between 60-69 points