Jan. 24, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will welcome the LSU Tigers to Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT. The contest, which will be televised on ESPN2, will be the lone meeting between the two teams this season.
Saturday night's contest will be televised on ESPN2 with Dave LaMont (play-by-play) and Darrin Horn (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 contest will also be broadcast nationally on Sirius Channel 113 and XM Channel 199. There will be live updates throughout the game available on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama and LSU will meet for the 171st time in series history - the second-most times UA has played any one opponent in program history. The Tide owns a 102-68 lead in the all-time series. Alabama has won eight straight games over LSU and has a record of 37-8 when playing the Tigers in Coleman Coliseum. The last time the Tide lost to the Tigers at home came on Jan. 31, 2004. Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 6-2 when his team has faced LSU, and is 4-0 when playing LSU under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns a 94-62 (.603) record during his time at the Capstone and is 170-87 (.661) in eight seasons as a head coach. LSU head coach Johnny Jones is in his second season as a head coach and has guided the Tigers to a record of 31-17 (.646). Now in his 14th season as a head coach, Jones has a career record of 236-179 (.569).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Alabama comes into the LSU game having won 14 of its last 15 home games against SEC foes. In fact, since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 29-6 (.829) against SEC competition, including a 25-2 (.926) mark since 2011.
- According to ESPN.com's RPI rankings, Alabama has the No. 2 overall strength of schedule and the No. 7-ranked non-conference strength of schedule.
- Alabama is a perfect 8-0 when holding opponents 65 or fewer points, but the Tide falls to 0-10 this year when allowing more the 65 points in a game.
- In four career games against the Tigers, Cooper is averaging 14.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 43 percent from the floor (22-of-51).
- Freshman Shannon Hale's 12.6 points per game in SEC play ranks sixth among SEC freshmen and 23rd overall, while he also ranks fourth among rookies in field goal percentage in SEC play (.535). Over his last eight games, Hale is second on the team with 11.6 points per game leads the Tide in rebounding (4.4 rpg) and field goal percentage (.537) over that same span.
- Guards Retin Obasohan (2.4 spg) and Trevor Releford (2.4 spg) rank first and second in the SEC in steals per game, respectively. Together, the duo is averaging 4.8 steals per game, which ranks fourth in the NCAA among all duos in terms of takeaways.
Alabama had its 14-game home court winning streak vs. SEC competition snapped when it fell to No. 6/6 Florida, 68-62, on Thursday night. Senior Trevor Releford led four UA players in double figures with 14 points in the loss.
Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 18.1 points per game, which ranks seventh in the SEC. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 50 percent (104-of-209) of his shots from the floor and a team-best 39.0 percent (41-of-105) from beyond the arc. He also ranks second in the SEC and 17th nationally with 2.4 steals per game and leads the Tide with 2.9 assists per contest.
Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan, who missed the Florida game due to an injured him flexor, is the only other player to average double figure scoring at 12.2 points per game. He leads the SEC and ranks 15th nationally with 2.4 steals per game, and leads Alabama and ranks seventh in the SEC in blocks per contest (1.4). He also leads the Tide in free throws made (81) and attempted (111).
Junior guard Levi Randolph chips in with 9.4 points per game. Randolph ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.3 rpg) and is third in three-point shooting (30.2 percent).
Freshman Shannon Hale has stepped up his game during SEC play, recording double digits in all five of the Tide's league contests. He ranks fourth in league play in field goal percentage (.535) and is 23rd in scoring (12.6 ppg).
As a team this season, UA is shooting 44.9 percent from the floor and 32.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is outscoring the competition by 3.7 points a game (69.9-66.3). Alabama currently ranks fifth in the SEC and 40th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.4 percent). The Tide also ranks fourth the SEC in free throw shooting (.694). Furthermore, UA ranks among the SEC and national leaders steals per game (7.6 spg; 5th/49th) per game.
ALABAMA-FLORIDA: A LOOK BACK
With the 68-62 loss, Alabama had its league-leading 14-game home win streak vs. SEC teams snapped. The last time the Crimson Tide dropped a home game in SEC play prior to tonight came against the same Florida Gators team on Feb. 14, 2012.
Thursday's game marked the 136th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the eighth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 73-63 edge in the series. However, the Gators have now won eight straight games over the Crimson Tide and 19 of the last 22 contests played between the two schools.
The Tide has an all-time record of 48-18 when playing the Gators in Tuscaloosa, including a record of 27-7 in Coleman Coliseum. With Thursday night's win, Florida has now claimed four straight wins at Alabama. The last time the Tide defeated Florida at home came on Feb. 26, 2006.
The six-point game marked the 10th time in the last 14 meetings between Alabama and Florida that have been decided by 10 points or less.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 0-7 when he has faced the Gators. Excluding Missouri (which Grant has played only twice after the Tigers joined the SEC last season), Florida is the only SEC team Grant has not defeated as UA's head coach.
Thursday's game marked the 10th loss for Alabama this season. Nine of those 10 defeats have been by 10 or fewer points.
Trevor Releford finished the game with 14 points, which brings his career total to 1,606 points. He becomes the 13th Alabama player in program history to eclipse the 1,600-point plateau.
Nick Jacobs finished the night with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor. It was his first double-digit performance since going for 10 points in a loss at South Florida (12/7).
Alabama was outrebounded, 42-39, on the night and falls to 1-8 when losing the battle of the boards in a game. The Tide is 7-2 when winning the rebounding battle.
The Tide was outscored 30-6 from beyond the three-point line in the loss to the Gators. The 10 three-pointers allowed were the second-most treys Alabama has given up in a game this season (second only to Stillman's 13 three-pointers).
Florida led the game wire-to-wire en route to the win at Alabama. It was the first game this season that the Tide failed to own a lead at any part of the contest.
ALABAMA-LSU - SERIES NOTES
Alabama and LSU will meet for the 171st time in series history - the second-most times UA has played any one opponent in program history.
The Tide owns a 102-68 lead in the all-time series. Alabama has won eight straight games over LSU and has a record of 37-8 when playing the Tigers in Coleman Coliseum. The last time the Tide lost to the Tigers at home came on Jan. 31, 2004.
Alabama has won six of the last eight meetings and 11 of the last 15 games the two teams have played.
Alabama and LSU have played in 10 overtime games in series history, including two triple overtime contests (2/10/90 & 2/23/13) and a quadruple overtime contest (2/12/72) - the only four-overtime game in school history. Alabama has an impressive 8-2 record when it has played LSU in overtime.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 6-2 when his team has faced LSU, and is 4-0 when playing LSU under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum.
ALABAMA-LSU: A YEAR AGO
NOTE: A box score from the last meeting between Alabama and Florida can be found on page 9
The Alabama men's basketball team split a pair of contests with LSU last season, with each team winning on its home court.
In the first meeting last season on Feb. 9, 2013, The Alabama defeated LSU, 60-57, in Coleman Coliseum. LSU guard Anthony Hickey missed a half-court shot at the buzzer that would've sent the game into overtime had it gone in. Nick Jacobs led the team with 15 points while going 7-8 from the free throw line, including 4-4 down the stretch. Trevor Releford had 12 while sophomore guards Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper each had 10. The Tide had a season-high 43 rebounds.
Just two weeks later, the two teams met in Baton Rouge, La., in a game for the ages, with LSU squeaking past Alabama in triple overtime, 97-94, on Feb. 20, 2013. Releford led both teams with a career-high 36 points. There were 16 lead changes and the score was tied nine times. In addition to Releford, Cooper finished with 18 and Jacobs had 10. O'Bryant (24 points and 10 rebounds) and Charles Carmouche (20 points and 11 rebounds) each posted double-double's to lead the Tigers.
Alabama will travel to take on rival Auburn on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. CT. The contest will be televised on SEC TV. It will be the first of two meetings between the teams this season, as the Tigers will make the trip to Tuscaloosa on March 1 at 2 p.m. CT (ESPNU).
Wednesday night's game will mark the 148th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the fourth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 90-57 edge in the series.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 6-2 when he has faced the Tigers, including a 2-2 mark when playing at Auburn.
UA owns an all-time record of 26-28 when playing at Auburn. However, the Tide has won two of the last three games played at Auburn Arena.
Alabama has won six of the last seven games played between the two teams, including four straight at home.
The two teams have played in 11 overtimes in series history, with the last one coming Feb. 21, 2001. Auburn has won eight of the 11 games that have went to extra time.
The series began during 1923-24 campaign.
PROWLING ON THE TIGERS
Junior guard Rodney Cooper has had success when facing the LSU Tigers throughout his career.
His career-high scoring total of 28 points came at LSU during his freshman season. In fact, his career best numbers in field goals made (10), field goals attempted (22), threes attempted (9), free throws made (5) and attempted (10), steals (5) and minutes played (42) have all come when facing LSU.
In four career games against the Tigers, Cooper is averaging 14.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 43 percent from the floor (22-of-51).
SEC HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Alabama's loss to Florida on Thursday night snapped the Tide's league-leading 14-game home wins vs. league competition. However, the Tide remains a tough to beat at Coleman Coliseum, especially when playing conference competition.
The Tide enters the LSU game having won 14 of its last 15 home games against SEC foes. In fact, since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 29-6 (.829) against SEC competition, including a 25-2 (.926) mark since 2011.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 60-15 (.800) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 8-3 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 11.5 points a game (73.0-61.5).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 56 of the last 66 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (56-10; .848).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 525-119 (.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 8-3 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this year. However, the Tide is 0-7 away from home, which includes an 0-3 mark in neutral site games.
In its 11 home games, the Tide is shooting 48.2 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 26.5 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 73.0 61.5 .482 .403 .366 .309
AWAY 65.1 73.7 .402 .427 .268 .293
HALE MAKING IT RAIN
Freshman Shannon Hale has been making a solid contribution for head coach Anthony Grant over the Tide's last eight contests.
After seeing limited action over his first 10 games into his freshman season, Hale is averaging a team-leading 4.4 rebounds a game and is second on the team 11.6 points a contest in the last eight games.
During that same eight-game span, Hale is shooting a team-best 54.8 percent from the floor (34-of-62) and 38.5 percent from deep (10-of-26).
Hale has reached double figures in all five SEC games and ranks sixth among SEC freshmen in both scoring (11.6 ppg) and ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.535). He set a career-high with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor in the win over Vanderbilt (1/7).
Below is a breakdown of Hale's numbers from his first 10 games to his last eight:
GP-GS MPG PPG RPG FG% 3FG%
First 10 gms 9-0 11.1 2.7 2.2 .321 .286
Last 8 gms 8-7 25.6 11.6 4.4 .548 .385
ONE OF THE BEST
Senior point guard and Bob Cousy Award nominee Trevor Releford is not only proving to be one of the top players in the SEC, but also is showing why he is an elite player in the nation.
Releford is quietly putting together one of the best seasons by any player in the league. Below is a breakdown of where he ranks among the SEC and national leaders this year:
Category SEC Rank NCAA Rank
SPG (2.35) T-1st 17th
FT% (.892) 2nd 26th
Total Steals (40) 2nd T-33rd
3FG% (.390) 6th --
PPG (18.1) 7th 80th
3's Made/Game (2.4) 6th NA
FG% (.498) 7th --
Furthermore, below is how Releford's career numbers rank among the greatest players to ever play at Alabama:
Category UA History
Steals (234) 1st (SEC Active Leader)
9th in SEC History
FT% (.814) 5th
3-Point Attempts (368) 10th
Career Starts (112) 8th
Total Points (1,606) 13th (SEC Active Leader)
Total Assists (347) NA (SEC Active Leader)
CUTTING DOWN THE TURNOVERS
Trevor Releford has not only been shooting the ball well, but his distribution has been as equally as impressive.
After beginning the season with 10 assists and 24 turnovers through his first six games, Releford has 39 assists and just 18 turnovers in the Tide's last 12 contests.
As a result, Alabama's assist-to-turnover ratio has steadily improved. UA had 67 assists to 90 turnovers in the first six games, but has since recorded 133 assists and 128 turnovers.