Feb. 10, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team will play its only home game in the current five-game stretch when it welcomes the Ole Miss Rebels to Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT. This will mark the first of two games played between the teams, as the Tide will play the Rebels in Oxford, Miss., on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
Tuesday'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 contest will be broadcast nationally on Sirius Channel 85 and XM Channel 85. There will be live updates throughout the game available on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama and Ole Miss will meet for the 172nd time on the hardwood on Tuesday night, which marks the second-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 117-54 lead in the series. Alabama boasts an overall record of 71-10 when playing Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa, including a 37-6 mark at Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns a 95-66 (.590) record during his time at the Capstone and is 171-91 (.653) in eight seasons as a head coach. Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is in his eighth season as a head coach and has guided the Rebels to a record of 168-94 (.641). Now in his ninth season as a head coach, Kennedy has a career record of 189-107 (.639).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- According to ESPN.com's RPI rankings, Alabama has the No. 2 overall strength of schedule and the No. 9-ranked non-conference SOS. Only Kansas has played a tougher slate.
- Senior guard Trevor Releford surpassed the 1,700-point plateau, becoming the 10th player in UA program history to reach the mark. The last time an Alabama player reached 1,700 points in his career came when former great Erwin Dudley reached the feat during his senior season in 2003.
- In its 13 home games, the Tide is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 40.4 percent shooting from the floor and 27.3 percent from deep.
- Since head coach Anthony Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 30-7 (.811) against SEC competition, including a 26-3 (.897) mark since 2011.
- Alabama is a perfect 7-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 65 points, but the Tide falls to 2-14 this year when allowing 65 or more points in a game.
Alabama dropped its fourth consecutive game and sixth in the last seven contests with a 78-69 defeat at No. 3/4 Florida on Saturday. The Tide was led by senior guard Trevor Releford, who was the only Alabama player in double figures with 25 points, along with team highs of four assists and four steals.
Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 18.3 points per game, which ranks seventh in the SEC. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 50.2 percent (132-of-263) of his shots from the floor (7th in the SEC) and a team-best 39.5 percent (51-of-129) from beyond the arc. He is also tied for first in the SEC and 30th nationally with 2.1 steals per game and leads the Tide with 2.9 assists per contest.
Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan is the only other player to average double figure scoring at 11.2 points per game. He is tied with Releford for tops in the SEC and ranks 29th nationally with 2.1 steals per game. His 1.2 blocks per game also leads Alabama and ranks 10th in the SEC. He also leads the Tide in free throws made (95) and attempted (131).
Junior guard Levi Randolph chips in with 8.5 points per game and ranks second on the team in rebounding (3.9 rpg).
Freshman Shannon Hale has stepped up his game during SEC play, recording double digits in six of the Tide's 10 league contests. Among SEC freshmen in league games only, he is ninth in scoring average (10.7 ppg).
As a team this season, UA is shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is outscoring the competition by 0.7 points a game (68.8-68.1). Alabama currently ranks fourth in the SEC and 34th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.7 percent). The Tide also ranks fourth in the SEC in free throw shooting (.703). Furthermore, UA ranks among the SEC and national leaders steals per game (7.0 spg; 5th/80th) per game.
ALABAMA-FLORIDA: QUICK HITS
Saturday's game was the second meeting this season and 137th meeting on the hardwood between Alabama and Florida, which is the eighth-most games UA has played against any one opponent.
With the 78-69 defeat to the Gators, the Crimson Tide owns a 73-64 edge in the series. The Gators have now won nine straight games over the Crimson Tide and 20 of the last 23 contests played between the two schools.
The Tide has a record of 18-41 all-time when playing Florida in Gainesville. The last time Alabama captured a victory over Florida in Gainesville came on Feb. 25, 1995 (10 straight losses).
Eleven of the last 15 games between the two teams have been decided by 10 points or less.
Trevor Releford finished with 25 points on the night. It marked his 24th straight game in double figures dating back to last season. It also marked his eighth 20-point game of the season.
Releford became the 10th player in UA program history to eclipse the 1,700-point plateau and now has 1,702 career points. In doing so, he has passed Bobby Lee Hurt (1982-85) and ranks 10th all-time in total points scored.
Alabama shot an impressive 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the floor at Florida, which was the second-best in a game this season (shot 58.7 percent vs. Stillman on Nov. 18). It was the first time the Tide has lost this year when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. Additionally, UA connected on 54.5 percent (6-of-11) of its shots from beyond the arc, which was the best this year.
The starting lineup of Shannon Hale, Nick Jacobs, Algie Key, Trevor Releford and Rodney Cooper marked the 12th different starting lineup in Alabama's 23 games this season.
Florida scored 48 points in the paint, compared to 26 points in the paint for Alabama. Not only was it the most points allowed in the paint this season by the Tide, but it also marked the largest scoring discrepancy in the paint for UA this season.
The Tide allowed the Gators to shoot 62 percent (31-of-50) from the floor in the contest. It was the highest shooting percentage allowed by Alabama this season. It was the first time an Alabama team allowed an opponent to shoot better than 60 percent in a game since Dayton shot 60.9 percent (28-of-46) from the floor on Dec. 7, 2011.
Alabama gave up 78 points and falls to 2-14 this season when allowing opponents to score 65 or more points in a game. Additionally, the Tide is 1-9 when allowing 70 or more points in a game this year.
ALABAMA-OLE MISS - SERIES NOTES
Tuesday's game will mark the 172nd meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which will be the second-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 117-54 lead in the series.
The Crimson Tide boasts an overall record of 71-10 when playing Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa, including a 37-6 mark at Coleman Coliseum.
Mississippi is one of three teams, along with Mississippi State (118) and LSU (102) that UA has won 100 or more games against.
Alabama comes into the contest having dropped three of the last four games and five of the last seven against the Rebels.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 2-5 when he has faced the Rebels, including an 2-2 mark when playing at Coleman Coliseum.
ALABAMA-OLE MISS: A LOOK BACK
After trailing by as many as 19 points in the second half, the Alabama men's basketball team mounted a furious comeback against the Ole Miss Rebels, but fell short in an 87-83 loss on March 5, 2013.
Nick Jacobs had a then-career-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Trevor Releford had 16 points before fouling out. Rodney Cooper added 12 points and seven rebounds. Rebels guard Marshall Henderson had a game-high 24 points.
Behind by 12 at the half, Alabama trailed by as many as 19 in the second half. The Tide shot 60 percent (9-of-15) from behind the three-point line in the second half to cut the lead down to three points with four seconds remaining. But Mississippi closed the game with a free throw to put the game out of reach.
Coach Anthony Grant's thoughts: "We had 14 turnovers in the first half, which was really our demise. They're a very offensively talented team. They had a lot of guys that were explosive and they really hurt us. We dug a hole for ourselves and it really carried over into the second half. I was proud of the way our guys battled through, but unfortunately for us we couldn't get the win. It's a tough loss for us, but give credit to Ole Miss, they played extremely well."
After just finishing a two-game road swing, Alabama will return to the road for another two games beginning on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) when it travels at South Carolina on SEC TV. It will mark the only meeting between the two teams this season.
Alabama and South Carolina will meet for the 38th time overall, with the Crimson Tide owning a 24-13 edge in the series history.
Alabama and South Carolina played only once last season, as the Tide captured a 68-58 victory in Coleman Coliseum on Feb. 16, 2013.
Alabama owns a record of 5-9 all time when playing at South Carolina, including dropping six of the last eight against the Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C.
The teams have met 28 times as SEC opponents with UA winning 17 of those meetings.
Each of the last nine games played between the two teams have been decided by 10 or fewer points, including four coming down to just one possession.
Nine of the 36 meetings (25 percent) between the two teams have come on a neutral floor.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 4-1 when his team has faced South Carolina, and is 2-1 when playing the Gamecocks in Columbia.
The series began during 1922-23 campaign.
Starting Slow: For a fifth straight game, the Tide struggled to score its first points of the game, going down 8-0 at Florida before scoring its first basket of the game. Alabama found itself down 6-0 at Arkansas (2/5), 9-0 vs. Tennessee (2/1), 12-0 at Auburn (1/29) and 7-0 to LSU (1/25) before scoring its first basket of the game. Combined, UA has been outscored 42-0 in the opening minutes of the last five contests.
Getting To The Line: Alabama has had 20 or more free throw attempts in seven consecutive games coming into Tuesday night's contest with Ole Miss.
Rebounding: Alabama has not won the battle of the boards in quite some time. The last time the Tide won the rebounding battle came vs. Mississippi State back on Jan. 15. When Alabama has outrebounded opponents this season, it owns a record of 7-1. However, the Tide is 2-13 when getting outrebounded.
Consecutive Losses: The loss at No. 3/4 Florida marked the Tide's fourth straight defeat. It matches the longest losing streak under head coach Anthony Grant (occurred two other times during the 2011-12 and 2009-10 seasons).
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is 9-4 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this year. However, the Tide is 0-10 away from home, which includes an 0-3 mark in neutral site games. In fact, the Tide has dropped 11 consecutive road contests overall (which includes neutral site games) and eight straight in SEC play.
In its 13 home games, the Tide is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 40.4 percent shooting from the floor and 27.3 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 72.6 64.1 .478 .414 .365 .329
AWAY 63.8 73.3 .404 .447 .273 .270
TALE OF TWO HALVES
During SEC play, the Crimson Tide has been a different team before and after intermission, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
In UA's last five games alone, it has allowed league opponents to score a combined 231 points - an average of 46.2 points over the final 20 minutes.
The Tide has allowed six of its last seven opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor in the second half.
Below is a comparison of Alabama's statistics in the first half vs. the second half in SEC games.
OPP OPP OPP OPP
PPG PPG RPG RPG FG% FG% 3FG% 3FG%
1st Half 28.9 28.6 18.3 18.7 .384 .351 .253 .329
2nd Half 34.2 40.6 14.0 16.9 .438 .520 .318 .362
SEC HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Alabama will come into its next home game against Ole Miss on Tuesday, Feb. 11 havong won 15 of its last 17 home games against SEC foes.
Since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 30-7 (.811) against SEC competition. Since 2011, the Tide boasts a 26-3 (.897) mark at home against the conference.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 61-16 (.792) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 9-4 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 8.5 points a game (72.6-64.1).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 57 of the last 68 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (57-11; .838).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 526-120 (.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.
ALABAMA'S Top-10 SCORER
Guard Trevor Releford not only became the 10th player in program history to reach the 1,700-point plateau, but also ranks in 10th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,702 career points. The last UA player to reach 1,700 points in a career was Erwin Dudley (6th on the all-time list with 1,775 points) who achieved the feat as a senior in 2003.
The Kansas City, Mo., native needs 48 points to pass former great Michael Ansley (1986-89) into ninth place on the school's all-time scoring list.
Last season, Releford became the 46th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, doing so in just 82 contests.
Below is a list of where Releford currently ranks among the all-time scoring leaders at Alabama:
Player Years Points
8. Brian Williams 1996-99 1,759
9. Michael Ansley 1986-89 1,749
10. Trevor Releford 2010-pr. 1,702
GETTING TO THE LINE
Alabama is one of the better free throw shooting teams in the league. In fact, the Tide ranks fourth in the SEC, connecting on 70.3 percent of its free throw attempts for the year.
Senior guard Trevor Releford rank second in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (90.7 percent).
In addition, sophomore guard Retin Obasohan has also benefited from the charity stripe this season. The Antwerp, Belgium, native leads the team with 95 free throws made (4.5 per game) and 123 free throw attempts (6.2 per game).
Unfortunately, as good as the Tide has been at the line, the opposition has been even better. Alabama opponents are shooting an impressive 74.6 percent from the foul line. According to KenPom.com, UA ranks 341st in the nation in opponent's free throw percentage.