Feb. 21, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will return to the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum for only the second time in its last six games when it hosts the Missouri Tigers on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT. It will be the third and final home game in the month of February for the Tide (will play five away games this month).
Saturday's contest will be televised on ESPN2 with Dave LaMont (play-by-play) and Kyle Macy (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 113 and XM Channel 199. There will be live updates throughout the game on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama and Missouri will meet for the second time this season, third time as SEC rivals and for the eighth time overall in series history on Saturday night. The Tide owns a 4-3 edge in the all-time series, however, the Tigers have captured three straight victories when playing Alabama, including an impressive 68-47 win over the Tide in Columbia, Mo., back on Jan. 18.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns a 96-68 (.585) record during his time at the Capstone and is 172-93 (.652) in eight seasons as a head coach. Missouri head coach Frank Haith is in his third season as a head coach and has guided the Tigers to a record of 67-23 (.744). Now in his ninth season as a head coach, Haith has a career record of 196-134 (.594).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- According to ESPN.com's RPI rankings, Alabama has the No. 3 overall strength of schedule and the No. 7-ranked non-conference SOS. Only Kansas (1) and Wisconsin (2) has played a tougher slate.
- Senior guard Trevor Releford is making a strong case for Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. He has recorded six 20-point games over the Tide's last eight contests and now has 11 20-point games this season. In addition, over Alabama's last six contests, Releford is averaging 22.2 points per game, while shooting 52.0 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.
- Trevor Releford is one of only three players in the nation that is known as a "180 Shooter." Releford is shooting 50.5% from the floor, 40.3% from three-point range and 90.0% from beyond the arc.
- Alabama allowed Texas A&M to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half. It was the sixth time in the last seven games and the ninth time in 13 SEC games that Alabama has allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent in the second half of a game this year.
- Since head coach Anthony Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 31-7 (.816) against SEC competition, including a 27-3 (.900) mark since 2011.
Alabama lost for the sixth time in its last seven games dropping a 63-48 decision at Texas A&M on Thursday. Senior guard Trevor Releford led the Tide in scoring with a game-high 20 points, including 16 in the second half alone. He has now led the Tide in scoring in 17 of UA's 26 contests this season.
Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 19.0 points per game, which ranks fifth in the SEC. The SEC Player of the Year candidate has connected on 50.5 percent (154-of-305) of his shots from the floor (7th in the SEC) and a team-best 40.3 percent (60-of-149) from beyond the arc (5th in the SEC). He also leads the SEC and ranks 28th nationally with 2.2 steals per game and leads the Tide with 2.8 assists per contest.
Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan is the only other player to average double figure scoring at 10.0 points per game. He also ranks second in the SEC and 34th nationally with 2.0 steals per game. He also ranks second on the Tide in blocks per game (1.2), minutes per game (30.4) and in free throws attempted (137).
Freshman Shannon Hale has stepped up his game during SEC play, recording double digits in nine of the Tide's 13 league contests. He is one of only two players (Trevor Releford) to have started all 13 SEC contests and ranks 10th among SEC freshmen in league games only in scoring average (11.2 ppg). For the year, Hale is averaging 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds a game and ranks second on the team in three-point field goal percentage (.309).
As a team this season, UA is shooting 44.0 percent from the floor and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is outscoring the competition by 0.1 points a game (67.8-67.7). Alabama currently ranks fifth in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.4 percent). The Tide also ranks seventh in the SEC in free throw shooting (.696).
ALABAMA-TEXAS A&M: QUICK HITS
The contest between Alabama and Texas A&M on Thursday night marked the 11th meeting in series history and the second time as SEC rivals.
Despite the loss to Texas A&M, Alabama still owns a 7-4 edge in the 11 games. However, the Aggies have now won four of the last five contests against the Crimson Tide.
Thursday's game marked only the fourth time Alabama has played at College Station, Texas, and the first since Dec. 13, 2008. The Tide now has an all-time record of 1-3 when playing at Texas A&M, with the lone victory coming on Feb. 5, 1992 (W, 74-61).
Seven of the 11 contests in the series have been decided by single digits, including one overtime contest (12/13/08).
Thursday night's contest was the only meeting this season between the two teams.
Head coach Anthony Grant's has a 1-1 record when taking on Texas A&M.
Alabama allowed Texas A&M to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half. It was the sixth time in the last seven games and the ninth time in 13 SEC games that Alabama has allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent in the second half of a game this year.
Trevor Releford scored 20 of the Tide's 48 points on the night. It marked his 27th straight game in double figures dating back to last season. Moreover, it was his 11th 20-point game of the year.
Freshman forward Shannon Hale finished the night with 14 points and a season-high tying nine boards. It marked the ninth time in 13 conference games that he has reached double figures.
Alabama's 48 points scored were the second-fewest points in game for the Tide this season (scored 47 in a loss at Missouri on Jan. 18). UA also had a season-low numbers in made free throws (7), free throw attempts (16) and free throw percentage (.438).
Texas A&M shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) from the floor, compared to 37.0 percent (17-of-46) for Alabama. The Tide now falls to 0-12 this season when its opponents shoot better from the field (10-4 when shooting better).
Alabama's seven blocked shots tied for the most in a game this season (also had 7 blocks at USF and vs. North Florida).
ALABAMA-MISSOURI - SERIES NOTES
Alabama and Missouri will meet for the second time this season, third time as SEC rivals and for the eighth time overall in series history on Saturday night.
Saturday's game will also mark the Tigers' second-ever trip to Tuscaloosa. The only other meeting came on March 18, 1996 when Alabama captured a 72-49 victory over Missouri in the second round of the 1996 NIT.
The Tide owns a 4-3 edge in the all-time series, however, the Tigers have captured three straight victories when playing Alabama, including an impressive 68-47 win over the Tide in Columbia, Mo., back on Jan. 18.
Four of the seven games played between the two teams have been decided by less than 10 points.
ALABAMA-MISSOURI: A LOOK BACK
A strong second half by Missouri ultimately proved too much to overcome as Alabama fell, 68-47, on Jan. 19 at Mizzou Arena.
Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford had 10 points, while freshman forward Jimmie Taylor had a career-high eight rebounds, which was also a team high.
Three other Tide players scored in double figures, led by freshman forward Shannon Hale with a team-high 12 points along with sophomore guard Retin Obasohan's 11 points and junior guard Levi Randolph's 10 points.
Missouri guard Jabari Brown led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Coach Anthony Grant's thoughts: "We struggled in the second half. We were inconsistent in our offense and we had a hard time getting shots to fall. (Trevor Releford) really struggled today, but we have got to get to a point where other people are contributing when that happens. I wish I had that explanation, so I could solve it. And it wasn't just offense. They shot 52 percent in the second half and got to the line 18 times. I thought we were more advanced defensively than that."
Alabama will play its final game in February when it travels to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be available on ESPN3.com. It will mark the Tide's fifth road contest in eight games during the month of February.
Wednesday's game will mark the 173rd meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the second-most games UA has played against any one opponent. It will also be the second time the teams will square off in a span of 15 days. Back on Feb. 11, Alabama captured a 67-64 victory over Ole Miss in Coleman Coliseum on Trevor Releford's three-pointer with six-tenths of a second left.
The Crimson Tide owns a 118-54 lead in the all-time series, including a record of 38-41 all-time in Oxford and 22-25 in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Alabama comes into the contest having dropped four straight and six of its last seven games at Ole Miss. UA last won in Oxford on Feb. 28, 2009 by a 90-69 margin behind Anthony Brock's 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the arc.
Ole Miss is one of three teams, along with Mississippi State (118) and LSU (103) that UA has won 100 or more games against.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 2-4 when he has faced the Rebels, including an 0-3 mark when playing at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Releford's 20-Point Streak: With 20 points against Texas A&M on Thursday, senior point guard Trevor Releford now has recorded four-straight games of 20 or more points. He has also reached at least 20 points in a game in six of the last eight games.
Rebounding: In nine of the last 10 games, Alabama has lost the battle of the boards. It is an important stat in determining the outcome of a game. When Alabama has outrebounded opponents this season, it owns a record of 8-1. However, the Tide is 2-15 when getting outrebounded.
Consecutive Road Losses: Coming into its next road game at Ole Miss (2/26), Alabama has dropped 13 consecutive road contests overall (which includes neutral site games) and 10 straight in SEC play.
Senior guard Trevor Releford is one of only three players in the nation that is known as a "180 Shooter," according to the national statistics as of Feb. 21. A 180 Shooter is a player that is averaging at least 50 percent shooting from the floor, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the foul line.
Entering Saturday's game vs. Missouri, Releford is shooting 50.5 percent from the floor, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 90.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The only other players to achieve those numbers are Creighton's Doug McDermott (51.3% FGs, 44.4% 3-point FGs and 90.1% FTs) and Charleston Southern's Matt Kennedy (50.5% FGs, 51.4% 3-point FGs and 90.8% FTs).
MAKING HIS CASE FOR SEC POY
Guard Trevor Releford has had a terrific senior season and has played even more impressively during league play. As a result. he is making a solid case for the SEC Player of the Year award.
Coming into the Missouri contest, Releford has recorded four-straight games of 20 points or more, and has scored at least 20 points in six of UA's last eight contests.
Over his last four contests, the SEC Player of the Year candidate is averaging 24.5 ppg, while shooting 55.8 percent from the floor, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc and 90.0 percent from the charity stripe.
In conference play, Releford is the only player in the SEC to rank among the league leaders in scoring (19.5 ppg - 5th), field goal percentage (8th - .488), three-point field goal percentage (7th - .380), free throw percentage (2nd - .892), steals (3rd - 1.8 spg) and assists (10th - 3.2 apg).
SEC HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Alabama will come into its next home game against Missouri on Saturday having won 16 of its last 18 home games against SEC foes.
Since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 31-7 (.816) against SEC competition. Since 2011, the Tide boasts a 27-3 (.900) mark at home against the conference.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 62-16 (.795) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 10-4 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 8.1 points a game (72.2-64.1).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 58 of the last 69 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (58-11; .841).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 527-120 (.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.
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is 10-4 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this year. However, the Tide is 0-12 away from home, which includes an 0-3 mark in neutral site games.
In its 14 home games, the Tide is shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 41.1 percent shooting from the floor and 29.9 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 72.2 64.1 .473 .411 .351 .328
AWAY 64.1 72.3 .411 .449 .299 .291