Feb. 25, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will play its final game in February when it travels to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT. It will mark the Tide's fifth road contest in eight games during the month.
Wednesday's contest will be televised exclusively on ESPN3.com with Drew Fellios (play-by-play) and Daymeon Fishback (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 136 and XM Channel 201. There will be live updates throughout the game on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama and Ole Miss will meet for the 173rd time on the hardwood on Wednesday night, which marks the second-most games UA has played against any one opponent. It will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, as Alabama captured a 67-64 win over the Rebels on Feb. 11 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide owns a 118-54 lead in the series, however, the Tide has a record of 38-41 all-time in Oxford and 22-25 in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns a 97-68 (.588) record during his time at the Capstone and is 173-93 (.650) 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 168-98 (.632). Now in his ninth season as a head coach, Kennedy has a career record of 189-111 (.630).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Senior guard Trevor Releford is seven points away from becoming just the seventh player in the 101-year UA program history to record 1,800 points for his career. The last time the feat was accomplished came in 1993, when former great James "Hollywood" Robinson achieved the feat (6th - 1,813 points).
- Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is three wins shy of earning his 100th victory at the helm of the Crimson Tide program. He would become the seventh head coach in the 101-year history to earn 100 victories at UA.
- According to ESPN.com's RPI rankings, Alabama has the No. 3 overall strength of schedule and the No. 8-ranked non-conference SOS. Only Kansas (1) and Wisconsin (2) has played a tougher slate. In fact, Alabama and Duke are the only teams in the nation to have played four games against teams among the top six in the AP top-25 poll (Florida twice, Wichita State and Duke).
- Releford is making a strong case for SEC Player of the Year. He has recorded six 20-point games over the Tide's last nine contests and now has 11 20-point games this season. Over Alabama's last nine contests, Releford is averaging 20.8 points per game, while shooting 52.8 percent from the floor and 43.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Alabama is coming off arguably its best victory of the season when it captured an 80-73 win over Missouri last Saturday night. Junior guard Levi Randolph erupted for a career-high 33 points on the night, while senior guard Trevor Releford added 18 in the winning effort.
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 50.8 percent (161-of-317) of his shots from the floor (6th in the SEC) and a team-best 40.4 percent (63-of-156) from beyond the arc (6th in the SEC). He also leads the SEC and ranks 28th nationally with 2.2 steals per game and leads the Tide with 3.0 assists per contest.
Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan (9.9 ppg) and Randolph (8.9 ppg) rank second and third on the team in scoring, respectively. Obasohan ranks second in the SEC and 35th nationally with 2.0 steals per game. He also ranks second on the Tide in blocks per game (1.2) and minutes per game (30.1). Randolph is second in the team in three-point field goal percentage (34.7 percent) and rebounding (3.7 rpg).
Freshman Shannon Hale has stepped up his game during SEC play, recording double digits in nine of the Tide's 14 league contests. He is one of only two players (Trevor Releford) to have started all 14 SEC contests and ranks 10th among SEC freshmen in league games only in scoring average (10.6 ppg). For the year, Hale is averaging 7.9 points and 3.3 rebounds a game and ranks third on the team in three-point field goal percentage (.314).
As a team this season, UA is shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is outscoring the competition by 0.4 points a game (68.3-67.9). 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 (.690).
ALABAMA-MISSOURI: QUICK HITS
Alabama snapped Missouri's three-game winning streak in the series with the 80-73 win. Alabama now owns a 5-3 edge in the all-time series.
Alabama and Missouri met 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 marked 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. UA is now 2-0 in home games when playing Mizzou.
Five of the eight games played between the two teams have been decided by less than 10 points.
Trevor Releford scored 18 points, to go along with a season-best tying six assists. It marked his 28th consecutive game in double figures dating back to last season. It was also only the 10th game out of 27 that he did not lead the team in scoring.
Releford moved into sole possession of seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,793 points. He passed former standout Erwin Dudley (1,775 points).
Alabama recorded 42 first-half points en route to the victory. It was the first time the Tide has scored at least 40 points in the opening 20 minutes since going for 52 against Stillman back on Nov. 18 - a span of 24 games.
Alabama shot 57.4 percent (27-of-47) from the floor, compared to 47.9 percent (23-of-48) for Missouri. The Tide improves to 11-4 this year when shooting better than its opponents (0-12 when shooting worse).
Since head coach Anthony Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 32-7 (.821) against SEC competition, including a 28-3 (.903) mark since 2011.
Alabama's 80 points marked the most since scoring 80 in the win over Mississippi State back on Jan. 15. The Tide improves to 7-3 this year when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
Alabama's 10 three-pointers in the contest tied a season high for threes made in a game.
ALABAMA-OLE MISS - SERIES NOTES
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 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.
ALABAMA-OLE MISS: A LOOK BACK
Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford sunk a last second three-point basket to lift the Alabama men's basketball team over Ole Miss, 67-64.
Releford led the way with 26 points, scoring 14 of Alabama's final 16 points. He assisted on the only points he did not score down the stretch.
Junior forward Nick Jacobs scored 18 points and added eight rebounds, while freshman forward Shannon Hale added 15 points.
Alabama went on a 13-0 run over the span of 3:28 to turn a 10-9 deficit into a 22-10 lead at the 11:30 mark of the first half. However, Ole Miss would not go away as it used an 11-0 run to take a 51-47 lead with 9:13 remaining.
With 3:32 left, Alabama stormed back behind nine points from Releford to take a 58-56 lead. The Tide's lead grew to as many as six, 64-58, but Ole Miss again clawed back and Jarvis Summers knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at 64 with 13 seconds left, setting up Releford's dramatics.
Coach Anthony Grant's thoughts: "That was a big time shot. In the second half, and really in the last 10 minutes of the game, Releford really stepped up and put the team on his back. He made some plays that were tremendous."
Alabama will play its first game in March when it welcomes the Auburn Tigers on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
It will mark the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Tigers captured a 74-55 victory over Alabama back on Jan. 29 at Auburn.
Saturday's game will mark the 149th 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 89-59 edge in the series.
Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 6-3 when he has faced the Tigers, including a perfect 4-0 mark when playing Auburn in Tuscaloosa.
UA owns an all-time record of 38-7 when playing Auburn in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide is 45-8 when hosting AU in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has won six of the last eight 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.
Releford's 20-Point Streak: With 20 points against Texas A&M on Feb. 20, senior point guard Trevor Releford now has recorded 20 or more points in six of the last nine games. He is averaging 20.8 ppg and shooting 52.8 percent from the floor and 43.1 percent from beyond the arc during the nine-game stretch.
Rebounding: In 10 of the last 11 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 8-2. However, the Tide is 3-14 when getting outrebounded.
Consecutive Road Losses: Coming into the road game at Ole Miss on Wednesday night, Alabama has dropped 13 consecutive road contests overall (which includes neutral site games) and 10 straight in SEC play.
LEVI ON ANOTHER LEVEL
Junior guard Levi Randolph had a night to remember in Alabama's victory over Missouri last Saturday. The Huntsville, Ala., native finished the night with a career-high 33 points in the 80-73 victory.
In addition to his point total, Randolph also recorded career-best marks in field goals made (11) and attempted (15), three-pointers made (5) and attempted (7) and free throws made (6).
Randolph had not reached double-figure points since going for 14 in the win over LSU back on Jan. 25. In the eight games since that, prior to Missouri, he had scored a combined total of 22 points and was 8-of-32 from the floor (25.0 percent).
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 Ole Miss contest, Releford has recorded four 20-point games over the last five UA contests and has scored at least 20 points in six of UA's last nine contests.
Over his last five contests, the SEC Player of the Year candidate is averaging 23.2 ppg, while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor and 48.5 percent from beyond the arc.
In conference play, Releford is the only player in the SEC to rank among the league leaders in scoring (19.4 ppg - 5th), field goal percentage (6th - .494), three-point field goal percentage (9th - .384), free throw percentage (3rd - .870), steals (3rd - 1.9 spg) and assists (8th - 3.4 apg).
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is 11-4 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 15 home games, the Tide is shooting 47.9 percent from the floor and 36.2 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 72.7 64.7 .479 .415 .362 .327
AWAY 64.1 72.3 .411 .449 .299 .291
Senior point guard and SEC Player of the Year candidate Trevor 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
Total Steals (56) 1st 31st
SPG (2.2) 1st 28th
FT% (.886) 2nd 20th
PPG (19.0) 5th 55th
3FG% (.404) 6th --
FG% (.505) 6th 87th
3's Made/Game (2.4) 6th 88th
Furthermore, below is how Releford's career numbers rank among the greatest players to ever play at Alabama:
Category UA History
Steals (250) 1st (SEC Active Leader)
7th in SEC History
Steals Per Game (1.9) 1st
FT% (.821) 5th
Total Assists (375) 9th (2nd among SEC Active Players)
Career Starts (121) T-2nd
Career Games Player (129) T-3rd
3-Point Attempts (419) 10th
Total Points (1,793) 7th (SEC Active Leader)
NEARING THE CENTURY MARK
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is three wins shy of earning his 100th victory at the helm of the Crimson Tide program. He would become the seventh head coach in the 101-year history to earn 100 victories at UA.
Grant, who will coach his 166th game Wednesday' night at Ole Miss, is on pace to become the fifth-fastest head coach to reach 100 wins at Alabama.
Below is a list in terms of the fastest Alabama head coach to reach the 100-win mark in his career:
1. Wimp Sanderson (267-119) 150 games
2. Hank Crisp (264-133) 152 games
3. David Hobbs (110-76) 162 games
4. Mark Gottfried (216-138) 163 games
5. C.M. Newton (211-123) 176 games
6. Hayden Riley (102-104) 193 games
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 seventh on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,793 career points.
Releford needs only seven more points to become the just the sixth player in program history to reach the 1,800-point plateau. The last time a UA player reached the 1,800-point plateau came during the 1993 season when former great James "Hollywood" Robinson achieved the feat.
Releford is currently in seventh place on the program's all-time scoring list and needs 21 points to pass Robinson and move into sixth 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
5. Jerry Harper 1953-56 1,861
6. James Robinson 1991-93 1,813
7. Trevor Releford 2010-pr. 1,793