March 7, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will play its final game of the regular season when it hosts the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The contest will be Senior Day as walk-on guard Isiah Wilson and one of the Tide's all-time greats Trevor Releford will be honored prior to the start of the game.
Saturday's contest will be televised exclusively on ESPN3.com with Dave Weekley (play-by-play) and John Shulman (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 137 and XM Channel 201. There will be live updates throughout the game on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama and Arkansas will meet for the 57th time in series history on Saturday, with the Razorbacks owning a slim 29-27 edge in the all-time series. This marks the second meeting played between the Razorbacks and Tide this season. The two teams met back on Feb. 5, in Fayetteville, Ark., with the Razorbacks taking a 65-58 victory. Alabama own a record of 18-5 when playing Arkansas in Tuscaloosa. The Tide has won six consecutive games and have won six straight games over the Razorbacks in Coleman Coliseum
Alabama coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. Grant owns a 98-70 (.583) record during his time at the Capstone and is 174-95 (.647) in eight seasons as a head coach. Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson is in his third season at the helm of the program and has guided the Razorbacks to a record of 58-36 (.617). Now in his 12th season as a head coach, Anderson has a career record of 258-134 (.658).
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Senior Trevor Releford currently ranks in the top-10 at Alabama in eight different career categories, including first in steals (257) and sixth in points (1,839). Today, Releford will play in his 133rd career game, which will be tied for first place in the school record books
- Junior guard Levi Randolph will be playing in his 100th game as an Alabama player on Saturday. Randolph has enjoyed playing at home this season, averaging 11.7 ppg, while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
- Releford (1,838 points) is 24 points away from moving into fifth on the school's all-time scoring list, currently held by Jerry Harper (1,861 from 1953-56). The SEC Player of the Year candidate has recorded double figures in 30 straight games and 40 of his last 41 games dating back to last season.
- According to the latest ESPN.com RPI rankings, Alabama has the No. 2 overall strength of schedule and the No. 10-ranked non-conference strength of schedule. Only Kansas has played a tougher slate (as of March 6).
- Since head coach Anthony Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 33-7 (.825) against SEC competition. Since 2011, the Tide boasts a 29-3 (.906) mark at home against the conference.
Alabama is coming off a 55-48 loss at No. 25/24 Kentucky last Tuesday night. Senior guard Trevor Releford had game-highs of 13 points and three assists, while sophomore guard Retin Obasohan had nine points and a steal. Freshman forward Shannon Hale added eight points a team-high six rebounds.
Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 18.6 points per game, which ranks fifth in the SEC. The SEC Player of the Year candidate ranks fourth in the SEC, shooting 50.3 percent (178-of-354) from the floor and is fifth in the league, shooting a team-best 39.5 percent (68-of-172) from beyond the arc. He also leads the SEC and ranks 25th nationally with 2.2 steals per game and leads the Tide with 3.1 assists per contest.
Obasohan (9.7 ppg) and junior guard Levi Randolph (9.5 ppg) rank second and third on the team in scoring, respectively. Obasohan ranks second in the SEC and 62nd nationally with 1.9 steals per game. He also ranks second on the Tide in blocks per game (1.1) and leads UA in free throws made (103). Randolph is second in the team in rebounding (3.8 rpg) and is third in three-point field goal percentage (34.9 percent) and steals (22).
Hale, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, has stepped up his game during SEC play, recording double digits in 10 of the Tide's 17 league contests. He is one of only two players (Trevor Releford) to have started all 17 SEC contests and ranks ninth among SEC freshmen in league games only in both scoring and rebounding average (11.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg). For the year, Hale is fourth on the team with an average of 8.4 points, second in three-point field goal percentage (.350) and third in rebounds per game (3.7 rpg).
As a team this season, UA is outscoring opponents by 0.2 points per game (67.7-67.5) despite its 12-18 record. That's mainly because 18 of the Tide's 30 games have been decided by 10 or fewer points. However, UA owns a 5-13 record in such contests. Alabama is shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 33.5 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama currently ranks second in the SEC and 17th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.7 percent). The Tide also ranks seventh in the SEC in free throw shooting (69.1 percent).
ALABAMA-KENTUCKY: QUICK HITS
Tuesday night's game between Alabama and No. 25/24 Kentucky marked the 140th meeting in series history between to two schools, which stands as UA's sixth-most common opponent in program lore. With the 55-48 win, the Wildcats now own a 103-37 edge in the all-time series, including wins in eight of the last 10 meetings.
The Tide drops to 10-54 all-time against the Wildcats in Lexington and owns a 6-22 mark against UK in Rupp Arena.
Alabama has only won twice in the last 13 games played at Rupp Arena. The Tide captured wins on Jan. 14, 2006 (68-64) and Jan. 26, 2002 (64-61).
Head coach Anthony Grant made his third appearance at Rupp Arena as the Alabama head coach, falling to 0-3. He owns a record of 2-5 when facing Kentucky.
The two teams have split the last four meetings with both Alabama victories coming at Coleman Coliseum.
Senior guard Trevor Releford had a game-high 13 points in the loss. He has now recorded double figures in 31 straight games and 41 of his last 42 games dating back to last season. Releford has led the Tide in scoring 18 of its 30 contests this season.
Alabama held Kentucky to 55 points, which was the third fewest points it has allowed in a game all season. It marked the first time this year that the Tide has lost when allowing an opponent to score fewer than 60 points in a game (5-1).
Kentucky had a big advantage on the free-throw line where it went 18-of-24 (75 percent) while UA went 7-of-11 (63.6 percent). UA's free throws made and attempted were both season lows, while Kentucky's 11 fouls committed vs. Alabama was also a season low amount.
Alabama's 48 points tied for the second-lowest point total in a game this year. The Tide's lowest point total came when it scored 47 at Missouri (1/18).
The Tide was outrebounded by the Wildcats, 41-27, which marked the 13th time in the last 14 games Alabama has lost the battle of the boards. In all, UA has a record of 4-16 this season when it gets outrebounded by the competition, but are 8-1 when it outrebounds opponents.
The announced attendance of 23,504 fans at Rupp Arena was the largest crowd the Tide has played in front of all season.
ALABAMA-ARKANSAS - SERIES NOTES
Saturday's game between Alabama and Arkansas will be the 57th meeting in series history, with the Razorbacks owning a slim 29-27 edge in the all-time series.
This marks the meeting played between the two teams this season. The two teams met back on Feb. 5, in Fayetteville, Ark., with the Razorbacks taking a 65-58 victory.
Alabama owns a record of 18-5 when playing Arkansas in Tuscaloosa. The Tide has won six consecutive games over the Razorbacks in Coleman Coliseum. The last time Arkansas won at Alabama came on Jan. 27, 2007.
UA head coach Anthony Grant owns a record of 5-3 when his teams have faced Arkansas, including a perfect 4-0 mark at home.
Forty-six of the 57 games played in the series have come as conference opponents.
Alabama has won six of the last eight games played between the two schools.
The Crimson Tide is 3-1 in overtime contests against Arkansas. All four overtime games have come within the last nine seasons.
The series began during 1947-48 campaign.
ALABAMA-ARKANSAS: A LOOK BACK
The Alabama men's basketball team fell in a hard-fought road contest to Arkansas, 65-58, back on Feb. 5 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Crimson Tide was led by junior guard Rodney Cooper, who had a season-high 22 points. Cooper also had a game-high 10 rebounds, which gave him his second career double-double.
Senior guard Trevor Releford had 12 points on the night. Releford and Cooper combined to go 11-of-23, while the rest of the team went 10-of-36.
Alabama led by two points at halftime, 26-24, after junior guard Levi Randolph hit a shot at the buzzer. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with 11 tie scores and 12 lead changes.
With Alabama trailing by one, 49-48, with 5:50 remaining, the Razorbacks went on a 12-5 run over the next 4:05 to take the largest lead of the game, 61-53.
However, the Tide would not go away quietly, scoring the game's next five points to cut it to a three-point game, 61-58, with 43 seconds left.
UA fouled Arkansas' Jacorey Williams with 33 seconds left, who then missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving the ball back to the Tide. But Retin Obasohan's contested layup on the other end was no good and the Razorbacks connected on all four if their free throws in the last 17 seconds to secure the victory.
Arkansas was led by freshman Bobby Portis who had 35 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.
LAST HOME GAME FOR ONE OF UA GREATS
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 (63) 1st 25th
SPG (2.2) 1st 25th
FT% (.858) 3rd 60th
PPG (18.6) 5th 64th
Total Points (539) T-4th 67th
3FG% (.395) 5th --
FG% (.503) 4th 90th
3's Made/Game (2.3) 7th 95th
Furthermore, below is how Releford's career numbers rank among the greatest players to ever play at Alabama:
Category UA History
Steals (257) 1st (SEC Active Leader)
6th in SEC History
Steals Per Game (1.9) 1st
FT% (.815) 5th
Total Assists (388) 9th (2nd among SEC Active Players)
Career Starts (124) 2nd
Career Games Played (132) T-2nd
3-Point Attempts (435) T-9th
Total Points (1,838) 6th (SEC Active Leader)
SEC TOURNAMENT SEEDING SCENARIOS
With one game left in the regular season, Alabama will receive either the No. 10, 11 or 12 seed in the 2014 SEC Tournament, which will be held March 12-16 in Atlanta, Ga.
If the Tide gets the No. 10 seed, it will not play until Thursday. However, earning the No. 11 or 12 seed means UA will play in the tournament's opening night on Wednesday.
Below are the scenarios that must happen in order for the Tide to get each seed.
For Alabama To Earn No. 10 Seed: Alabama must win and Vanderbilt must lose at Ole Miss.
For Alabama To Earn No. 11 Seed: Alabama wins and either Vanderbilt wins at Ole Miss or Auburn loses at Texas A&M OR Alabama loses and Auburn loses
For Alabama To Earn No. 12 Seed: Alabama must lose and Auburn must win.
Releford's Season Point Total: Releford comes into the Arkansas game with 539 points on the season. That point total ranks 28th in school history in single-season total points and is the most points scored in a season since Tony Mitchell scored 564 points during the 2010-11 season (which ranks tied for 16th most on the list).
Leaning On Levi: Junior guard Levi Randolph is on quite a roll coming into the Arkansas game. Over his last four games, the Huntsville, Ala., native is averaging 19.5 points per game, while shooting 54.3 percent (25-of-46) from the floor and 50.0 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc.
Rebounding: In 13 of the last 14 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 4-16 when getting outrebounded.
Double-Figure Scoring Streak: Releford has reached double figures in 31 consecutive games dating back to last season. The last time the senior point guard failed to reach double figures in a game came on when he scored nine points in the NIT opening round victory over Northeastern on March 19, 2013. Furthermore, he has reached double digits in 41 of UA's last 42 contests.
Consecutive Road Losses: Following the loss at Kentucky last Tuesday night, Alabama has now dropped 15 consecutive road contests overall (which includes neutral site games) and 12 straight in SEC play.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 64-16 (.800) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 12-4 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 8.6 points a game (72.8-64.2).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 60 of the last 71 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (60-11; .845).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 529-120 (.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.
SEC HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Alabama will come into its next home game against Arkansas having won 17 of its last 19 home games against SEC foes.
Since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 33-7 (.825) against SEC competition. Since 2011, the Tide boasts a 29-3 (.906) mark at home against the conference.
HALE NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Alabama freshman forward Shannon Hale has been selected to the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, league officials announced on Monday.
Hale became the first Crimson Tide player to earn the league's freshman of the week award since Trevor Releford earned the accolade on Feb. 7, 2011.
Hale, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound freshman forward from Johnson City, Tenn., earned the weekly honor after averaging 17 points and 6.5 rebounds a game in contests against Ole Miss and Auburn. For the week, Hale shot team-highs of 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the floor, 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from beyond the arc and 90.9 percent (10-of-11) from the free throw line.
Against the Rebels, Hale scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds - both season highs. He also contributed seven points and four boards in the win over Auburn on Saturday night.
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 final regular-season contest, Releford has recorded double figures in 31 straight games and 41 of his last 42 games dating back to last season. He has 11 games of 20 or more points and has led the Tide in scoring 18 of its 30 contests this season.
In conference play, Releford is the only player in the SEC to rank among the league leaders in scoring (18.6 ppg - 5th), steals (1st - 1.9 spg), field goal percentage (2nd - .488), free throw percentage (8th - .830), assists (8th - 3.5 apg) and three-point field goal percentage (8th - .373).
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is 12-4 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this year. However, the Tide is 0-14 away from home, which includes an 0-3 mark in neutral site games.
In its 16 home games, the Tide is shooting 48.0 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 28.8 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 72.8 64.2 .480 .404 .374 .315
AWAY 61.9 71.2 .402 .437 .288 .272
LEVI LOVING HOME COURT
Levi Randolph enjoys playing at Coleman Coliseum better than most of his teammates, which is reflected when breaking down his numbers in home and road games.
In the Tide's 16 home games, Randolph ranks second in the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game, while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. However, in UA's 14 contests away from home, those numbers fall to 7.0 ppg, while shooting 33.9 percent from the floor and 27.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Below is a complete breakdown of Randolph's numbers when playing at home vs. playing on the road.
PPG RPG FG% 3FG% FT%
HOME 11.7 3.8 .509 .400 .742
AWAY 7.0 3.9 .339 .278 .609