Alabama Set for First Round Matchup With UW-Milwaukee


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Kennedy Winston
Kennedy Winston

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Upcoming Game:
Wisconsin Milwaukee ? NCAA 1st Round
Chicago Regional
Thursday, March 17, 2005 ? 11:25 CT ? CBS
Wolstein Center (13,100) ? Cleveland, Ohio
Winner plays winner between Boston College/Penn on Sat., March 19 at 4:30 p.m. CT

TV: CBS with Jim Spanarkel and Ian Eagle

UA Radio: CTSN with Chris Stewart (play-by-play), Tom Roberts (analyst) and Bryan Passink (courtside)
No. 21 AP/No. 21 ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (24 -7, 12-4, T-1st West, SEC)

Probable Starters
F- 03  Kennedy Winston   6-6,230  JR  Prichard       17.8/5.4/2.5a
F- 01  Chuck Davis       6-7,230  JR  Selma          14.1/6.7/1.9b
C- 33  Jermareo Davidson 6-10,210 SO  Atlanta, Ga.   7.6/7.8/1.5bl
G- 05  Earnest Shelton   6-3,215  SR  Memphis, Tenn. 16.4/3.4/1.9a
PG-22  Ronald Steele     6-2,185  FR  Birmingham     7.6/3.5/4.9a

Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987), 7th season at UA


Probable Starters
G- 02  Chris Hill    5-10,160 JR  Chicago, Ill.   7.8/3.1/3.1a
G- 22  Ed McCants    6-3,200  SR  Marion, Ohio    17.4/2.8
G- 24  Boo Davis     6-3,180  JR  Chicago, Ill.   10.4/3.3
F- 13  Joah Tucker   6-5,220  JR  Milwaukee, Wis. 15.2/5.9
F- 44  Adrian Tigert 6-7,240  JR  Oshkosh, Wis.   9.2/6.7

Head Coach: Bruce Pearl (Boston College, 1982), 84-37 (.694%) in 4th Season at UWM; 315-83 (.791%) in 13 seasons overall

Key Notes

? Alabama is making its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
? Bama’s seniors are the first class that has made it to the NCAA tournament all four years since Robert Horry’s class which went all four years, 1989-90-91-92.
? Mark Gottfried is making his 4th NCAA tournament appearance at Alabama and his sixth overall (two at Murray State)
? Alabama is making its 18th NCAA tournament appearance and is 19-17 overall in NCAA postseason play
? The deepest Alabama has gone into the NCAA tournament is the 2004 Elite 8; it has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 eight times, including 2004
? Mark Gottfried was born in Crestline, Ohio; Tide assistant Orlando Early grew up in Cleveland
? Eight Tide opponents in 2004-05 made the NCAA tournament’s field
? Alabama and Wisconsin-Milwaukee have never met in basketball; Alabama played Penn in the 1st round of the 1995 East Regional in Baltimore (and won in Overtime 91-85) and also in the BMA Holiday Classic in Kansas City (and won); Bama and Boston College have never met in hoops.

Tide Makes Its Fourth Straight NCAA Tournament Appearance

The University of Alabama is making its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. Alabama is the No. 5 seed in the Chicago Regional. The Crimson Tide, 24-7, play the No. 12 seed University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Panthers, 24-5, on Thursday, March 17 at 11:25 a.m. CT/12:25 p.m. ET in Cleveland’s Wolstein Center. Cleveland State is the host of the 1st and 2nd round games.

Alabama’s bracket also includes No. 4 seed Boston College, 24-4, and No. 13 seed Penn, 20-8, who will play one another on Thursday in a game that begins 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Alabama vs. UWM game. The winners of those two games advance to play on Saturday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. ET.

Other teams who will face off in Cleveland are Creighton and West Virginia and then Wake Forest and Chattanooga. Those winners go on to the Albuquerque Regional. CBS will air Alabama’s play in the tournament.

This marks the fourth straight year the NCAA tournament’s bracket has included the Crimson Tide. Alabama advanced in 2002, 2003, 2004 and now 2005.

Senior Class Has Something In Common With the NBA’s Robert Horry

Alabama’s senior class, Earnest Shelton, Lucky Williams and Jason Reese share something in common--besides UA player status--with the San Antonio Spur and
five time NBAWorld Champion Robert Horry. This is the first class that has advanced to the NCAA tournament all four years since Horry’s class did it. He advanced as a freshman in 1989, a sophomore in 1990, junior in 1991 and a senior in 1992. (Horry and crew made it to the Sweet 16 in 1990 and 1991. His teammates during his four-years at Alabama included future NBA players Latrell Sprewell, Keith Askins, Jason Caffey, Roy Rogers, Michael Ansley, David Benoit, James Robinson, Marcus Webb, as well as current Tide assistant Philip Pearson). Shelton is the only one of the three seniors who has had playing time all four years as Williams and Reese were redshirts in 2002, the year Shelton was a true freshman.

Gottfried A Post-Season Staple

Mark Gottfried is in his 7th season as Alabama’s head coach, and he’s advanced the Tide to the NCAA tournament now in four of those seven seasons. He took Alabama to two NIT appearances as well, including all the way to Madison Square Garden and the NIT’s championship game in 2001.

Prior to becoming Alabama’s head coach, he was head coach for three seasons at Murray State. The Racers advanced to the NCAA tournament two of those three years, and the NIT the other (his 1st season there in 1996).

And when he first started in the business, fresh out of college at Alabama where he graduated in 1987, Gottfried and his then new bride, Elizabeth, packed his MG and headed to Los Angeles there he started out as a UCLA graduate assistant and quickly became a full-time assistant. During his time there, from the 1988-89 season to the 1994-95 season, UCLA advanced to the NCAA tournament all seven seasons, winning the national championship in 1995.

Add in his three straight NCAA Sweet 16 trips in his three seasons as an Alabama player (he transferred in after his freshman season at Oral Roberts), that means that in his 20 seasons as either a college player or college coach, his teams have been playing in the postseason 19 of those years, 16 of those spent in NCAA tournament play.

...And So, Too, Is the Crimson Tide

The University of Alabama is making its 18th NCAA tournament appearance in 2005. The Crimson Tide advanced in 1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Alabama’s all-time record in the NCAA tournament is 19-17.

Its deepest run came last season when it advanced to the 2004 NCAA Elite 8, defeating, in order, Southern Illinois and Stanford in Seattle and then Syracuse in the Sweet 16 in the Phoenix Regional. Eventual national champions UConn stopped the Tide’s run in the final eight.

Alabama has advanced to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 nine times, in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991 and 2004.

It is a 5 seed in the 2005 tournament. Bama’s highest seed ever was in 2002 when it was the No. 2 seed in the South Regional and in 1987 (Gottfried’s senior
year) when it was the 2 seed in the Southeast Regional.

Eight Tide Opponents Join Them In The Dance

Eight teams that the Crimson Tide played this season are playing in the 2005 NCAA tournament. The list includes three teams Alabama played twice this season, Florida, who Alabama played during the regular season and again in the SEC tournament semifinal, and Southeastern Conference Western Division teams LSU (the 6 seed in the Chicago Regional) and Mississippi State (the 9 seed in the Austin Regional).

The others include No. 1 seed Washington, No. 2 seed Kentucky, No. 7 seed Charlotte, No. 8 seed Minnesota and No. 6 seed Wisconsin.

Gottfried Relatives Celebrate 1st Round Site

Mark Gottfried returns to the state in which he was born and lived for a time when Alabama travels to Ohio for the NCAA opening rounds. The Tide’s head coach was born in Crestline, Ohio, on January 20, 1964. Many of his relatives still live in Ohio, including his cousin, Doug Ross, who lives in Columbus and is the webmaster of the Tide coach’s official website,

Orlando Early Returning to his Hometown

Mark Gottfried was born in and lived in parts of Ohio growing up (his dad, Joe, was a high school and college coach before becoming AD at South Alabama), but Orlando Early is returning to his hometown this week. The Tide assistant coach lived in Cleveland until he was 16 and moved to Lebanon, Va. He, too, will be be scrambling for tickets this week for all his friends and family from his hometown.

Lots of First Introductions For Bama in This Bracket

Of the three teams Alabama is involved with in the first (and possibly) second round games of the 2005 NCAA tournament, Penn is the only one Alabama has ever played before. Alabama has never played its 1st round opponent, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee or its possible 2nd round opponent, Boston College. Alabama has played possible 2nd round opponent Penn twice, including in the NCAA tournament. The two teams met in the first round in 1995 in Baltimore, Md. Alabama was the 5 seed in the East Regional and won 91-85 in overtime, led by 39 points from Antonio McDyess, now of the Detroit Pistons. Jason Caffey, who won an NBA World Championship playing with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, scored 11 points in that game. Bama’s team included four future NBA players, McDyess, Caffey, Eric Washington and Roy Rogers. Alabama and Penn played one another in the 1987 BMA Holiday Classic in Kasnsas City, Mo. Bama’s head coach, Mark Gottfried, started in that game as he was a Tide senior then. He scored a team-leading 19 points in that 110-68 Bama win. His future NBA 1st round draft pick teammates Derrick MCKey (17 points) and Jim Farmer (16) points as well as future NBA player Michael Ansley (12 points) were among all five Tide starters who scored in double digits in that win.

Alabama’s 20-Win Seasons, Including 2005

Alabama was the first team in the Southeastern Conference to collect 20 wins in 2005, reaching that stat with a 72-63 home win against Arkansas on February 16. Mark Gottfried, in his 7th season at UA, now has four 20-win seasons at Alabama.

This is the 24th season Alabama has won 20 or more games:

1923   20-5         **1987 28-5 (1)
1930   20-0         1989   23-8 (6)
1956   21-3         1990   26-9 (3)
1973   22-8         1991   23-10 (6)
1974   22-4         1992   26-9 (3)
1975   22-5         1994   20-10
1976   23-5 (6)     1995   23-10 (6)
1977   25-6 (4)     2001   25-11 (4)
1979   22-11        2002   27-8 (2)
1982   24-7 (5)     2004   20-13
1983   20-12        2005   24-7 (5)
1985   23-10 (6)
1986   24-9 (5)

Alabama Swept Four of Five SEC West Series

En route to its 12-4 overall Southeastern Conference record (T-1st in the West, tournament’s No. seed), the Crimson Tide swept four of its five SEC Western Division opponents in 2005, the exception being LSU.

That’s the best the Crimson Tide has ever done since the league went to divisional play in 1992. Alabama won three series in 1994 (Auburn, Mississippi State & LSU), a year it finished 12-4 in overall league play and 2nd in the West to Arkansas.

Even Alabama’s 2002 team, which won the SEC’s overall regular season championship at 12-4, won only one series that year, winning home and on the road against LSU.

In 2005 Alabama beat Arkansas 64-61 in Fayetteville and 72-63 in Tuscaloosa. It beat Ole Miss 66-58 in Oxford and 71-45 in Tuscaloosa. It beat Auburn 60-55 in Auburn and 94-53 in Tuscaloosa. And it defeated Mississippi State 98-49 in Tuscaloosa and 68-63 in Starkville. Alabama split with LSU, winning 73-58 in
Tuscaloosa but falling 61-59 in Baton Rouge.

In 2004 Alabama took only two series sweeps, against Auburn and Arkansas and split against Ole Miss and Mississippi State. It lost both games, home and on the road, against LSU last season.

Winston’s Junior Year Has Been Another Impressive Year

Alabama goes into NCAA tournament play led in scoring by junior forward Kennedy Winston who averages 17.8 points and 5.4 rebounds after 31 games. Last week the Prichard native was voted SEC Player of the Week for his play in the final week of the regular season which found him scoring 24 points in a home win against Auburn and 21 in a road win at Mississippi State. It marked the sixth time in his Alabama career and the third time this season the junior forward from Prichard had been tapped as the league’s Player of the Week. He owns the school record in those award honors. (He was a three-time POW in 2004 as a sophomore as well).

Post-season awards are just beginning to trickle in, but most include Winston’s name. The National Association of Basketball Coaches voted him All-District, 1st team. On Saturday, March 5, he joined an elite world as one of the 23 men whose names were officially entered on the John R. Wooden ballot, an inclusion that leads to national player of the year as well as the John R. Wooden All-America team for those voted so. On March 8 he was named to the All-America team in a group that included men like Duke’s J.J. Redick, Arizona’s Damon Stoudamire, Illinois’ Deron Williams, Utah’s Andrew Bogut, Arizona State’s Ike Diogu, North Carolina’s Sean May, Syracuse’s Hakim Warrick and Kansas’s Wayne Simien, among others.

He is 2005 1st Team AP All-SEC and SEC Coaches All-SEC. He is also a 1st Team Selection in the USBWAAll-District team.

Winston is averaging 17.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game. He is shooting .462% from the field, .440% from 3-point range and .773% at the free throw line. He ranks 22nd all-time in scoring at UA with 1,305 points, a career average of 16.1 points a game (81 games).

Man From Memphis Finally Getting His Due

Earnest Shelton was vital to Alabama’s success in 2004, helping lead the charge on its successful NCAA tournament run. But his work, which included averaging 15.8 points, scoring 22 points against the defending national champions, Syracuse, 28 against SELA, 27 against Tennessee, 25 against Mississippi State, Ole Miss AND Florida and 23 against South Carolina--among others--went largely unheralded. He wasn’t even 3rd team All-SEC in 2004. But this season voters appear to see the picture. Shelton was a preseason All-SEC, 2nd team pick at SEC Media Days. He ended the league year as a 1st Team All-SEC selection on the 2005 Coaches All-SEC team, and 2nd Team AP All-SEC. Shelton is 2005 USBWAAll-District and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District.

Shelton is averaging 16.4 points a game. He shoots .813% at the free throw line after 31 games and .469% from the field. He ranks 21st All-Time in scoring at Alabama with 1,310 career points (11.0 ppg career average).