Men's Basketball Hosts Stanford In NIT Second Round



March 22, 2013


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team is set to host the Stanford Cardinal in the second round of the 2013 National Invitation Tournament on Saturday in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff between the top-seeded Crimson Tide and the No. 4 seed Cardinal is set for 11 a.m. CDT and will be televised on ESPN.

Stanford (19-14, 9-9 PAC-12) travels to Tuscaloosa after capturing a 58-57 home victory over Stephen F. Austin last Tuesday night in the NIT opening round. Junior forward Dwight Powell had 23 points and nine rebounds in the winning effort.

Powell, who was named the PAC-12 Most Improved Player, leads the team this season with 15.3 points per game. Sophomore guard Chasson Randle (13.7 ppg) and junior forward Josh Huestis (10.6 ppg) also average in double figures for the Cardinal. Huestis also leads the team with 9.1 rebounds per game, while Powell is close behind with 8.4 rpg.

Stanford captured the 2012 NIT title after defeating Minnesota, 75-51, in last year's championship game. This is the seventh NIT appearance for the Cardinal, which boasts a record of 13-4 in the event.

The Crimson Tide (22-12, 12-6 SEC) advanced to the second round of this year's tournament with a 62-43 win over Northeastern last Tuesday night. Sophomore guard Levi Randolph led all scorers with 13 points, while Trevor Lacey added 11 points and a team-leading four assists.

The Tide is playing in its 12th NIT in program history, owning a 22-14 record in the event. Alabama last appeared in the NIT in 2011, also earning a No. 1 seed. That year, the Crimson Tide reached the NIT Finals, falling in the championship game to Wichita State.

General admission tickets for the Alabama-Stanford second round NIT game are on currently sale.

Ticket prices are as follows: $10 for courtside seats (front court and back court) and baseline reserved seats (those tickets are available only to regular season courtside and baseline ticket holders); $9 for adult general admission seats; $4 for general admission tickets for youths age 18 and under; and $4 for UA Students who present a valid I.D.

All seats for the NIT are general admission, except courtside (front court and back court) and baseline seating areas.

All customers are encouraged to purchase online and use the "print at home" delivery method to avoid lines at the Will Call window, regardless of whether they are purchasing general admission or reserved seats.

Tuesday's contest can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call. Fans can follow the in-game action with live tweets on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaMBB.

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:

"Andrew Steele had surgery on his ankle on Wednesday. It took a couple of hours and was successful. It was to take care of several issues that were in there, one of which was the stress fracture so he is recovering and we wish him the best as he goes about the process of getting himself healthy again. With that said, I'm looking forward to the challenge of playing Stanford tomorrow. After having a chance to watch them on film, they are an extremely skilled team and a team that has a lot of veteran players on it. They are a very talented, well coached team. It will be a challenge for our guys as always. Anytime you get in a tournament and play an unfamiliar opponent, you watch them on film and try to get a feel for who they are and what they do, but I'm really impressed and it should be a great game and a great challenge."

On Mal Moore and Bill Battle:

"Before we get started talking about our game against Stanford, I'd be remissed if I didn't just say that I'm extremely grateful and honored to have worked for and with our former Athletic Director Mal Moore. I'm extremely appreciative of the opportunity he gave me and my family to come here and to lead this program. Certainly, the legacy that he leaves is tremendous with what he's been able to accomplish. It's a sad day to hear that he's stepping away but I'm certainly prayerful for him as he goes through his health issues and certainly hope that he can get a full recovery here very quickly. I look forward to him being a part of this university as we move forward. At the same time, I had a chance to attend the press conference today with Bill Battle, I certainly want to welcome him and his family back home to the Capstone and excited about his tenure. When you look at his background in coaching and what he's done in the business world, I think as a coach you couldn't ask for a better combination in terms of a leader, what he represents and the things he's accomplished over his career. It's tremendous to have him available and to have him as an addition to our program here. I'm looking forward to working with and for him." 

On what kind of challenges they face with Stanford's Dwight Powell:

"Well, he's a first-team all-league player. I think if you look at the numbers he [averages] almost a double-double during the season. He's a guy that can play inside and out. He's a very skilled guy, a very athletic guy so he's a matchup problem. I don't think that, as far as I can remember, that we've faced a guy like him in terms of his skill set so I'm just trying to get our guys prepared to go against him as a team. That's how we're going to have to face it, as a team. We have to try and take some of his strengths away, in addition to the other players they have. They have a nice group of players that compliment his skill set as well." 

On how Andrew Steele will be missed on the court and on the bench:

"I talked to Andrew a couple of days ago and his plan is to try and make the game tomorrow. For our guys, and I don't want to speak for Levi, but for all of our guys, he's been somewhat of a mentor and a coach on the floor. He's been a guy that has good words of advice, whether it's on a specific play or things that are going on within a game or practice. Obviously, of late he hasn't been able to be out there with them from a competition standpoint, but he's still a part of what we're doing on a daily basis and we expect that to continue going forward." 


Sophomore Guard Levi Randolph

On the 22-0 run against Northeastern:

"Sometimes plays happen and like coach said it can either spark your team or it can bring the energy level down. But, you just have to control it and play through it, or if it is on your side just keep going with it."

On his season:

"We are a team that is trying to get better each day. I feel like this season we have gotten better from day one and were going to continue to try to do it. I am part of the team and the team goal is to get better each day and that is what I am going to try to do." 

On Andrew Steele's injury:

"Like coach said, Andrew is like another coach to us.  If we have a question or need some advice, good or bad, he is there to tell us and to help us out.  He has been here for a while.  He knows everything there is to playing in the SEC and he knows what is expected.  So, if there is anything that we need from him like words or any advice he is there to give it to us."

On a specific time Andrew Steele has given advice to him:

"I know there have been a lot of times this season either the game was going good or bad and he is just somebody if you need someone to talk to about it, he is there to give you advice is you have questions. It is not just one specific instance. It is all the time."