Alabama Basketball Preview - Alabama vs. North Florida
Alabama (0-0) vs. North Florida (0-0)
Nov. 11, 2011 | 7 p.m.
Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Coleman Coliseum
1-877-TIDE-TIX | Click here
Crimson Tide Sports Network
Nov. 10, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama men's basketball team opens up the 2011-12 season on Friday evening when it welcomes North Florida to Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff between the No. 19/17 Crimson Tide and Ospreys is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Both teams enter the season opener with an exhibition win under their belt as the Crimson Tide defeated an extremely talented UAH squad, 67-60, on Monday evening while the Ospreys handled Flagler, 84-67, on Nov. 1.
"They come in with a veteran team and have a lot of guys that played here in the game two years ago," UA head coach Anthony Grant said of UNF. "They're a team that, towards the end of last year, was playing really good basketball. They're picked to be among the top of their league this year so I think it'll be a very good test for us."
The two teams have met once before with the Tide winning, 73-51, on Dec. 2, 2009, in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama returns three starters and six total players from last season's squad that won the SEC Western Division, advanced to the NIT championship game and finished with a 25-12 record. To that returning group, third-year head coach Anthony Grant added a six-member recruiting class that was ranked as the fifth best in the nation by rivals.com.
UNF finished with a 15-19 record and a 10-10 mark in league play in 2010-11. However, in the postseason the team advanced to the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament and this year's team is projected to finish third in the league this season.
"I know they're a veteran team and they're probably coming in with a lot of confidence and momentum," UA senior JaMychal Green said. "We know we'll have to come out and play a 40-minute game."
Third-year head coach Matthew Driscoll returns four starters from 2010-11 including guards Jerron Granberry and Parker Smith who each averaged 12 points per game last season.
"He's [Granberry] a really good player that doesn't have many weaknesses," UA guard and Granberry's former high school teammate Charles Hankerson, Jr., said. "He's a great all-around player."
Tickets for Friday's opener are available via the Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-877-TIDETIX or visiting www.RollTide.com.
Following Friday's game, the Tide will remain at home to host a very talented Oakland team on Monday evening at 7 p.m.