Alabama Basketball Preview - No. 16/15 Alabama vs. Maryland
Alabama 1-0 | Maryland 1-0
Nov. 17, 2011 | 4 p.m. CST
San Juan, Puerto Rico
ESPN2 | ESPN3
Nov. 16, 2011
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -
The No. 16/15 University of Alabama men's basketball team begins competition in the three-game Puerto Rico Tip Off Thursday evening against Maryland. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. CST tipoff at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico with the contest being broadcast live by ESPN2.
"When you look at the teams in this tournament it will be a great opportunity for us to find out where we are as team against great competition," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "It'll be a very tough test, having to play three games in four days. You've got to be ready to go once you get there, which can be difficult with a young team."
The Crimson Tide opened its season with a pair of wins over North Florida and Oakland. UA opened play with a 64-44 win over UNF and followed that up with a 74-57 win over a highly regarded Oakland team. The Puerto Rico Tip Off will be UA's first game away from home this season where the Tide has won 22 straight games to tie for the fifth longest home winning streak in Division I.
Maryland is 1-0 on the young season under first-year head coach Mark Turgeon after opening the season with a 71-62 win over UNC Wilmington on Sunday evening. Thursday's game will be the fourth between the two programs, but the first since the 1985-86 season. UA is 0-3 against Maryland.
Last season, Maryland posted a 19-14 record last season and averaged 76.8 points per game under former coach Gary Williams. Turgeon's first Terrapin team will have to prepare for a UA defense that is allowing just 50.5 points per game this season and just 59.4 points per game last season, the eighth lowest average in the nation.
Additionally, Alabama returns three preseason All-SEC selections in JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell and Trevor Releford. Green has scored 18 points in each of the Tide's first two games on 56.5 percent shooting and Mitchell was just a rebound shy of opening the season with back-to-back double-doubles with 12 points and nine boards against Oakland and 17 points and 10 rebounds against UNF.
Maryland was led in its opener by Terrell Stoglin's 22 points off the bench with 10 of them coming at the free-throw line. Asthon Pankey and James Padgett also hit double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
In its second game in San Juan, Alabama will play either Wichita State or Colorado at 5:30 or 8 p.m. CST.