Alabama Hosts Stillman on Monday Night in NIT Season Tipoff Opener

Nov. 17, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide will open play in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament Season Tipoff when it hosts the Stillman Tigers on Monday night at 7 p.m. CT at Coleman Coliseum.

The Tide is the No. 3 overall seed and is serving as the team host of the South Region. Georgia State and McNeese State will play the first game of the event on Monday at 4:30 p.m. CT. The winning teams and the losing teams of the first round will then meet on Tuesday, Nov. 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Regardless of Monday's outcome, Alabama will play in the 7 p.m. game on Tuesday.

 

THE BROADCAST

Both of Alabama's contests in the NIT Season Tipoff will be televised on ESPN3, with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Daymeon Fishback (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.  There will be live updates throughout the game available on twitter @AlabamaMBB.

 

THE COACHES

Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. He owns an 87-53 (.621) record during his time at the Capstone and is 163-78 (.676) in eight seasons as a head coach. Stillman head coach Michael Grant is in his sixth season with the Tigers and owns a career record of 85-62 (.578).

NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW

• Monday's game will mark the first time that Alabama and Stillman will meet during the regular season; however, it will be the second consecutive year the two teams will square off on the hardwood. Last year, the Tigers came to Coleman Coliseum to face the Crimson Tide in an exhibition contest on Nov. 6, 2012. Alabama claimed a 76-68 victory, as Nick Jacobs led four players in double figures with 16 points on the night.

• Dating back to last season, sophomore guard Retin Obasohan has set or matched his career high in scoring in three of Alabama's last four games. He enters the NIT Season Tipoff second on the team in scoring at 14.5 ppg and leading the squad with 3.0 steals per game.

• The winner of the South (University of Alabama) Region of the NIT Season Tipoff will advance to play in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27 and 29. The other three teams will play at regional sites on dates yet to be determined.

 

SCOUTING ALABAMA

• Alabama is coming off a 76-64 victory over Texas Tech on Thursday night. Trevor Releford led all scorers with 29 points, while Retin Obasohan had a career-high 15 points to go along with matching a career high of five steals in the contest.

• Thursday's contest was the inaugural game of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, a men's basketball inter-conference event that begins this season. The Tide's victory gave the SEC a 1-0 lead in the series.

• Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 20.5 points per game. He has connected on 65.2 percent (15-of-23) of his shots from the floor and is 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from beyond the arc.

• Obasohan is second on the team with 14.5 ppg and tops UA with 2.0 steals per contest. Junior Algie Key is also averaging double figures in the early going with 11.0 ppg and has connected on 8-of-9 (.889) from the floor.

• As a team, Alabama is shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 31.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is also outrebounding the competition through its first two games, 34.5-32.0 and outscoring foes, 74.5-73.0.

• The Tide returns eight letterwinners and three starters from last season's 23-13 squad that finished tied for second in the SEC (12-6).

• Five of the top seven scorers return from last year's NIT quarterfinal team, led by First Team All-SEC and All-District performer in senior guard Trevor Releford. The Kansas City, Mo., native topped the Crimson Tide last season in scoring (14.9 ppg), steals (2.1 spg), three-point field goal percentage (.407) and minutes (33.2) per game.

ALABAMA-STILLMAN: THE SERIES

• Alabama and Stillman will meet for the first time in regular-season play on Monday night.

• Even though Monday's game will be the first regular-season meeting between Alabama and Stillman, the two teams will be squaring off on the hardwood for a second straight year. Last year, the Tide and Tigers met in exhibition play, with Alabama pulling out a 76-68 win.

 

ALABAMA-GEORGIA STATE: THE SERIES

• Should Alabama and Georgia State meet on Tuesday night, it will mark the second meeting in the series history between the two teams.

• The only other time the two squads met came on Dec. 17, 2005. The Crimson Tide captured an 85-68 victory in Coleman Coliseum.

 

ALABAMA-MCNEESE STATE: THE SERIES

• Should Alabama and McNeese State meet on Tuesday night, it will mark the fourth meeting in the series history between the two teams.

• Alabama owns a 3-0 lead in the all-time series against the Cowboys, with all three contests being played in Tuscaloosa.

• The last meeting between the two teams came on Nov. 29, 2001, when the Crimson Tide captured a 90-61 victory over McNeese State.

 

RETIN'S RISING

• Redshirt sophomore Retin Obasohan picked up right where he left off last season.

• Obasohan set a career high with 14 points vs. Stanford in the second round of last year's NIT (3/23/13). In fact, over his final 12 games a year ago, the Antwerp, Belgium, native averaged 6.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

• In two games so far this season, Obasohan matched his career high with 14 points in the season opener vs. Oklahoma and set a new career best with 15 points last Thursday vs. Texas Tech. In addition, his five steals against the Red Raiders also matched a career-best output in a game.

• Obasohan is second on the team with 14.5 ppg, while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 87.5 percent from the charity stripe. In addition, he also leads Alabama with 3.0 steals per game.

MOVING ON UP

• Guard Trevor Releford comes into the NIT Season Tipoff with 1,340 career points, which places him 20th on the school's all-time scoring list.

• The Kansas City, Mo., native is 55 points away from surpassing Mike Nordholz (1966-68) into 19th place on the school's all-time scoring list. In addition, the Bob Cousy Award Watch List honoree needs 60 points to become the 19th player in program history to reach 1,400 points in his career.

• Last season, Releford became the 46th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, doing so in just 82 contests.

• Below is a list of where Releford currently ranks among the all-time scoring leaders at Alabama:

Player Years Points

17. Ken Johnson 1978-81 1,451

18. George Linn 1953-56 1,444

19. Mike Nordholz 1966-68 1,394

20. Trevor Releford 2010-pr. 1,340

 

`KEY' CONTRIBUTION

• Junior guard Algie Key made quite the Alabama debut vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 8. The Decatur, Ga., native finished the night with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor.

• Key's 20 points were the most points scored by an Alabama player in his debut since Alvin Lee scored 21 points as a true freshman on Nov. 27, 1987 vs. New Mexico State.

• Through Alabama's two games, Key has connected on 8-of-9 field goals and leads the team in field goal percentage (88.9 percent), while ranking third in points per game (11.0).

 

REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS

• This marks only the second time that an Alabama team  will compete in the NIT Season Tipoff. The only other occurrence came in 2005, when the Tide went 1-1 in the event, defeating Miami (Ohio), before falling to Memphis.

• Alabama has competed in a total of 86 regular-season tournaments, capturing 32 titles while compiling an overall record of 134-73 (.647). 

• Including the three victories in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2011 and the four wins in the 2012 2K Sports Classic, the Crimson Tide has won seven consecutive games in regular-season tournament play.

ALABAMA BASKETBALL TIDBITS

• Over the last three years, Anthony Grant teams boast a record of 49-7 (.875) when playing at Coleman Coliseum.

• The Crimson Tide opened the season against back-to-back Big 12 opponents. It marks the first time in the modern era that has occurred.

• Alabama leads all SEC men's basketball teams and ranks among the top 10 percent of all Division I men's hoops programs in the NCAA Academic Progress Report (APR).

• Since 2000, Alabama has graduated 39 of 40 men's  basketball seniors (97 percent).

• Last season, Alabama ranked 31st in the nation in average attendance (11,159).

• Since his arrival, Alabama owns a home record of  27-6 (.818) against SEC competition, including a 23-2 (.920) mark in the past three years alone.

ALABAMA MILESTONES TO WATCH

Trevor Releford needs five steals to earn his 200th career takeaway (195). In doing so, he would become the first person in program history to record 1,300 points (1,340), 300 assists (300) and 200 steals.

• Releford needs 60 points to become the 19th player in Alabama program history to reach the 1,400-point plateau. He currently has 1,340 points in his career.

• Junior Nick Jacobs needs 17 points to reach 500 points in his career (483).

• Junior Levi Randolph needs 13 rebounds to reach 300 career boards (287).

Anthony Grant is 13 wins shy of winning his 100th game at Alabama. He is only 10 games from coaching his 150th game with the Crimson Tide, which will come at UCLA on Dec. 28.