Nov. 29, 2013
NEW YORK CITY - Alabama will face Drexel in the consolation game of the 2013 NIT Season Tipoff on Friday, Nov. 29, at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The contest will be televised on ESPN2, with Dan Shulman, Bob Knight and Andy Katz on the call.
The NIT Tipoff championship game between No. 5/3 Arizona and No. 6/5 Duke will take place immediately following the consolation game.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Alabama, the No. 3 seed and South Region host, advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tipoff by defeating Stillman, 102-65, and Georgia State, 75-58, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Drexel advanced to Madison Square Garden by defeating Elon, 71-64, and regional host Rutgers, 70-59. The Dragons lost to the event's top seed Arizona, 66-62, on Wednesday.
The Alabama-Drexel game will be televised on ESPN2, with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Bob Knight (analyst) and Andy Katz (reporter) 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.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. He owns an 89-54 (.622) record during his time at the Capstone and is 165-79 (.676) in eight seasons as a head coach. Drexel head coach James "Bruiser" Flint is in his 13th season with the Dragons and owns a record of 215-161 (.572). Now in his 18th season as a head coach, Flint owns a career record of 301-233 (.564) overall.
• Alabama had its three-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday with a 74-64 loss to No. 6/5 Duke in the NIT Season Tipoff semifinals. Nick Jacobs led the Tide with a career-high tying 18 points to go along with seven boards and three blocks. Algie Key also reached double figures with 11 points off the bench.
• Senior guard Trevor Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 16.6 points per game. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 55.1 percent (27-of-49) of his shots from the floor and is shooting 44.0 percent (11-of-25) from beyond the arc.
• Sophomore Retin Obasohan is second on the team with 14.0 ppg and tops UA with 2.8 steals and 2.3 assists per contest. Junior Levi Randolph (10.4 ppg) and Key (10.4) are also averaging double figures in the early going. Key has connected on 20-of-26 from the floor and leads the team in field goal percentage (.769).
• As a team, Alabama is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Tide is also outrebounding the competition through its first four games by 6.0 rebounds a game (37.2-31.2) and outscoring foes by 9.4 points a game (78.0-68.6).
• 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).
ALABAMA-DREXEL: THE SERIES
• Alabama and Drexel will meet for the first time in series history when the squads square off in the NIT Season Tipoff consolation game Friday afternoon.
• Head coaches Anthony Grant and Bruiser Flint are no strangers to one another. The two head coaches met several times as conference rivals in the CAA. Grant owns a 3-1 record when his VCU teams played Flint's Drexel teams in CAA play from 2007-09.
ALABAMA RETURNS TO THE MECCA
• Alabama is becoming a regular in Madison Square Garden considering this year's appearance marks the third time in the last four years that UA will play for a tournament title in the Mecca Of Basketball.
• The Tide competed for the NIT postseason championship 2011, falling in the championship game to Wichita State. Last year, UA won the 2K Sports Classic championship in the Garden, defeating both Oregon State and Villanova.
• Friday's contest will be the 24th game Alabama has played in the historic venue in program history.
• In all, UA has a record of 11-12 when playing at Madison Square Garden, including a record of 3-2 under head coach Anthony Grant.
• Below is a complete breakdown of every game Alabama has played in MSG.
Date Opponent W/L Score Event
3/19/73 Manhattan W 87-86 NIT
3/22/73 Minnesota W 69-65 NIT
3/24/73 Virginia Tech L 73-74 NIT
3/25/73 #11 North Carolina L 69-88 NIT
12/6/75 Providence W 71-67
3/13/76 #5 North Carolina W 79-64 NCAA
3/18/76 #1 Indiana L 69-74 NCAA
3/17/77 Houston L 76-82 NIT
3/20/77 Villanova L 89-102 NIT
3/19/79 Purdue L 68-87 NIT
3/21/79 Ohio State W 96-86 NIT
3/14/81 St. John's W 73-69 NIT
3/26/96 St. Joseph's LOT 69-74 NIT
3/28/96 Tulane L 76-87 NIT
3/27/01 Detroit W 74-63 NIT
3/29/01 Tulsa L 60-79 NIT
11/15/05 Miami (Ohio) W 64-58 Pre. NIT
11/17/05 #12 Memphis L 76-87 Pre. NIT
3/29/11 Colorado W 62-61 NIT
3/31/11 Wichita State L 57-66 NIT
11/15/12 Oregon State W 65-62 2K Classic
11/16/12 Villanova W 77-55 2K Classic
11/27/13 #6 Duke L 64-74 Pre. NIT
REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS
• Alabama is competing in its 87th regular-season tournaments in program history in this year's NIT Season Tipoff. The Tide has captured 32 titles while compiling an overall record of 136-74 (.612).
• It's the second time that Alabama has competed 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.
• Wednesday night's defeat to Duke snapped a nine-game winning streak Alabama had had in regular-season tournament play. Prior to the loss, the Tide had won nine straight games in regular-season tournaments that included three victories in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2011, the four wins in the 2012 2K Sports Classic and the two wins in this year's NIT Season Tipoff.