Dec. 3, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will return home to Coleman Coliseum where it will play host to the North Florida Ospreys on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7p.m. CT. It will mark the third time the teams will meet on the hardwood, with all three contests coming in the last five years.
The Alabama-North Florida game will be televised on CSS, with Matt Stewart (play-by-play) and former Alabama head coach Wimp Sanderson (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.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. He owns an 89-55 (.618) record during his time at the Capstone and is 165-80 (.673) in eight seasons as a head coach. North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll is in his fifth season with the Ospreys and owns a record of 62-76 (.449). Now in his eighth season as a head coach, he owns a career record of 88-153 (.365) overall.
Alabama owns a 2-0 lead in the all-time series, having won each of the previous contests by 20 or more points. In the first game between the two teams, the Crimson Tide captured a 73-51 win on Dec. 2, 2009. The last time the teams met came on Nov. 11, 2011 with Alabama taking a 64-44 victory. Both games were played in Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama will look to snap a two-game losing streak when it welcomes North Florida to Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Tide dropped both of its games in the NIT Season Tipoff played in Madison Square Garden. Alabama fell to then-No. 6/5 Duke, 74-64, last Wednesday night in the semifinals. Following that contest, UA dropped a triple-overtime heartbreaker to Drexel in the consolation game, 85-83.
Senior guard Trevor Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 17.3 points per game. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 51.5 percent (35-of-68) of his shots from the floor and is shooting 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Retin Obasohan is second on the team with 14.7 ppg and tops UA with 2.8 steals, 2.8 assists and 33.2 minutes per contest. The 6-1, 205-pound guard also leads the squad in blocked shots (9) and free throws made (39) and attempted (52).
Juniors Nick Jacobs (11.5 ppg) and Algie Key (10.3) are also averaging double figures in the early going. Key has connected on 22-of-31 from the floor and leads the team in field goal percentage (.710).
As a team, Alabama currently ranks fourth in the SEC in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent. The Tide leads the SEC in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding the opposition to 28.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc. UA is outrebounding the competition through its first six games by 5.2 rebounds a game (38.3-33.2) and outscoring foes by 7.5 points a game (78.8-71.3).
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: QUICK HITS
Nick Jacobs scored a game-high 23 points, while Trevor Releford added 21 in the losing effort. It marked the first time since March 21, 2011 that two Alabama players had 20 or more points in the same game. In the last occurrence, Tony Mitchell (23) and Releford (20) both reached the mark in a win over New Mexico.
Releford snapped his streak of consecutive free throws made at 20 straight when he missed a free throw early in the first overtime. He is now 20-of-21 from the charity stripe this season (.952).
Drexel outscored Alabama in the paint. 46-40, en route to the victory. It was the first time this season that the Tide has lost the battle of points in the paint.
UA shot only 28 percent (7-of-25) in the opening half. However, the Tide combined to shoot 51.3 percent (20-of-39) for the second half and three overtimes.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A HALF MAKES
In both of its games at the NIT Season Tipoff semifinals, the Crimson Tide fell behind by double figures at halftime. However, Alabama made up for the deficit by playing much better in the second half
In fact, Alabama has only been outscored one time this season over the final 20 minutes, which came in the regular-season opener vs. Oklahoma. Below is a breakdown of Alabama's averages in the first half compared to the second half in six games on the year.
UA-OPP Point FG%
HALF Points Difference FG% Def FT%
1st half 35.7-33.2 +2.5 .491 .436 .691
2nd half 39.5-34.2 +5.3 .494 .424 .776
JACOBS HAS IMPRESSIVE WEEK
Junior Nick Jacobs had an impressive showing in Alabama's two semifinal contests at the NIT Season Tipoff.
Against Duke on Nov. 27, Jacobs tied his career high with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks.
In the consolation game against Drexel, the Atlanta, Ga., native had a career-high 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds.
For the two contests, Jacobs averaged 20.5 points, and 7.5 rebounds, while connecting on 65.5 percent of his shots from the floor (19-of-29).
ALABAMA VS. UNF: TWO YEARS AGO
Alabama and North Florida will meet for the third time in series history on Wednesday night, with all three contests coming in the past five seasons.
In the last meeting between the two teams, the Crimson Tide captured a 64-44 victory in the first regular season game of the 2011-12 season on Nov. 11, 2011.
Forward JaMychal Green led all scorers with a game-high 18 points, while Tony Mitchell notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Guard Levi Randolph added eight rebounds to go along with five points for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide led by as many as 28 points in the second half after holding a 29-16 halftime lead. Alabama limited North Florida to 13-of-56 (23.2 percent) shooting on the night, including just 3-of-21 (14.3 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.
GETTING TO THE LINE
Alabama has done a good job of getting to the free throw line through six games this season.
The Crimson Tide enters its game against North Florida having attempted 34 more free throws than the opposition (150-116) and has outscored teams by 24 from the charity stripe (109-85).
As a team, Alabama is shooting 72.7 percent (109-150) from the foul line this season, which ranks second in the SEC.
Individually, sophomore guard Retin Obasohan is averaging nearly nine free throw attempts per game this season, going 39-of-52 (.750) from the line.
Against Drexel, Obasohan hit 12-of-15 free throws and finished with 18 points. It was the most free throws made in a game by an Alabama player since JaMychal Green made 12 free throws against Georgia on March 11, 2011. Furthermore, his 15 free throw attempts were the most since Richard Hendrix had 21 attempts against Florida on Jan. 8, 2008.
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 five of his six games this season, Obasohan has either matched or set his career-best scoring total, including a career-best 18 points in the win over Georgia State (11/19) that was matched against Drexel (11/29).
Obasohan began the year with a career-high tying 14 points against Oklahoma on Nov. 8. He followed that with a career-high 15 points vs. Texas Tech on Nov. 14. Against Stillman on Nov. 18, Obasohan finished with a career-best tying 15 points.
For the year, Obasohan is second on the team with 14.7 ppg, while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 75.0 percent from the charity stripe. In addition, he also leads Alabama in steals per game (2.8), assists per game (2.8), free throws made (39) and attempted (52) and minutes per game (33.2).
MOVING ON UP
Guard Trevor Releford comes into the game against North Florida with 1,403 career points, which places him 19th on the school's all-time scoring list.
The Kansas City, Mo., native is 42 points away from surpassing George Linn (1953-56) into 18th place on the school's all-time scoring list. In addition, the Bob Cousy Award Watch List honoree became just 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. Trevor Releford 2010-pr. 1,403
20. Mike Nordholz 1966-68 1,394
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 first six games, Key has connected on 22-of-31 field goals and leads the team in field goal percentage (71.0 percent), while ranking fourth in points per game (10.3).
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fourth season at UA, Grant has a record of 55-12 (.821) on Alabama's home floor.
Heading into the next home contest, Grant has won 51 of his last 58 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (51-7; .879), which includes 24 straight victories that spanned the final home game of the 2009-10 season through the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 520-116 (.818) in the facility's 47th season of use.
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.