Alabama Basketball Preview - Alabama vs. Detroit
Alabama (7-2) vs. Detroit (5-6)
Dec. 11 | 5 p.m.
Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Coleman Coliseum
ESPNU | ESPN3
Dec. 10, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The No. 16/15 University of Alabama men's basketball team returns to Coleman Coliseum to host Detroit in a Sunday evening contest. Tipoff on ESPNU and the radio affiliates of the Crimson Tide Sports Network is scheduled for 5 p.m.
The Crimson Tide aims to rebound from back-to-back losses in its last two games that dropped the team to 7-2 on the season. However the squad is eager to return home where it has lost just once in the last two seasons. On Wednesday evening, the Tide fell at hot-shooting Dayton, 74-62.
"For our guys it'll be good to play again," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "Anytime you're coming off a loss, there's an anxiousness to get back on the court."
Detroit travels to Tuscaloosa with a 5-6 record and is coming off a pair of home wins against St. John's and Western Michigan but the team has yet to win on the road this season in three tries. The Titans are averaging 75.9 points per game and have scored 90 or more points four times this season while converting on 46.7 percent of their attempts from the field. In the Horizon League preseason poll, the Titans were tabbed to finish second, behind only Butler, and had three players named preseason first team all-conference including preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum.
"I'm very impressed with what I've seen of Detroit so far," Grant said. "They're a very talented team that's coming off consecutive wins so they have momentum in their favor."
Despite a subpar night against Dayton, the Tide's defense remains one of the top in the nation by allowing just 55.4 points per game this season, the 12th best average in the nation. Only three of UA's opponents have even reached the 60-point mark this season and three have failed to score 50 points. UA's nine opponents have converted on just 36 percent of their field goal attempts, the 11th lowest average in the nation.
After averaging 19 points in his last two games, Tony Mitchell leads the Tide in scoring and rebounding with 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. JaMychal Green is second on the squad with 14.8 points per game while converting on 53.7 percent of his attempts and hauling in 6.9 rebounds per game. Over the summer, Green was teammates with Detroit's Ray McCallum on the USA Basketball World University Games team that competed in Shenzhen, China. Green averaged 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds for the team while McCallum added 4.5 points per game.
"He's a very talented guard," Green said. "He's quick, can shoot the ball from the three-point line with a great mid-range game. He's a great all-around player and our guards are going to have to be ready."
Sunday's game is the second between the two programs with the last coming in the semifinals of the 2001 NIT with UA advancing courtesy of a 74-63 win. Following Sunday's game the Tide will have a week off for finals before traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to face Kansas State on Saturday.