Dec. 13, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama will return home to begin a three-game homestand, its longest of the season, when it welcomes Charleston Southern to Coleman Coliseum. The Tide and Buccaneers are set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT.
The Alabama-Charleston Southern game is the only Crimson Tide game this year not on television. The game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) calling all the action. The radio call can also be heard nationally on Sirius Channel 138 and XM channel 201. There will be live updates throughout the game available on twitter @AlabamaMBB.
HEAD COACH Anthony Grant ON SATURDAY'S GAME
"We are coming off of finals week for our guys. It's been a pretty hectic time for them. Since our last game, these guys have been pretty locked in to their academics. So now we're in a position to get back on the court coming off our last game, which was a tough loss at South Florida. The thing I'm telling our guys right now is to understand the challenge that we have in front of us and what we have to do. Obviously, eight games in to the season, our goal was to be in a different place than we are right now. When you look at the eight games, what you always try to do when you're a coach, is try to look and say where can we get better. Obviously, the results are the results, but we're probably a couple of plays away from being in a different place, maybe 6-2 or 7-1, but at the end of the day the bottom line is as a team we have to get better. What we've done over these first eight games is learn a lot about ourselves. I think the thing I told our guys when we met a few days ago was that as a team some things have been revealed in terms of where we are and what we need to do. We have some deficiencies as a team, we have some flaws, we have some limitations, but I think for us it's more on focusing on what gives us the best chance to be successful and how do we go about doing that as a team. When you look at our schedule, really for the rest of the way, I told our guys this, we're not going to overwhelm anyone with talent. We've got a very challenging schedule ahead of us, we're playing teams that are extremely talented that are veteran teams. We have to understand what gives us the best chance to win. For me, it's more about our mindset in terms of understand what it takes to be successful and to accomplish the things we want to accomplish as a team. So that's where we are. We're dealing with a team coming in here (Saturday), in Charleston Southern, that's very impressive. We could play well and have a difficult time winning the game. This is a team that, if you look at their numbers, is averaging 92 points per game. They've got a veteran team. We played them last year in a highly contested game and it was a dogfight. They've added some pieces to their team and they are good. They went to New Mexico and scored 93 points in a very tough environment to play in. They lost a five point game at Baylor. I know they've lost three or four games of their last five, but this is a very talented basketball team, a very well coached team. Our focus has been on being able to control the things that we can control as a team and understand what we need to be able to do ourselves that gives us the best chance to win."
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. He owns an 90-56 (.616) record during his time at the Capstone and is 166-81 (.671) in eight seasons as a head coach. Charleston Southern head coach Barclay Radebaugh is in his ninth season with the Buccaneers and owns a record of 110-140 (.440). Now in his 10th season as a head coach, he owns a career record of 131-148 (.470) overall.
Saturday's game will mark just the second meeting in the series between Alabama and Charleston Southern. The only other meeting between the two teams came last season when the Crimson Tide captured a 59-46 victory over the Buccaneers on Nov. 23, 2012 in Coleman Coliseum.
THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW
Alabama's four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 27-7 (.794) [Oklahoma, 8-1; Duke, 7-2; Drexel, 6-2; USF, 6-2].
In its four home games this season, the Tide has outscored teams by an average of 23.5 points a game (82.2-58.7), while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama enters the game having won 14 consecutive regular-season home games.
Alabama currently leads the SEC and ranks 27th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (.274). UA also ranks 22nd in the nation in steal percentage, collecting a steal on 12.1 percent of its opponents' possessions. However, Charleston Southern ranks third in the nation in threes made per game (11.4) and leads the nation in scoring offense (92.1 ppg).
The Crimson Tide enters its game against Charleston Southern having attempted 35 more free throws than the opposition (191-156) and has outscored teams by 29 from the charity stripe (138-109). UA is 4-1 this season when attempting more free throws than the opposition.
Alabama is coming off a third straight 20-win season, the first time that has happened in just over 20 years.
Alabama dropped its second two-point decision of the young season with a 66-64 loss to South Florida on Dec. 7 in Tampa, Fla. The Tide was led by sophomore guard Retin Obasohan's career-best 20 points. It marked the Tide's third loss over its last four games.
Senior guard Trevor Releford leads all Alabama scorers with an average of 16.4 points per game. The Bob Cousy Award Watch list honoree has connected on 48.9 percent (45-of-92) of his shots from the floor, while also averaging 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
Obasohan is second on the team with 14.4 ppg and tops UA with 2.8 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per contest. The 6-1, 205-pound guard also leads the squad in free throws made (48) and attempted (65).
Juniors Nick Jacobs (11.5 ppg) and Levi Randolph (11.3 ppg) are also averaging double figures in the early going. Randolph also leads the team in three-point field goal percentage (.450, 9-of-20).
As a team, Alabama currently ranks seventh in the SEC in field goal percentage at 46.9 percent. The Tide leads the SEC in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding the opposition to 27.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. UA is outrebounding the competition through its first eight games by 3.9 rebounds a game (38.2-34.4) and outscoring foes by 8.8 points a game (76.6-67.8).
ALABAMA-SOUTH FLORIDA: QUICK HITS
Alabama dropped its second two-point game of the season (Drexel) in the 66-64 loss to South Florida. In all, the Tide has lost its four games by a combined total of 23 points (5.7 points a game), with all four losses decided by 10 or fewer points. In comparison, the Tide's four wins by a combined 94 points, an average of 23.5 points a game.
Retin Obasohan (20), Trevor Releford (17), Levi Randolph (12) and Nick Jacobs (10) combined to score 59 of Alabama's 64 points on the night. Only Shannon Hale (3) and Rodney Cooper (2) also registered points.
For the first time this season, the Tide failed to hit the 40-percent mark in field goal percentage for a game in the two-point loss at USF. Alabama shot a season-low 39.0 percent (23-of-59) for the night against the Bulls. The previous low for the Tide in field goal percentage in a game came against Duke (40.4 percent).
Alabama lost the battle of the boards, 39-31, which marked the team's largest disadvantage on the glass this year. In all, UA has been outrebounded in three games, losing each (-1 on the glass vs. both Oklahoma and Duke).
The Tide's seven turnovers on the night were a season low. In addition, Alabama connected on 14-of-16 free throws for a season-best 87.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Alabama was outscored in the paint by South Florida, 36-32. It marks just the second time in eight games this season the Tide has lost the battle in the paint (Drexel).
ALABAMA-CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: A YEAR AGO
Trevor Releford scored 22 points and added six assists as Alabama defeated Charleston Southern 59-46 on Nov. 23, 2012.
Releford made seven of his 15 attempts in the game and was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Guard Levi Randolph also reached double-figures, scoring 10 points.
The Tide started the game on a 9-0 run. Through the first half, the score was tied once and the lead changed four times. The Tide eventually took a 36-27 lead at the half. After a slow start to the second half, Alabama outscored Charleston Southern 23-19 down the stretch to seal the victory.
Alabama shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the floor, including 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from three-point range. The Tide outscored Charleston Southern on the fast break 12-6, as well as 30-18 in the paint. Alabama also had a 17-7 edge in assists.
Junior center Carl Engstrom also had a strong game with six points and eight rebounds.
In six of Alabama's eight contests this season, redshirt sophomore Retin Obasohan has set or matched a career-high scoring output. Most recently, he collected a career-best 20 points in the loss at USF on Dec. 7.
Obasohan began the year with a then-career-high-tying 14 points vs Oklahoma (11/8). He followed that with a then-career-high 15 points vs. Texas Tech (11/14). Against Stillman (11/18), Obasohan finished with a career-best tying 15 points, which came prior to a pair of 18-point games against Georgia State (11/19) and Drexel (11/27).
For the year, Obasohan is second on the team with 14.4 ppg, while shooting 45.1 percent from the floor and 73.8 percent from the charity stripe. In addition, he also leads Alabama in steals per game (2.8), assists per game (2.6), blocks per game (1.6) and free throws made (48) and attempted (68).
Alabama's 4-4 record may be a little deceiving when taking a closer look at the team's schedule.
Each of the Tide's four losses have come away from home and were against teams that have a combined record of 27-7 (.794) [Oklahoma, 8-1; Duke, 7-2; Drexel, 6-2; USF, 6-2].
It will not get any easier, as Bama will face tough competition over its final four games in 2013.
Following Saturday's game vs. Charleston Southern, Alabama will welcome No. 12/8 Wichita State (9-0) on Dec. 17 and Xavier (7-3) on Dec. 21 to Coleman Coliseum. The Tide will close the year on the road at nationally-ranked UCLA (8-1) on Dec. 28.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 56-12 (.824) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 4-0 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 23.5 points a game (82.2-58.7).
Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 52 of the last 59 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (52-7; .881).
Overall, Alabama owns a record of 521-116 (.818) in the facility's 47th season of use.
Grant also led UA to 24 straight home victories that spanned the final home game of the 2009-10 season through the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
Since Grant's arrival in 2009, Alabama owns a home record of 27-6 (.818) against SEC competition, including a 23-2 (.920) mark in the past three years alone.
DIFFERENCE IN HOME AND AWAY NUMBERS
Alabama is a perfect 4-0 in games played at Coleman Coliseum this season. However, the Tide has yet to win a game away from home, going 0-4 thus far, including an 0-3 mark in neutral site games.
In its four home games, the Tide is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. However, when playing away from home, those numbers fall to 42.3 percent shooting from the floor and 23.2 percent from deep.
Below is a breakdown of key numbers on the road and at home this season.
OPP OPP OPP
PPG PPG FG% FG% 3FG% 3FG%
HOME 82.2 58.7 .518 .387 .400 .276
AWAY 71.0 76.8 .423 .436 .232 .273
PUTTING UP THE POINTS
Alabama comes into the game against Charleston Southern averaging 76.6 points per game - the best scoring output by a UA team in the early going in quite some time.
The last time an Alabama team averaged 76 or more points through the first eight games of the season came in 2007-08 when the Tide averaged exactly 76.6 ppg after eight games.
DEFENSE IS IN THE NUMBERS
Alabama is allowing 67.8 points per game and leads the SEC in three-point field goal percentage defense (27.4 percent). When breaking down the numbers even further, UA's defense ranks among the best in the nation.
According to Ken Pomeroy (KenPom.com), the Tide ranks 23rd in the nation in defensive efficiency, holding the opposition to .96 points per possession. The national average is 1.04 points per possession.
Alabama also ranks among the top 20 teams in the nation in both steal percentage and three-point percentage defense.
Using the Pomeroy numbers, UA is 22nd in the nation in steal percentage, collecting a steal on 12.1 percent of its opponents' possessions (national average is 8.9 percent).
In addition, the Tide is 11th nationally in three-point percentage defense. The national average for three-point field goal percentage is 33.9 percent, but Alabama opponents are more than six percentage points below that mark (26.0 percent).
GETTING TO THE LINE
Alabama has done a good job of getting to the free throw line through eight games this season.
The Crimson Tide enters its game against Charleston Southern having attempted 35 more free throws than the opposition (191-156) and has outscored teams by 29 from the charity stripe (138-109).
As a team, Alabama is shooting 72.3 percent (138-191) from the foul line this season, which ranks third in the SEC.
Individually, sophomore guard Retin Obasohan is averaging more than eight free throw attempts per game this season, going 48-of-65 (.738) from the line.
In the triple overtime loss vs. 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.