Alabama Welcomes No. 11/9 Wichita State For Crucial Non-Conference Match-Up

Dec. 16, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama continues its three-game homestand, the longest of the season, when it plays host to No. 11/9 Wichita State at Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Tide and Shockers, who will meet for the third time in four seasons, are set to tip off at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the contest are on sale for only $8 per person.

Wichita State comes into Tuesday's contest ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press top-25 poll. The Shockers will be the second-highest ranked non-conference team, and just the 11th non-conference team ranked in the AP top-25 poll, to ever play at Alabama. The highest ranked non-conference team to play in Tuscaloosa was then-No. 5 Purdue who defeated Alabama, 73-65, on Dec. 12, 2009.

 

THE BROADCAST

Tuesday night's contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU, with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Joe Dean Jr. (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. The Alabama radio call can also be heard nationally on Sirius Channel 108 and XM Channel 199. 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 91-56 (.619) record during his time at the Capstone and is 167-81 (.673) in eight seasons as a head coach. Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall is in his seventh season with the Shockers and owns a record of 149-70 (.680). Now in his 16th season as a head coach, he owns a career record of 343-153 (.692) overall.

THE SERIES

Tuesday night's contest will mark the sixth game in series history between Wichita State and Alabama, but it will be just the second time the two teams have met at Coleman Coliseum. The Tide owns a 3-2 edge in the all-time series, including a 93-71 victory in the only meeting in Tuscaloosa, which came on Dec. 1, 1992. Alabama has won three of the last four games played between the two teams, with the lone loss coming in the NIT championship game on March 31, 2011 (L, 66-57). The Tide collected a 10-point win, 70-60, in the last meeting, which came in the Puerto Rico Classic on Nov. 18, 2011.

THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW

- Wichita State comes into Tuesday's contest ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press top-25 poll. The Shockers will be the 11th non-conference team ranked in the AP top-25 to ever play at Coleman Coliseum.

- Alabama's four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 29-7 (.806) as of Dec. 15 [Oklahoma, 9-1; Duke, 7-2; Drexel, 7-2; USF, 6-2].

- In its five home games this season, the Tide has outscored teams by an average of 21.6 points a game (77.6-56.0) while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama enters the game having won 15 consecutive regular-season home games.

- The Crimson Tide enters its game against Wichita State having attempted 50 more free throws than the opposition (223-173) and has outscored teams by 39 from the charity stripe (161-122). UA is 5-1 this season when attempting more free throws than the opposition.

- Sophomore Retin Obasohan leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation in steals per game (3.1). The 6-1, 205-pound guard is tied for sixth in the SEC in blocks per game (1.7 bpg).

 

 

SCOUTING ALABAMA

• Alabama captured a 59-45 victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday night to remain undefeated at home this season. The Tide was led by Retin Obasohan, who recorded 22 points, nine rebounds and six steals - all career-best numbers. Junior guard Rodney Cooper added 16 points and seven boards off the bench.

• Senior guard Trevor Releford, who did not play vs. Charleston Southern to rest a lingering injury, 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 15.2 ppg and tops UA with 3.1 steals, 2.4 assists and 1.7 blocks per contest. The 6-1, 205-pound guard also leads the squad in free throws made (61) and attempted (79).

• Juniors Nick Jacobs (11.0 ppg) and Levi Randolph (10.1 ppg) are also averaging double figures in the early going. Randolph also ranks second on the team in three-point field goal percentage (.375, 9-of-24).

• 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-CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: QUICK HITS

• Charleston Southern came into Saturday night's game leading the nation in scoring at 92.1 points per game. The Tide defense held the Buccaneers to a season-low 45 points on the night. In addition, CSU entered the contest ranked third in the nation in threes made per game at 11.2. However, UA held the Bucs to only four made threes.

Retin Obasohan recorded 22 points, making 13-of-14 free throws on the night. The 13 made free throws were the most made in a game by an Alabama player since former great Kennedy Winston had 13 made free throws on Feb. 21, 2004.

• Obasohan's six steals tied for the sixth-most in a game in program history.

• With the win, Alabama has stretched its home winning streak in regular-season games to 15 straight.

• Alabama had a 33-32 advantage on the glass, which marked the sixth time this season the Tide has won the battle of the boards. UA improves to 5-1 when winning the rebounding battle.

• Alabama scored a season-low 12 points in the paint and attempted a season-high 20 three-pointers.

• The Crimson Tide connected on a season-low 34.9 percent (15-of-43) of its shots from the floor.

Trevor Releford did not play in the game due to an aggravated hip, which marked the first time this season he has not seen any action. He had played in 28 straight games with his last missed game coming at Mississippi State on Jan. 16, 2013.

 

ALABAMA-WICHITA STATE: LAST MEETING

A final box score from UA-WSU's last game is on page 9

• Alabama defeated Wichita State, 70-60, in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 18, 2011.

Tony Mitchell led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

• Forward JaMychal Green scored a majority of his 15 points in the second half and grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds. Guard Trevor Releford added 15 points in the win.

• After shooting just 34.5 percent in the first half, Alabama stepped up its game, shooting 54.2 percent in the second half.

• Four UA players combined to block a tournament record 14 shots, second all-time for the Tide, during the game, led by forward Nick Jacobs, who swatted five while Green and Mitchell added four and three, respectively.

 

A RARE OCCURRENCE

• Wichita State is currently ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press' top-25 poll heading into Tuesday's game at Alabama. It will be the 11th time that the Tide has played host to a non-conference top-25 opponent.

• The last time Alabama hosted a non-conference opponent ranked in the AP top 25 came on Dec. 12, 2009 vs. then-No. 5 Purdue. The Tide lost that game, 73-65. Purdue remains as the highest non-conference opponent to ever play in Coleman Coliseum.

• Wichita State is ranked No. 11 in the nation, which will be the second-highest non-conference ranked opponent to ever play in Tuscaloosa.

• The Crimson Tide has an all-time record of 6-4 when playing against top-25 non-conference opponents on its home floor

• The last win against an non-conference AP top-25 team came on Dec. 30, 2003 with the Tide captured a win over then-No. 19 Wisconsin, 71-56.

• Wichita State would be the first time a Final Four non-conference team from the previous season to play Alabama in Coleman Coliseum since it played VCU on Nov. 27, 2011 (VCU was in the 2011 Final Four).

• Below is a complete breakdown of every non-conference ranked opponent that has played at Alabama since the AP rankings began in 1950:

DATE OPPONENT W/L SCORE

12/12/09 #5 Purdue L 65-73

1/1/08 #18 Clemson L 61-87

11/7/05 #12 Memphis L 76-87

12/22/05 #21 N.C. State L 64-68

12/30/03 #19 Wisconsin W 71-56

1/4/03 #19 Xavier W 65-58

12/5/96 #16 Minnesota W 70-67

11/30/89 #12 North Carolina W 101-93

12/3/75 #15 La Salle W 78-57

12/12/70 #20 Louisville W 91-82

 

RETIN'S RISE

• In seven of Alabama's nine contests this season, redshirt sophomore Retin Obasohan has set or matched a career-high scoring output. Most recently, he collected a career-best 22 points, along with career-highs of nine rebounds and six steals, in the win over Charleston Southern on Dec. 14.

• 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 before to a pair of 18-point games against Georgia State (11/19) and Drexel (11/27). He also had a 20-point performance at USF (12/4), prior to Saturday's 22-point performance.

• For the year, Obasohan is second on the team with 15.2 ppg, while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and 77.2 percent from the charity stripe. In addition, he also leads Alabama in steals per game (3.1), assists per game (2.4), blocks per game (1.7) and free throws made (61) and attempted (79).

• He currently leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation in steals per game. In addition, he is tied for sixth in the SEC in blocks per game, and is the only guard listed among the league leaders in blocked shots.

 

SUPER COOPER

• Junior guard Rodney Cooper broke out of a slump in a big way in Alabama's win over Charleston Southern Saturday night.

• Cooper finished with a season-best 16 points off the bench, to go along with seven rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. He connected on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and a made a career-best four three-pointers (4-of-7) on the night.

• Coming into the contest, Cooper had scored a total of 14 points in the four previous games combined.

 

TOUGH COMPETITION

• Alabama's 5-4 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 29-7 (.806) as of Dec. 15 [Oklahoma, 9-1; Duke, 7-2; Drexel, 7-2; USF, 6-2].

• It will not get any easier, as Bama will face tough competition over its final three games in 2013.

• Alabama will welcome No. 11/8 Wichita State (10-0) on Dec. 17 and Xavier (8-3) on Dec. 21 to Coleman Coliseum. The Tide will close the year on the road at nationally-ranked UCLA (9-1) on Dec. 28.

 

HOME SWEET HOME

• Now in his fifth season at UA, Grant has a record of 57-12 (.826) on Alabama's home floor. This season, the Tide is 5-0 at home and has outscored teams by an average of 21.6 points a game (77.6-56.0).

• Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grant has won 53 of the last 60 games played under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum (53-7; .883).

• Overall, Alabama owns a record of 522-116 (.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.

 

GETTING TO THE LINE

• Alabama has done a good job of getting to the free throw line through nine games this season.

• The Crimson Tide enters its game against Wichita State having attempted 50 more free throws than the opposition (223-173) and has outscored teams by 39 from the charity stripe (161-122).

• As a team, Alabama is shooting 72.2 percent (161-of-223) from the foul line this season, which ranks second in the SEC.

• No other Alabama player has thrived at the line than sophomore guard Retin Obasohan. The Antwerp, Belgium, native is averaging nearly nine free throw attempts per game this season, going 61-of-79 (.772) from the line.

• Obasohan, who is on a program single-season record pace, is averaging 6.8 free throws made and 8.8 free throws attempted per game.

• 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.

• In the win over Charleston Southern, Obasohan hit 13-of-14 free throws and finished with 22 points. The 13 made free throws were the most in a game by an Alabama player since Kennedy Winston hit 13 from the charity stripe at Mississippi State on Feb. 21, 2004.