Alabama-Tulane Set To Renew Old Rivalry On Sunday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Junior guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with 19 points vs. Mercer on Dec. 22.
Junior guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with 19 points vs. Mercer on Dec. 22.

Dec. 29, 2012


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will return to Coleman Coliseum where it will take on the Tulane Green Wave on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT.

The game will be televised on ESPNU and can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call.

“Tulane is an excellent team,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “They are 10-3 on the year and they could easily be 12-1. They’ve lost a couple of close games at Nebraska and at San Diego. They are playing great basketball right now and they have a nucleus of experienced veterans, size and depth. They are a very good basketball team”

The Crimson Tide (7-4) will look to turn things around beginning with Sunday’s contest. Alabama comes into the match-up having dropped four of its last five games, most recently falling at home to Mercer, 66-59, on Dec. 22. Junior guard Trevor Releford scored a team-leading 19 points in the losing effort.

Alabama’s backcourt continues to lead the way this season. Releford, who was named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Watch List, tops the team in points (16.3 ppg) and steals (22). He is also one of the top three-point shooters (41.7 percent) and free throw shooters (86.2 percent) in the Southeastern Conference.

Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey is second on the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game and leads the team with 3.5 assists a game. The Huntsville, Ala., native tops the Southeastern Conference in three-point field goal percentage (46.0) and ranks seventh in treys made per game (2.1).

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Rodney Cooper contributes 12.7 ppg and leads the team in rebounds per game (4.6) and total field goals made (51) and attempted (115).

Tulane (10-3) comes into Sunday’s contest on a three-game winning streak after defeating Hofstra, 83-62, on Dec. 22. It marked Green Wave’s seventh win in its last eight contests.

Leading the way for Tulane is junior forward Josh Davis, who averages team highs of 18.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest. He also tops the squad in field goals made (81) and attempted (157), as well as field goal percentage (51.6).

Sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant, a native of Birmingham, Ala., is averaging 15.1 points per game, while senior guard Jordan Callahan adds 12.7 points a contest.

“They have great personnel,” Grant said. “Josh Davis will be as good as any power forward we will play this year. He is very effective and averages almost 19 points and 10 rebounds a game. The way he gets it is his athleticism and his energy. Ricky Tarrant was their league’s freshman of the year last year and is off to a great start this season. I think he had 28 points in his last game and played really well. Their two-guard is likely going to be the all-time leading three-point shooter in school history. He is a senior that is experienced and versatile. They have a lot of moving parts and good depth. Coach (Ed) Conroy has done a great job with his team.”

Alabama and Tulane will play for the 84th time in series history when the teams take the floor on Sunday, which is the 10th most common opponent for the Crimson Tide. UA owns a 52-31 lead in the all-time series, including a record of 32-7 in games played in Tuscaloosa.

Sunday’s match-up will be the first meeting between the two teams in just over 15 years. In the last meeting between the former conference rivals, Alabama claimed a 53-52 victory over Tulane on Dec. 5, 1998 in New Orleans.

All tickets be on sale for $8 to the general public as part of the Holiday Break promotion.

Fans can follow the live action with in-game tweets on the team’s official Twitter page @AlabamaMBB.

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant Quotes

On what team can do better:

“We can do a lot of things better. We are in middle of a tough streak. We’ve lost four out of five and two in a row at home. There are certainly a lot of things we can do better, but we need to get better as a team.”

On sophomore forward Nick Jacobs:

“Nick has to do some things that help himself in terms of what he’s doing from a physical standpoint, preparation and those sort of things. Our team needs Nick to step up. We need a lot of people to step up and play better. Hopefully we’ll start to get there."

On team’s practice this past week:

“Practice for us has been pretty consistent in terms of what we’ve been able to accomplish. We are limited in bodies. Moussa Gueye has been out the last couple of days with a stomach virus and he won’t be available today. We’ll have to wait and see what we have available for the game. You win on game day, so the preparation, both mental and physical, we have to do the best we can with what we have at practice and then transfer that to the game."

On his Holidays:

“I had a chance to spend it with my kids and the guys had a chance to go home and spend time with their family."

On Andrew Steele’s progression:

“His rehabilitation is coming along good. No setbacks as of right now. Hopefully he’ll be able to rejoin us in the next couple of weeks. Nothing has changed in terms of his return date from what I have been told by our medical staff.”

On team’s execution.

“I think our team has to get better in a lot of areas. Some of it is our execution, some is our mental approach to the game and understanding how each one of us are joined together in terms of being able to help each other and play for each other. I always tell our guys that every game brings about different challenges, but the one thing that has to be should be consistent is your effort and your passion for the game and your teammates.”