Grant Wants To See More Intensity
Alabama Coach Anthony Grant hopes that the Crimson Tide can play with the intensity it showed in the final 20 minutes against Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City Saturday and turn it into basketball victories. Grant also thinks Bama will need that type performance against what he calls a "very, very good Lipcomb team" at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Coleman Coliseum.
Although the Tide is coming off a 68-60 loss at the hands of Oklahoma State, Alabama showed plenty of fight after being down 30-16 at the end of the first half. "The last 20 minutes we had some of the fire and intensity we need to bottle and carry with us the rest of the way through," Grant said.
Alabama fell to 5-6 with the loss. All of the losses have come away from Tuscaloosa. Bama will be hard pressed to keep the winning streak alive in Coleman Coliseum. Lipscomb, coached by Scott Sanderson, the son of former Bama coach Wimp Sanderson, is 7-2 on the year, and the losses are as impressive as any wins. The Bisons fell to North Carolina, then ranked eighth in the nation, and to Baylor, ranked ninth, in road games earlier this season.
"They are well coached with veteran players," Grant said. Inside player Adnan Hodzic, 6-8, 245, of Sarajevo, Bosnia, ranks among the nation's top performers, averaging 21.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. On the outside, the Bisons get 19 points and 4.5 assists per game from Josh Slater. Jordan Burgason has been coming off the bench, hitting 41 per cent of his three-point shots and averaging 11 points per game.
Lipscomb is averaging 85.6 points per game, seventh highest in the nation, and have had 98 and 99 points in the last two games.
Grant expects Lipscomb to be a physical test for the Tide. "We're going to have to play extremely well," he said.
Alabama junior inside player JaMychal Green has put up good numbers since returning to the lineup three games ago following a three-game suspension. He has averaged 15.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in that stretch and is averaging 14 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the year.
Soph forward Tony Mitchell has been in double figures all but one game and is averaging 13.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Point guard Trevor Releford was selected Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for his play last week. Releford averaged 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in a pair of games last week. He converted on exactly half of his 18 attempts from the field and was 2-of-3 from three-point range in the 59-38 win over Southeastern Louisiana. On Saturday against Oklahoma State he scored 12 points with four assists and just one turnover in a season-high 36 minutes before fouling out. On the week he dished out seven assists that led to 16 points and had just two turnovers.
The Kansas City, Missouri, native is third among SEC freshmen in assists per game with 3.5 and leads SEC freshmen in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6. He also leads the team in minutes played at 30.2 per game and is third in scoring with 10.2 points per game.
Grant said, "Trevor is a very good player. We depend on him for a lot. I have been impressed with his leadership qualities. Every game he grows and gets better."
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