Bama Basketball Hosts Pepperdine

One of the most disappointing aspects of the Mark Gottfried era of Alabama basketball was the loss of an outstanding assistant coach, Tom Asbury. The reason given from Bama basketball "sources" was that Asbury's health didn't allow him to continue coaching. But a funny thing happened.

After he left Alabama, Tom Asbury resurfaced as head coach at Pepperdine, where he had been a successful head coach of the Waves from 1988-94. He served as an assistant for the Crimson Tide 2003-07.

The Crimson Tide hosts Pepperdine at 8 p.m. CST Tuesday.

Asbury will be in familiar territory, although the surroundings in Coleman Coliseum have changed a bit since he was last one the sideline in Tuscaloosa. More than that, he will be bringing a team to the facility where Bama has played by far its best basketball in 2010-11.

The Alabama team of Coach Anthony Grant is 6-0 at home and 0-6 on the road this year. Bama is coming off one of its best performances of the season, holding high-scoring Lipscomb to some 35 points below its average in a 71-51 victory last Tuesday.

Pepperdine limps into Tuscaloosa with a 5-9 record and four losses in its last six outings. The Wave fell to Cal Poly, 70-64, in its last game.

Pepperdine averages 70.3 points per game, but allows 72.9. Bama is scoring 65.3 points per game and allowing only 57.5. The Tide is allowing only 36 per cent field goal shooting by opponents. Only two Alabama opponents have managed as many as 70 points while six have been held to 51 or fewer. Alabama ranks 16th in the nation in scoring defense.

Alabama has outscored its six home opponents by an average of 24.5 points for game with those opponents averaging just 47.7 points per game and shooting just 29.6 per cent in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide is has averaged 14 more points per game at home than in road games. Tuesday's game is the second of three straight at home for the Tide, its longest homestand of the season.

Since returning to the Bama lineup four games ago following a suspension, junior JaMychal Green has averaged 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free-throw line. Of his 37 rebounds, 15 have come off the offensive glass to rank him second in the SEC in offensive rebounding.

Tony Mitchell, who has scored in double digits in all but one game this season, leads the team in rebounding with 8.1 per game to go along with his 13.8 points per game.

Charvez Davis returned to form with a career-high 22 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting against Lipscomb.

Pepperdine is led by Keion Bell's 21.8 points per game. Mychel Thompson, son of former NBA standout Mychal Thompson, is second on the squad in scoring with 13.2 points per game with a team-high 20 steals. He had 24 points in Pepperdine's last outing.

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