Stuart McNair

In a limited series, Alabama basketball undefeated at home against Missouri

Alabama will recognize 1986-87 SEC champions at halftime

No one around the Alabama basketball camp is talking a deep run into the NCAA Tournament, but the Crimson Tide has been playing well in Southeastern Conference play, tied for fourth in the league in early going.
The Bama team of Coach Avery Johnson is 3-1 in SEC games, including two road wins. Alabama, 10-6 overall, will have its only game in Coleman Coliseum in a current four-game stretch as the Tide hosts Missouri at 6 p.m. CST Wednesday. ESPNU will televise the game.
The Tigers, one of the youngest teams in major college basketball, are 5-11 overall and 0-4 in SEC play.
Missouri is one of three SEC Tigers and Bama is playing all three in a row, having defeated LSU, 81-66, in Baton Rouge last weekend and facing Auburn in Auburn Saturday.
Alabama is getting the job done with defense and rebounding. The key number for the Tide has been 62. When the Tide holds the opponent to 62 points or fewer, Bama is 9-0. When the opponent gets more than 62, the Tide has a 1-6 record — that one win coming in allowing LSU 66 points last Saturday. For the season, Alabama is holding opponents to 62.6 points per game, second best in the SEC and 19th in the nation.
Bama also ranks among the nation’s top 50 in rebound margin (32nd at plus 6.3 per game), blocked shots (44th at 5.0 per game), and field goal percentage defense (47th at 40.2).
Although the Tide got a boost from three-point shooting in its down-the-stretch win over LSU in the last outing, it was a two-man show from behind the arc. Corban Collins was 7-11 on treys and Riley Norris 3-7, the two going 10-18 combined. The rest of the team was 0-10.
In SEC games, Alabama leads the league in rebounding margin at plus 10.8, tops in the conference in rebounds per game at 42.8 and allowing 32.0, second in the SEC.
Alabama has only one man averaging in double figures in scoring, freshman Braxton Key at 10.2 points per game. Redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram is second at 9.6 per game.
Missouri is led by junior forward Jordan Barnett, who entered the starting lineup only five games ago. He is averaging 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Alabama and Missouri have played against one another only 10 times previously with Bama having won the last three games and leading the series 7-3.
The teams have played only six times since Missouri joined the SEC. Bama is 4-0 against Missouri in Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama will return the trip to Columbia on Feb. 15.
At halftime, Alabama will recognize the 1986-87 team and its head coach, Wimp Sanderson. That squad went 26-4 and finished ninth in the nation after winning both the SEC regular season and tournament titles. Many of the stars of that team — James Robinson, Jim Farmer, Mark Gottfried, Derrick McKey, Terry Coner, Keith Askins, Michael Ansley, J.J. Jackson  — are expected to be on hand. The longtime trainer for basketball,Sang Lyda, died last year, but his wife, Janie, was invited to represent him.


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