Weekly SEC basketball notes

Mark Gottfried starts his quest for his next 100 University of Alabama wins this week. The Tide hosted Southeastern Louisiana University Tuesday, winning 83-76, and then travels to Providence, Rhode Island, for a Saturday night date with the Friars.

Inking with Alabama

Here's a quick look at the men's basketball players who signed with the Tide during the early signing period:

Jean Felix, F, 6-7, Congo Rep. of Africa/Bevill State CC
Glenn Miles, G, 6-4, 185, Birmingham, Ala./West End HS
Ron Steele, G, 6-2, Birmingham, Ala./John Carroll HS
Albert Weber, G, 6-3, -New Orleans, La./Mt. Zion Christian

Remaining Week's Schedule

26th (Wednesday)
Troy State at LSU 7:00 CT
South Alabama at Mississippi State 7:00 CT

28th (Friday)
Tennessee Tech at Kentucky [UKTV] 8:00 ET
Tennessee State at Tennessee 7:30 ET
6-Florida vs. Arizona [ESPN2] 9:00 ET

29th (Saturday)
7-Jacksonville at Arkansas [FoxSN/SUN] 1:05 CT
Southeastern Louisiana at Ole Miss 2:00 CT
Georgia at Gonzaga [FoxSN] 1:00 PT
Alabama at Providence 7:00 ET
8-Auburn vs. Grambling 7:00 CT
Louisiana-Monroe at LSU 7:00 CT
9-Mississippi State at Western Kentucky [CSS] 8:00 CT
Campbell at South Carolina 8:00 ET
UT-Martin at Vanderbilt 7:00 CT

SEC Team-by-Team Notebook

Mark Gottfried collected his 100th UA career win this past weekend when the Tide defeated Louisiana Tech 69-63....Sophomore forward Chuck Davis finds himself in a completely new role this season-that of team scoring leader. After playing in only 13 games where he averaged 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds, Davis scored 20 points against Pitt in the season opener and 10 against Louisiana Tech in Game 2 to average 15.0 points a game. The Selma native had his first career double double in the Louisiana Tech game as he had 11 rebounds to go with the 10 points...Freshman forward Jermareo Davidson is averaging 29 minutes on the floor in these first two games which found him with 10 rebounds in his collegiate debut against Pitt. He had nine points and seven rebounds against Louisiana Tech

Arkansas sophomore Jonathon Modica scored a game-high 26 points in the 89-60 victory over Nicholls State, matching his career high set in consecutive games last year against Florida and Alabama...Freshman Ronnie Brewer had 18 points, a game-high eight assists and a team-high seven rebounds in his UA debut...The Razorbacks, who shot 60.9 percent as a team from the free-throw line last year, made 19 of 24 attempts Friday (79.2) for their best percentage in a game with 20 or more attempts since making 18 of 21 (.857) in the 87-70 win over LSU on Feb. 17, 2001...The 89 points scored are the most for the Hogs since the 109-94 loss at Alabama on Jan. 30, 2002...The Hogs are now 63-18 all-time in season openers and 73-8 in their first home game of the year.

Ian Young's 16 points led the way for the Auburn Tigers (3-0) who defeated the Hawks of Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-1), 85-61. On Friday, Marco Killingsworth tallied a game-high 18 points, leading five players in double figures, in giving the Auburn Tigers a decisive 86-64 win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. Auburn travels to Huntsville, Ala., on Saturday to take on Grambling at the Von Braun Center. The Tigers hold a 2-0 series advantage over Grambling, with the last meeting occurring on December 5, 2000, when Auburn won 104-60. Auburn is 0-1 when playing in Huntsville. The Tigers took on Tennessee Tech on December 21, 1989 and fell to the Golden Eagles 70-72. Junior's Brandon Robinson and Nathan Watson will compete in front of their home crowd on Saturday when Auburn plays Grambling in Huntsville. Robinson is a Huntsville native and Watson resides from nearby Fort Payne. Auburn newcomers Ian Young, Quinnel Brown and Ronny LaMelle are making strides early in the season. To help with the loss of Marquis Daniels and Derrick Bird the trio has: Young - Made 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range to score 16 points in 20 minutes in Auburn's win over Western Kentucky. Young also dished out two assists and had two steals. Brown - Scored 12 points in each of Auburn's games this year counting the three regular season and pair of exhibition games. In the Tigers' season opener against the College of Charleston, Brown came off the bench to score 12 points in 20 minutes. LaMelle - Averaging 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Florida finished its exhibition season a perfect 2-0 for the second consecutive season, posting a 107-73 victory over Team Nike in their exhibition finale. Six Gators scored in double figures led by David Lee who scored 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting. For the two exhibition games, Lee finished 15-of-17 from the floor (.882). Three Gators combined to share time at point guard against Team Nike, as Ryan Appleby, Christian Drejer and Matt Walsh combined to generate 20 assists and only four turnovers on the night. Drejer had 10 assists and just one turnover. Florida pulled down 55 rebounds behind the tandem of Chris Richard and Adrian Moss who combined for 17. The Gators improved to 19-3-1 all-time in exhibition games under Donovan. They now turn their attention to Montana State when they open the 2003-04 season on Tuesday night. The Gators hope to get back to more of a pressing style in 2003-04 but were surprisingly effective defensively a year ago, limiting the opposition to 64.5 points per game, the lowest by a Billy Donovan team and the lowest by a UF team in 38 years. The Gators return three starters from last year's squad, each of which will play in different positions from a year ago. David Lee will move from center to power forward, Matt Walsh will move from small forward to two guard and Anthony Roberson will run the point after playing the two-guard spot last season. Christian Drejer returns healthy after an injury-plagued season a year ago while Bonell Colas, Adrian Moss and Chris Richard will look to bolster a Gator frontcourt.

Georgia plays its second game of the regular season Tuesday when the Bulldogs play host to Florida Atlantic. They opened the season last Friday with a 78-67 win over Western Carolina and hot-shooting guard Kevin Martin, who scored 44 points against the Bulldogs, the highest point total by an opponent in 14 seasons. Georgia won its game primarily by making 32 of their 44 free throws, including 23 of 31 in the second half, for a percentage of 72.7. Damien Wilkins led the Dogs with 16 points, making all 10 of his foul shots. He's the first player since Ray Harrison in 1997 to go 10x10 from the line for Georgia. The other predominant theme from last Friday's game were the recurrent muscle cramps that felled several Bulldogs. Point guard Rashad Wright played all 20 first-half minutes but lasted only five in the second period. Chris Daniels lasted slightly longer in the second period but succumbed after trying to play a final time. University of Georgia basketball player Corey Gibbs must serve a 9-game suspension for committing a secondary NCAA rules violation. He won't be eligible to play until Dec. 30, when the Bulldogs play Pittsburgh. A knee injury kept him from practicing full time in the preseason.

With its 65-44 win over Winthrop, UK improved to 86-15 in season openers and 25-3 in home openers at Rupp Arena. Four Wildcats - Erik Daniels (15), Gerald Fitch (12) Chuck Hayes (12) and Kelenna Azubuike (11) - scored in double-figures. Winthrop's 44 points were the fewest allowed by Kentucky since a 62-42 win over Alaska-Anchorage in the 1999-2000 season. It was also the fewest points the Cats have allowed in a season-opener since a 65-44 win over Louisville to begin the 1983-84 season. The Wildcats limited Winthrop to just a .298 field goal percentage (14-of-47), the lowest opponent percentage for UK since last season's 63-46 win over Alabama (.238). Kentucky will attempt to begin 2-0 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season Friday when the Wildcats host Tennessee Tech.

Tigers won its opening game for the seventh time in John Brady's seven-year LSU coaching career, 70-59, over Southern University. Antonio Hudson led LSU with his fifth 20-point game of his career, 20 against the Jaguars. Brandon Bass, in his collegiate debut, made 5-of-7 field goals and 5-of-7 free throws to get 15 points and 11 rebounds. Coach John Brady announced prior to the game that Jaime Lloreda would dress and play Monday against McNeese State. Lloreda missed the two exhibitions and the opener as part of his discipline package for a team policy violation during the summer. The Tigers play Monday against McNeese State, Wednesday against Troy State and Saturday against Louisiana Monroe before having to take off 18 days for the school dead week and final exams before playing again Dec. 16 against Utah. Tigers have won all 12 previous meetings against McNeese State and this is the fourth straight year to play the Cowboys. LSU puts on the line active home win streaks of six games, a non-conference regular season home streak of 47 games and a 44-game winning streak at home versus Louisiana schools.

Ole Miss opened the season with a 74-69 loss to Arkansas State Friday. It snapped a streak of five straight wins in season-openers at home. It was also only the second non-conference home loss for the Rebels since 1995. Senior forward Justin Reed led Ole Miss in scoring with 25 and rebounding with nine. It was Reed's 12th career 20-point outing and one point short of his career high. Ole Miss started three newcomers against ASU including junior transfer Marvin Moore, who tallied 10 points and three assists, and freshman Todd Abernethy, who had nine points and six assists. Junior guard Cavadas Nunnery came off the bench to record career highs in minutes (26), assists (7) and rebounds (4). It was Nunnery's first time to ever top the team in assists. Junior forward Kendrick Fox corralled a career-best four boards and was one short of his high point total with eight. Ole Miss continues its season-opening three-game homestand with Centenary Tuesday and Southeastern Louisiana Saturday.

After posting a 90-74 season-opening home victory over Tennessee-Martin this past Saturday, the Mississippi State Bulldogs take on a pair of Sun Belt Conference opponents this week. MSU opens the week by playing host to South Alabama on Wednesday and then hits the road for the first time this season with a Saturday contest at Western Kentucky. State travels to Bowling Green, Ky., this weekend in an attempt to halt the nation's longest current home winning streak (39 straight home wins dating back to Jan. 3, 2001) held by the WKU Hilltoppers. Saturday's MSU-WKU game has been picked up by Comcast Sports Southeast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and will mark the first of at least 13 regular-season State games to be either regionally or nationally televised this season. In his official MSU debut, preseason Wooden Award candidate Lawrence Roberts registered a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds against UT Martin to give him 23 career double-doubles during his 57-game collegiate career. Junior center Marcus Campbell recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 17 points and career best-tying 10 boards in the season-opening win over Tennessee-Martin. During the Rick Stansbury era of MSU hoops, the Bulldogs are now 55-15 against non-SEC competition, including a 31-3 non-conference home mark... State is also 19-4 during the month of November since Stansbury became head coach in 1998-99.

USC will play Southwest Missouri State (SMS) in the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City tonight at 9 pm EST. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Bears and the Gamecocks. USC is 3-0 on the young season, while SMS comes in at 2-0 with wins over Western Illinois and San Francisco. Prior to Carolina's game, Richmond will play San Francisco in the other semi-final. The winners will advance to the Guardians Classic Championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 9:00 pm EST. The losers of the semi-finals will play in the consolation game at 7:00 pm EST on Tuesday. All games will be played in Municipal Auditorium. USC set or tied two school records in Friday night's win over Navy. First, Navy set a USC school record with 30 turnovers for an opponent. The old record of 29 turnovers vs. the Gamecocks was held by three schools - with the latest being NCAA Tournament participant ETSU last season in the home opener (1124/02). The 30 turnovers was also a school record in turnovers for Navy. USC also tied the school record for most steals with 20 - with USC matching the number of steals against Mercer (12/30/01) and Lenoir-Rhyne (12/6/61).

Tennessee opened its 95th season of basketball with an 81-70 win over Wofford on Nov. 21. UT improved to 17-2 in its last 19 season openers and is 36-2 in its last 38 home openers. Scooter McFadgon scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field in leading the Vols. McFadgon's 31 points are the most in a Vol debut since Bernard King had 42 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1974. Brandon Crump registered his fourth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jemere Hendrix had 12 points and nine rebounds in his Tennessee debut while C.J. Watson added 11 points and eight assists. The Vols return to the court on Friday, Nov. 28, when Tennessee State visits Thompson-Boling Arena. McFadgon scored 12 of UT's first 18 points on 4-of-4 FGs (2-2 from three-point range) and 2-of-2 at the FT line. His highest scoring output in two years at Memphis was a 22-point effort vs. Temple (Dec. 20, 2001). He tallied 17 points by halftime on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from long range

Memorial Gymnasium opens its doors for the 52nd season of college basketball when Vanderbilt welcomes Indiana, Monday, Nov. 24, for a 7 p.m. CT tip. VU owns a 62-12 record in home openers since 1930, having won 12 consecutive. The Commodores began the 2003-04 campaign Friday with a 74-59 win at Belmont. It marked the first game played in the Bruins' 5,000-seat Curb Event Center. Matt Freije scored a game-high 24 points in 27 minutes on 10-of-14 shooting from the field. Mario Moore dished out a career high seven assists. Freije eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 20th time in his 89-game career and netted 10 points or more for the 40th time. With 1,308 career points, Freije enters the Indiana game two points shy of Barry Booker's 1,310 points for 18th all-time at Vanderbilt. A 10-point effort against the Hoosiers moves Freije past Frank Seckar (1993-96) and his career mark of 1,317 points for 17th place all-time. Vanderbilt made four three-pointers against Belmont to continue its streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer (534). VU is one of three schools (UNLV-540; Princeton-467) that has made a three-pointer in every game since the rule was implemented for the 1986-87 season - a streak now spanning 18 years.

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