But today's game against Chattanooga--a team averaging just under 95 points per game--will count, ">
But today's game against Chattanooga--a team averaging just under 95 points per game--will count, ">

Bama needs better performance

Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried called Saturday's exhibition loss to Athletes in Action a "stinker," so it's probably a good thing that game didn't officially count in the standings. <br><br>But today's game against Chattanooga--a team averaging just under 95 points per game--will count,

And Gottfried could see the same result if the intensity is lacking like it was against Athletes in Action. The Moccasins sport four players averaging double-figure points, and three more who average at least nine points per game.

Tonight's game tips off at 7 pm (CT) at Coleman Coliseum. Bama's next game will be at the Las Vegas Showdown against Oregon, Saturday, December 20.

The Moccasins are shooting 54 percent from the field and are led by forward Ashley Champion, a 6-foot-6 senior averaging 20 points per game.

"We are playing a very good team in Chattanooga," Gottfried said. "(Coach) Jeff Lebo does a great job. I believe they've been picked to win the Southern Conference. They have a great player in Ashley Champion. It's a tough match-up for us size-wise. They're very very quick. So again, for us, we don't have any cupcakes on our schedule. We're playing some very good basketball teams, and Chattanooga is another one along the way for us."

Besides Champion, the Mocs have two bench players averaging in double figures. Forwar Alphonzo Pugh (12.6 ppg) and guard Bryan Richardson (10.0 ppg) round out a solid bench, while guard Jason Rogan provides a solid 1-2 punch in the starting lineup, averaging 16.6 points per game.

Forwards Chris Brown (6-7, 190) and Mindauga Katelynas (6-9, 220) round out the starting lineup, and both are averaging just over nine points per game. Point guard Ray Trowell stands 5-9, but is the team's fifth starter and he averages 7.4 points per game and 4.7 assists per game.

"They're very quick," Gottfried said. "They're long. Their point guard is extremely quick. Both (Jason) Rogan and (Chris) Brown can really shoot the ball. And then you've got a great player in Champion who may have a chance to play and make some money somewhere after this year."

Chattanooga sports a 5-2 record, with 40-plus point wins over King College, Emmanuel College, and Tennessee Wesleyan. The Moccasins played their first game at No. 6 Kansas, holding a 10-point lead at one point during the first half before losing, 90-76.

"We've told our team that they are playing a real good team," Gottfried said. "Watch their first half versus Kansas. That'll get your heart started real quick. We're not playing anybody where we can roll the balls out there and expect to win."

Chuck Davis says Bama's intensity level will pick up.

The 77-72 loss to Athletes in Action left Gottfried disappointed because of the lack of intensity displayed through the greater part of the Tide's first six games. It's not common for a team to play an exhibition game after the regular season has started, but it was caused due to the Tide playing Pittsburgh in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Nov. 15.

"They handled the game like a real immature team," Gottfried said. "It was a lesson for us to learn is that we have to have a high level of intensity."

Sophomore forward Chuck Davis, who scored 11 points in the loss, attributed the loss to a lack of motivation because it was an exhibition.

"We played a bad game; we'll just take it as a learning experience," Davis said. "It didn't really mean much but we didn't play hard. We know that and we'll get a lot more pumped up for the next game. It's a lot easier to come back from a loss and try to get that feeling out of you."

For the Tide, guard Earnest Shelton leads the way with 16 points per game. Forward Kennedy Winston is averaging 14 points per game, and Davis is third on the team at a 10.5 points-per-game average. Davis is leading the team in rebounding with 7.2 per game.


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