Alabama/Utah game notes

The No. 22 ranked University of Alabama men's basketball team, 3-1 overall, returns to action on Monday, November 26 when it plays host to the Utah Runnin' Utes. Tip-off in Tuscaloosa's Coleman Coliseum (15,316) is set for 6 p.m. CT. The game is being televised by ESPN2.

NEXT GAME: ALABAMA VS. Utah

  • Monday, November 26, 2001
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316 capacity), Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • 6:00 p.m. CT

TICKETS:

  • Available; $12 adults; youth ticket $6 for age 15 & under
  • UofA Home Game Tickets: UofA Ticket Office (205) 348-BAMA or SouthTix 800-240-2300
  • Season Tickets can be ordered on www.rolltide.com

RADIO/TV:

  • ESPN2 with Brad Nessler & Larry Conley
  • Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Tom Roberts (color)
  • WVUA 90.7 FM (UofA Campus Station) for home campus games only

INTERNET:

Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast with Eli Gold and Tom Roberts is available on the internet www.rolltide.com.

Tide basketball information is available there as well as on www.markgottfried.com and www.crimsontradition.com.

No. 22 AP/No. 22 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (3-1 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 12.0 ppg/8.3 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 10.0 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 16.8 ppg/7.0 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 9.8 ppg/3.5 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 11.3 ppg/5.0 rpg/4.8 apg
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

Utah Utes (2-1 overall, 0-0 Mountain West )

  • F- 21 Trace Caton 6-4, 215, JR, Alamosa, Colo. 3.0 ppg/2.3 rpg
  • F- 31 Britton Johnsen 6-9, 205, JR, Murray, Utah 11.7 ppg/3.7 rpg
  • C- 34 Chris Burgess 6-10, 245, SR, Irvine, Calif./Duke TR 13.0 ppg/5.3 rpg
  • G-11 Travis Spivey 6-1, 205, SR, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 10.7 ppg/2.3 rpg/4.7 apg
  • G-15 Nick Jacobson 6-4, 200, SO, Fargo, N.D. 13.7 ppg/2.3 rpg
  • Head Coach: Rick Majerus (Marquete, 1970)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 126-67 (.653%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 58-43 (.574%) in 4th season at Alabama; 2 NCAA appearances (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances (1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); Assistant for UCLA's 1995 NCAA Champions team; 3 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances as a UA player 1985-86-87.

UTAH: Rick Majerus; 363-126 (.742%) in 18 years (17 complete) overall; 264-74 (.781%) in 13 (12 complete) seasons at Utah; 1998 NCAA Final Four; Ranks 4th highest winningest active coach in Division 1; Has never had a losing season and has averaged 21 wins a year during the course of his career; Nine of his teams have advanced to the NCAA, four to the NIT tournaments

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Game will be televised by ESPN2 with Brad Nessler and Larry Conley calling the game
  • Former Tide SEC Champion and 1987 1st round NBA draft pick Jim Farmer-Mark Gottfried's old UA teammate & Roommate-will entertain the crowd at halftime singing songs from his newly released country music CD
  • Game marks 3rd meeting between Alabama & Utah; Alabama leads series 2-0 with wins in 1985 (there) & 1986 (Tuscaloosa)
  • Alabama's tip-off for the November 29 McNeese State game has been moved back two hours for TV. That game now tips off at 8 p.m. It marks the first time Alabama has simultaneously hosted home (Birmingham) football and basketball games as the Tide football team is playing its postponed Sept. 15 game against Southern Miss on Nov. 29 as well in a 6 p.m. ESPN game
  • Sophomore guard Demetrius Smith celebrates birthday number 20 on game day vs. Utah

The ESPN2 Broadcast Team

Brad Nessler and Larry Conley are the broadcast team from ESPN2 for Monday evening's Utah game. ESPN will broadcast Alabama's game against Temple in East Rutherford, N.J., on Decmeber 18 as well as the January 26 game at Kentucky.

Game Day Marks Birthday

Game day vs. Utah marks birthday number 20 for Tide sophomore guard Demetrius Smith. Smith, a Hogansville, Ga., native was born on November 26, 1981. Assistant coach Orlando Early celebrates Tuesday. He was born on November 27, 1967.

Utah One of Two Games Bama Hosts This Week

Utah marks the first of two home games Alabama hosts this week. Following Monday night's game, fans will return to Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night, November 29, when Alabama hosts McNeese State.

TV Pushes Back McNeese State Tipoff Back

Television has pushed back the tip-off time for Alabama's Thursday, November 29 game against McNeese State. That game will now be at 8 p.m. Comcast Sports Southeast is televising the game.

The night marks a first in Alabama's sports annals. It will mark the first known time Alabama has simultaneously hosted a home football and a home basketball game. Alabama has a home football game (in Birmingham) against Southern Miss which kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday night. It's on ESPN. That game was originally scheduled for September 15 but was postponed after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C.

Tide Faces Second of Two Winningest Coaches

The Utah game marks the second of two back-to-back games Mark Gottfried's Alabama team plays against one of the nation's most winningest Division I coaches.

Utah is coached by Rick Majeras. He ranks fourth all-time among the active winningest coaches. Majerus has a 363-125 (.744%) career record. He's 264-73 (.783%) in his 13th season at Utah. His 1998 Runnin Utes team advanced to the 1998 NCAA Final Four. Majerus-coached teams have advanced to nine NCAA postseason and four NIT posteason tournaments. Majerus has never had a losing season in his career and averages 21 wins a season-22 wins a season average at Utah. Utah has advanced to the NCAA tournament in six of the last seven seasons.

This past Wednesday night (November 20th) in the consolation final of the Guardians Classic, Alabama faced another of the NCAA's most successful coaches. Memphis head coach John Calipari ranks 15th all-time among the winningest active coaches. (Alabama won the game 81-70).

Players Had Brief Thanksgiving Break

Alabama chartered to Kansas City, Missouri for the Guardians Classic finals, enabling the team to return home a little after midnight after Wednesday night's Memphis game. Mark Gottfried game his team Thanksgiving Day off and didn't practice until 3 p.m. on Friday in order to allow most of his players to spend Thanksgiving at home with their families. Almost all of the players were able to go home. The ones who lived too far went home with some of their teammates. And one other, Maryville, Tennessee native Travis Stinnett, who lives some five hours away and didn't think it practical to spend 10 hours on the road in a barely 24 hour furlough-spent his Thanksgiving Day on a Tuscaloosa lake fishing.

Utes Bring In a Veteran Team

Two veteran squads will face one another Monday night as both Utah and Alabama return five starters. Utah was 19-12 last season, finishing in a three-way tie for first in the Mountain West Conference (10-4). It advanced to the first round of the NIT tournament.

Among those players is former Duke player Chris Burgess, Utah's 6-10, 245 pound starting senior center who is in his second season with Utah after transferring from Duke. He was a 21 game starter last season and averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. Guard Nick Jacobson was the 2001 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2001.

Three of Utah's players-Britton Johnsen, Trace Caton and Chris Burgess-have all played in an NCAA national championship game. Johnsen and Caton played in the title game against Kentucky when they were Utah freshmen in 1998. (Kentucky won). Burgess played in the 1999 NCAA Championship game as a Duke player when Duke played (and lost to) Connecticut.

McDonald's All-Americans On Both Rosters

Two high school McDonald's All-Americans will play in Monday night's game. Alabama freshman Mo Williams was a guard on the 2001 McDonald's All-America team. Williams played at Murrah High School in Jackson, Miss. Utah junior forward Britton Johnson (who is a twin) was a McDonald's All-American his senior year at Murray High School in Murray, Utah.

Utes Spent Summer In Europe

Utah played eight games this summer in its May 19 through June 6 tour of the Canary Islands, Spain and France. Starting point guard Nick Jacobson had the trip's highlight-31 points against a team called Adriane-LaPalma.

Gottfried's Old Roommate Is Halftime Entertainer

Mark Gottfried's old Alabama roommate, Jim Farmer, a starter with Gottfried on Alabama's 1987 SEC Champion team (and a man who helped power Alabama to three straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearances), debuted his first album as a recording artist on November 16.

The Dothan native as a 1st round NBA draft pick in 1987. He now lives in Nashville. The album is available for purchase on his website, www.jimfarmer.com.

Farmer appeared with the country group Sawyer Brown on stage in Dothan on November 7, sharing vocals on the group's number one hit "Some Girls Do."

Basketball fans in Tuscaloosa who watched him help carry a team will hear him carry a tune at halftime of the November 26 Utah game.

Third Meeting Between Tide & Utes

Monday night's game between Alabama and Utah marks the third time these two teams have played one another in men's basketball.

Mark Gottfried will have been involved in all three of those games, two as a player and now this one as head coach. Alabama played at Utah in 1985 and won 73-57. Utah came to Tuscaloosa in 1986 and Alabama won 89-69. Alabama played Utah in Salt Lake City on December 17, 1984. Gottfried started at guard in that game and scored 19 points, ten in the first half (he was 9 of 14 in the game). He also made three assists and played 37 minutes of that game.

Gottfried started at guard in the 1986 season game (actually played on December 2, 1985). He scored four points, had two assists and three steals in 25 minutes of play that night.

Alabama's halftime entertainer of this Utah game also played against the Utes. Jim Farmer was also a starter at guard in the Tuscaloosa game in December 1985. He scored 16 points, had five rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes. He came off the bench the year before in Salt Lake City and scored seven points, playing 24 minutes.

Grizzard Guardians Classic All-Tournament

Alabama junior guard Rod Grizzard was voted to the All-Tournament team for the four games in Kansas City, Mo., November 20-21st.

Clarence Gilbert of Missouri was the KC Masterpiece MVP of the tournament. The other four all-tournament team members were Grizzard, Luke Recker of Iowa, Reggie Evans of Iowa, and Dajuan Wagner of Memphis. Erwin Dudley was the Alabama Regional MVP.

Bama Splits Vs. Top 25

Alabama faced back-to-back games against the Top 25 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, November 20-21st in the finals of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City's Kemper Arena.

The Tide fell 75-68 in the first game to No. 5 AP/No. 9 ESPN/USA Today Missouri despite having four players scored 10 or more points. Rod Grizzard led with 18, Mo Williams had 12 an both Kenny Walker and Antoine Pettway scored 10 points in that game, Alabama's only loss this season.

Bama came back the next night to play No. 12 AP/No. 14 ESPN/USA Today Memphis. Rod Grizzard led Alabama again, this time to a 81-70 win, with his 16 points. Five players scored in double digits in the win, Bama's first against the Top 25 this season. Erwin Dudley had 15 points, Mo Williams and Terrance Meade scored 13 points apiece, and Kenny Walker had 11.

Rambo Rises to Challenge

Sophomore forward Reggie Rambo, who will need to be counted upon this season because of Alabama's thin numbers inside, came through both nights in the Guardians Classic, rising to the challenge. Both night's Rambo went 3 of 4 from the floor. He scored his first free throws there as well, going 2 of 4 at the line against Memphis. In a total of 25 minutes on the floor both nights, he had zero turnovers and added five rebounds and an assist to go with his six points against No. 5 Missouri.

Stinnett Back to Business

After missing Alabama's first two games, junior 6-0 guard Travis Stinnett (6.8 ppg, 82% FT shooter, 43% 3-point shooter) finally got to play for the first time "officially" Tuesday night in the Guardians Classic semifinal game against Missouri. Stinnett did not dress out for the Mississippi Valley State and Samford games, after he collided on the court with (redshirt) walkon Jason Reese at the end of practice on Thursday, November 8 and injured his left shoulder.

Gottfried is Good at Home

Alabama set school records at home last season with its 17-1 record in Coleman Coliseum. Just beginning his fourth season at Alabama, head coach Mark Gottfried is now 41-7 at home and 30-4 since 2000. Following Wednesday night's game against Memphis, Alabama returns home to host Utah at 6 p.m. CT on Monday, November 26. ESPN2 is televising the game.

Tide's Home Streak Continues

Mini though it be, Alabama has a four game home streak going into the Utah game. It began March13, 2001 with an NIT win against Seton Hall followed by a win against Toledo. It picked up this season with wins against Mississippi Valley State and Samford.

Alabama in the Weekly Polls

  • Nov. 5-11 No. 24 AP RV ESPN/USA Today
  • Nov. 12-18 No. 24 AP RV ESPN/USA Today
  • Nov. 19-25 No. 22 AP No. 22 ESPN/USA Today

BAMA'S ROAD HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Kansas City, Missouri: While dining at a steakhouse in downtown Kansas City, a restaurant patron, taking advantage of his wife's absence in the "powder room," called Erwin Dudley over to his nearby table and asked if Dudley and the players would surprise his "sweetie" by serenading her with "Happy Birthday." Dudley and his teammates obliged. When the woman returned, the players quietly got up from their table and circled around hers and sang to her. The woman was so delighted she rewarded each with a kiss on his cheek. ...
  • Among the fans cheering on the Tide was its all-time scoring leader Reggie King. King's office is in KC's Kemper Arena. He's a coach for the ABA's Kansas City Knights....
  • And Mark Gottfried did his part to increase attendance at the Guardians Classic games in KC. He brought his wife and all five kids along on the trip.

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