Game notes: Tide vs. Alabama A&M

The No. 23 AP/No. 22 ESPN/USA Today ranked Alabama men's basketball team rings in the holidays with a home game Friday, December 21, 2001 when it plays host to the Alabama A&M Bulldogs. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CST in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide bring a 8-2 overall record into the game which will be the first of four games Alabama will play by January 2.

NEXT GAME:

  • Alabama A&M
  • Friday, December 21, 2001
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316)
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • 7:00 p.m. CST

TICKETS:

Available; $12 adult/$6 kids 15 & under, Uof A Home Game Tickets: UofA Ticket Office (205) 348-BAMA or SouthTix 800-240-2300, Season Tickets can be ordered on www.rolltide.com

TV:

CSS with Chris Stewart and Marcus Campbell

RADIO:

Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold and Tom Roberts; engineer Tom Stipe, WVUA 90.7 FM (UofA Campus Station) for home campus games only during semester

INTERNET:

Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast is available on the internet on www.rolltide.com. Tide basketball information is available there as well as on www.markgottfried.com and www.crimsontradition.com (subscription site).

No. 23 AP/No. 22 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (8-2 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 12.7 ppg/8.2 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 10.3 ppg/6.2 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 13.9 ppg/6.1 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 13.3 ppg/3.4 rpg/1.8 assists per game
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 9.8 ppg/3.8 rpg/5.5 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

ALABAMA A&M BULLDOGS (3-3 OVERALL, 1-1 SWAC)

  • G- 22 Desmond Cambridge 6-0, 175, SR, Nashville, Tenn. 16.3 ppg/54.3 apg
  • G- 33 Terry Horton 6-3, 195, SO, Ozark 4.5 ppg/2.5 rpg
  • C- 50 Jarvis Smith 6-8, 235, JR, Milledgeville, Ga. 6.3 ppg/5.5 rpg
  • F- 40 Anthony Hayes 6-4, 195, JR, Centre, Fla. 11.7 ppg/6.2 rpg
  • F- 44 Garik Nicholson 6-7, 260, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 3.0 ppg/2.5 rpg
  • HeadCoach: VanN Pettaway (Alabama A&M, 1980)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 131-68 (.658%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 63-44 (.589%) 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.

ALABAMA A&M: Vann Pettaway; 329-124 (.528%) in 16 (15 complete) seasons overall and at Alabama A&M; eight NCAA Division II playoff appearances, 7 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, 6 SIAC tournament championships and an average of 22 wins per season in his career.

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Two old high school teammates reunite on the floor but on opposite benches in this game with Jacksonville, Fla., Wolfson High grads Kenny Walker of Alabama and Garik Nicholson of Alabama A&M
  • Two relatives get an early Christmas family reunion. Though their last names are spelled differently, Alabama sophomore guard Antoine Pettway, of Alberta, is a cousin of Alabama A&M head coach Vann Pettaway who grew up in Selma (neighboring town to Alberta)
  • This is only the 2nd meeting between these two teams. The first was during the 1999-2000 season. Alabama won in Tuscaloosa 97-74. Bama's current crop of juniors (minus Travis Stinnett who had a redshirt year that year) were all freshman on that Alabama team.
  • Tide guard Mo Williams has aged since last Alabama played. He turned 19 on December 19th.

Happy 200th For Gottfried

The Alabama A&M game will mark the 200th career game for Mark Gottfried as a head coach. He's played 107 of those as Alabama's head coach and 92 as head coach at Murray State.

Holidays Will Be Busy Days for the Tide

Alabama will stay busy during the Christmas holidays, playing six games between December 21 and January 9 when spring semester classes begin at the University.

Following the December 21 home game against Alabama A&M, Alabama's players will return home to their families for a brief Christmas visit. They'll have to return to practice by Christmas night. Alabama travels to New Orleans, La., for the Sugar Bowl Classic on December 27. Alabama plays Notre Dame there at 7 p.m. CST. (Fox SportsNet will televise that event). Like the Jimmy V. Classic and the John Wooden Classic which Alabama participated in this season, the Sugar Bowl Classic is not a tournament, it's a doubleheader. LSU and Miami are also playing one another there in the New Orleans Arena with a 9:30 p.m. tip-off.

Alabama will return from New Orleans to host Florida A&M at 1 p.m. on December 31st followed by a January 2 home date with Bethune-Cookman in a game that tips at 7 p.m.

The Southeastern Conference season begins for Alabama on January 5, a Saturday, when LSU comes to Tuscaloosa for a 6 p.m. game. And, to cap their first day back to school for the spring semester, Alabama's players will spend their January 9 evening playing host to Vanderbilt at 7 p.m.

Game Marks Only 2nd Meeting Between Tide & Bulldogs

Friday night's game will mark the second meeting in men's basketball between Alabama and Alabama A&M. The two teams played one another during the 1999-2000 season, Mark Gottfried's second as head coach at Alabama, and the freshman season for Bama's now veteran junior class which includes Kenny Walker, Erwin Dudley, Rod Grizzard and Terrance Meade officially, and Travis Stinnett who is a junior by way of redshirting for medical reasons his freshman season in 1998-99. (Stinnett was on Alabama's team for the Alabama A&M game but had to sit that game-and that season out---because he was still injured).

Alabama won the game 97-74. Erwin Dudley led that win with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Terrance Meade had 10 points. Alabama made 31 of 60 shots from the field for 51.7% and was 30 of 49 (61.2%) in free throw shooting.

Dwaynius Harris, son of former Tide star Bobby Lee Hurt, had 12 points in that game (though Vanlier was thte team scoring leader with 16). A&M was 25 of 74 for 41.0% from the field.

Led by Dudley's 16, Alabama outrebounded the Bulldogs 65 rebounds to 36 for a 29 rebound margin.

Two Former High School Teammates Reunite

Alabama's Kenny Walker can tell his friends from home that he saw at least one of his old Wolfson High School teammates during the holidays. Among the men who make up Alabama A&M's roster is junior forward Garik Nicholson. Walker and Nicholson were teammates-and fellow 1999 graduates-at Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Both men are expected to be among the starters in Friday night's game, Walker at center for Alabama and Nicholson at forward for Alabama A&M.

Wolfson went 31-2 their junior year and 31-4 their season year, advancing to the Florida State Championship game their senior season in 1999.

Among their other Wolfson High teammates (early on in their high school careers) was Florida's Udonis Haslem before Haslem transferred to a Miami high school.

Bulldogs' Team Includes SWAC Star

Among the menwho make up the Alabama's A&M team is first team All-SWAC member Desmond Cambirdge of Nashville. Voted 1st team at the end of last season, success is predicted to follow him again this year as he was a 2002 pre-season All-SWAC selection as well. He's the Bulldogs' scoring leader at 16.3 points a game and he's averaging 5.3 assists a game. Cambridge was a 27 game (of 28) starter last season as a junior and ended that season with an average of 18.6 points a game. He ranked second in the nation in steals with 107 for an average of 3.8 a game. He scored 20 or more points in 13 games last season.

Tide and Bulldogs Share Common Opponent

Alabama and Alabama A&M share a common opponent in Mississippi State. The Bulldogs and the Bulldogs played one another on November 28 in Starkville, Miss., with MSU winning the game 70-45. Alabama plays Mississippi State twice each season as fellow members of the SEC West with a January 19th date in Tuscaloosa and a February 9 date in Starkville.

Meade Paces Tide, Bad Toe and All

Tide junior guard Terrance Meade hit his foot with such force on the lip of the elevated floor of Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., during a fall during rough play at practice on December 17 that he injured his toe and was forced to sit out the remainder of practice while he iced his battered right big toe.

His toe stilled pained him, but Meade turned it into making a pain of himself on Temple. He went out the next night and made 5 of 7 three-point shots and 7 of 11 of his shots from the field to lead Alabama with 19 points in its 70-67 win against Temple in the Jimmy V. Classic.

Meanwhile Erwin Dudley powered his way to his 3rd double double of the season with his contribution of 14 points and 11 rebounds. In fact, four of Alabama's five starters scored in double digits against John Chaney's team that has spent a few weeks in the top 25 this season as Kenny Walker had 13 points and Mo Williams 11 in the win.

Four of Bama's Five Starters in Double Digits

Four of Alabama's five probable starters are averaging in the double digits in scoring. Junior guard Rod Grizzard leads Alabama at 13.9 points a game, just a fraction ahead of junior guard Terrance Meade's 13.3 points a game. Junior forward Erwin Dudley's averaging 12.7 points a game and junior center Kenny Walker has a 10.3 points per game average.

The fifth regular starter, freshman point guard Mo Williams, is averaging 9.8 points a game. Dudley Closing in on 1,000 Points

Bama junior guard Rod Grizzard scored his 1,000th career point this season-he's got 1,127 going into the Alabama A&M game. Soon he'll be joined in that scoring milestone category by his teammate Erwin Dudley. The junior forward from Uniontown has 928 career points going into the Alabama A&M game.

Mo Lends a Hand

After ten games, Alabama freshman Mo Williams is averaging 5.5 assists per game.

Bama 28th in Scoring Margin

In the December 17th weekly release of NCAA statistics for Division I, Alabama ranked 28th in the nation in scoring margin. It now outscores its opponents by an average of 14.9 points a game.

Tide's Free Throws 14th Best in Nation

In those same NCAA stats, Alabama ranked 14th in the nation in free throw percentage with its 90.5% performance against UTC on December 3.

And Most Points Among Top 25

The 107 points Alabama scored against Mississippi Valley State on November 13th ranked 24th in the NCAA among all teams' single game scoring tallies so far this season.

15 3's=Top 10

Bama's 15 3-point shots made against MVSU on November 13th ranked tied for 10th (with Arkansas) in Division I performances this season.

Dudley's Numbers Bettered By Only One Other

Going into this weekend's round of SEC games, Erwin Dudley has the league's second best output in terms of double-doubles with three so far this season. Florida's Udonis Haslem, Kenny Walker's old high school teammate, has had four this season.

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