Bama begins busy basketball week

The University of Alabama men's basketball team, ranked No. 21 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls for December 23-31, is facing a busy week of basketball. Alabama, 10-2, will play three games within six days. The stretch begins on Monday, January 31st, when it plays host to the Florida A&M Rattlers (1-8). Tip-off for that New Year's Eve game is set for 1 p.m. CST.


  • Florida A&M
  • 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Monday, December 31, 2001
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316)
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama


Available; $12 adults/$6 age 15 and under, Uof A Home Game Tickets: UofA Ticket Office (205) 348-BAMA or SouthTix 800-240-2300, Season Tickets can be ordered on


CSS with David Crane and Chris Stewart


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


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

Coach Gottfried on Florida A&M:

"I think for us right now we've got to concentrate on playing hard and making sure we're focused in every night we play. In college basketball every team has the capability of beating any team on any given night. "Florida A&M is a guard-oriented team. They shoot a lot of three's, so we've got to defend the three-point line well, play aggressive and hopefully get a tempo that's good for us going up and down the floor."

Basketball and football win on same night

The same night that Bama's football team defeated Iowa State in the Independence Bowl, Coach Gottfried and his basketball squad turned in an impressive 79-76 victory over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl Classic. "When you add Notre Dame to the wins that we've had and the teams that we've played overall, hopefully that's a win that's going to help us later in the year," Gottfried said. "I think Notre Dame's going to be an NCAA tournament team. I like their team. They've got good balance, upperclassmen who can play. And I was proud of our guys when they made their run at us, we stepped up and made some plays to win the game. Hopefully those games are games that are going to help us later in the year."

No. 21 ALABAMA (10-2 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 13.8 ppg/8.3rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 10.0 ppg/5.9 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 14.6 ppg/6.3 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 12.7 ppg/4.1 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 10.0 ppg/3.8 rpg/5.3 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

FLORIDA A&M RATTLERS (1-8 OVERALL, 1-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic)

  • F- 25 Sonny Tudeme 6-6, 195, SR, Brooklyn, NY 6.1 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • C- 31 Jermaine Hill 6-10, 230, JR, Hillside, N.J. 7.2 ppg/5.2 rpg
  • G- 02 Dominique Jackson 6-2, 170, FR, Immokalee, Fla. 8.3 ppg/2.4 rpg
  • G- 03 Demarcus Wilkins 6-0, 170, SO, Newnan, Ga. 12.1 ppg/2.7 rpg/3.1 assists per game
  • G-23 Michael Griffith 6-2, 200, JR, Louisville, Ky. 15.2 ppg/4.2 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Mike Gillespie (DePaul, 1974)


ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 133-68 (.662%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 65-44 (.596%) 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.

FLORIDA A&M: Mike Gillespie; 1st year at Florida A&M and as a head coach; 1-8 overall & at FAMU


  • It's a busy week for the Tide which plays three games between Monday and Saturday with FAMU on Jan. 31, Bethune Cookman on Jan. 2 and the LSU Tigers on Jan. 5
  • For the first time this season, all five of Alabama's starters are averaging in double-digits in scoring as freshman Mo Williams (10.0) joined juniors Rod Grizzard (14.6), Erwin Dudley (13.8), Terrance Meade (12.7) and Kenny Walker (10.3) into that scoring fraternity after Williams scored 11 points against Notre Dame on Thursday, December 27 in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic
  • Bama is 3-0 against FAMU, 3-0 in Tuscaloosa with the last meeting having taken place in 1996 (80-39 UA win)

Tide Comes into Game With Four Straight Wins

Alabama is gearing up for its SEC title chase which begins in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, January 5 against LSU. Alabama goes into its final two non-conference games with a 10-2 overall record and a four-game win streak. The streak began December 14 with a 99-57 home win against Jacksonville State followed by a 70-67 win against Temple in the Jimmy V. Classic on December 18, a 90-54 win against Alabama A&M at home on December 21, and, in its most recent outing, a 79-76 win against Notre Dame in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic on December 27.

Conversely, Florida A&M, 1-8, is amidst a six-game losing streak with first year coach Mike Gillespie. It's one win is against Alabama's January 2 opponent, Bethune Cookman whom the Rattlers beat 98-77 on the road on November 24.

FAMU's schedule started at Georgia Tech followed by a road trip to Mississippi State. It has also included, so far, games against Wofford, Alabama State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Central Florida, Northwestern, and it's most recent game, a December 18 date at Miami. (Miami won 90-62).

Tide & Rattlers Share Two Common Opponents

Alabama and Florida A&M share two common opponents this season, Mississippi State and Bethune Cookman. FAMU's lone win this season came on November 24 at Bethune Cookman by a 98-77 score. Alabama plays Bethune Cookman on Thursday, January 2 at 7 p.m.

FAMU met SEC school Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., on November 19 and left with a 92-55 loss to the Bulldogs. Alabama plays MSU twice each season as both compete in the SEC Western Division. The first date is in Tuscaloosa on January 19. The second meeting is in Starkville on February 9.

Bethune Cookman up after FAMU

Alabama returns to the court to host Bethune Cookman at 7 p.m. CST on Thursday, January 2 then opens its Southeastern Conference and SEC Western Division play on Saturday, January 5 when the LSU Tigers come to Coleman Coliseum. "The first thing you talk about when you talk about Bethune-Cookman is the great player they have in Richard Toussaint (21.3 ppg, Junior forward). He is really good and the coaches who have played them say that you've really got your hands full with him. It's going to be a key game. Our guys can't afford to be looking forward to playing SEC Basketball without taking care of business every night you play."

Five Starters Now in Double Digits

Compliments of his 11 points scored against Notre Dame on December 27, freshman guard Mo Williams slid into a double digit scoring average for the season as that placed him at 10.0 points per game after 12 games.

That means that for the first time this season, all five of Alabama's starters are averaging in double digits in scoring. Junior Rod Grizzard leads the team at 14.6 points a game. Junior Erwin Dudley is averaging 13.6, junior Terrance Meade 12.7 and junior Kenny Walker 10.3.

Dudley's Aim is Best In SEC

Tide junior forward Erwin Dudley was 9 of 11 from the field against Notre Dame on December 27th-an effort that pushed his shooting percentage from the field to almost 60 percent. He's a 59.6 percent, a stat that leads the SEC. He's made 68 of 114 shots attempted this season.

Tide Is Averaging 80-plus Points

After 12 games-including three against the Top 25 and three more who have either been ranked or are receiving votes for the Top 25-Alabama is averaging 81.2 points per game. It's opponents are averaging 65.5 points against the Tide for a margin of 15.7 points a game.

Alabama's scoring high came against Mississippi Valley State in the November 13 season opener when it scored 107 points. That's the only time so far this season Alabama has topped 100 points, but it's reached 90 or more points three other times, including 99 against Jacksonville State, and 90 against both McNeese State and Alabama A&M.

Alabama's best individual scoring output so far this season has come by the hands of Rod Grizzard. He scored 22 points in that MVSU win. Grizzard has scored 20 or more points twice this season, including the December 27 Notre Dame game when he led the team and the win by scoring his jersey number, 21 points. Erwin Dudley had his first 20-point game of the season with 20 against Notre Dame, and Kenny Walker has met the mark once, with 20 points against Jacksonville State.

Grizzard now has 22 games during his Tide career where he's scored 20 or more points. Dudley now has eight UA career games where he's scored 20 or more and Walker has two, one last season and then the JSU game this season.

Grizzard's Points Fewer But Accuracy Better

Rod Grizzard led the SEC scoring for most of his sophomore season last year, finishing second---by the tiniest of fractions-with his 17.0 points a game (the leader had 17.3).

This year, after 12 games, Grizzard's scoring average has lowered at 14.6 points, but, to the delight of Alabama's coaching staff, his accuracy has improved. Given the green light to shoot by the coaches who trust in Grizzard's instincts, he is shooting 46.5 percent from the field, having made 60 of 129 attempts from the field. As a sophomore Grizzard finished last season shooting 38.4%, making 135 of 352 shots attempted.

Dudley Doubles His Efforts-Again

For the fourth time this season, Alabama junior forward Erwin Dudley muscled his way on the court, collecting double digits by game's end in both scoring and rebounding. That output leads the SEC.

The Uniontown native scored 20 points-his season high-and grabbed 11 rebounds against Notre Dame in the December 27th Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic. Dudley's other doubles this year have included 11 points and 13 rebounds against UCLA, 14 points and 11 rebounds against Temple and 13 poitns and 10 rebounds against Tennessee Chattanooga.

He now has 20 career double doubles, four in 2001-02, 12 in 2001 and four his freshman season in 2000.

Dudley is 19 Away from Scoring 1,000th UA Point

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 981 career points going into the FAMU game.

Bama In This Week's SEC Team Stats

  • Scoring: 3rd
  • Scoring Margin: 4th
  • Rebounding Offense: 3rd
  • Rebounding Margin: 4th
  • 3-Point Field Goals Made: 2nd
  • Offensive Rebounds: 3rd
  • Defensive Rebounds: 4th
  • Field Goal Percentage Defense: 3rd
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Defense: 4th
  • Blocked Shots: 5th
  • Assist/Turnover Ratio: 5th (1.07)

Bama In This Week's SEC Individual Stats

  • Scoring: Grizzard 14th, Dudley 17th
  • Rebounding: Dudley 2nd, Grizzard 14th, Walker 17th
  • Field Goal Percentage: Dudley 1st
  • Free Throw Percentage: Grizzard 7th
  • Assists: Williams 4th
  • Blocked Shots: Walker 5th, Grizzard 8th
  • Offensive Rebounds: Dudley 1st, Walker 3rd
  • Defensive Rebounds: Dudley 5th

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