Bama/Bethune-Cookman game notes

The No. 18 AP/No. 19 ESPN/USA Today ranked University of Alabama men's basketball team makes its 2002 debut by hosting Bethune-Cookman College on Wednesday, January 2, 2002. Tip-off in Coleman Coliseum (15,316) is set for 7 p.m. CST. Alabama brings an 11-2 overall record into this game. Bethune-Cookman is 2-5 overall.

NEXT GAME:

  • Bethune-Cookman
  • 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, January 2, 2002
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316)
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama

TICKETS:

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 www.rolltide.com

TV:

None

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. 18 AP/No. 19 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (11-2 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 13.4 ppg/8.2 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 10.9 ppg/6.4 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 14.7 ppg/6.1 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 12.6 ppg/4.0 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 9.5 ppg/3.7 rpg/5.4 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

BETHUNE-COOKMAN (2-5 OVERALL, 1-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic)

  • F- 03 Brent King 6-4, 210, SR, Indianapolis, Ind. 2.9 ppg/2.7 rpg
  • C- 04 Jerome Nicholson 6-8, 260, SO, Titusville, Fla. 6.6 ppg/5.0 rpg
  • G- 05 Moses Cage 5-9, 165, SR, New Orleans, La. 6.4 ppg/2.3 rpg/3.1 assists per game
  • G- 11 Brian Cox 6-1, 175, SR, Daytona Beach, Fla. 12.3 ppg/3.3 rpg
  • G- 32 Richard Toussaint 6-3, 195, JR, Tampa, Fla. 21.3 ppg/4.4 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Horace Broadnax (Georgetown, 1984; also has juris doctorate from Florida State)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 134-68 (.663%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 66-44 (.600%) 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; Academic All-SEC at Alabama.

BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Horace Broadnax; 38-81 (.319%) in 6 (5 complete) seasons at Bethune-Cookman & overall; played for John Thompson at Georgetown, including its 1984 NCAA champion team (teammates included Patrick Ewing); two-time MEAC Coach of the Year; a former assistant at Florida in 1995 under Lon Kruger; was an assistant at Bethune-Cookman before being elevated to head coach; also served as head coach at Valencia Community College (29-31) in Orlando; Broadnax was Mr. Basketball in the State of Florida as a prep player

KEY GAME NOTES

  • This game marks Alabama's final chance to tune-up its game before it opens its 2002 Southeastern Conference season on Saturday (Bama hosts LSU at 6 p.m. on Jan. 5)
  • Freshman guard Earnest Shelton is listed as doubtful for this one; he has a subluxed patella on his right knee, a result of a Dec. 29th practice collision; He sat out the Florida A&M because of it & is expected back by LSU
  • Game marks first meeting between Alabama and Bethune-Cookman College

Game Marks a Tale of Two Schedules

Wednesday night's game in Tuscaloosa against the University of Alabama marks the first game Bethune-Cookman College has played since its December 16 game at Oklahoma. Conversely, Alabama has played four games during that same period, beginning with Temple in New Jersey on December 18, Alabama A&M in Tuscaloosa on December 21, Notre Dame in New Orleans on December 27 and Florida A&M in Tuscaloosa on December 31st.

...And A Tale of Two Streaks

Alabama comes into the Bethune-Cookman game with a five game win streak. Bethune-Cookman is trying to snap a two-game losing streak.

Alabama's 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, a 79-76 win against Notre Dame in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic on December 27, and a 76-52 win against Florida A&M in Tuscaloosa on December 31.

Bethune-Cookman's last two losses came at Oklahoma on December 16 (102-65) and at South Alabama, 68-55, on December 12.

Game Marks a First

Wednesday night's game between Alabama and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats marks a first. These two teams have never played one another previously in men's basketball.

Teams Have Common Opponent

Alabama and Bethune-Cookman share a common opponent this season. Both play Florida A&M. Alabama played Florida A&M on New Year's Eve, winning 76-52. The Wildcats play Florida A&M a couple of times each season as both teams are in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. FAMU won the first meeting, 98-77, in Daytona Beach on November 24.

Two Head Coaches Have National Titles in Common

The two men heading the benches in Wednesday night's game lived a dream few college players and coaches will see become reality. Both know what it's like to be the national champion.

Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried was on the winning side in 1995 when UCLA won the national championship. Gottfried was an assistant on that coaching staff.

Bethune-Cookman College head coach Horace Broadnax lived the dream as a player at a college basketball dynasty. He was playing for John Thompson at Georgetown when Georgetown won the NCAA Championship in 1984.

Broadnax took his team to Georgetown to play on November 28, and played Georgetown last season as well, pulling to within 10 puts at the final buzzer of that game.

Both head coaches also share an SEC link. Broadnax has coached at Florida. He was an assistant to Lon Kruger in 1995.

Tide Back in Top 20

For the second week this season, Alabama has jumped into the Top 20 in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today rankings.

Alabama is No. 18 AP and No. 19 in ESPN/USA Today. It was among the Top 20 in both polls the week of December 2-9 as well, earning its season's highest ranking at 16 AP and No. 19 in ESPN/USA Today (which, along with this week, is the highest it has climbed in that poll).

Alabama has been ranked in the AP Top 25 ever since the first poll of the 2001-02 season which was released on November 5 (nine weeks ago). It has been ranked in the ESPN/USA Today poll's Top 25 for the past seven straight weeks (of a possible nine weeks).

Top 25 and Tide In Sync These Past Two Seasons

Mark Gottfried promised Tide fans he'd put the Tide back into national power status when he was hired as Alabama's head coach in March of 1998, and Gottfried has delivered.

Last season Alabama was ranked in the AP Top 25 for 13 out of a possible 19 weeks, debuting on December 4, 2000 and dropping out in the March 5 poll. (Alabama received votes in the final three polls). In the ESPN/USA Today poll last year Alabama debuted on December 11 and remained until it was left out (but received votes) in the March 12 (2nd to last) poll.

For those who like others to do the counting, that means that Alabama has been ranked among the nation's Top 25 for 22 of the last 28 weeks in the AP poll and for 20 of the last 28 weeks in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Alabama's longest stint in the poll last season was 13 weeks from December 4 through the February 26 poll where it was No. 20 before it bowed out in the March 5 poll. It was ranked 12 straight weeks with ESPN/USA Today last season, from December 11 through March 5, bowing out March 12.

And Gottfried Is Making Other Marks as Well

Each year the NCAA ranks its most successful active coaches. If you take the list the NCAA began with this season, Mark Gottfried, who ranked 34th on the list to start the season, has played and defeated several of the nation's best.

Among the list of winningest coaches Gottfried and Alabama have beaten are: No. 4 Rick Majerus of Utah, No. 9 Bob Huggins of Cincinnati (Alabama beat Cincy in 2001), No. 10 John Chaney of Temple, No. 13 Nolan Richardson of Arkansas, No. 15 John Calipari of Memphis, No. 16 Tubby Smith of Kentucky, No. 28 Jim Harrick of Georgia, No. 31 Gene Keady of Purdue, No. 32 Mike Brey of Notre Dame, No. 41 Billy Donovan of Flroida, No. 42 Perry Watson of Detroit, No. 44 Kevin Stallings of Vanderbilt, and No. 49 Tic Price of McNeese State.

Alabama is 4-1 against that top 32 active list this season.

If you took that NCAA Division I list and narrowed it to coaches who have coached 10 years or less, Gottfried would rank around eighth winningest in the nation.

Dudley is 11 Away from Scoring 1,000th UA Point

Erwin Dudley, Bama's junior forward from Uniontown, has 989 career points going into the Bethune-Cookman game. He needs 11 more points to reach 1,000. 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.

Dudley's Aim is Best In SEC

Bama's Erwin Dudley went into the week as the SEC's most accurate shooter. He's making 59% of his shots after 13 games. Dudley is 72 of 122 from the field.

Alabama Still Averaging 80 Points A Game

Thirteen games into the season the Crimson Tide is still averaging 80.8 points a game. Its opponents are averaging 64.5 for a win margin of 16.3 points a game.

Bama Averaging 41.9 Boards A Game

Alabama is winning the battle under the boards so far this season. Alabama, led by Erwin Dudley's 8.2 rebounds a game, is averaging 41.9 rebounds a game compared to its opponents average of 36.9 rebounds a game (for a margin of 5.0 boards a game).

Tide Reaches 3-Point Centennial

Alabama has its share of men who can shoot the long shot-9 of its 11 players have made at least one 3-point shot this season. Alabama reached the triple digit mark in 3-point field goals made this season on Monday night in the Florida A&M game. Alabama, which made 232 3-point field goals in 2001, has made 101 (of 303 attempted) so far during the 2001-02 season.

Terrance Meade has launched-and made-the most from the long range where he is 27 of 72 (.375) thi season.

Shelton Will Likely Sit This One Out

While practicing with his team on Saturday, December 29th, Earnest Shelton was involved in a late-practice collision on the court that resulted in a subluxed patella (knee cap) in his right knee. Shelton did not practice the following day (Sunday) and did not dress out for the Florida A&M game on December 31. He is listed as doubtful to play against Bethune-Cookman but is expected to be ready for a return by Saturday's LSU game.

Kenny Walker Has a Career Night

Kenny Walker grabbed a career high 12 rebounds in Alabama's 76-52 win against Florida A&M on Monday. He coupled that with a team leading 18 points as well, giving him his second career double double. His first career double double came his freshman season when he scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Louisville.

Against Florida A&M, the Jacksonville, Fla., native made six of 11 shots attempted from the field and six of eight shots at the free throw line. He also blocked four Rattler shots, just one short of tying his career high.

Rambo Gets Rebounding Best

Sophomore forward Reggie Rambo set his career best in rebounding Monday against Florida A&M. The Lena, La., native pulled down seven boards.

Tide Players Still on Holiday

Bama's players continue to get the rare opportunity of concentrating only on basketball for several more days. While the University of Alabama employees officially return to work on January 2, the spring semester of classes at the University doesn't begin until January 9 (the day Alabama hosts Vanderbilt).

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