Bama/Vandy game notes

Game two of the University of Alabama's 2002 Southeastern Conference schedule finds the Crimson Tide, 13-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC, playing host to the Vanderbilt Commodores, 10-4 overall and 0-1 in the SEC. The two teams meet in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 for a 7 p.m. CST tip.

NEXT GAME:

  • VANDERBILT COMMODORES
  • 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, January 9, 2002
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316), Tuscaloosa, Alabama

TICKETS:

Available; $15 adults/$8 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:

WJRD, Newschannel 7 (Tuscaloosa), tape delay, with Gary Harris and Stan Siegal,

WEEKLY TV:

Crimson Tide This Week: half hour show featuring updates on most recent and upcoming games, The Mark Gottfried Show: 30 minute show with Tide head coach Mark Gottfried, Check local listings for both shows which air throughout Alabama & regionally

RADIO:

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

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. 14 AP/No. 15 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (13-2 OVERALL, 1-0 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 13.9 ppg/8.5 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 10.6 ppg/6.3 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 15.0 ppg/5.7 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 12.3 ppg/4.1 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 9.9 ppg/3.4 rpg/4.7 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

VANDERBILT COMMODORES (10-4 OVERALL, 0-1 SEC)

  • F- 02 Brian Thornton 6-8, 235, FR, Louisville, Kentucky 6.3 ppg/4.2 rpg
  • F- 35 Matt Freije 6-9, 226, SO, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 16.4 ppg/4.9 rpg
  • G- 24 Scott Hundley 6-5, 217, SO, Georgetown, Kentucky 4.8 ppg/3.1 rpg
  • G- 05 Brendan Plavich 6-2, 207, SO, Dalton, Georgia 10.6 ppg/2.6 rpg/3.6 assists per game
  • G- 25 Chuck Moore 6-3, 184, SR, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 13.3 ppg/4.1 rpg
  • Head Coach: Kevin Stallings (Purdue, 1982)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 136-68 (.667%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 68-44 (.607%) 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...Born January 20, 1964 in Crestline, Ohio.

VANDERBILT: Kevin Stallings; 167-93 (.642%) in 9 (8 complete) seasons overall, 44-30 (.595%) in 3rd season at Vanderbilt; In 23 seasons as a player and coach, his teams have made 19 postseason tournament appearances, 13 in the NCAA including three Final Four (two as an assistant at Kansas in 1991 and 1993 and one as a player at Purdue in 1980; head coach at Illinois State from 1994-99.

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Alabama leads the series 62-56; UA leads 39-16 at home; teams split last season with Vanderbilt winning 68-62 in Nashville during the regular season but Bama defeating Vanderbilt 78-59 in the SEC tournament in Nashville
  • Bama has a 12-game home win streak on the line; It's 27-1 at home since last season (17-1 in 2001; 10-0 this year)
  • The Crimson Tide goes into this game with its highest ranking of the season, No. 14 AP and No. 15 in the coaches' poll (ESPN)

Home Streak Is on the Line

Alabama has a 12-game home win streak dating to last season on the line Wednesday night when it hosts the Commodores. In fact, home has been the place to be for Alabama Basketball as the Tide is 27-1 at home in the last two seasons. Alabama went 17-1 at home last season (Arkansas was the spoiler with a 3-point win) and is 10-1 at home this season.

The home win streak began March 13, 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, Samford, Utah, McNeese State, UTC, JSU, Alabama A&M, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, LSU.

Tide Freshman Earnest Shelton Is Out for a While

Tide freshman guard Earnest Shelton is out of playing commission for the next 3-6 weeks. The Memphis native underwent surgery on January 3 to repair articular cartilage in his right knee. He injured it in a Dec. 29 collision at practice (the knee cap got hit and chipped the covering of the bone).

He has played in 12 games, averaging 15 minutes and 5.6 points, including 15 points in his career debut in Alabama's opener against Mississippi Valley State. His season best was 17 points against Jacksonville State. He would not be a redshirt candidate as he has played in too many games.

It Will Be A Full Day For Bama's Players

The January 9th Vanderbilt game date also marks the return to class for the University of Alabama's students after their three-week Christmas vacation break. The last final exams were held December 15. So while many of their fellow students have been snoozing and relaxing during the holiday break, Alabama's players have played six games, traveling to New Jersey and New Orleans along the way and giving themselves the gift of a seven game win streak that began December 14 with a home win against Jacksonville State.

Tide At Almost Identical Point Last Year

While the difference in the end this season will be that Alabama is playing with a veteran squad as opposed to last season when it was starting four sophomores and a freshman for its SEC games, at this point in time, Alabama's 2001 team and its 2002 team share nearly identical records for this point.

Going into its second conference game of the season last year, Alabama was 12-1, losing that second game (at Tennessee to make it 12-2. Alabama is 13-2 going into game two of the 2002 SEC season.

Alabama needs one more win to better its start from last season and to give Mark Gottfried his best start of his Alabama coaching career. Alabama went on to win 14 games before taking a third loss last season.

Tide Moves Up in National Polls

Alabama climbs to its highest point so far this season in both the AP and the coaches' poll this week. The Tide is No. 14 in the Associated Press rankings. Alabama is No. 15 in this week's ESPN/USA Today rankings, bettering its previous season best of No. 18 in last week's poll.

Alabama has now been ranked in the ESPN/USA Today poll for eight straight weeks and for 21 of the past 29 weeks (dating to the 2001 season). It has been ranked in the AP poll for ten straight weeks and 14 out of the last 20 weeks.

NOTE: Bama's highest ever regular season ranking is No. 4 AP in 1974.

Alabama Leads Series vs. Commodores

Alabama and Vanderbilt have been playing one another regularly in men's basketball since 1924, making Wednesday night's game the 119th meeting.

The Tide has a slight series edge, winning 62 of those games. Vanderbilt has left the court with 59 wins against the Tide. Both teams have the edge on their home courts. Alabama leads 39-15 in Tuscaloosa while Vanderbilt leads 36-20 in Nashville.

Grizzard's Average is Creeping Back Up

While Rod Grizzard's shooting has improved from 38 percent last season to 47 percent this season, his scoring average had dropped a couple of points along the way. Last season he averaged 17.0 points in 36 games. This season after hovering in the 14+ range, he crept up to 15.0 points a game after the 19 points he scored to lead Alabama's win against LSU. After three seasons, the junior from Birmingham has a UA career average of 15.2 points a game.

Both Teams Have Four In Double Digits

Both Alabama and Vanderbilt boast four players who average in double digits in scoring. Alabama's quartet includes, in order, Rod Grizzard (15.0 ppg), Erwin Dudley (13.9 ppg). Terrance Meade (12.3 ppg), and Kenny Walker (10.6 ppg). (Mo Williams is a close 5th at 9.9 points a game)

Matt Freije leads Vanderbilt with his 16.4 points per game, followed by Chuck Moore (13.3 ppg), Sam Howard (12.4 ppg) and Brendan Plavich (10.6 ppg).

Commodores Similar To Alabama's 2001 Makeup

Alabama played with four sophomores and a freshman in its staring lineup last season. Vanderbilt is experiencing a youth movement this season as 10 of its 13 scholarship players are underclassmen. (Vanderbilt started four freshman in its game against Florida State last season).

One of those young guns packs a powerful punch in sophomore forward Matt Freije, Kansas' Mr. Basketball. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team last season after starting in 17 games for the Commodores and averaging 10.4 points a game. One of this season's success stories is freshman guard Chuck Moore who has started in 12 of Vanderbilt's 14 games and has his team's 2nd best scoring average at 13.3 points a game.

Tide's Win Streak is Now at Seven

Alabama has won its last seven games in a string of wins that includes, in order, Jacksonville State, Temple, Alabama A&M, Notre Dame, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman and LSU.

Dudley Adds Another Double Double

Erwin Dudley collected his sixth-and second in a row-double-double of the season Saturday night when he scored 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against LSU. He'd gotten 20 points and 10 rebounds just a few nights before against Bethune-Cookman. He leads the league in that stat.

Rod Grizzard has had two double-doubles this season and Kenny Walker and Mo Williams (in points and assists) have also achieved that milestone.

Meade Gets Hero Role

When the pressure was on, Bama junior guard Terrance Meade came through. With 31 seconds remaining in Saturday's LSU game, Alabama trailed LSU 74-72 when Meade made a jump shot that tied the score. Then, with just two seconds remaining in regulation, LSU's Collis Temple fouled Meade while Meade was attempting a 3-point shot. He went to the line, made the first to put Alabama ahead by one point at 75-74, missed the second shot and made the third to give Alabama the 76-74 win. (The coaching plan was actually to make the 2nd shot but miss the third but Meade actually missed the 2nd).

Comparing Stats for Alabama & Vanderbilt

                               Alabama       Vanderbilt

Scoring                         81.3            78.9

Opponents Scoring               63.9            73.5

Scoring Margin                 +17.4           + 5.4

Rebounding                     41.5             34.1

Rebounding Margin              +5.4             +0.2

Field Goal Percentage          .464             .475

3-Point Field Goal Percentage  .329             .387

Free Throw Percentage          .680             .725

Fouls (total)                   264              274

Assists                         221 (14.7)       249 (17.8)

Turnovers                       209 (13.9)       226 (16.1)

Blocks                          66  (4.4)         31 (2.2)

Steals                          121 (8.1)        101 (7.2)                 

Win Streak                      W last 7          L one

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