Bama/Georgia game notes

For the second game in a row, the University of Alabama men's basketball team, 14-3 overall, 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference, hits the road for a game. The Tide travels to Athens, Ga., where it will play the 14-2, 3-0 Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday, January 16, 2002. Tip-Off in Stegeman Coliseum (15,523) is set for 7:00 p.m. CT/8:00 p.m. ET.

NEXT GAME:

  • AT GEORGIA
  • 7:00 p.m. CST/8:00 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2002
  • Stegeman Coliseum (10,523 capacity)
  • Athens, Georgia

TICKETS:

$12; Georgia Ticket Office (706) 542-1231 or toll free 1-877-542-1231, 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:

Jefferson-Pilot (JP) with Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Larry Conley (color analyst)

UA WEEKLY TV:

Crimson Tide This Week: Check local listings, airs regionally, The Mark Gottfried Show: Tuesdays, 10 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. on CSS

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. 16 AP /No. 17 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (14-3 OVERALL, 2-1 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 14.7 ppg/8.6 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 9.8 ppg/6.1 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 14.8 ppg/5.6 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 12.1 ppg/4.1 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 10.0 ppg/3.6 rpg4.7 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

No. 20 AP/No. 24 ESPN/USA Today GEORGIA (14-2 OVERALL, 3-0 SEC)

  • F- 24 Jarvis Hayes 6-6, 200, SO, Atlanta, Ga. 16.9 ppg/4.2 rpg
  • F- 50 Chris Daniels 6-7, 210, SO, Albany, Ga. 13.3 ppg/7.9 rpg
  • C- 55 Steve Thomas 6-8, 235, SO, Carrollton, Ga. 8.2 ppg/6.5 rpg
  • G- 05 Ezra Williams 6-4, 208, JR, Marietta, Ga. 17.9 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • G- 03 Rashad Wright 6-1, 170, SO, Statesboro, Ga. 8.3 ppg/2.3 rpg/4.6 assists per game
  • HeadCoach: Jim Harrick (Morris Harvey, 1960)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 137-69 (.665%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 69-45 (.605%) in 4th season at Alabama; 2 NCAA appearances (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances (1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); Three 20-win seasons (in 6) as a head coach; 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.

GEORGIA: Jim Harrick; 442-219 (.669) in 21 seasons overall, 39-37 (.513) in 3rd season at Georgia; 1995 National Champions at head coach at UCLA; 1995 National Coach of the Year; 3 PAC 10 championships at UCLA (1992, 1995, 1996); 4-time West Coach Conference Champions at Pepperdine; 1 Atlantic 10 Conference championship at Rhode Island.

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Two men who worked together to reach the ultimate coaching dream reunite for this game as Georgia's Jim Harrick was head coach at UCLA and Mark Gottfried was his assistant coach in 1995 when UCLA won the National Championship
  • The game marks the 127th meeting between Alabama and Georgia. Alabama leads the series 83-43, with a narrow 27-25 lead in games played in Athens.
  • Tide sophomore guard Demetrius Smith returns to play in his home state for the first time in his collegiate career. He's from Hogansville, Ga.

Alabama is On the Rebound, Georgia's On A Roll

Alabama will attempt to comeback from Saturday's 59-56 road loss at Auburn when it lines up against the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday night. The Tide's loss snapped an eight game win streak that began December 14. Alabama hadn't lost since it played UCLA in the Bruins' John Wooden Classic on December 8. Alabama's loss at Auburn was its first conference blemish on now a 2-1 SEC record. It was also its first SEC Western Division loss.

Georgia, meanwhile, is experiencing its best start since 1997 and is a perfect 3-0 in the SEC with wins against Vanderbilt (82-69), a big road upset win at Kentucky (88-84) and, its latest victory, Saturday's 73-70 home win against Tennessee. The Bulldogs opened its season with five straight victories before falling to Georgia State (83-78) on December 4. It then rebounded with a string of six straight victories, including three to win the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.

Two Head Coaches Shared Dream Becoming Reality

The men who lead the opposing benches in Saturday night once shared the same bench. Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried was an assistant to Georgia head coach Jim Harrick when Harrick was head coach at UCLA. Gottfried's seven seasons at UCLA with Harrick culminated in 1995 when UCLA (31-2) won the National Championship. That win was a springboard in Gottfried's coaching career as he became a commodity as a head coaching prospect, deciding to start out at Murray State University the following season, 1996 where he advanced to postseason play all three seasons before becoming Alabama's head coach in March 1998.

Demetrius Smith Returns To His Home State for Play

Alabama sophomore guard Demetrius Smith will play in his home state of Georgia for the first time since he was a high school senior at Callaway High School in Hogansville, Ga., in 2000.

Smith has played in all 17 games this season and averages 14 minutes a game and 3.4 points a game.

His return to Georgia will be a homecoming of old friends as well. Smith played on the Georgia All-Star team with Georgia starters Rashad Wright, Steve Thomas and Chris Daniels who are all sophomores on the Bulldogs team.

Bama's Grizzard & Georgia's Williams Share Bond

The two men who lead their respective teams in scoring at Alabama and Georgia share a bond. Alabama's Rod Grizzard (14.8 ppg) and Georgia's Ezra Williams (17.9 ppg) attended NIKE camp together when they were in high school.

Bulldogs Feature a Football Player

While Alabama's Demetrius Smith played both quarterback and defense on his high school football team, he gave up the cleats when he graduated and gave all his concentration to Basketball at Alabama. Georgia has just added to its roster Bulldogs football player Fred Gibson who played in 11 games at split end this past season on the Georgia football team. Gipson has played in two basketball games now and is averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds.

Williams Moves Back Up to Double Digit Scoring

Mo Williams' 12 points at Auburn on Saturday pushed him back into the double-digit scoring average column. The freshman guard from Jackson, Miss., is now averaging 10.0 points a game. Smith had a season high nine rebounds in that Auburn game, one short of a double-double.

Dudley Almost Gets 8th Double Double

Alabama junior forward Erwin Dudley is the SEC leader in production of double doubles this season with seven. Florida's Udonis Haslem is next with six.

Dudley came just one rebound short of his eighth double-double at Auburn Saturday. He ended the game with a team-leading 17 points and nine rebounds. He has 23 career double doubles at Alabama.

Bama Will Come Home for A Game After Georgia

After playing back-to-back road games at Auburn (January 12) and Georgia (January 16) Alabama returns home to play host to Mississippi State in a non-televised game on Saturday, January 19 at 6 p.m. CST.

Following that game, Alabama gets a rare mid-season break as it won't play for seven days, not until it travels to Kentucky for a Saturday, January 26 date (7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET) with the Wildcats at Rupp Arena.

Grab Those MSU Tickets for Chance at Bobbin' Rod

In addition to seeing a Southeastern Conference showdown, memorabilia collectors won't want to miss Alabama's Saturday, January 19th home game against Mississippi State. Hundreds of fans, those who go through the gate first (about 1,000), will receive a Rod Grizzard "bobbin' head doll." You can't get through the gate without buying a ticket, however, so fans who haven't purchased a ticket to the game should do so now by calling SouthTix at 800-240-2300 or the University of Alabama Box Office at 205-348-BAMA or purchase the ticket online through www.rolltide.com.

Grizzard's is one of two "bobbin' head dolls" Alabama is giving away this season. Fans can take Erwin Dudley home with them on February 6 (Ole Miss).

Bama Not the Only One Playing It Close

Alabama's three-point loss at Auburn Saturday put it in company with half of the league games so far this season. Of the 16 SEC games played through Saturday, January 12th, eight have been decided by five points or less, including two overtime games. Even Sunday's game-which would have been the 17th SEC game, was close. LSU beat Arkansas by six.

And It's Not the Only Team Losing on the Road

Going into this week's round of conference games, the SEC is 5-12 on the road in league play. Three out of the five teams on the road on Saturday lost and Arkansas lost at LSU on Sunday. The trend appears to continue from last season where the SEC road record overall was 33-63.

Dudley's Back on Top

Alabama's Erwin Dudley moved back into the top slot as the SEC's rebounding leader (all games) with his 8.6 rebounds per game after 17 games. Dudley, of Uniontown, was the SEC's rebounding champion in 2001.

Four of League's Top Scorers Will Be on Floor

Wednesday night's game at Georgia will find four of the SEC's top 20 scorers on the floor. Georgia's Ezra Williams ranks 2nd in the league (17.9) in scoring and Jarvis Hayes ranks 5th (16.9). Alabama's Rod Grizzard ranks 15th (14.8) and Erwin Dudley 16th (14.7).

And Four of the Best Swat Men Also Will Star

In addition to featuring four of the league's best scorers, Wednesday night's game will feature four of the league's best shot blockers. Georgia's Chris Daniels ranks 4th (1.38 blocks a game) and Steve Thomas 5th (1.31 blocks a game), just ahead of Alabama's Kenny Walker at 6th (1.29) and Bama's Erwin Dudley at 8th (1.12 blocks a game).

Tide and Bulldogs Among More Accurate FT Shooters

Ole Miss leads the SEC in free throw percentage at 75.8%, but the top five is a close race. Georgia ranks fourth at 73.2% while Alabama is fifth at 70.4%.

Bulldogs Lead in Stopping the Trey

Georgia leads the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage defense (98 FG-358 FGA) at 27.4%. Alabama has attempted 371 3-point shots this season, making 120 of those for 32.3%.

Teams Shared Common Non-Conference Opponent

Alabama and Georgia shared a non-conference opponent this season in Samford. Alabama played the Samford Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa on November 14 in the second round of the Guardians Classic. Alabama won 83-51. Georgia played Samford at home on November 26 and won 61-55.

Series is an Old One

Wednesday night's game between Alabama and Georgia marks the 127th meeting between these two schools in men's basketball.

Alabama leads the overall series 83-43. Alabama leads 27-25 in Athens, 47-11 in Tuscaloosa and 9-7 neutral. Alabama's last win in Athens was in 1994 when it won 78-77. This is a series where East meets West, division that is, so they play one another only once a regular season and alternate sites each year. That would mean that Alabama hasn't won in Athens in its last three trips (1996), 1998, 2000).

Mark Gottfried and Jim Harrick are 2-2 against one another in overall SEC league play.

Pettway Has Another Perfect Night

For the second game straight, Tide sophomore guard Antoine Pettway has come off the bench and ended a game without missing a single shot-from the floor or at the line. The Alberta native was 1 of 1 from the field and 6 of 6 at the free throw line in 14 minutes of play against Vanderbilt on January 9. He followed that up by making 2 of 2 from the floor and 3 of 3 at the free throw line in 20 minutes against Auburn. He also had three assists and two steals in that Auburn game.

Pettway's Free Throws Best In SEC

Antoine Pettway shares a three-way tie for first in the SEC in Free Throw Percentage with Florida's Matt Bonner (10 of 10) and LSU's Jermain Williams (8 of 8) as the three players in the league who haven't missed a free throw yet in an SEC game. Pettway has made all nine of the nine free throws he's attempted in SEC play this year.

Grizzard Threatens Dunn; Dudley Leaps Over Gottfried

Two current Crimson Tide players have passed or are about to pass up their Tide coaches in Alabama's All-Time Career scoring list.

Rod Grizzard, who ranks 20th all-time in scoring at Alabama, needs just four more points (he has 1,244) to pass up Tide assistant coach T.R. Dunn. Dunn, who ranks 19th on the list, was an All-American at Alabama from 1974-77. Erwin Dudley's 17 points at Auburn on Saturday leapt him over his coach, Mark Gottfried. Dudley now has 1,065 career points, placing him 33rd all-time at Alabama, one spot ahead of Gottfried who scored 1,056 points in three seasons, from 1985-87.

And Dudley Jumped Over Dunn in Rebounding As Well

Erwin Dudley has overtaken Tide assistant coach T.R. Dunn as Alabama's 14th all-time leading rebounder at Alabama. Dudley now has 742 boards, a career average of 9.0, after 82 games at Alabama. Dunn had 738 boards in 111 games between 1974-77 for a career average of 6.6 He now ranks 15th all-time in rebounding at Alabama.

Mr. T (Meade, that is) Stars on the "A" Team

Bama junior Terrance Meade has been a starring on the court as a starter for the Tide since his freshman season (79 of the 80 games he's played). And he's also starring in the classroom. His grade report from this past semester was a student's dream report card. Meade made a 3.9 (on a 4.0 scale). Holding him back from the perfect 4.0 was an "A minus" he made in a class.

The Scottsboro native, when he's not practicing or studying, also bides his time as a member of Alabama's student athlete advisory board. His work in the community has netted him a spot on the 2002 SEC Good Works Team.


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