The game is Alabama's first in a week. Since all Alabama students have been in the midst of finals this week there was no mid-week game on the Tide's schedule.
The day will require double duty from Senior guard Earnest Shelton. Shelton is scheduled to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from UA's College of Commerce and Business Administration at 9 a.m. in the Coliseum, and will suit up for the game later that evening.
Shelton is expecting 25-30 family members in attendance for both Saturday events, with even more friends expected to attend. The Memphis native will also be looking for his 1,000th career point Saturday night. He is 22 away from the milestone number. Shelton is averaging 19.4 points per game, and took over as the Tide's leading scorer last Saturday scoring 22 points.
After only five points a week ago against Temple, junior forward Kennedy Winston's point total dropped to 17 per game. Chuck Davis averages 16.6 points per game, while Jermareo Davidson and Ron Steele are each averaging 9.7 per contest.
Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried will again be looking for any semblance of bench production on Saturday. The Crimson Tide has totaled six bench points in its last two contests, coming from two Justin Jonus three-pointers last Saturday. Even with three starters fouling out in the three overtime game against Charlotte, only 12 bench points were totaled in the triple overtime Tide win.
Jonus was rewarded for his contributions, when Gottfried announced this week that Jonus will be awarded a scholarship beginning with the spring semester in January. Gottfried entered the season with 12 of the maximum allowable 13 players on scholarship, and he said Jonus has proved he belonged in the mix.
Since the scholarship of a player who departs cannot be used until the following year, the timing of Jonus' scholarship announcement was only coincidentally related to the departure of forward Akini Adkins, who is seeking transfer to a school with more available playing time.
Gottfried said he and Adkins left things on good terms, and that he would assist in finding a new locale for Adkins. Adkins became the second player to depart from the Tide basketball squad this season after the week one departure of freshman guard Glenn Miles.