Bama/Kentucky game notes

For the fifth time this season, the University of Alabama men's basketball team faces a Top 25 ranked opponent. Next up for the Crimson Tide, 16-3 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference, is No. 8 AP/No. 9 ESPN/USA Today Kentucky-in Rupp Arena--on Saturday, January 26. Tipoff in Rupp Arena for the sold out event is set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

NEXT GAME:

  • at Kentucky
  • 7:00 p.m. CST/8:00 p.m. ET
  • Saturday, January 26, 2002
  • Rupp Arena (23,000 capacity)
  • Lexington, Kentucky

TICKETS:

Sold Out, 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:

ESPN with Brad Nessler and Brad Daugherty, 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. 14 AP /No. 14 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (16-3 OVERALL, 4-1 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 15.1 ppg/8.5 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 9.9 ppg/6.2 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 15.2 ppg/5.8 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 11.1 ppg/3.8 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 10.2 ppg/3.6 rpg/4.6 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

NO. 8 AP/NO. 9 ESPN/USA TODAY KENTUCKY (13-4 OVERALL, 3-2 SEC)

  • F- 21 Tayshaun Prince 6-9, 215, SR, Compton, Calif. 16.6 ppg/6.5 rpg
  • F- 40 Jules Camara 6-11, 225, JR, Dakar, Senegal 4.8 ppg/3.6 rpg
  • G- 04 Gerald Fitch 6-3, 195, SO, Macon, Ga. 8.8 ppg/5.5 rpg
  • G- 10 Keith Bogans 6-5, 205, JR, Alexandria, Va. 12.8 ppg/5.1 rpg
  • G- 01 Cliff Hawkins 6-1, 185, SO, Dumfries, Va. 8.0 ppg/2.5 rpg/4.5 assists per game
  • HeadCoach: Tubby Smith (High Point, 1973)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 139-69 (.668%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 71-45 (.612%) 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.

KENTUCKY: Tubby Smith; 247-99 (.714%) in 11 (10 complete) seasons overall, 123-37 (.769%) in 5 seasons (4 complete) at Kentucky; 1998 NCAA Champions as head coach at Kentucky; four NCAA tournament appearances in 1st four seasons at Kentucky, 2 in two seasons at Kentucky and two in four seasons at Tulsa...3 SEC regular season and 3 SEC tournament championships at Kentucky.

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Alabama sophomore guard Demetrius Smith and Kentucky sophomore guard Gerald Fitch were teammates on the Georgia High School All-Star team two years ago
  • Game marks the fifth Top 25 team Alabama has played this season (2-2) and the 2nd in three games
  • 124th meeting between Alabama & Kentucky in men's basketball...Kentucky leads series 91-32 though Alabama won the last meeting 70-60 in Tuscaloosa in 2001
  • Kentucky assistant David Hobbs was Bama's head coach from 1992-98 (6 seasons, 110-76)

Tide Has A Rare Week Off

When Alabama tips against Kentucky on Saturday night, it will have been seven days almost to the exact hour since the Tide has played. Alabama didn't have a mid-week game. Its last game was in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, January 19 when it hosted and defeated Mississippi State 85-73.

Alabama Leads The West

Alabama comes into Saturday's game against SEC Eastern Division team Kentucky as the top team in the SEC Western Division. Alabama is 4-1 overall in the SEC and 2-1 in divisional play.

Two Former All-Stars Reunite

Two one-time teammates will sit on opposite benches in Saturday night's Alabama vs. Kentucky game. Alabama sophomore guard Demetrius Smith and Kentucky sophomore guard Gerald Fitch were teammates in high school on the 2000 Georgia All-Star Team. Smith is from Hogansville, Ga. Fitch is from Macon, Ga.

Former Tide Head Coach Now Wearing Blue

Former Crimson Tide head coach David Hobbs will see a familiar site---though from a different vantage point Saturday when Alabama plays Kentucky. Hobbs has been an assistant on Tubby Smith's Kentucky staff for the past couple of seasons. He was Alabama's head coach from 1992-98, six seasons, where he had a 110-76 record and advanced Alabama to postseason play four of those six years, including the 1994 and 1995 NCAA tournaments.

Dudley's Doll Was a Hit

Alabama joined the sports memorabilia pop craze last Saturday when it gave away Erwin Dudley bobblehead dolls. The promotion was a huge hit. Fans gathered-despite pouring rain-hours early to grab one. Within 20 minutes of the doors opening, all 1,000 of the dolls had been given away.

Fans who left the game without "Little E" have another chance in February to go home with the hot collectible. Alabama will be giving away Rod Grizzard bobblehead dolls at one of its February home games. Other upcoming men's basketball promotions include a 36"x16" Dan Murphy designed team poster made on special canvas textured paper that will be given away at the January 30 Arkansas game.

Pettway's On a Roll At the Free Throw Line

Tide sophomore guard Antoine Pettway, a poster player of a success story, hasn't missed a free throw in his last four games-making 12 of 12. He's perfect at the line in the month of January. The streak started January 9 when he went 6 of 6 against Vanderbilt. It continued at Auburn on January 12 when he was 3 of 3 followed by a 4 of 4 performance at Georgia on January 16, and, in his latest success, a 2 of 2 night against Mississippi State on January 19.

Shelton is "Possible" To Play In This Game

Tide freshman guard Earnest Shelton of Memphis returned to practice with his teammates-in a limited capacity-on Friday, January 18 and has been practicing ever since. He is listed as possible to play against Kentucky. Shelton underwent surgery on January 3 to repair articular cartilage in his right knee with an out-time diagnosed of around 3-6 weeks. (His 3-week anniversary date is January 24th).

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 MVSU with a season best 17 points vs. JSU. He cannot redshirt as he has played in too many games.

Three Preseason All-SEC Picks In This One

Fans watching Saturday night's game will see three of the five players picked 1st Team All-SEC in the preseason. Alabama's Rod Grizzard, 1st team last season, and Kentucky had two preseason first team picks in All-SEC stars Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans. Bogan and Prince are both John Wooden Award candidates, making the list for the national player of the year award.

'Cats Lead This Series

Saturday night's game between the 'Cats and the Tide marks the 124th meeting between the two schools in men's basketball. These teams play one another only once during the regular SEC season as Alabama is in the Western Division and Kentucky is in the Eastern Division.

Though Alabama has won two of the last three games in the series, Kentucky leads the overall series 91-32. In games played at Lexington, it leads 48-7. It has a narrow lead in games played in Tuscaloosa at 24-20, and, when the game is played on a neutral court, its lead is 19-5.

Kentucky Typically A Good Series for Grizzard

Tide junior guard Rod Grizzard has played Kentucky twice in his collegiate career-and averages 22.5 points against the Wildcats. He scored 20 points at Rupp Arena against the 'Cats his freshman year and scored 25 points last season when Kentucky came to Tuscaloosa. Grizzard had 11 rebounds in last year's game as well.

Grizzard Is Ahead Of League's 1,000 Point Scorers

Going into this weekend's round of games, there are eight players in the SEC's 12 teams have scored 1,000 or more career points. Alabama has two of those eight in Rod Grizzard (1,282) and Erwin Dudley (1,111). Grizzard ranks fourth among the point totals of those eight men-but he's a year younger than the three men ahead of him. Florida's Udonis Haslem has scored the most of the current league players. He had 1,561 career points at midweek.

Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince had 1,489 points, and Tennessee's Vincent Yarbrough, also a senior, had 1,473. In fifth is Kentucky junior Keith Bogans who had (1,192), followed by Dudley, also a junior, at 1,111, then Florida junior Brett Nelson (1,040), followed by Arkansas senior Brandon Dean (1,018).

Tide Has Some Of Nation's Better Stats

In the most recent NCAA stats released, Alabama ranked 23rd nationally in field goal percentage defense, 10th in scoring margin, 27th in scoring offense and is tied for 20th in won-lost percentage. It's home court win streak ranks 10th nationally.

Comparing Alabama and Kentucky Statistically

                              Alabama       Kentucky

Win Streak                     W 2             W 4

Scoring average               80.5            81.6

Opponents Scoring average     65.3            66.9

Scoring Margin               +15.2           +14.7

Rebounding Average            40.9            42.5

Opponents Rebounds            35.8            34.9

Rebound Margin                +5.1            +7.6

Field Goal Percentage         .457           .472

3-Point Field Goal %          .323           .324

3-Point Field Goals Made PG   6.9             6.9

Free Throw Percentage         .707           .650

Personal Fouls                 342            311

Assists                       272 for 14.3   277 for 16.3

Turnovers                     264 for 13.9   265 for 38.2

Blocks                         78 for 4.1     83 for 4.9

Steals                        156 for 8.2    139 for 8.2

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