Bama/MSU game notes

The No. 5 AP/No. 6 ESPN/USA Today ranked University of Alabama men's basketball team heads to Starkville, Mississippi for its next game, a Saturday, February 9 date with Mississippi State University. Alabama brings a 20-3 overall and 8-1 Southeastern Conference record into the game. Host Mississippi State is 17-6 overall and 4-5 in the SEC.


  • at Mississippi State
  • 2:00 p.m. CST
  • Saturday, February 9, 2002
  • Humphrey Coliseum (15,500)
  • Starkville, Mississippi


AVAILABLE; $10 call MSU Athletic Ticket Office 1-888-463-2947, Uof A Home Game Tickets ($15 adults/$8 age 15 & under), UofA Ticket Office (205) 348-BAMA or SouthTix 800-240-2300, Tickets can be ordered on




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


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


Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast is available on the internet on Tide basketball information is available there as well as on and (subscription site).

No. 5 AP /No. 6 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (20-3 OVERALL, 8-1 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 15.1 ppg/8.9 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 9.5 ppg/5.9 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 15.0 ppg/5.8 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 10.3 ppg/3.6 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 10.1 ppg/3.4 rpg/4.4 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)


  • F- 21 Michael Gholar 6-5, 205, SR, Prentiss, Mississippi 7.0 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • F- 44 Michal Ignerski 6-9, 225, JR, Lublin, Poland 8.7 ppg/4.4 rpg
  • C- 33 Mario Austin 6-9, 265, SO, York, Alabama 15.9 ppg/7.6 rpg
  • G- 22 Derrick Zimmerman 6-2, 190, JR, Monroe, Louisiana 9.0 ppg/3.8 rpg/6.0 assists per game
  • G- 24 Markell Patterson 6-5, 185, SR, Eupora, Mississippi 13.4 ppg/4.7 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Rick Stansbury (Campbellsville, 1982)


ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 143-69 (.675%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 75-45 (.625%) 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.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Rick Stansbury; 69-48 (.590%) in 4 (3 complete) seasons overall and at MSU; two NIT appearances as head coach at MSU, in 2001 and 1999; as an assistant at MSU from 1991-98, MSU advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1996, the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1995 and won the SEC tournament in 1996.


  • This is the second of two regular season meetings between Alabama and Mississippi State. Alabama won 85-73 in Tuscaloosa on January 19, 2002.
  • Saturday's game marks the 166th meeting between Alabama and Mississippi State in men's basketball. Alabama leads the overall series 104-61 but trails in Starkville 48-32.
  • Alabama leads the SEC overall race at 8-1 with six regular season games remaining. Alabama also leads the SEC Western Division at 5-1, edging Ole Miss which is 4-1 in the West.

No TV for This One

Saturday's game at Mississippi State is not televised. Basketball fans can tune into the game on the Crimson Tide Sports Network and listen to Eli Gold and Tom Roberts. A list of network affiliates in on the Crimson Tide's website, Fans all over the world can listen to CTSN's radio broadcast of the game live on the internet. There's a link to the audio on Alabama's website.

Tide Wants to Re-Live "Spirit of 76"

Alabama's 79-59 win against Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night tied its best season start since 1977 when Alabama went 20-3 before losing to Kentucky in its next game (making it 20-4). T.R. Dunn, Alabama's current assistant coach, was an All-American on that successful C.M. Newton-coached Alabama team.

The duo were part of Alabama's next target-the 1976 team. Alabama hopes to tie and then improve upon its start on Saturday. The 1976 Alabama team went 21-3 before taking a fourth loss.

And Alabama's 1974 team-Dunn's freshman year-finished the season at 22-4, going 21-3 before losing at Florida and beating Auburn in its final two games. (There was no SEC tournament then).

Here's how Bama and MSU compare statistically:

                    Alabama   Mississippi State

Current Streak       W 6        L2

Scoring Average     79.9       76.4

Opponents' Scoring  65.3       70.5

Scoring Margin      +14.6      +5.9

Rebound Average     40.4       40.2

Opponents' Rebounds 35.5       32.9

Rebound Margin      +4.9       +7.3

Field Goal %       .458        .488

3-Pt Field Goal %  .324        .344

Free Throw %       .715        .644

Personal Fouls      411         410

Assists/Average    320/13.9   378/16.4

Turnovers/Average  322/14.0   406/17.7

Blocks/Average      89/3.9     91/4.0

Steals/Average     188/8.2    205/8.9

Teams Becomes 22nd To Get 20 Wins

Alabama's victory against Ole Miss Wednesday gave it its 20th win of the season. It marks the 22nd time in school history the Crimson Tide has won 20 or more games in a season. It also gave Mark Gottfried back-to-back 20-win seasons as the 2001 Alabama team finished 25-11. That means in half of his coaching career at Alabama-four years-he's reached that mark.

Another Super Saturday in the League

It's another busy Saturday in the SEC as all 12 schools are active. The day's action begins at noon CST with Arkansas at Ole Miss (JPS) and Kentucky at LSU (JPS). At 1 p.m. CST Georgia is at Auburn. Alabama and Mississippi State tip it up at 2 p.m. At 4 p.m. CST Vanderbilt plays at Florida (Fox SportsNet), and, in the night cap, Tennessee plays at South Carolina (Fox SportsNet) with a 6 p.m. CT tip.

Tide Leads the Conference Race

Alabama, which hasn't won the SEC regular season since Mark Gottfried was a senior starting guard for the Tide in 1987, goes into the weekend in first place in the SEC regular season title chase. Alabama is 8-1 overall and, also in first, 5-1 in Western Division play.

Alabama is First in League to Win 20 Games

Alabama is the first of the 12 Southeastern Conference teams to reach the 20-win milestone in 2002. The Tide is 20-3. Georgia is the next closest at 18-5 overall, then Florida (17-4), Ole Miss (17-6) and Mississippi State (17-6). The other league teams' records are: Kentucky (15-6), Vanderbilt (14-8), Arkansas (12-9), Tennessee and LSU both at 12-10, South Carolina (13-9) and Auburn (9-11).

Tide Has Best Sagarin & RPI Ratings

In the Sagarin Rankings (through February 6 games), Alabama ranks sixth, Florida is 7th , Kentucky 9th, and Georgia 14th. In the poll (February 7), Alabama is 5th, Georgia 8th, Kentucky 9th and Arkansas 24th.

League's Best Win Streak Belongs to Tide

Alabama has won its last six games (14 out of its last 15 games). The next best win streak in the league belongs to red-hot Tennessee which has now won four in a row, including, in order, Auburn, LSU, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Alabama's opponent on Saturday, Mississippi State, has lost its last two HOWEVER those two were Georgia and Florida, both Top 25 ranked teams.

Bama's Last Few Games Have Produced League Bests

In a stat supplied by SEC basketball media relations director DeWayne Peevy, since January 26, Alabama leads the SEC in field goal percentage defense (.404), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.278) and free throw percentage (.750). The Crimson Tide also ranks second in scoring defense, allowing only 65.5 point per game during that stretch.

Could be a York-Uniontown Shootout

The SEC's top two most accurate field goal shooters-both wearing slighting different shades of red and checking in from opposite benches-will be on the floor Saturday. Alabama junior Erwin Dudley leads the SEC in field goal percentage (.580%). Right behind him is MSU's Mario Austin, an Alabama native from York. Austin is making .577% of his shots.

Dudley and Austin also rank among the league's top five in rebounding, Dudley at 2nd (8.9) and Austin at 5th (7.6).

Knee Hasn't Affected Arm

After playing in Alabama's first 13 games, Earnest Shelton, a freshman guard from Memphis, had to sit out the next six games after having surgery to repair articular cartilage in his knee. His last game had been Notre Dame on December 27 in the Sugar Bowl Classic where he'd played 19 minutes. He made his return in Lexington on January 27, almost a full month later. He played seven minutes in that game. After going scoreless in his return game, he came out four nights later and scored 21 points against Arkansas (6-11, all from 3-point range). He had 10 points against Ole Miss on Wednesday.

Despite his youth, Shelton ranks 2nd in the league in the past two weeks in 3-point field goal percentage. He was 0-1 against Kentucky but 6 of 11 against Arkansas, 0-1 against LSU and 2 of 3 against Ole Miss to put him at .500.

"Instant Energy" Leads in Free Throw Percentage

His old teammate Doc Martin used to call him a "pest," comparing his aggression against an opponent to a nat at a picnic that just won't go away no matter how much you swat at it. Now former college coach turned Sports Radio Talk Show host Sonny Smith has added another nickname for Tide sophomore Antoine Pettway. Smith refers to the former walkon from Alberta as "Instant Energy" for what his presence brings to Alabama's play when he checks in off the bench.

Pettway is the SEC leader in free throw percentage. He's shooting 90.6% at the free throw line. Pettway, who's "ruby red slippers" he wears in games are talked about as much as his play, has made 29 of 32 free throws attempted. In his last two games alone, he was 6 of 6 against LSU and 7 of 7 against Ole Miss.

Double Duty Makes Him Player of the Year Candidate

Erwin Dudley, the 2001 SEC Rebounding Champion who also ranked in the top 10 in scoring and was the only player in the Southeastern Conference to average in double digits in both scoring and rebounding last season, has not only picked up the pace but bettered it this season.

The Uniontown native should be an SEC Player of the Year candidate at this point. He's had a league leading 11 double-doubles this season, including Alabama's last three games. The 22 points and 10 rebounds he had against Ole Miss on Wednesday night marked his 30th career double double. Six of those have come this year in SEC play. Among the others are 11 points and 13 rebounds against top 15 ranked UCLA, 14 points and 11 rebounds against Temple, and 20 points and 11 rebounds against Notre Dame, among others.

Dudley, who moved up to first in scoring in the Tide's stats on Wednesday night, is averaging 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds this season and has a career average of 13.2 points and 9.1 rebounds. He's started in 88 straight games-every single game Alabama has played since he was a freshman.

In his last five games, Dudley is averaging 17.2 points and 10.6 rebounds a game.

Tide Figures Into NCAA's Best Stats

In the latest (Feb. 4) Division I men's basketball statistics released by the NCAA, Alabama ranked 17th in field goal percentage defense, 12th in scoring margin, T-7th in won-lost percentage, 9th in home court winning streaks, and Erwin Dudley ranked 12th in field goal percentage.

Game Marks 166th Meeting

Saturday's game in Starkville marks the 166th meeting in men's basketball between Alabama and Mississippi State. In fact, MSU is the first college team Alabama ever played.

The series began in Starkville in 1913. In fact, the first six games were all played in Starkville where Alabama's was 0-2 before winning 42-31 in 1914.

Alabama leads the series 104-61. Alabama leads 65-12 in Tuscaloosa and 6-1 in games played on neutral courts BUT the Bulldogs lead the series in Starkville 48-32.

Williams Returns To His Home State

He got his feet wet by playing his first SEC Mississippi team on Wednesday, but Saturday will mark the first time Alabama freshman guard Mo Williams has returned to play in his homestate as a collegiate player.

Williams, a McDonald's All-American, is from Jackson, Miss. So far every game for every team from Mississippi that he's played this season has taken place in Tuscaloosa. He debuted at Alabama on November 13 with 15 points and 8 assists against Mississippi Valley State. He had 15 points against Mississippi State in the first meeting, and he scored 8 against Ole Miss. That gives him a 12.7 points per game average against the State of Mississippi so far this season.

...Where He'll See and PLAY AGAINST Old Friends

No doubt Mo Williams' family will be in attendance when he travels to his homestate of Mississippi to play on Saturday, as will some of his friends from Jackson. Some of those friends, in fact, will be wearing Mississippi State uniforms.

Williams and Markell Patterson have a mutual friends and friendship via former Bulldog Tang Hamilton. He played against sophomore guard Timmy Bowers (Gulfport) in the high school state championship game. (Bowers and Harrison Central beat Williams and Murrah in overtime). He played AAU ball on the same team as Lincoln Smith. And he's practically neighbors with Ontario Harper of Clinton. The two have played many a local pickup game with one another.

Dudley Now Among Top 10 All-Time Rebounders

With one more rebound, he hits 800. Erwin Dudley now ranks 10th all-time in rebounding at Alabama with his 799 career rebounds. His next move will be to replace one of Alabama's legends, All-American forward Wendell Hudson. Hudson had 826 career rebounds during his three seasons at Alabama, 1971-72-73. He was the 1973 SEC Player of the Year and was named an SEC Legend in 2000.

Dudley's career rebounding average in 9.1 boards a game (88 games).

Grizzard Ranks 16th All-Time in Scoring

Rod Grizzard has scored 1,272 career points at Alabama, ranking him 16th all-time in scoring at Alabama. To step into the Top 15, Grizzard needs 56 more points. Mike Nordholz ranks 1tht all-time, having scored 1,394 points from 1966-68.

No. 31 All-Time Still Belongs to No. 35

Erwin Dudley, who wears jersey number 35, ranks No. 31 all-time in scoring at Alabama with 1,163 points. To move into the Top 30 where Rickey Brown takes up No. 30 with his 1,195 points scored between 1974-77, Dudley needs 32 more points. His target after that would be NBA 1st round draft pick and, more importantly, former roommate of Tide Coach Mark Gottfried, Jim Farmer who is 29th (1,197).

Starting Stat Climbs

Talk about dependable---Erwin Dudley has started in every game Alabama has played in since he arrived here three years ago. The string is at 88 consecutive starts.

At R.C. Hatch High School, the Uniontown native's alma mater, he also started in every career game. That means he has now started in 168 consecutive games between high school and college.

Tide Team SEC Stats:

  • Scoring: 3rd
  • Scoring Defense: 3rd
  • Scoring Margin: 2nd
  • Free Throw Percentage: 1st
  • Field Goal Percentage Defense: 2nd
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Defense: 2nd
  • Rebounding Offense: 4th
  • Rebounding Margin: 2nd
  • Reboundig Defense: 4th
  • Turnover Margin: 3rd (+2.11)
  • Assist/Turnover Ratio: 5th (.91)

Tide Individual SEC Stats

  • Scoring: Dudley 9th, Grizzard 13th
  • Rebounding: Dudley 1st, Grizzard 14th, Walker 20th
  • Field Goal Percentage: Dudley 2nd
  • Assists: Williams 6th
  • Free Throw Percentage: Pettway 1st, Walker 4th
  • Steals: Williams 4th
  • Blocked Shots: Walker 8th
  • Offensive Rebounds: Walker, Dudley 7th
  • Defensive Rebounds: Dudley 1st, Grizzard 9th
  • Assist Turnover Ratio: Pettway & Smith 3rd; Williams 8th

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