Bama/Tennessee game notes

After playing its last two games on the road, the Crimson Tide returns home to Coleman Coliseum where it has lost only one game in the last two seasons. Alabama returns home to host the University of Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, February 16, 2002. Tip-off in Coleman Coliseum is set for 2:00 p.m. CST.

The Crimson Tide bring a No. 7 ranking (both polls) and a 21-4 overall and 9-2 Southeastern Conference record into Saturday's game. The Vols, which have won five of their last six games, are 13-11 overall and 6-5 in conference play.

NEXT GAME:

  • Tennessee
  • 2:00 p.m. CST
  • Saturday, February 16, 2002
  • Coleman Coliseum (15,316 capacity)
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama

TICKETS:

AVAILABLE, 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 www.rolltide.com

Television:

JP Sports with Paul Kennedy and Joe Dean, Jr., UA WEEKLY TV: Crimson Tide This Week: Check local listings, airs regionally, The Mark Gottfried Show: Tuesdays, 9:30 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. 7 AP/No. 7 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (21-4 OVERALL, 9-2 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 15.6 ppg/8.9 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Fla. 9.0 ppg/5.8 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 15.0 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 9.8 ppg/3.4 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Miss. 9.6 ppg/3.5 rpg/4.3 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)

TENNESSEE (13-11 OVERALL, 6-5 SEC)

  • F- 01 Vincent Yarbrough 6-7, 210, SR, Cleveland, Tenn. 18.2 ppg/7.2 rpg
  • F- 04 Brandon Crump 6-10, 225, SR, Klein, Texas 7.4 ppg/4.2 rpg
  • F- 12 Marcus Haislip 6-10, 230, JR, Lewisburg, Tenn. 16.3 ppg/6.7 rpg
  • G- 10 Thaydeus Holden 6-0, 175, JR, Silsbee, Texas 7.4 ppg/2,6 rpg
  • G- 42 Jon Higgins 6-3, 190, JR, Shaker Heights, Ohio 7.4 ppg/4.8 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, 1986)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 144-70 (.673%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 76-46 (.623%) 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.

TENNESSEE: Buzz Peterson; 106-50 (.679%) in 6 (5 complete) seasons overall, 13-11 (.542%) in 1st season at Tennessee; 2001 NIT Champion as head coach at Tulsa; head coach 4 seasons at Appalachian State; NCAA tournament in 2000; 1998 & 2000 Southern Conference Coach of the Year; member of North Carolina's 1982 National Champions (roommate was Michael Jordan);

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Junior guard Travis Stinnett grew up in Maryville, Tenn., 20 minutes from UT campus
  • Assistant coach Philip Pearson celebrates a birthday on game day (February 16)
  • Alabama leads the series 64-61; Alabama leads 38-15 in Tuscaloosa
  • The first 750 KIDS in the gate receive a free pack of TOPPS basketball (pro) trading cards.

Kids Will Get "Carded" At Door

The first 750 kids through the doors at Saturday's Alabama vs. Tennessee basketball game will get a free pack of TOPPS trading cards. The cards feature pro basketball. And throughout the game several autographed (professional players) cards and materials will be given away to some lucky fans.

Comparing the Stats:

                    Alabama   Tennessee

Streak                W1         W1

Scoring              78.1       72.7

Opponents Scoring    65.2       70.2

Scoring Margin      +12.9       +2.5

Rebound Average      40.1       37.9

Opponents Rebounds   35.2       34.1

Rebound Margin      +4.9       +3.8

Field Goal %        .452       .459

3-Pt Field Goal %   .308       .348

Free Throw %        .715       .684

Personal Fouls       450        429

Assists/Average    338/13.5   374/15.6

Turnovers/Average  347/13.9   396/16.5

Blocks/Average      92/3.7     80/3.3

Steals             199/8.0    153/6.4

Tide Heads Into Final Five in First

With five regular season games remaining, the Crimson Tide is in first place in the Southeastern Conference's overall regular season race. Alabama is 9-2 overall, 5-2 in the SEC Western Division. The Tide has remaining on its schedule Tennessee on February 16, Arkansas (road) on February 20, Florida on February 23, Auburn on February 27, and Ole Miss (road) on March 3.

Conference standings

SEC West   Overall   West

ALABAMA     9-2      5-2
Ole Miss    7-5      5-2
MSU         5-6      3-4
Arkansas    4-7      3-4
Auburn      3-8      2-4
LSU         3-8      3-4

 
SEC East   Overall   East

Florida     8-3      6-2
Kentucky    7-4      4-2
Georgia     7-5      4-3
Tennessee   6-5      2-4
S. Carolina 4-7      3-4
Vanderbilt  4-7      2-4

Another Busy Saturday Around the League

It's another busy Saturday around the league as host teams like Alabama will try for some home improvement on their records while visiting teams will try to make some memorable trips.

Play around the league begins at noon CT with Kentucky at Georgia (CBS). At 2 p.m. Alabama hosts Tennessee (JPS), LSU is at Arkansas, Auburn is at Mississippi State and Florida is at Ole Miss (JPS). And the final horn will sound for the day following South Carolina's trip to Vanderbilt which tips at 4 p.m. CT (Fox SportsNet).

No Place Like Home: Tide's Home Streak Now At 16

Antoine Pettway can click those ruby red sneakers he wears on court together and repeat: "There's no place like home" for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has a 16-game home win streak dating to last season going into the February 16 Tennessee game. The Tide is 31-1 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 14-0 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, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas. Ole Miss.

Two Tide Basketball Players on NABC All-District Team

Two University of Alabama men's basketball players are repeat selections on the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District team. Rod Grizzard, a repeat 1st team selection from 2001, and Erwin Dudley, a repeat 2nd team selection, are among the 150 men from 15 districts (each district has a 1st team list of 5 and a 2nd team list of 5) selected to the 2002 NABC/Pontiac Division I All-District Teams. The NABC will later vote and select its 2002 All-American team from this list of All-District players.

Joining Grizzard, a junior guard from Birmingham, on the District 6 1st team are Florida's Udonis Haslem and Brett Nelson, Georgia's Jarvis Hayes and Miami's Darius Rice. Dudley, a junior forward from Uniontown who leads the SEC in rebounding and ranks in the top 10 in scoring, is joined on the 2nd team by Mississippi State's Mario Austin, Ole Miss's Justin Reed, Miami's Johnny Salmons and South Florida's Altron Jackson.

Gottfried Among Winningest Active Coaches

Alabama's Mark Gottfried ranks among the nation's top 25 in winning percentages of active head coaches in the last five years. Going into the week of play he ranked 24th. He joins some of college basketball's most famous names in that top 25, including Arizona's Lute Olson, Cincinnati's Bob Huggins, Arkansas's Nolan Richardson, Louisville's Rick Pitino, Texas Tech's Bobby Knight, Kentucky's Tubby Smith and Kansas's Roy Williams among others.

Gottfried started the season ranked 34th on that list.

Junior Class Knows How To Win

The men who make up Alabama's junior class had an initiation by fire as freshmen. Rod Grizzard, Erwin Dudley, and Kenny Walker were all starters together their freshman year in 2000. Travis Stinnett, Alabama's fifth junior was injured and didn't join them in the starting lineup until last season, giving Alabama the youngest starting lineup in the Top 25 in 2001.

Their youth and lack of experience showed on the road where it's a particularly tough place to win in the SEC, but this group has also shown they weren't just your ordinary group of newcomers. Alabama's junior class in the last two seasons has won now 46 games (15 losses, 11 in 2001 and 4 in 2002). And how about this junior class's home record? They are 42-4 in Coleman Coliseum during their careers at Alabama. They were 11-3 at home in 2000 (freshmen), 17-1 in 2001 (sophomore) and are now 14-0 at home as juniors.

So Far No Back to Back Losses

Alabama, so far, has been able to bounce back from each of its four losses without losing any back-to-back games this season. Alabama followed a seven point loss to Missouri (in Kansas City) with a 11 point win against Memphis. When it lost to UCLA in the John R. Wooden Classic, it bounced back the next game with a 42 point win against Jacksonville State. Its three point loss at Auburn was followed by a five point win on the road against nationally-ranked Georgia. And it bounced back from a road loss at Mississippi State February 9 with a road win against South Carolina on February 13.

Alabama in the RPI Rankings

Going into this week's games, Alabama was ranked No. 6 in the College RPI Rankings and had played 17 schools ranked in the RPI Top 100. Only six of those games were played at home. Alabama was 13-4 against teams in the RPI Top 100, 9-2 against the Top 50. It had not lost to any teams ranked below #89.

Tennessee's Coach is New, But Not to the Tide

This is Buzz Peterson's first season as head coach at the University of Tennessee, but Alabama's players and coaches are familiar with his work. Peterson was head coach at Tulsa last season. Alabama played Tulsa in the championship game of the 2001 NIT tournament last March. Peterson's Tulsa team won that game 79-60.

One Tide Player Grew Up Near Knoxville

Alabama junior guard Travis Stinnett grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, about 20 minutes from the University of Tennessee campus. Stinnett played on the same AAU team, the Tennessee Travelers, with Tennessee senior forward Vincent Yarbrough (who is from Cleveland, Tenn.) and Del Baker. He and Yarbrough were also teammates in the Tennessee-Georgia All-Star game. (Stinnett is a junior eligibility wise but a senior academically as he had a medical redshirt year as a true freshman).

Alabama is 4-0 vs. The East

Alabama is 4-0 vs. the SEC Eastern Division teams this season as Tennessee will mark the fifth Eastern Division team it will have played so far this season. In play against Eastern Division teams, Alabama beat Vanderbilt in Tuscaloosa 92-79 on January 9, and won on the road at Georgia, at Kentucky and at South Carolina. It beat Georgia 77-72 on January 16, Kentucky 64-61 on January 26, and South Carolina 52-51 on February 13. Alabama plays the sixth team from the East, Florida, on February 23 in Tuscaloosa.

Two Men, More than 1,600 Rebounds

Two of the league's strongest powers underneath the boards will be on the court in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday. SEC rebounding leader Erwin Dudley, the 2001 SEC rebounding champion as well, brings 818 career rebounds into this game. Tennessee's Vincent Yarbrough, who is a year older, collected his 800th career rebound on Wednesday night. He ranks 7th in the SEC in rebounding

And How About Top Scorer vs. Top Rebounder

Viewers of Saturday's Alabama vs. Tennessee game will be treated to seeing both the SEC's leading scorer and the SEC's leading rebounder on the court. Alabama's Erwin Dudley leads the league in rebounding (both all games and SEC vs. SEC). He's averaging 8.9 rebounds a game. Tennessee's Vincent Yarbrough leads the league in scoring at 18.2 points a game. Joining him in the top 10 among the league's scorers is ERWIN DUDLEY at 10th (15.6).

Dudley Leads League In Double Doubles

Alabama's Erwin Dudley leads the SEC in double doubles this season with 12, including the 20 points and 11 rebounds he had at South Carolina on Wednesday night. Rod Grizzard has had three this season and Kenny Walker and Mo Williams (points & assists) have both had one double double.

Dudley also leads with the most double-doubles in SEC play-it's seven so far this season (out of 11 SEC games Alabama has played).

Pettway Leads League in Free Throw Shooting

Antoine Pettway, the walkon turned scholarship guard on the Tide team, leads the SEC in free throw percentage at .912%. The Alberta native has made 31 of 34 free throws attempted in Alabama's 11 SEC games.

Bama's Players Among "Who's Hot" In the SEC

SEC basketball media relations contact DeWayne Peevy has listed the top five players in the league who are prominent in each of the major categories over the last two weeks, and Bama's guys are among the hottest.

Erwin Dudley is among the top five in points (19.2), rebounds (11.2) and field goal percentage (.579). Kenny Walker is there for blocks (1.25), and Antoine Pettway is THE HOTTEST player of the moment in free throw percentage (1.000).

Williams A Freshman Leader

Out of the eight major individual stats categories for the freshman top five in the league, Alabama's Mo Williams figures into half of them.l He's first in THREE categories, assists (4.32), steals (1.92) and free throw percentage (.806), third in scoring (9.6).

His roommate Earnest Shelton ranks 3rd among all SEC freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage (.354).

Dudley Needs Nine Rebounds to Move into No. 9

On February 9th Erwin Dudley became only the 10th player ever in Alabama basketball history to get 800 (or more) rebounds. Dudley, who ranks 10th all-time in career rebounding as a junior has 818 career rebounds going into the Tennessee game for a career average of 9.1 rebounds in 90 career games.

With 9 more rebounds he'll own the No. 9 all-time spot currently held by All-American Wendell Hudson. Hudson had 826 rebounds (an 11.9 average) during his three varsity seasons at Alabama (from 1971-73).


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