Bama/Ole Miss basketball notes

While Alabama is 12-3 overall in the SEC, the three losses mean that Alabama split the home and away series against three SEC Western Division teams, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Auburn. It's only series sweep this season has been against LSU. Alabama has a final shot at another series sweep on Sunday at Ole Miss as Alabama won the first meeting 79-59 in Tuscaloosa on February 6.

NEXT GAME:

  • at Ole Miss
  • 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Sunday, March 3, 2002
  • Tad Smith Coliseum (8,700)

TICKETS:

SOLD OUT

Television:

CBS Sports with Don Criqui (play by play) & Bob Wenzel (color), UA WEEKLY TV: "Crimson Tide This Week" with host David Crane: Check local listings, airs regionally, "The Mark Gottfried Show", Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. on CSS, host Tom Roberts

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. 6 AP/No. 6 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (24-5 OVERALL,* 12-3 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 16.0 ppg/9.1 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Florida 9.9 ppg/5.6 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 13.8 ppg/5.7 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 8.7 ppg/3.1 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Mississippi 9.9 ppg/3.8 rpg
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)
  • * SEC Regular Season Champions & SEC Western Division Champions

OLE MISS REBELS (19-9 OVERALL, 8-7 SEC)

  • F- 23 Justin Reed 6-8, 230, SO, Jackson, Mississippi 14.9 ppg/6.8 rpg
  • F- 45 Richard Kirklin 6-9, 215, JR, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 1.8 ppg/1.0 rpg
  • G/F-05 Aaron Harper 6-7, 215, Jackson, Mississippi 11.6 ppg/4.1 rpg
  • G- 11 Jason Harrison 5-5, 160, SR, Little Rock, Arkansas 10.0 ppg/1.9 rpg
  • G- 15 David Sanders 6-3, 185, JR, Jackson, Mississippi 11.9 ppg/4.6 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Rod Barnes (Ole Miss, 1988)

THE HEAD COACHES

ALABAMA: Mark Gottfried; 147-71 (.674%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 79-47 (.627%) in 4th season at Alabama; 2 NCAA appearances (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances ( 1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); One SEC Championship (2002) at Alabama; 3 conference championships at Murray State; Four 20-win seasons (out of 7) 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 as a player at Alabama...Born January 20, 1964 in Crestline, Ohio.

OLE MISS: Rod Barnes; 85-44 (.659%) in 4 (3 complete) seasons overall and as head coach at Ole Miss; 2001 SEC Coach of the Year; 2001 NCAA Sweet 16; NCAA appearances in 1999, 2000, 2001..played at Ole Miss from 1984-88; 1988 All-SEC

KEY GAME NOTES

  • Alabama is the 2002 SEC regular season and Western Division Champion
  • These two coaches used to play against one another when Gottfried was an Alabama player (1984-87) and Barnes played at Ole Miss (1984-88).
  • The City of Jackson, Miss., is well-represented among this game's probable starting lineup. Jackson natives include Alabama's Mo Williams and his hometown friends who play at Ole Miss, Justin Reed, Aaron Harper and David Sanders
  • Game marks 149th meeting. Alabama, a 79-59 winner against Ole Miss on 2-6-02, leads series 105-43. Alabama's last win in Oxford was in 1997

Tide Ended Regular Season in Oxford Last Year

The Crimson Tide ended its 2001 regular season at Oxford as well. Ole Miss's 105-71 win against Alabama then clinched an SEC Western Division Championship for the Rebels.

This time around Alabama busses into Oxford as both the SEC regular season and Western Division Champion. On February 23, Alabama clinched the Western Division and clinched at least a share of the regular season title. It became the undisputed conference champion on Wednesday, February 27 when it defeated Auburn 73-68.

Comparing the Stats

                   Alabama    Ole Miss

Current Streak       W 2        L 1
Scoring             77.4       72.2
Opponents Scoring   65.9       63.9
Scoring Margin     +11.5      +8.3
Rebound Average     39.6       33.9
Rebound Margin     +3.9       +3.4
Field Goal %       .443       .463
3-Point FG %       .306       .383
Free Throw %       .724       .736
Personal Fouls      538        550
Assists/average    393/13.6   393/14.0
Turnovers/Avg.     397/13.7   434/15.5
Blocks/Average     104/3.6     56/2.0
Steals/Average     228/7.9    207/7.3

Gottfried Has 4 Conference Championships in 7 Years

Talk about magic touches-Alabama's 2002 SEC Championship is the fourth conference title Mark Gottfried has won in his seven years as a head coach. It's his first (in his fourth season) at Alabama. In his very first season as a head coach, Gottfried coached Murray State to the 1996 Ohio Valley Conference Championship. He repeated the feat in 1997 (tying) and again in 1998 (giving him three consecutive conference championships in his three seasons there).

Tide Wins 1st SEC Title in 15 Years

The Crimson Tide is the 2002 SEC regular season and SEC Western Division Champion. It's Alabama's first SEC regular season championship since 1987, the year Mark Gottfried was a senior starting guard for Alabama and he and his future NBA teammates Derrick McKey, Keith Askins, Jim Farmer and Michael Ansley all went on to win the SEC tournament and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16. Alabama finished 28-5 overall and 16-2 in the league that season. The 28 wins is the most single season wins in school history.

The 2002 championship is the seventh regular season league title Alabama has won. It's first was in 1934. The others are Alabama's 1956, 1974, 1975 and 1976 teams.

Alabama has won the SEC tournament six times, in 1934, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Title Should Assure Tide of NCAA Tournament Bid

Alabama's top 10 ranking, 24-5 record and SEC regular season championship should assure the Tide a trip to the 2002 NCAA tournament.

It's been eight years since Alabama made that NCAA field. Alabama's last trip was 1995 when it was the 5th seed in the East Regional in Baltimore, Maryland (beat Penn, lost to Oklahoma State & "Big Country"). Alabama has advanced to the NCAA tournament 14 times previously, in 1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1995. It's all-time NCAA record is 15-14.

Alabama's stopping point in the NCAA tournament has been the Sweet 16. Seven times Alabama has made it to that round, in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991.

The Tide has never been a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. It was the No. 2 seed in the Southeast Regional in 1987, Mark Gottfried's senior year at Alabama.

Gottfried's Trademark: Strong SEC Home Records

Alabama went a perfect 8-0 at home this season against the Southeastern Conference. Last season, 2001, Alabama was 7-1 (losing only to Arkansas in a 3-point game). In 2000, Alabama was 6-2 against the SEC in Coleman Coliseum. And in 1999, Mark Gottfried's first season as Alabama's head coach, Alabama went 5-3 at home in league play. That gives Alabama a 26-6 SEC home record during Gottfried's four year reign.

Alabama Went Undefeated At Home in 2002

For the fifth time in school history, Alabama has a perfect home season record. Alabama went 17-0 at home in 2002, setting a school record for most single season wins without a loss. Alabama's other perfect home marks are 14-0 in 1989, 13-0 in 1972, 12-0 in 1976 and 12-0 in 1978.

Tide & Georgia 1st Two To Get Byes

Mark Gottfried and his old UCLA boss, Georgia head coach Jim Harrick, coach the two teams in the SEC who had already clinched first round byes in the 2002 SEC tournament in Atlanta going into the final weekend of play. Alabama is the top seed in the West. Georgia, depending on its outcome Saturday (March 2) against Tennessee, will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the East which, either way, gives it a first round bye in the March 7-10 SEC tournament.

Alabama won't know who it will play until Saturday's (March 2) round of SEC games are complete, but it does know when it will play. Alabama plays the 3:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. CT game 6 of the 2002 SEC Tournament on Friday, March 8. The Western Division No. 1 seed (Alabama) plays the winner between the SEC 1st round game between the No. 5 seed in the West and the No. 4 seed in the East. Going into this weekend's games, the No. 5 seed in the West would be either Arkansas or LSU. The No. 4 seed in the East would be South Carolina, Tennessee or Vanderbilt.

Tide Figures Into National Statistics Categories

In the NCAA Division I basketball statistics released for the week on February 26, 2002, the Crimson Tide figured into several statistical categories. Among those:
  • 7th in nation in home court win streaks
  • 5th biggest attended game in nation of season (at Kentucky)
  • 14th in nation in won-lost percentage
  • 17th in nation in scoring margin
  • 25th in nation in field goal percentage defense
  • 18th in nation, Erwin Dudley, field goal percentage

Game Marks 149th Meeting Between Tide & Rebels

Sunday's game between Alabama and the Ole Miss Rebels marks the 149th meeting in men's basketball for the two schools in a series that dates to the very first meeting in Tuscaloosa in 1921. (Ole Miss won 22-18).

Since that first date, Alabama has collected a 105-43 series lead. (It leads 83-63 in Tuscaloosa & 8-3 on neutral courts). In games played in Oxford, the site of Sunday's game, Alabama leads the series 35-32, a mark that Ole Miss has been chipping away at with great success as Alabama hasn't won in Oxford since 1997. (Ole Miss has won four straight in Oxford).

Mark Gottfried is 4-3 against Rod Barnes.

Last Chance For a Second Sweep

While Alabama is 12-3 overall in the SEC, the three losses mean that Alabama split the home and away series against three SEC Western Division teams, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Auburn. It's only series sweep this season has been against LSU. Alabama has a final shot at another series sweep on Sunday at Ole Miss as Alabama won the first meeting 79-59 in Tuscaloosa on February 6.

Tide Leads In Some Key SEC Stats Categories

Going into the weekend's rounds of games, Alabama and its players have some of the SEC'S best statistics.

Erwin Dudley continues to lead the league in rebounding in All Games (9.1) and in SEC vs. SEC games (9.8). He leads in both Defensive and Offensive Rebounds (all games & SEC vs. SEC) Dudley is second in the league in both in field goal percentage, shooting .581 in all games and .570 in SEC play.

Antoine Pettway leads the SEC in free throw percentage in league games (.907) and right behind him in 2nd place is Kenny Walker (.854). Rod Grizzard is also among the league's best in that stat. He's 9th (.753). And Mo Williams hasn't reached the 2.5 made per game minimum or he'd certainly figure into that stat as well with his .939 (31-33) percent free throw shooting in SEC games.

As a team Alabama ranks first in the SEC in field goal percentage defense (.398) (all games) and is tied with Georgia for the lead in offensive rebounds (14.07) in SEC games).

Tide Player "Loses His Shirt" With Auburn Game

Alabama redshirt walkon Jason Reese "lost his shirt" as an outcome of Alabama's 73-68 win against Auburn on Wednesday night, the win that won the SEC outright for Bama.

No, the Birmingham native wasn't gambling-he lost it-literally. Reese, who because he's a walkon does not dress out, had taken off his dress shirt to throw on an SEC Champions tee shirt for the post-game celebration and net-cutting. After he climbed the ladder and cut his piece of the net, he returned to his seat on the bench-and his shirt was gone. Surprised but upbeat, Reese decided he liked his SEC Champions tee shirt better anyway.

Tide 4-2 vs. the Top 25 in 2002

Alabama's win against Florida on February 23rd made the Crimson Tide 4-2 against teams ranked in the Top 25 on game day. Those wins (with the opponent's ranking at the time) include No. 8 Florida, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 12 Memphis, and No. 20 Georgia. The two losses were to No. 5 Missouri and No. 20 UCLA (those games took place in Missouri and California).

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