The Crimson Tide brings a 5-0 record into the game with wins against, in order, Oklahoma, Alabama State, Middle Tennessee, Ohio State and UNCG. The Bonnies bring a 2-3 record into the game with wins against Virginia Tech and Michigan to open the season but losses to BYU, St. Louis, and, in overtime on Wednesday night, Boston College.
Tide's No. 3 Rankings Ties Highest EverThe University of Alabama men's basketball team has moved up one spot in each of the collegiate basketball rankings released this week. Alabama's No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll ties its highest ever ranking in that poll. Alabama was ranked No. 3 in the nation during a two-week period in the AP's January 18, 1977 and January 25, 1977 polls.
UPCOMING GAME: St. Bonaventure
Saturday, December 7, 2002
Coleman Coliseum (15,316)
1:00 p.m. CT
UA HOME TICKETS: Non-Conference: $15 adults/$8 youth (age 15 & under);
SEC $17 adults/$8 youth
At UA box office in Coleman Coliseum; or 205-348-BAMA; or www.rolltide.com
TV: CSS with Gary Harris (play by play) and Leon Douglas (analyst)
UA WEEKLY TV: "Crimson Tide This Week" with host David Crane: Check local listings on CSS
"The Mark Gottfried Show" on CSS beginning in January with host Tom Roberts
RADIO: Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Tom Roberts (color)
105.5 FM in Tuscaloosa & 99.5 in Birmingham (complete list on www.rolltide.com)
WVUA (University of Alabama campus station), 90.7 FM
INTERNET: Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast is available on the internet on www.rolltide.com;
UA basketball is also featured on on www.markgottfried.com
Probable StartersNo. 3 AP/ No. 5 ESPN ALABAMA (5-0 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):
PF- 35, Erwin Dudley, 6-8, 260, SR, Uniontown, 13.4 ppg/8.8 rpg
C- 42, Kenny Walker, 6-9, 220, SR, Jacksonville, Florida, 12.8 ppg/5.8 rpg
G- 05, Earnest Shelton, 6-3, 205, SO, Memphis, Tennessee, 4.4 ppg/2.8 rpg
G- 14, Terrance Meade, 6-2, 190, SR, Scottsboro, 6.2 ppg/3.2 rpg
G- 25, Mo Williams, 6-1, 195, SO, Jackson, Mississippi, 16.6 ppg/4.0 rpg/5.2 apg
Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)
ST. BONAVENTURE BONNIES (2-3 OVERALL, 0-0 ATLANTIC 10)
F/G-03, Mike Gansey, 6-4, 205, SO, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, 14.8 ppg/4.2 rpg
F- 10, Robert Cheeks, 6-6, 205, SR, Jersey City, New Jersey, 5.2 ppg/4.4 rpg
C- 35, Jamil Terrell, 6-8, 230, JR, Pearson, Georgia, 4.0 ppg/5.2 rpg
G- 04, Marques Green, 5-7, 160, JR, Norristown, Pennsylvania, 21.4 ppg/3.0 rpg/5.2 apg
G- 20, Patricio Prato, 6-5, 195, SR, Cordoba, Argentina, 8.6 ppg/3.8 rpg
Head Coach: Jan van Breda Kolff (Vanderbilt, 1974)
Head CoachesAlabama Head Coach MARK GOTTFRIED: 155-74 (.677%) in 7 complete seasons overall, 87-49 (.640%) in 5th season (4 completed) at Alabama; 2002 SEC Coaches & AP SEC "Coach of the Year"; three total NCAA tournament appearances, one at Alabama (2002, 2nd round), 2 (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances (1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); One SEC Championship (2002) at Alabama; three conference championships at Murray State; Four 20-win seasons (out of 7) as a head coach; Assistant for UCLA's 1995 NCAA Champions team; three 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.
St. Bonaventure Head Coach JAN van BREDA KOLFF: 193-144 (.573%) in 12th season overall, 19-16 (.543%) in 2nd seasons at St. Bonaventure; 2 NCAA appearances at Vanderbilt (1997) & Pepperdine (2000), 5 NIT appearances, including 2002
Key Game Notes
- A win Saturday would set the UA consecutive home win streak record at 23 straight
- Bonnies' coach Jan van Breda Kolff is familiar to Coleman Coliseum, having coached Vanderbilt from 1993-99 and having played collegiately for the Commodores
Game Features Two 2002 Postseason TeamsSaturday's game pits two teams that advanced to the post-season last season. Alabama was a two-seed in the South regional of the NCAA tournament and finished the year 27-8 as the SEC's regular season champions. St. Bonaventure advanced to the NIT and ended its season with a 17-13 overall record.
Teams Both Feature Pre-Season All-League PicksFans will be treated to a peak at two men who are projected to be among the best in their respective conferences. Alabama's senior power forward Erwin Dudley, the 2002 SEC Player of the Year, was a pre-season All-SEC 1st team pick. And St. Bonaventure's junior guard Marques Green was a pre-season All-Atlantic-10 first team pick. The A-10 also does a pre-season All-Defensive team, and Green was a tabbed for that as well.
Bonnie's Coach Has Been Here BeforeJan van Breda Kolff is the head coach at St. Bonaventure. This is his second season with the Bonnies. Alabama fans and those who follow SEC basketball remember him as head coach at Vanderbilt. As head coach of the Commodores for six seasons (1993-99), he coached Vanderbilt to four postseason appearances, including the 1997 NCAA tournament (19-12 record) and the 1996 (18-14), 1998 (20-13) and 1994 (20-12) NIT tournaments. Vanderbilt made it to the championship game of the 1994 NIT tournament.
Because they are in different divisions of the SEC Alabama and Vanderbilt play one another only once a regular season. Alabama went 3-4 against the Commodores. He was 1-2 in Coleman Coliseum. Van Breda Kolff's final season in 1999 was Mark Gottfried's first at Alabama. The two coaches went head to head that season in Nashville with Vanderbilt pulling out an 81-75 overtime win against the Tide.
Visitors On A Road SwingWhile Alabama is 3-0 at home this season, St. Bonaventure has yet to host a game on its home court this regular season. Alabama will mark its sixth straight road game, and it stops at Davidson and Canisius before it can finally play its first home game on December 21 against Kent State. Four of its previous games have been on neutral courts as it played its first three (Virginia Tech, Michigan and BYU in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands at the Paradise Jam Tournament, and its game against Saint Louis was played in Rochester, New York.
Only 2nd Meeting Between Two SchoolsSaturday's game between Alabama and St. Bonaventure marks the second ever meeting between the two teams in men's basketball. In 1979 Alabama played St. Bonaventure in the first round of the NIT tournament in Birmingham. Alabama won that game 98-89 (then went on to advance to the NIT Final Four). That 98 points marked the most Alabama has scored in its 29 NIT tournament games. The 89 points St. Bonaventure scored against the Tide that night also marked the second most number of points a team has scored against Alabama in NIT tournament play. The 38 field goals made by Alabama as well its .567 field goal percentage (38 of 67) were also Tide NIT team records.
Reggie King scored 29 points to lead Alabama's win in that March 9, 1979 game.
Bonnies and Tide Have One In CommonAlabama and St. Bonaventure share one opponent this season. Both teams have Xavier and national player of the year candidate David West awaiting them on their schedules. Alabama plays host to Xavier on January 4. St. Bonaventure plays Xavier on the road on January 11.
Comparing the StatsHere's how Alabama and St. Bonaventure compare in stats:
Alabama St. Bonaventure Win/loss Streak: W 5 L 3 Scoring Avg. 74.6 77.4 Scoring Margin +16.2 +2.8 Field Goal % .437 .399 3-point Field Goal % .352 .368 3-Points Per Game 7.4 9.2 Free Throw % .721 .802 Rebounds Average 39.8 34.0 Rebound Margin 5.4 -5.0 Assists Total/Per Game 70/14.0 76/15.2 Turnovers/Per Game 72/14.2 65/13.0 Assists/Turnover Ratio 1.0 1.1 Steals/Per Game 40/8.0 47/9.4 Blocks/Per Game 20/5.0 12/2.4
A Win Will Set New Home Streak RecordAlabama's 89-61 win against UNC Greensboro on Tuesday night tied the school record for most consecutive home victories at 22 straight.
A win on Saturday would set the record at 23.
The streak dates to the final two games of the 2001 season and includes Alabama's 17-0 record at home in 2002. The last team to beat Alabama at home was Arkansas (66-63) in February of 2001. Alabama also won 22 straight games from the last three games of 1971 through the first six games of 1973.
Bama's Big Man (Walker) Has Big NightMark Gottfried praised the pre-season efforts of his big man, senior center/forward Kenny Walker. Tuesday night fans saw just the sort of production the Jacksonville, Fla., native has been doing in the game against UNCG.
In just 13 minutes of play in the first half, Walker scored 15 points. For the night he was 6 of 8 from the field, making 75 percent of his shots. He was 5 of 6 in free throw shooting for 83.3 percent. His game ending numbers for his 20 minutes of play included 17 points, four rebounds, three blocks and one steal. He is averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game.
Dunking Was the Move of the NightKenny Walker recorded the season's first dunk in the Alabama State game and then two more in the Ohio State game. But those had been the only ones for the team going into game five against UNCG.
All that changed in game five as dunks became standard moves for the Tide's players, including Walker. Alabama made seven dunks in that win. Walker had three in the first half. Erwin Dudley had three and Reggie Rambo celebrated a UA career first as he made his first career dunk with 14:15 remaining in the game.