Bama/Utah game notes

Although final exams ended at the University two weeks ago, the Crimson Tide continues to be tested. The No. 1 ranked AP/No. 3 ESPN/USA Today University of Alabama men's basketball team's next test is Monday, December 30, 2002 when it travels to Salt Lake City, Utah to face the University of Utah Runnin' Utes.

Alabama brings a 9-0 overall record into the game. Utah is 7-3. The Utes are 4-0 at home this season with wins against Southern Utah (61-47), Winthrop (72-42), Arizona State (78-55) and Northern Iowa (75-53). It three other wins this season include its most recent, a 53-42 win at San Diego on December 23rd, a 77-61 win at Pepperdine, and a 69-53 win against UMass in play at the Maui Invitational. Its losses include a 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State (at Maui), a 71-52 loss to Gonzaga (at Maui) and a 59-54 loss at Utah State.

The Tide has wins, in order, against Oklahoma (68-62), Alabama State 982-56), Middle Tennessee State (80-65), Ohio State (54-48), UNC Greensboro (89-61), St. Bonaventure (77-68), Bowling Green (72-63), Providence (69-61) and Morehead State (82-64).

UPCOMING GAME: at Utah
Monday, December 30, 2002
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000)
Salt Lake City, Utah

TIP-OFF TIME: 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time

TICKETS: Call Utah Athletic Box Office 801-581-8849 for availability

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: None

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 (when classes are in session)

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 Starters

No. 1 AP/ No. 3 ESPN Alabama (9-0 OVERALL, 0-0 SEC):

PF- 35, Erwin Dudley, 6-8, 260, SR, Uniontown, 14.0 ppg/10.9 rpg
F- 02, Emmett Thomas, 6-4, 205, JR/TR, Birmingham, 6.0 ppg/2.1 rpg
C- 42, Kenny Walker, 6-9, 220, SR, Jacksonville, Florida, 14.9 ppg/6.6 rpg
G- 14, Terrance Meade, 6-2, 190, SR, Scottsboro, 6.9 ppg/3.4 rpg
G- 25, Mo Williams, 6-1, 195, SO, Jackson, Mississippi, 16.4 ppg/4.6 rpg/5.3 apg

Utah (7-3 OVERALL, 0-0 MOUNTAIN WEST)

F- 20, Bryant Markson, 6-6, 182, FR, Monrovia, California, 4.3 ppg/2.4 rpg
F- 21, Trace Caton, 6-4, 211, SR, Almosa, Colorado, 4.6 ppg/2.7 rpg
C- 54, Tim Frost, 6-10, 236, JR, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 13.1 ppg/4.9 rpg
G- 11, Tim Drisdom, 6-3, 203, FR, Atresia, California, 5.3 ppg/3.5 rpg/3.8 apg
G- 15, Nick Jacobson, 6-4, 200, JR, Fargo, North Dakota, 12.6 ppg/3.2 rpg

Head Coaches

Alabama Head Coach MARK GOTTFRIED: 160-74 (.684%) in 7 complete seasons overall, 91-49 (.650%) 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...Coached Bama to its 1st No. 1 ranking...Born January 20, 1964 in Crestline, Ohio.

Utah Head Coach RICK MAJERUS: 389-137 (.740%) in 18 years overall; 290-85 (.773%) in 14th season at Utah; 1998 John Wooden National Coach of the Year; 1991 UPI National Coach of the Year; 1994 USA Basketball Dream Team II assistant coach; 9 NCAA appearances at Utah, 1 as head coach at Ball State; 3 NIT trips as head coach at Marquette & 1992 NIT Final Four at Utah; 1998 NCAA championship game

Key Game Notes

  • Alabama leads the series 3-0 and is making its 2nd trip to Utah
  • Alabama won 73-57 at Utah in 1985; 89-69 in Tuscaloosa in 1986 and 76-61 in Tuscaloosa last season
  • Mark Gottfried played for UA in the 1985 game

Xavier Awaits Tide When it Returns

There's no letup on the Tide's schedule as it faces Utah on Monday, December 30 on the road then returns home to host No. 21 AP/No. 20 ESPN/USA Today Xavier on January 4 in Tuscaloosa.

Tip off for that game in Coleman Coliseum is set for 4 p.m. CT. Tickets are moving briskly for that game as it is nearing a sellout. Following the Xavier game, Alabama opens Southeastern Conference play. The Tide opens against Arkansas in Tuscaloosa on January 8.

Tide Gets First No. 1 Ranking

Alabama is in uncharted waters, experiencing its first No. 1 ranking. The Tide was ranked No. 1 in the December 23, 2002 Associated Press Poll, bettering its previous best ranking at No. 2 in the poll where it had remained for two weeks before it moved up.

The Tide has played one game since that ranking, defeating Kyle Macy's Morehead State 82-64 in Tuscaloosa on Monday, December 23.

Alabama is No. 3 in the Coaches' poll, a move up of one spot from the previous week.

Meeting Will Be Fourth Between Alabama and Utah

When Alabama travels to Salt Lake City to play the Runnin' Utes, it will mark the second time an Alabama team has played at the Utes' home arena and the fourth time overall in the series.

Alabama leads the series 3-0. The first game ever played between the two teams was when Wimp Sanderson took his 1985 Alabama team into Salt Lake City. Alabama won that game 73-57. Utah played the return game in Tuscaloosa in 1986. Alabama won 89-69. And last year Utah came to Tuscaloosa. The Tide won 76-61.

Bama Coach Has Made This Trip as a Player Before

Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried started at guard the only other time Alabama has played Utah at Utah. It was Gottfried's sophomore season (he was a transfer after playing as a freshman year at Oral Roberts).

The date was December 17, 1984. Alabama won the game with a team that included future NBA players Buck Johnson, Bobby Lee Hurt, Jim Farmer and Derrick McKey.

Gottfried played 37 minutes of that game, scoring 19 points. (Hurt led the game with 24). Gottfried, who still vividly recalls the difference the elevation in Utah made, was 9 of 14 from the field. He made his one free throw attempt and had one rebound, three assists, and two steals and turned the ball over twice in those 37 minutes on the floor. (Utah was coached by Lynn Archibald, Bama by Wimp Sanderson).

Terrance Meade Led the Last Time vs. Utah

Alabama and Utah last played one another in Tuscaloosa on November 26, 2001. Alabama was ranked No. 21 AP/No. 22 ESPN/USA Today then.

Terrance Meade led the 76-61 Alabama win with 18 points. Rod Grizzard had 16 points and 11 rebounds; Erwin Dudley had 12 points and Kenny Walker had 10 points. Jeff Johnson led Utah with 11 points and both Lance Allred and Britton Johnson scored 10.

Alabama was 24-43 for .531% from the field, 5 of 12 (.429%) from 3-point range and 18 of 29 (.621%) in free throw shooting. Utah was 19 of 49 (.388%) from the field, 6 of 21 (.286%) from 3-point range and 17 of 22 (.773%) in free throw shooting. Utah dominated under the boards, out rebounding Alabama 34-24.

Dudley Grabs On to a Career Milestone

National Player of the Year candidate Erwin Dudley reached a career milestone in Alabama's last game, grabbing his 1,000th UA career rebound.

Dudley, who needs six to move into Alabama's all-time top five, goes into the Utah game with 1,006 career rebounds thanks to the 12 he collected in Alabama's December 23rd game against Morehead State. He's averaging 9.2 career rebounds in 109 career games played. He has 98 this season after nine games for an average of 10.9 rebounds a game this season.

Only five other men at this basketball tradition that has produced 14 NBA 1st round draft picks have achieved the milestone of 1,000 or more rebounds. Jerry Harper is Alabama's and the Southeastern Conference's all-time rebounding leader. He had 1,688 in 93 career games for a career average of 18.2 rebounds a game.

Following are Alabama's all-time greatest players under the board who achieved the 1,000 rebounds milestone:

1. Jerry Harper 1,688
2. Leon Douglas and Reggie King 1,279
4. Eddie Phillips 1,129
5. Bobby Lee Hurt 1,012
6. Erwin Dudley 1,006

9-0 One of Tide's Better Recent Starts

Alabama is 9-0 going into the December 30th Utah game. The last time Alabama started out with that many wins was the 2001 season when Alabama won its first nine games before falling to Cincinnati in overtime at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.

The 1997 Alabama team opened at 10-0 before losing in overtime to San Jose State in the Cable Car Classic. Then you have to go back to 1982 when Wimp Sanderson's Tide team started out 9-0 before losing the conference opener at Tennessee.

Pettway Has Started a New Ladies Footwear Craze

Spotted on the feet of at least a half a dozen women who sit in the first rows of the floor seats at Coleman Coliseum---flashy red vinyl shoe covers. The ladies in Alabama's TIDE PRIDE seats love Antoine Pettway's style of play and the flashy red shoes that have become his trademark so much that they've designed their own shoe coverings to match his footwear.

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