Tide/Tiger game notes

The No. 9 AP/No. 10 ESPN/USA Today ranked University of Alabama men's basketball team plays game number 15 of its 27-game regular season schedule on Saturday when it travels to Auburn, Alabama where it will play the red-hot Auburn Tigers. <br><br>The game is a sellout. Tip-off in Auburn's Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. CT.

Alabama brings a 12-2 overall and 2-1 Southeastern Conference record into this game. The Tide has league wins against Arkansas (61-51) and Mississippi State (68-62 in overtime). Alabama's two losses (by a combination of only three points) were at Utah (51-49) and, in SEC play, at Vanderbilt (70-69).

Auburn is 14-2 overall and has won its last eight straight games. The Tigers are 3-0 and atop the SEC standings with wins against Vanderbilt (62-59), at Arkansas (52-37) and at South Carolina (67-60). Auburn's two non-conference losses came at the hands of Western Kentucky (89-70) and Western Michigan (72-54).

UPCOMING GAME: at Auburn
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum (10,108 capacity)

TIP-OFF TIME: 3:00 p.m. CT

TICKETS: Sold out

UA HOME TICKETS: $17 adults/$8 youth;
Buy at UA box office in Coleman Coliseum; or 205-348-BAMA;
or www.rolltide.com; (Kentucky, Auburn & LSU home games are sold out)

TV: Jefferson Pilot Sports with Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Larry Conley (color analyst)

UA WEEKLY TV: "Crimson Tide This Week" with host David Crane:
Check local listings on CSS
"The Mark Gottfried Show" on CSS with host Tom Roberts, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. CT

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. 9 AP/ No. 10 ESPN ALABAMA (11-2 OVERALL, 1-1 SEC):

PF-35, Erwin Dudley, 6-8, 260, SR, Uniontown, 14.0 ppg/10.2 rpg
F- 02, Emmett Thomas, 6-4, 205, JR/TR, Birmingham, 5.9 ppg/2.1 rpg
C- 42, Kenny Walker, 6-9, 220, SR, Jacksonville, Florida, 12.3 ppg/5.8 rpg
G- 14, Terrance Meade, 6-2, 190, SR, Scottsboro, 5.1 ppg/3.0 rpg
G- 25, Mo Williams, 6-1, 195, SO, Jackson, Mississippi, 15.9 ppg/4.1 rpg/4.7 apg

AUBURN (14-2 OVERALL, 3-0 SEC)

F- 03, Marquis Daniels, 6-6, 200, SR, Orlando, Florida, 19.4 ppg/7.1 rpg/3.8 apg
F- 04, Marco Killingsworth, 6-7, 235, SO, Montgomery, 15.4 ppg/6.9 rpg
C- 34, Kyle Davis, 6-10, 235, JR, Blakely, Georgia, 7.7 ppg/6.6 rpg
G- 11, Derrick Bird, 6-4, 195, SR, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 10.5 ppg/3.5 rpg
G- 22, Lewis Monroe, 6-5, 190, SO, Madison, Wisconsin, 5.8 ppg/3.1 rpg/3.4 apg

Head Coaches

Alabama Head Coach MARK GOTTFRIED: 163-76 (.682%) in 7 complete seasons overall, 94-51 (.648%) 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.

Auburn Head Coach CLIFF ELLIS: 512-313 (.621%) in 28 seasons overall, 164-101 (.615%) in 9 seasons at Auburn; 1999 AP National Coach of the Year; 1995 & 1999 SEC Coach of the Year; 1987 & 1990 ACC Coach of the Year; 4 NIT & 2 NCAA trips at Auburn & 7 overall as a head coach; 11 NIT trips overall.

Key Game Notes

  • Alabama leads the series 76-49; Series tied 21-21 in Auburn; Auburn has won last 5 at Auburn (last UA win there was 1996)
  • Bama finally gets Lucky, Williams that is, as the redshirt freshman will be eligible to play in this game
  • Alabama (2-1) needs the win to tie it with Auburn (3-0) for 1st in the SEC Western Division
  • Erwin Dudley continues his hold on the SEC's best stat: the only player to average a double-double (14.0 ppg/10.2 rpg)

Tide 3-0 Vs. Ranked Teams; More to Come

Alabama is 3-0 against ranked teams this season, having collected that third win in overtime in Tuscaloosa against No. 14 AP/No. 13 ESPN/USA Today Mississippi State (68-62). There are still more ranked teams to come on the Tide's schedule, thanks to the national power that the SEC is providing this season. Alabama plays at No. 6 AP/No. 7 ESPN/USA Today Florida on February 8 in a noon time CBS game. It hosts No. 16 (both polls) Kentucky in a sold-out Coleman Coliseum on January 25 on ESPN at 7 p.m. No. 20 AP/No. 22 ESPN/USA Today Georgia will come to Tuscaloosa for a February 18 ESPN date at 8 p.m. And No. 23 AP LSU will twice test the Tide, in Tuscaloosa on February 1 at 4 p.m. and in Baton Rouge in the regular season finale at 7 p.m. on March 8.

Series is 79 Years Old

It is easily the favorite and the most heated series on the schedules of both Auburn and Alabama whenever these two in-state schools go head to head. This Alabama vs. Auburn men's basketball series dates to 1924 when the very first of the 125 games that have been played took place in Atlanta at the Southern Conference Championships. Hank Crisp Coached the Tide to a 40-19 win against Wilbur Hutsell's Tigers.

The first game on either team's campus was played at Auburn in 1949. Alabama left the "Loveliest Village" with a 45-38 win. That same year, Alabama hosted Auburn for the first time and got another win, this time by a 39-37 margin.

Since those early days in the series, Alabama has a 27-game lead in the series, having won the game 76 times to 49 wins by Auburn.

  • Series Record: UA 76 wins, AU 49 wins
  • Streak: Split home & away last season
  • In Tuscaloosa: UA leads 36-7
  • In Auburn: Tied at 21-21
  • Neutral Sites: AU leads 21-19

Movies Haven't Been Viewed Lately on This Trip

Typically when a team travels by bus to a road game, it travels on a bus equipped with a VCR and several monitors. To pass the time on the drive, teams, including Alabama, watch movies. While it's almost guaranteed a movie will be popped in for the drive to a game, a return trip viewing completely depends on the outcome of the game. Alabama has not watched a movie on the drive back from Auburn since 1996.

The Tigers have won the last six straight games in Auburn. Alabama's last win there was in 1996 when it won 72-65 with a crew that included future NBA players Roy Rogers and Eric Washington. Alabama came closest to a win in 2001 when a last second near-mid court 3-point shot in overtime lifted Auburn to a 72-69 victory.

But that's how this series goes. While Alabama has been leaving Auburn with a loss these last six trips, Auburn hasn't fared much better in Tuscaloosa. Auburn has lost five out of its last six trips to Tuscaloosa in that same span. Auburn's last win in Tuscaloosa was in 1999. Prior to that, Alabama had won 14 straight in Tuscaloosa beginning with a 74-72 double overtime victory in Tuscaloosa in 1985.

The largest string of wins for either team includes Alabama's 11 straight victories against Auburn from 1976 through 1981. Auburn's longest win streak against Alabama is eight games, from 1958-1961.

Tide & Tigers Neck & Neck on Field Goal Percentage "D"

Following the midweek round of games, Alabama and Auburn were at the top of the league's stats in field goal percentage defense. Auburn leads the league at .381 after 16 games, and just a fraction behind at .388 is the Tide.

This is the Sellout Series

Want proof that these two team's fans love this series? This is the ninth straight game in the series that has sold out---a stat that will grow to ten on February 15 since this year's game in Tuscaloosa is a sellout already as well. (It will be the 20th Auburn game sellout in Coleman Coliseum since 1975). These two teams, members of the SEC Western Division, play one another at home and on the road and tickets have been sold out in Tuscaloosa and in Auburn every campus game since 1999.

Teams Split Last Season With Sweet Victory In T-Town

Alabama and Auburn played one another twice last season, first in Auburn and then in Tuscaloosa. The teams split with Auburn winning in Auburn 59-56 on January 12, 2002 and Bama winning in Tuscaloosa 73-68 on February 27, 2002. Alabama had won at least a share in the 2002 SEC regular season championship the game before against Florida, but its win against Auburn in the home finale' won the title outright for the Tide.

Both Teams Won Midweek League Games

Alabama and Auburn were both in action on Wednesday night and both teams celebrated wins. Alabama hosted No. 14 Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa and came back from a 17-point first half deficit to beat the Bulldogs in overtime 68-62. Senior power forward Erwin Dudley shone in the win, scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds while going up against player of the year candidate Mario Austin and holding the talented Austin to just 8 points in the game, six of those in the first half. Dudley was 10 of 16 from the field and 3 of 3 at the foul line. Mo Williams scored 11 points and had four assists and Kenny Walker, connecting upon four of his five shots attempted from the field, scored 10 points and had five rebounds to lead the win.

Trailing 36-24 at halftime, Alabama came to life and outscored the Bulldogs 31-19 in the second half in a game that was tied at 55-55 at the end of regulation. Alabama outscored MSU 13-7 in overtime to take the win. Derrick Zimmerman led MSU with 14 points.

Auburn took its league-leading show on the road to Columbia, South Carolina on Wednesday night and left with a 67-60 win against the Gamecocks. Marquis Daniels powered the win with 31 points and he and Kyle Davis had seven rebounds apiece to lead the team.

January Finds Dudley Shutting Down Biggest Stars

Alabama has played ranked teams within the last two weeks, both sporting one of college basketball's brightest stars. Erwin Dudley, who is also included in that group, has proven why he's a worthy All-American and national player of the year candidate. The SEC's 2002 Player of the Year drew the assignments of stopping Xavier's David West and Mississippi State's Mario Austin. Though he scored 16 in the first half, West didn't score a single point in the second half. Austin, who ended an overtime game with eight points, was held to two points in the second half and no points in overtime.

Playing against Xavier, who sports two All-American candidates in West and Romain Sato, Dudley concocted a double double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. He scored 23 against Mississippi State, a top 10 team a week ago.

Bama's Defense is Doing the Job

Alabama's defensive play is gaining rave reviews this season. One example of how well the Tide's "D" is doing lies in this stat: from the start of the second half to the 7:28 mark in that period, Alabama had caused nine MSU turnovers in a 9 to 2 ratio.

The Tide ranks second in the SEC in scoring defense after 14 games, holding its opponents to an average of 60.0 points. Alabama's opponent on Tuesday night in Oxford, Ole Miss, leads the league in that stat as in 13 games it has held its opponents to 56.2 points on average.

Back to Back Road Trips for the Tide

The Tide is on the road for these next two games before it returns home to host Kentucky on January 25 in an ESPN game. Alabama plays at Auburn on Saturday, January 18. After that it's on to Oxford, Miss., for a Tuesday, January 21 date at Ole Miss. That's an 8 p.m. CT ESPN game.

Road Is Tough in the SEC

Going into Saturday's games, the Southeastern Conference's teams were winning at home. LSU is 11-0; Alabama is 9-0; Florida is 9-0; South Carolina is 7-1; Georgia is 6-0; Auburn is 9-1; Ole Miss is 8-1; Vanderbilt is 8-2. Tennessee is 6-1; and Kentucky is 4-1.

Lucky Williams Ready For Auburn

Tide freshman Lucky Williams, who was required to sit out Alabama's first 14 games after an NCAA review of pre-college expenses he received, will be eligible to play on Saturday when Alabama travels to Auburn.

Fun Home Giveaways In Store

Early arrivals at Alabama's home games will receive some fun collectibles in the next few weeks. The Mississippi State game giveaway was Tide basketball trading cards featuring current team members. And tentatively scheduled are Terrance Meade bobble head dolls at the Georgia game, Kenny Walker bobble head dolls at the Ole Miss game and UA basketball metal lunch boxes at the South Carolina game.

Players Put New Meaning Into Trading Cards

Alabama's marketing and promotions department handed out Tide basketball trading cards, a set that included each of the 14 players and coach Mark Gottfried, at Wednesday night's Mississippi State game. Many of their friends and families got in line early to snag the collectibles given free to fans as they came to the game, and on the floor after practice on Thursday, the trading on the floor was as fast-paced as Wall Street as Bama's players were busy trading with one another.

But one man wasn't successful in one attempted deal. Freshman Evan Brock was trying to persuade Antoine Pettway to take Brock's Pettway card and swap it for Pettway's Brock card, but Pettway would have none of it. "My little brothers like you, Man. I can't give you away. They'll be mad at me," Pettway told his younger teammate stopping Brock's negotiations short.


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