Tide Basketball In Mobile

Over the years, Alabama teams in many sports have played games in various sites around the state. Birmingham has been host to Alabama home games in football, basketball and baseball. Those Tide teams have also played in Montgomery and Mobile.

Alabama Basketball Coach Anthony Grant has said he likes the idea of taking Alabama basketball to different parts of the state. Although no specifics have been addressed publicly, it is reasonable to expect Crimson Tide men's basketball to begin playing the occasional home game in December somewhere besides Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa. For many years Alabama played a December non-conference game at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center, and that could be in the offing in upcoming seasons.

For now, it is Mobile where Bama fans will get a chance to see the Tide, and not as an Alabama home game. Alabama will face 17th-ranked Kansas State in Mobile at approximately 7:30 p.m. CST Saturday at the Mitchell Center on the campus of South Alabama. South Alabama and UAB will play a preliminary game as part of the Coors Classic. Both games will be broadcast regionally on CSS.

"We've got a strong fan base in Mobile and look forward to having them cheer us on," said Grant. "For us to have the opportunity to play a neutral-site game against such a high-caliber opponent is great for everybody."

Kansas State will be the third ranked team Alabama has faced this season as the Wildcats earned their No. 17 ranking by virtue of a 9-1 record with wins over UNLV, Xavier, Washington State and Dayton.

"I'm really impressed with Kansas State's size, physicality and how hard they play," said Grant. "I think that's a trademark of their coach Frank [Martin]. When they play, they play to the identity of their coach from an energy and discipline standpoint. They're very worthy of the ranking they've received."

Saturday's game will also be a reunion of sorts for the coaches as Grant and KSU's Frank Martin were high school teammates in Miami, Fla. The pair graduated together from Miami Senior High School in 1983 and coached high school basketball together in Miami. That did not play a part in this event, though. The game had been scheduled before Grant was hired last spring.

Martin's Wildcats have had a week's rest for finals after jumping into the top 25 following a victory over then No. 18 UNLV, 95-80, on a neutral court in Las Vegas last Saturday. KSU is averaging 81.6 points per game and has yet to score less than 70 points in a game.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide enters the contest after soundly handling Samford, 60-45, on Wednesday. Mikhail Torrance leads Alabama in scoring this season with 15.4 points per game on 52.5 percent shooting with 5.5 assists per game. JaMychal Green trails closely with 14.5 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game.

KSU is led by Jacob Pullen with 19.2 points and 3.7 assists per game. In the win over UNLV, he poured in 28 points on 7-of-10 shooting from three-point range. Miami transfer Denis Clemente leads three others in double figures with 14.8 points per game.

Bama returns to Coleman Coliseum next Wednesday to host Mercer at 7 p.m. CST.

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