The Crimson Tide is 15-9 overall, 5-8 in Southeastern Conference play. The Rebels are 12-12 overall, 3-10 in the SEC.
Alabama follows Sunday's game with its final home appearance, a date with South Carolina on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. There is no live television for that game, though it will be aired tape-delayed at 10:30 p.m. locally in Tuscaloosa on WVUA TV.
That game will be a special one for the Tide team as it will mark the final home appearance for its senior class, a group that has been instrumental in Alabama's rise in the past four seasons. The trio of seniors includes 2002 SEC Player of the Year Erwin Dudley, Kenny Walker and Terrance Meade. All three have been fulltime starters since their freshman season. All three are Academic All-SEC in 2003 and all three will "walk" together in the 2003 University of Alabama graduation ceremonies this May. The trio helped lead Alabama back into the national rankings by their sophomore season and to win the SEC Championship (and advanced to the SEC tournament's championship game) their junior year. Their play this season helped Alabama gain its highest ever ranking, a No. 1 spot, for two straight weeks in the December 23rd and December 30th rankings. The three players will be honored prior to tip-off of that South Carolina game.
And Alabama will play its regular season finale' on the road in Baton Rouge where it will play the LSU Tigers on Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m.
UPCOMING GAME: OLE MISS
Sunday, March 2, 2003
Coleman Coliseum (15,316), Tuscaloosa
1:00 p.m. CT
TICKETS: Available (at door, internet or by phone)
UA HOME TICKETS: $17 adults/$8 youth;
Buy at UA box office in Coleman Coliseum;
TV: CBS with Craig Bolerjack and Dan Bonner;
WVUA-TV tape delay broadcast at 10:30 p.m.
RADIO: Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Tom Roberts (color)
105.5 FM in Tuscaloosa & WJOX 690 AM 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 www.markgottfried.com
Probable Starting LineupsALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (15-9 OVERALL, 5-8 SEC):
F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, SR, Uniontown 15.1 ppg/9.5 rpg
F- 03 Kennedy Winston 6-7, 200, FR, Mobile 9.8 ppg/4.3 rpg
C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 220, SR, Jacksonville, Florida 10.1 ppg/5.5 rpg
G- 50 Antoine Pettway 6-0, 170, JR, Alberta 6.0 ppg/2.7 rpg
G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 195, SO, Jackson, Mississippi 15.3 ppg/4.0 rpg/3.8 apg
OLE MISS REBELS (12-12 OVERALL, 3-10 SEC)
F- 01 Aaron Harper 6-7, 217, JR, Jackson, Mississippi 13.2 ppg/5.8 rpg
F- 23 Justin Reed 6-8, 240, JR, Jackson, Mississippi 14.7 ppg/5.8 rpg
F- 40 Derrick Allen 6-8, 238, SR, Gadsden, Alabama 7.9 ppg/4.1 rpg
G- 15 David Sanders 6-3, 185, SR, Jackson, Mississippi 10.0 ppg/3.7 rpg/3.2 apg
G- 32 Emanuel Wade 6-3, 185, SR, Marianna, Arkansas 7.8 ppg/2.5 rpg
Head CoachesALABAMA HEAD COACH MARK GOTTFRIED: 166-83 (.667) in 7 complete seasons overall, 97-58 (.626%) in 5th season 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.
OLE MISS HEAD COACH ROD BARNES: 98-58 (.628%) in his 5th season overall and as head coach at Ole Miss...2001 Naismith National Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year...NCAA appearances in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, including 2001 NCAA Sweet 16...Played at Ole Miss
- Not only are these two head coaches coaching at their alma maters, they were both starters and used to play against one another at Alabama (Gottfried, 1985, 1986 & 1987) and Ole Miss (Barnes, 1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988).
- Erwin Dudley is averaging 19.7 points a game in his last six games
- Terrance Meade, a fulltime starter since he was a freshman and in 17 games of 21 he's played in 2003, is questionable for play after spraining his left ankle in practice Feb. 23. He did not dress and sat out Wednesday's game at Mississippi State
- Residents of Jackson, Mississippi love this game with Bama's Mo Williams & Ole Miss's three other Jackson natives starting
- Fans who arrive earliest will receive a Kenny Walker bobble head
It's the 2nd Time Around for UA & Ole MissIt's re-match Sunday for the Crimson Tide who faces the Rebels from Ole Miss for a second time this season. The two teams both compete in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division, so they play one another twice, swapping sites, each regular season.
Alabama traveled to Oxford for the first meeting on January 21, and left with a rough 63-46 road loss despite an Erwin Dudley double-double effort that included 13 points and 11 rebounds.
It's the 151st Meeting Between Bama & Ole MissSunday's game between the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi marks their 151st basketball game against one another in a series that dates to the first meeting in Tuscaloosa in 1921.
Ole Miss won that first game in 1921, a year the two teams played four times, and since that first meeting, Alabama has collected a series lead of 105 wins to 45 wins by Ole Miss.
Alabama will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak to the Rebels in the series as Ole Miss won the first of the two games in 2003 by a 63-46 score in Oxford, Miss., on January 21 in a game televised on ESPN. Ole Miss had also won the 2nd of the two 2002 meetings, in Oxford as well, then by a score of 84-56.
The Tide's last win against Ole Miss came in Tuscaloosa last season (2002) when by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Erwin Dudley, Alabama beat the Rebels by twenty, 79-59.
Following is a quick series breakdown:
Series Record: UA 105 wins, Ole Miss 45 wins
Streak: Ole Miss has won the last 2
In Tuscaloosa: Alabama leads 60-8
In Oxford: Alabama leads 35-34
Neutral Sites: Alabama leads 8-3
The match-up of late has turned into one of the typical SEC series where the home team has dominated.
Alabama hasn't won in Oxford since the 1997 Bama team won 57-54. It has lost its last six games there. Ole Miss has not won in Tuscaloosa since 1998 (David Hobbs' final season at Alabama) when the Rebels avenged Alabama's previous season win in Oxford by defeating Alabama on its home court 74-63. Ole Miss has lost in Tuscaloosa its last four straight trips/years.
Jackson, Miss., Can Take Pride in This GameThe City of Jackson, Mississippi is well-represented in this series. Four of its citizens will be on the team benches, three on the Ole Miss side and one on the Alabama side.
All are childhood friends who get together in the summer and holidays and play hoops in their hometown. Alabama's "Mighty Mississippian" and Jackson connection is point guard extraordinaire Mo Williams, the Tide's sophomore who leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points a game. He'll likely be starting against his hometown friends, Ole Miss junior forward Aaron Harper, senior guard David Sanders, and junior forward Justin Reed.
Williams played at Murrah High, Harper and all three of the Ole Miss Jackson players played at Provine. Murrah and Provine played one another regularly.
And There's a Memphis Connection As WellThe City of Memphis also has a connection in the game between Alabama and Ole Miss. Memphis native Earnest Shelton, a sophomore guard who prepped at White Station High, plays for the Crimson Tide. Jonathan Loe, a redshirt freshman guard from Memphis' Bartlett High School, plays for the Rebels. Shelton says he and Loe played against one another during their high school regular season and on all-star teams.
Meade's Ankle Still Injured; Status QuestionableTide senior guard Terrance Meade sprained his ankle during Alabama's practice on Monday, February 24th. He did not dress for the Mississippi State game on Wednesday night because of the injury. His status for Sunday's game is "questionable."
Meade, who is from Scottsboro, has played in 21 games this season, starting in 17 of those. He averages 4.1 points this season and has an UA career scoring average of 9.1 points per game.
Teams Both Feature SEC Freshmen of YearTwo players who made an instant impact in the Southeastern Conference are found on either side of the ball in this game. Alabama's point guard, Mo Williams, was voted the SEC's Freshman of the Year in 2002 and continues to be a dominant player, ranking in the top 10 in scoring and leading the league in free throw shooting among other feats. He started in all 35 games for Alabama in 2002, averaging 10.4 points a game.
Williams' fellow Jackson, Miss., native Justin Reed, now a junior at Ole Miss, was voted the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2001 after averaging 11.0 points a game as a freshman.
February LOVED Dudley's ShootingThe SEC's men's basketball PR man, DeWayne Peevy, has broken down the league's best performances in the past month, and several of the best numbers in February belonged to Bama. Erwin Dudley led the league in field goal percentage with the hottest hands in February. He made 48 of his 77 attempts in 7 games for a 62.3 percentage. Dudley was also the third best scorer at 18.9 points a game for the month.
Mo Williams, who leads the league in overall games in the stat, ranked 4th for the month in free throw percentage at 83.8% and was 8th in scoring.
And freshman Kennedy Winston made his presence known after becoming eligible in mid-January. He ranked 18th in scoring, 11th in rebounding and 10th in assists for the month of February.
Kenny Walker had the third most offensive boards for the month with 22.