Alabama basketball returns home to face Mercer - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama basketball returns home to face Mercer

Posted: Updated:
Sophomore Trevor Lacey (No. 5) scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting at Texas Tech last Wednesday. Sophomore Trevor Lacey (No. 5) scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting at Texas Tech last Wednesday.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said his team is looking forward to getting back to playing at Coleman Coliseum. (abc3340.com) Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said his team is looking forward to getting back to playing at Coleman Coliseum. (abc3340.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men's basketball team will return to Coleman Coliseum where it will take on the Mercer Bears on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will mark just the second home game for the Crimson Tide in the month of December, and the first since taking on Dayton back on Dec. 5.

"We are looking forward to being back on our home court and looking forward to playing Saturday against a good Mercer team," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. "We are coming off a win on the road against another very good team in Texas Tech. There were some things we were able to take away from that game, both positive and learning opportunities. Our focus has really been about the things we need to do better as a basketball team and that's where we are at right now. We have a quick turnaround for this game against Mercer. They have played a challenging schedule and have had success on the road this season. It will be a game that's very challenging for our guys. We will start to familiarize our guys with Mercer (Friday), but our focus has really been on what we need to do and what gives us the best chance to be successful."

Most recently, the Crimson Tide (7-3) snapped a three-game losing streak by capturing a 66-62 road win at Texas Tech last Saturday. Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey (21 points) and junior guard Trevor Releford (17 points) combined for 38 of UA's 66 points in the victory.

Alabama's backcourt continues to lead the way this season. Releford, who was just named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Watch List earlier in the week, tops the team in points (16.0 ppg) and steals (20). He is also one of the top three-point shooters (41.9 percent) and free throw shooters (86.5 percent) in the Southeastern Conference.

Lacey is second on the team in scoring with 14.2 points per game and leads the team with 3.5 assists a game. The Huntsville, Ala., native tops the Southeastern Conference in three-point field goal percentage (48.9) and ranks sixth in treys made per game (2.3).

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Rodney Cooper contributes 12.2 ppg and leads the team in rebounds per game (4.3) and field goals attempted (102).

Mercer (6-6) comes into Saturday's showdown after falling to SEC rival Georgia, 58-49, last Wednesday in Athens, Ga. The loss snapped the Bears' two-game winning streak.

Leading the way for Mercer is senior guard Travis Smith, who averages a team-leading 9.9 points per contest. He also tops the squad in field goals made (40) and attempted (102), as well as minutes per game (27.3).

As a team, Mercer has 11 players who average at least 10 minutes per game on the season. The Bears are only allowing opponents to score an average of 54.8 points a game, which ranks eighth in the nation. Furthermore, opponents are shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor and 29.7 percent from beyond the arc against the Mercer defense.

Alabama and Mercer will play for the ninth time in series history when the teams take the floor on Saturday afternoon, with the Crimson Tide owning a 6-2 advantage. Saturday's contest will be the first meeting between the Bears and Crimson Tide since Dec. 23, 2009, when Alabama captured a 90-71 victory in Tuscaloosa.

All tickets be on sale for $8 to the general public as part of the Holiday Break promotion.

The game will be televised on CSS and can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call.

Fans can also follow the live action with in-game tweets on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaMBB.

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant Quotes

On Mercer :

"I've had a chance to watch them on film and I am really impressed. They have a deep team and are extremely well-coached. Defensively, they have done a great job on the year holding opponents to under 40 percent from the floor and about 55 points a game. They are forcing teams into about 18 turnovers a game, so I am very impressed with their defense. They have a great system and there are a lot of different things they do from within that system. They have good balance on their team and when you look at how competitive they have been this season, this will be a challenging game for us. We have a short turnaround, so we have to understand what we have to do in order to be successful."

On first half at Texas Tech:

"I thought we got off to a good start and I thought Trevor (Lacey) did a good job of being aggressive. They came out in zone and we were able to knock down a couple of shots. Defensively, we started out in zone and I think that bothered them a little bit. It allowed us to get some transition opportunities. It was good to see our guys be aggressive and be able to sustain that pretty much throughout the half."

On snapping the team's three-game losing streak:

"I thought our guys really showed great composure during the losing streak. They have really listened to us in terms of them needing to some things better as a team. I felt like all the way through we've understood what we needed to do. I think they've tried to do the things that myself or our staff have asked them to do. It's always rewarding when the outcome is in your favor. The other thing I'll say is that I think our guys realize that we need to play better in the second half. There were some things we didn't do in the second half that almost cost us."

Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey

On what the win at Texas Tech meant to the team:

"It's a great confidence boost. No one likes to lose and from the three-game losing streak, we learned we need to come out with energy and stay aggressive throughout the game. We want to play the entire 40 minutes the way we started the game at Texas Tech."

On the challenges of playing as many minutes as he did against Texas Tech:

"I didn't realize I played that many minutes until after the game. It was a challenge the way the pressure the ball and the way we defend. But I feel like that our preseason conditioning has us prepared for whatever we have to face."

On team keeping its composure down the stretch:

"I feel like as a team, we were going to do whatever it took not to lose. We've been in those situations before, whether it was in practice or in games. We knew we had to take care of the ball and make free throws and that's what we did."

Source:  www.rolltide.com

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Update: Body found in bakery truck, no foul play involved

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:28:15 GMT
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
    ABC 33/40 has confirmed that the body of 40 year old bakery employee Shane Landrip Caldwell was found in the truck. Police do not believe any foul play was involved.More >>
  • Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:39 GMT
    David PittsDavid Pitts
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
  • Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:08:43 GMT
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
  • Woman doused with gasoline and burned by ex-boyfriend

    Woman doused with gasoline and burned by ex-boyfriend

    Sunday, July 27 2014 5:04 PM EDT2014-07-27 21:04:38 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
  • A triple shooting leaves one person dead

    A triple shooting leaves one person dead

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:51:55 GMT
    One person is dead and two others in juried in an early morning shooting in Ensley. Birmingham Police report incident occurred in the 1600 Block of Avenue I. Around 2:30 a.m. police were called to the location and found the victim lying face down in the street suffering from a gunshot wound to the back. Birmingham Fire and Rescue also responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of relatives. Ther...More >>
    One person is dead and two others in juried in an early morning shooting in Ensley. Birmingham Police report incident occurred in the 1600 Block of Avenue I. Around 2:30 a.m. police were called to the location and found the victim lying face down in the street suffering from a gunshot wound to the back. Birmingham Fire and Rescue also responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of relatives. Ther...More >>
  • Judge Rules Benz Plant Violated Labor Laws

    Judge Rules Benz Plant Violated Labor Laws

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:29:07 GMT
    A judge has ruled Mercedes-Benz U.S. International violated labor laws while dealing with employees interested in forming a labor union.An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board ordered MBUSI to revise rules in its employee handbook governing the solicitation and distribution of materials at its auto manufacturing plant in Vance.The United Auto Workers accused Mercedes managers of stymieing pro-union employees' efforts to distribute information about the union.Mercede...More >>
    A judge has ruled Mercedes-Benz U.S. International violated labor laws while dealing with employees interested in forming a labor union.An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board ordered MBUSI to revise rules in its employee handbook governing the solicitation and distribution of materials at its auto manufacturing plant in Vance.The United Auto Workers accused Mercedes managers of stymieing pro-union employees' efforts to distribute information about the union.Mercede...More >>
  • Glen Allen man killed in accident involving logging truck

    Glen Allen man killed in accident involving logging truck

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:17:25 GMT
    Alabama State Troopers say a 63 year old man from Glen Allen was killed in a two vehicle crash in Fayette County. It happened Friday night on County Road 73.More >>
    Alabama State Troopers say a 63 year old man from Glen Allen was killed in a two vehicle crash in Fayette County. It happened Friday night on County Road 73.More >>
  • Shooting victim's wife and sons want answers concerning homicide investigation

    Shooting victim's wife and sons want answers concerning homicide investigation

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:11:45 GMT
    Family members grieve the loss of a 37-year-old man shot dead. Birmingham police are investigating. A family is asking questions as police hear conflicting stories.More >>
    Family members grieve the loss of a 37-year-old man shot dead. Birmingham police are investigating. A family is asking questions as police hear conflicting stories.
    More >>