Iron Bowl Hoops: Alabama travels to take on Auburn - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

146th Iron Bowl of Hoops: Alabama travels to take on Auburn

Posted: Updated:
© Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said he expects an emotional atmosphere at Auburn Arena Wednesday night. (abc3340.com) © Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said he expects an emotional atmosphere at Auburn Arena Wednesday night. (abc3340.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men's basketball team will be on the road for the third time in its last four games when it travels to take on rival Auburn on Wednesday night.

"Well obviously we're looking forward to the challenge of going on the road here and playing Auburn," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "As we all know, it's a rivalry game with a lot of emotion. We expect a great game with a great atmosphere. I think our guys are excited about the opportunity to get back and compete again."

The Crimson Tide (14-7, 6-2 SEC) enters the game in a three-way tie for second overall in the latest SEC standings after a thrilling 58-54 come-from-behind win at Vanderbilt. The win not only marked the Tide's sixth triumph in its last seven contests, but was also the first win over the Commodores in Memorial Gym since Feb. 3, 1990 (11 games).

UA was led by sophomore guard Trevor Lacey who had a game-high 17 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with 56.8 seconds remaining - his third game-winner of the season. Senior guard Andrew Steele added 13 points off the bench, while sophomore guard Rodney Cooper added 11 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort.

Junior guard Trevor Releford comes into the Auburn game as the team's top scorer. A preseason All-SEC honoree, Releford leads the team and ranks eighth in the league with 15.3 points per game. He also tops the squad in three-point shooting percentage (44.1 percent) and steals per game (1.9). He currently ranks second in the SEC in free throw shooting (85.7 percent) and is sixth in steals per game.

Lacey is second on the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game and three-point field goal percentage, hitting 43.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Coming into Wednesday's contest, Lacey tops the team in three pointers made (41) and attempted (96) and assists (3.5 apg). Combined, the duo of Releford and Lacey contribute 27.7 points per game, or approximately 43 percent of the team's 63.9 points per game.

Meanwhile, Cooper also averages double figures with 10.7 ppg. He leads the team in offensive rebounding (2.1 orpg) and ranks second in rebounding (4.2 rpg) and total field goals attempted (199).

Auburn comes into Wednesday's showdown sporting an 8-13 overall mark and a 2-6 record in SEC play. After opening the conference season with a 2-0 mark, the Tigers have lost six consecutive contests, most recently dropping a 91-77 decision at then-No. 17 Missouri on Saturday.

The Tigers are led on the year by senior guard Frankie Sullivan, who tops the team and ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring average at 16.5 points per game. He also ranks eighth in the SEC in three pointers made per game (2.0) and field goal percentage (.390).

Junior guard Chris Denson is the only other player on AU's squad to average double figures, with 11.7 ppg. Senior center Rob Chubb is averaging nearly a double-double with 9.6 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds a contest.

As a team, Auburn is shooting 41.6 percent (12th in SEC) from the floor and 33.3 percent (9th in SEC) from beyond the arc, while averaging 67.6 points per game (8th in SEC). Defensively, the Tigers are allowing teams to shoot 42.9 percent (13th in SEC) from the field, 33.6 percent (12th in SEC) from three and giving up 67.8 points per contest (11th).

Wednesday's game will mark the 146th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the fourth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns an 89-56 edge in the series and has won five straight games over the Tigers. Head coach Anthony Grant has an all-time record of 5-1 when his team has faced the Tigers, including a 2-1 mark when playing at Auburn.

The contest is set to tipoff at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network 94.5 FM, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call.

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

Source:  www.rolltide.com

Head Coach Anthony Grant

On how the team is handling success:

"We're doing ok. It's February. I think our guys understand, hopefully understand, the sense of urgency that we have to have in preparation for every game. Our focus is to take it one game at a time and continue to control what we can control. The last couple of games, the thing I've been pleased with is our guys have found a way to win. I think I'm always going to be looking at areas that we can improve and things that we can do better, but the fight that we've shown has been good. We need to continue that and continue to get better and improve as we go through the season."

On Auburn senior guard Frankie Sullivan:

"He is a very talented player, veteran guy. He's been around the league and seen it all. He's having an outstanding year for them, leads just about every offensive category and has great leadership qualities. He's a very good player."

On Alabama's slow starts and playing better when their backs are against the wall:

"Well it's not by design. I like to play with the lead, to be honest with you. Like Levi (Randolph) said, it's going to be a 40 minute game. You can never get too high, you can never get too low. We've had several games where we started off well where we've been able to build a lead and then had lulls at the end of the half. The whole thing is consistency, which I think every coach will tell you that's what they want. I think when our guys are playing at their best from an offensive and defensive standpoint we have a chance to be a very good basketball team. We just have to find that consistency at both ends of the floor."

Sophomore Guard Levi Randolph

On what the rivalry means to him:

"Well it's a big in-state rivalry. This is my second year going through it. I know we try to take every game as a big game, so we just have to go out there and do the things that coach asks us to do and play the game. I always knew that Alabama-Auburn was a big rivalry and I grew up (in Madison, Ala.) watching the football and basketball games, so I did pay attention to it."

On the toughness of Auburn's arena with the student section near the court:

"I remember playing there last year and the student section was really close. It's really loud and a great environment to play in, but we've played in a lot of environments like that so I think we're prepared and it's something we've been through before."

Auburn Projected Starters

F 02 Allen Payne 6-6 / 215 Jr.
C 41 Rob Chubb 6-10 / 250 Sr.
G 5 Shaquille Johnson 6-5 / 210 Fr.
G 11 Josh Wallace 5-10 / 170 Sr.
G 23 Frankie Sullivan 6-1 / 206 Sr.

Alabama Projected Starters

C 14 Moussa Gueye 7-0 / 255 Jr.
G 5 Trevor Lacey 6-3 / 215 So.
G 12 Trevor Releford 6-0 / 195 Jr.
G 20 Levi Randolph 6-5 / 205 So.
G 21 Rodney Cooper 6-6 / 215 So.

Gameday Matchup

 
ALA
AUB
W-L 14-7 8-13
Avg Points 63.9 67.6
Avg Points Allowed 58.3 67.8
Home Record 9-3 6-5
Road Record 3-4 1-6
Current Streak W2 L6

Team Stat Leaders

 ALAAUB
Points T. Releford 15.3 F. Sullivan 16.5
Rebounds M. Gueye 4.3 R. Chubb 7.5
Assists T. Lacey 3.5 J. Wallace 3.2
Steals T. Releford 1.9 J. Wallace 1.4
Blocks M. Gueye 1.6 A. Dixon-Tatum 1.1
  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:54:07 GMT
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
  • Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:48:12 GMT
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
  • 3 West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials arrested on theft charges

    3 West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials arrested on theft charges

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:07:24 GMT
    A continuing investigation into the theft of Fire Department funds in central Alabama has led to the arrest of three West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials, the state fire marshal's office announced today.More >>
    A continuing investigation into the theft of Fire Department funds in central Alabama has led to the arrest of three West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials, the state fire marshal's office announced today.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:23 GMT
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
  • Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:21 GMT
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
  • Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:00:10 GMT
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.More >>
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...