Official News Releases
- Jan 26, 2015
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No. 18/16 Alabama Opens Two-Game Homestand with Mississippi State on Saturday - University of Alabama Athletics
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 18/16 Alabama men's basketball team begins a two-game homestand when it welcomes rival Mississippi State on Saturday night at 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network. It will mark the first of two games played between the longtime rivals this season as the Crimson Tide will play the...
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 18/16 Alabama men's basketball team begins a two-game homestand when it welcomes rival Mississippi State on Saturday night at 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network. It will mark the first of two games played between the longtime rivals this season as the Crimson Tide will play the return game in Starkville on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network).
The Tide enters the contest having won eight straight and nine of its last 10 games following 105-75 victory at LSU last Tuesday. It was the third consecutive win of 20 points or more for UA, which has combined to beat its last three opponents by 81 points, which averages to 27.0 points per game (won at Kentucky by 20, vs. Arkansas by 31 and at LSU by 30) – the largest margin of victory across three straight SEC wins in program history (full not on page 8).
Alabama and Mississippi State will meet for the 204th time in series history, and first of two meetings this season, when the teams square off on Saturday night. The Tide and Bulldogs will play the second leg of the home-and-home this year on Feb. 27 in Starkville, Miss. UA owns a 126-77 edge in the all-time series, including wins in 10 of the last 13 contests played between the two teams
- Saturday's game will be available on SEC Network with Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Mark Wise (analyst) on the call.
- The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play), Bryan Passink (analyst) and Roger Hoover (sideline) on the call. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.
- Alabama will be looking to win its ninth straight game which would mark the longest winning streak since starting the 2002-03 campaign with nine consecutive victories – eventually reaching No. 1 in the nation (the only time in program history UA reached No. 1 in the nation) before suffering its first setback.
- The Tide's seven-straight SEC wins is the best since winning eight straight to start the 1986-87 and 1974-75 SEC seasons. Only the 1955-56 "Rocket 8" team was better, finishing that year with a perfect 14-0 mark in league play.
- Alabama is one of only six teams across the nation which is ranked in the top-15 in both offensive and defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (as of 1/22). The Crimson Tide currently rank No. 13 in offensive efficiency and No. 10 in defensive efficiency among the top-20 in the nation in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. Joining Alabama in the stat is Gonzaga (2/15), Baylor (4/1), Michigan (7/8), Virginia (10/9) and Texas (15/7).
- Alabama enters this week back in the national rankings, checking it at No. 18 in the Associated Press Top-25 and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches poll. It's the first time since December of 2017 that UA is ranked in the AP Poll. Furthermore, the last time the Tide has been ranked in the AP poll this late in the season came when it was ranked No. 25 for the week of Feb. 19, 2007.
- The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 10 in the NCAA NET rankings (as of 1/22) which is second-best among SEC teams. Alabama is one of five SEC teams ranked among the top-30, which also includes No. 6 Tennessee, No. 23 LSU, No. 24 Missouri and No. 28 Florida. UA owns a record of 4-1 against Quad 1 opponents and 5-1 versus Quad 2 foes.
- With a perfect 7-0 record in league play, the Crimson Tide is in first place by itself through the early portion of the SEC season. The Crimson Tide leads Tennessee (4-2) by two-and-a-half games leading into play this weekend. It's the first time an Alabama team began conference play with five straight wins in 34 years, dating back to the 1986-87 campaign when UA started that SEC season 8-0.
- Coming into Saturday night's contest, Alabama not only leads the SEC at 7-0, but it is the top defensive team in conference play. The Crimson Tide currently ranks first in the league in field goal percentage defense (.368), three-point field goal percentage defense (.246), is second in steals (9.0) and fifth in scoring defense (69.6).
- Alabama is also on a roll on the offensive end of the floor during league play. UA leads the SEC in scoring offense (87.6), three-point field goal percentage (.422), threes made per game (13.1) and scoring margin (+18.0), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.460) when facing conference competition.
- Over its last three games (won 85-65 at Kentucky on Jan. 12, won 90-59 vs. Arkansas on Jan. 16, won 105-75 at LSU on Jan. 19), the Crimson Tide has outscored its competition by a combined 81 points, which averages out to 27.0 points per game (93.3-66.3). During the stretch, Alabama is averaging 17.3 threes made per game, while shooting 50.0 percent (100-of-200) from the field and 47.7 percent (52-of-109) from beyond the arc.
- John Petty Jr. has been on fire during SEC play and as a result, has earned the league's Player of the Week award in two of the last three weeks (Jan. 4 and Jan. 18). The Huntsville, Ala., native is averaging a team-leading 16.6 points per game in league play, while shooting 59.7 percent (43-of-72) from the floor and 56.5 percent (26-of-46) from beyond the arc against league competition. He leads the league in conference play in three-point field goal percentage, threes made per game (3.7) and total threes made and is ninth in scoring average. Furthermore, with five made threes vs. Arkansas on Jan. 16, Petty became the program's all-time leader in three-pointers made (currently has 265). Additionally, his 698 career attempts from deep is 41 shy of breaking Williams' program record of 738 three-point shots.
- Alabama enters contest at LSU riding an eight-game winning streak – the longest winning streak dating back to winning nine straight to open the 2002-03 campaign, eventually reaching No. 1 in the nation that season. The Crimson Tide extended its best win streak in 10 years with an impressive 105-75 victory at LSU last Tuesday.
- Four Crimson Tide players are averaging 12.5 or more points per game for head coach Nate Oats in the early part of the season. Guard John Petty Jr. leads the way at 14.3 ppg while Jahvon Quinerly is second on the team with 13.3 ppg. Guard Jaden Shackelford averages 13.1 ppg while forward Herbert Jones is at 12.6 ppg.
- Jones, considered one of the top defensive players in the entire nation, leads the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg), three-point field goal percentage (.478, 11-of-23), charges taken (4), Blue Collar Points (298.5, 19.9 BCP per game), deflections (48), floor dives (12) and Hard Hat Awards (7). He also boasts much improved offensive numbers during his senior season. In addition to averaging double digits, Jones is collecting 2.1 assists per contest, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field (64-of-133).
- The combination of Petty (39-of-92) and Shackelford (30-of-84) have combined to hit 69 of the Tide's 165 three-pointers (41.8 percent) and have 176 of the team's 460 (38.3 percent) total attempts from beyond the arc. Combined, the duo is shooting 39.2 percent (69-of-176) from beyond the arc.
- As a team, Alabama is outscoring the opposition by 11.3 points per contest (81.8-70.5) while shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from deep and 69.3 percent from the charity stripe.
- It's the Crimson Tide's defense that has set the tone to its 7-0 start in SEC play. UA leads the league in defensive efficiency, ranking first in field goal percentage defense (36.8 percent) and three-point field goal percentage defense (24.6 percent), second in steals (9.0) and sixth in scoring defense (69.6).
- This season, the Tide welcomed back four starters and five of its top seven scorers off last year's team, three were named as All-SEC performers a year ago. Petty (Second Team All-SEC), Shackelford (All-Freshman) and Jones (All-Defensive) all earned a spot on the postseason teams. Both Petty and Jones tested the NBA waters, with Petty, who was one of the last players to withdraw his name, announcing his return in early August and Jones in mid-June.
- Alabama was predicted to finish fifth overall as voted on by a select panel of both SEC and national media members. Additionally, Petty All-SEC Preseason First Team honors by both the coaches and media members, while Jones earned a spot on the preseason second team as voted on by the league's head coaches. Petty was selected to the 2020 Jerry West Award Watch List for the nation's top shooting guard. He was also tabbed preseason All-SEC by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.
- Head coach Nate Oats is in his second season at the helm of the Crimson Tide program and owns a record of 28-18 (.609) during his time at the Capstone. Oats, who is in his sixth season as a collegiate head coach, owns a career record of 124-61 (.670).
- Mississippi State enters the contest sporting a 9-6 record on the season and a 4-3 mark in league play following the team's 64-46 home loss to rival Ole Miss this past Tuesday. Despite the setback, the Bulldogs enter their game at Alabama having won six of its last nine contests including a perfect 2-0 record in SEC road games (won at Georgia and at Vanderbilt).
- The Bulldogs are led by the league's top scoring duo in guards Iverson Molinari (17.4 ppg) and D.J. Stewart Jr. (17.4 ppg), who combine to score an average of 34.8 points per game. Molinari leads Mississippi State in assists (3.3 apg), steals (1.3 spg) and three-point field goal percentage (51.4 percent, 18-of-35), while Stewart tops the team in minutes per contest (35.6 mpg), threes made (24) and attempted (63) and field goals made (98) and attempted (222).
- Forward Tolu Smith also contributes on the offensive end, collecting 13.5 points per game while topping MSU with 8.8 rebounds a contest and field goal percentage (57.9 percent). Former Alabama forward and transfer Javian Davis has played in 11 contests this season and is averaging 4.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per contest.
- As a team, Mississippi State leads the league in rebounding margin at +8.9 (39.7-30.8), which also ranks 17th-best in the nation. Additionally, the Bulldogs are 26th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (13.1) and 28th nationally in blocked shots per game (4.8). MSU also leads the SEC in three-point shooting percentage at 37.2 percent on the year. For the year, MSU is outscoring the competition by +5.5 points per game (71.7-66.1), while shooting 46.0 percent from the field.
- Ben Howland, who is in his sixth season at the helm of the program. In four different stints as a head coach, Howland has a 508-278 (.646) record – Northern Arizona (79-59), Pittsburgh (89-40), UCLA (233-107) and Mississippi State (107-72, .598). He led UCLA to three-consecutive Final Fours, including a national runner-up finish in 2006.
- Alabama and Mississippi State will meet for the 204th time in series history, and first of two meetings this season, when the teams square off on Saturday night. The Tide and Bulldogs will play the second leg of the home-and-home this year on Feb. 27 in Starkville, Miss.
- UA owns a 126-77 edge in the all-time series, including wins in 10 of the last 13 contests played between the two teams
- Both the 203 games played and the 126 wins against Mississippi State marks the most for Alabama against any single opponent in each category in program history.
- Despite Alabama's recent dominance in the series, the teams have split its season series in each of the last three years, with each team winning on its home floor. The Tide had captured wins over the Bulldogs in 10 of previous 11 games prior to the recent 3-3 stretch.
- Alabama owns a record of 79-17 in all-time games against the Bulldogs at home, including a 42-9 mark at Coleman Coliseum. UA has defeated MSU in four straight in 10 of the last 11 games played under the arched roof.
- Coming into Saturday's game, Alabama has been the dominant team in the series. Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Crimson Tide has claimed victory in 16 of the last 22 games played between the long-time rivals.
- The series, which first began during the 1912-13 season, has seen 14 overtime contests including the 2008-09 season's double-overtime affair. The Tide owns an 8-6 lead in such games.
- Sixty-six of the meetings have been decided by five or fewer points.