Alabama Men’s Basketball Takes on Oregon in Vulcan Classic on Monday Night Tide and Ducks will play in Birmingham at Legacy Arena at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU
Dec. 20, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will be in action on Monday night as the Tide takes on the Oregon Ducks at 8 p.m. CT. The contest, called The Vulcan Classic presented by BBVA Compass, will be played in Birmingham’s Legacy Arena.
It will be the Tide’s first game played in Birmingham since the 2011 season and Alabama defeated Oklahoma State, 69-52.
While the game against Oregon is considered a home contest for the Tide, it will be played away from Coleman Coliseum. It will be the seventh time in 10 games this season Alabama has played a game away from Tuscaloosa, marking the first time since the 1978-79 season that has occurred (played nine of first 11 games on the road that year).
Monday’s game will air on ESPNU as Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Dino Gaudio (analyst) will be on the call. The contest will also be available via the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink calling all the action. Fans will be able to follow along on gametracker (accessed through RollTide.com), and game updates will be available on Twitter via @AlabamaMBB.
Alabama won its fifth consecutive game, defeating Winthrop, 72-60, at Coleman Coliseum last Wednesday. With the win, the Tide is 7-2 and off to its best start since beginning the 2011-12 season with an 8-2 mark.
The Tide’s game against the Eagles last Wednesday marked the first home game for Alabama in nearly a month, dating back to a Nov. 20 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. The Tide played five consecutive road games during the three week stretch between home games, which marked its longest regular season road swing since the 2000-01 season. Alabama played impressively on the road, going 4-1 over the five-game stretch.
Alabama comes into its game against Oregon with an RPI of No. 15 in the nation according to ESPN.com (as of Dec. 18). The websites lists the Tide with a non-conference strength of schedule at No. 61 in the nation and two top 100 RPI wins (vs. No. 41 Notre Dame and No. 58 Wichita State). Alabama’s only two losses came vs. Xavier (No. 1 in the ESPN.com RPI) and at Dayton (No. 9 in the ESPN.com RPI).
Alabama will return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 29, when it takes on in-state foe Jacksonville State. The contest, which is set to air on SEC Network+, will tip at 7 p.m. CT.
Tickets, mini-packs and single-game tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at RollTide.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-TIDETIX (843-3849). Fans can also purchase tickets in advance at the Alabama Ticket Office, located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.
For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.
ALABAMA BEAT WINTHROP FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT WIN
The Alabama’s men’s basketball team returned home last Wednesday with a 72-60 victory over Winthrop. With the win, the Tide, which played its first home game in nearly a month and just its third contest on its own floor this year, is off to its best start since beginning the 2011-12 season with an 8-2 record.
Alabama had four players score in double-figures, led by junior forward Jimmie Taylor who recorded the team’s first double-double with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the victory. Sophomore point guard Justin Coleman also had a solid outing as he matched his season high with 18 points to go along with a game-high five assists.
Alabama and Winthrop remained close until late in a first half that featured seven ties and six lead changes. However, the Tide ended the final 2:39 on a 7-0 run and closed the half making four of its last five field goal attempts to take 32-27 lead into the locker room.
The Tide kept its momentum rolling after the break. Alabama began the second half by outscoring the Eagles, 19-4, to seize control of the contest. In all, Alabama’s 26-4 from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second half, spanned 8:42 and gave the Tide a commanding 51-31 lead. The Tide started the second half 8-of-11 from the field while holding Winthrop to just 2-of-11 shooting.
Senior guard Retin Obasohan finished with 12 points and Arthur Edwards scored 11 points and six rebounds. Brandon Austin finished with a season-high seven points, while Riley Norris grabbed a season-high seven rebounds.
COACH Avery Johnson’S THOUGHTS: “One of the things that I shared with Justin is, when you have a guy that’s the major focal point of the opposition’s offense like [Keon] Johnson, their point guard, the way you attack him is not just defending him, but attacking him when he’s on defense. So we put him in a lot of different situations, a lot of screening situations. We ran him off picks off the baseline. We tried to work him as much as we can and fortunately Justin took and made some big shots for us.”
Alabama won the rebounding battle, 40-30, and dominated, which marked the second consecutive game the Tide had 40 or more rebounds. Alabama also dominated in the paint with 42 points, compared to just 22 for the Eagles.
Over its last two games, Alabama has combined to outrebound the opposition by a combined total of 24 rebounds (+12.0 rebounding advantage). Prior to its last two contests, the Tide was outrebounding in its first seven games by a combined total of 57 boards (-8.1 rebounding disadvantage).
The Tide played without starting forward Shannon Hale, who was forced to miss the game with a medical condition. Despite not having two starters in the lineup who combine to average 20.6 points per game (Dazon Ingram at 7.7 ppg and Hale at 12.9 ppg), Alabama still captured a 12-point victory.
Wednesday’s game against Winthrop marked the third game in series history between the two teams – all coming exactly 10 years apart (the teams played in 1995, 2005 and 2015). The Tide now leads the all-time series, 3-0, with all three games being played in Coleman Coliseum.
Justin Coleman led the Tide with 18 points on the night, 16 of which came in the second half alone. It was his third double-figure scoring game this season and the seventh of his career.
With the victory, Alabama has won five straight games, four coming away from Tuscaloosa. It was also the Tide’s first home game in nearly a full month, dating back to a 105-93 win on Nov. 20 against Louisiana-Lafayette.
INGRAM SIDELINED WITH SEASON-ENDING INJURY
Alabama men’s basketball head coach Avery Johnson announced on Thursday that starting freshman point guard Dazon Ingram suffered a fractured left foot during Tuesday’s practice and will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.
Starting each of the Tide’s first seven games on the season, Ingram led the team with 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, ranked second in steals (1.1 spg), third in minutes per contest (25.6 mpg) and fourth in points per game (7.7) and field goal percentage (.541).
Through its first seven games of the season, Alabama ranked near the bottom among D-I schools in rebounding and especially offensive rebounding. However, since losing leading rebounding Dazon Ingram to a season-ending injury, the Tide has pulled a complete 180 when it comes to board work.
Over the first seven games, Alabama outrebounded just one team (Notre Dame by one) and owned a -8.1 rebounding disadvantage on the boards. However, over the last two games, the Tide has not only won the battle of the boards, but have outrebounded the opposition by double figures each contest (+12.0 rebounds per game).
Even more impressive, the Tide has grabbed 31 offensive rebounds (15.5 per game) over its last two games, compared to 52 offensive boards through the first seven contests (7.4 per game).
Below is a complete breakdown of the Tide’s rebounding numbers through the first seven games compared the last two.
Total Rebs Offensive Rebs Rebounds Per Game Rebounding Diff.
First 7 Games 227 52 32.4 -8.1
Last 2 Games 84 31 42.0 +12.0
Alabama men’s basketball senior guard Retin Obasohan was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Dec. 14.
Obasohan, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior guard from Antwerp, Belgium, led the Crimson Tide to a 51-50 win at Clemson on Dec. 13. Playing without starting point guard Dazon Ingram (season-ending foot injury) for the first time, Obasohan scored a career-high 23 points, including 15 coming in the first half, en route to the Tide’s first four-game win streak away from home since the 2001-02 campaign. Obasohan was unstoppable as he scored nearly half of the Tide’s 51 points (45 percent) on the night.
In addition to setting a new career-best scoring output, Obasohan also set new career marks for field goals made (9-of-16) and three-pointers made (4-of-7) in the Tide’s fourth consecutive road win.
Obasohan becomes just the fourth Alabama men’s basketball player to earn the league’s POW award since 2013, joining Trevor Releford (week of Dec. 19, 2013), Levi Randolph (week of Nov. 24, 2015) and Ricky Tarrant (week of Dec. 29, 2015).
WINNING CLOSE GAMES
Alabama has won five straight contests entering Monday’s game against Oregon, claiming each of the first four games in the streak by four points or less. In fact, the first four games of the Tide’s five-game winning streak have been by a total of nine points and the last three coming down to the game’s final possession. The only game in the streak that was not down to the wire was Alabama’s most recent victory against Winthrop (won, 72-60).
In the first four games of the current streak, the Tide defeated then-No. 20 Wichita State, 64-60, on Nov. 27, then-No. 17 Notre Dame, 74-73, on Nov. 29, Southern Miss, 58-55, on Dec. 4 and Clemson, 51-50, on Dec. 13.
For the year, the Crimson Tide is a perfect 4-0 in games decided by less than 10 points, which is something that has not come easy for Alabama teams in the past two years.
Coming into the 2015-16 campaign, Alabama owned a combined 13-22 (.371) record in games that were decided by less than 10 points over the last two years. Last season, the Tide went 8-10 in such contests, which was an improvement from going 5-12 in such games during the 2013-14 campaign.
ANOTHER ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN?
Retin Obasohan is trying to follow in the footsteps of former standout Levi Randolph when it comes to off the court awards. Randolph became the program’s first Academic All-American last year when he earned second team accolades and Obasohan is looking to make it two in two years for the Tide.
Obasohan, who speaks four languages – English, Dutch, French and Nigerian – and leads the Tide’s efforts in the community as a two-time SEC Community Service award honoree, is a nominee for the 2016 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Team. The award recognizes players at all levels of college basketball who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement while exhibiting “impeccable leadership qualities on and off the court.”
The redshirt senior guard earned his undergraduate degree in finance in May of 2015, graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.27. He currently boasts a 4.0 GPA after two semesters in grad school as he pursues his master’s degree in marketing.
Obasohan enters the Winthrop game leading the team in scoring (14.1 ppg), steals (11), minutes (29.2), field goals made (43) and attempted (99) and free throws made (25) and attempted (34).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Alabama’s has an RPI of No. 15 in the nation, while its strength of schedule currently sits at No. 60 in the nation, according to ESPN.com.
The Tide has played three top-25 teams and an additional two teams (Dayton and Oregon) who were receiving votes to be ranked at the time of the game.
According to KenPom.com, five of the Tide’s nine opponents have a top-70 RPI, including four ranked among the top-40 RPIs in the nation, going 2-2 in those contests.
While the game against Oregon is technically a home game for Alabama, it will be played in Birmingham, Ala., at Legacy Arena. Therefore, it will mark the seventh time in the Tide’s first 10 games it has played a contest away from the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum.
It is the first time since the 1978-79 season that an Alabama team has opened a year with seven of its first 10 games away from Coleman Coliseum. That season, the Tide opened the year with nine road games over its first 11 contests.
The Tide played a five-game road swing earlier in the season, winning four of those contests. Most recently, Alabama captured a 51-50 victory at Clemson on Dec. 13. With that victory, Alabama has won four straight non-conference games away from Tuscaloosa for the first time since winning four consecutive road non-league contests during the 2001-02 campaign.