Alabama begins road stretch at Georgia on Saturday night


Alabama’s James Bolden, left, looks for an opening on Kentucky’s Nick Richards (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan 11, 2020. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will begin a stretch of playing four of its next six games on the road when it travels to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday evening. The contest, which will be the only meeting between the two teams during the regular season, is set to tip off at 5 p.m. CT (6 p.m. ET) and will be televised on SEC Network.

It will mark the 148th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the seventh-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 95-52 lead in the series, with the 95 victories ranking fifth in program history. Alabama won the only contest the two teams played last season; however, the Bulldogs have won five of the last seven games in the series.

Saturday’s game will feature two of the top scoring duos in the SEC as Georgia’s Anthony Edwards (19.9 ppg) and Rayshaun Hammonds (12.4 ppg) combine to average 32.3 ppg which ranks second in the SEC, just ahead of Alabama’s Kira Lewis Jr. (16.5 ppg) and John Petty Jr. (15.0 ppg) 31.5 ppg average.

The Broadcast

  • Saturday’s game will be televised on SEC Network with Pat Sunderland (play-by-play) and Pat Bradley (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.

Notes You Need To Know

  • During SEC play, five UA players are averaging 10.7 points per game or better, helping the Tide to an average of 80.6 ppg, which leads the league. Alabama also tops the conference in threes made per game (9.6) while ranking fourth in three-point percentage (32.2 percent) in conference action.
  • While Alabama’s play on the offensive end has remained consistent throughout the season, the biggest improvement has come on the defensive end of the floor. During league play, the Tide enters the contest at Georgia tied for third in three-point field goal percentage defense (27.7 percent), is fourth in field goal percentage defense (39.3 percent) and leads the conference in defensive rebounds per game (29.6).
  • Entering the Georgia game, Alabama has a record of 1-5 in games decided by six points or less this season which includes each of the last two contests (69-68 vs. Tennessee and 82-78 vs. Arkansas) and three SEC games in all (at Florida 104-98 in double overtime). Additionally, UA dropped a one-point decision vs. Penn (81-80) in the season opener and a two-point loss at Penn State (73-71). In three of those five defeats, the Tide played without its best defender Herbert Jones. In all, those five losses have been by a combined 14 points.
  • Alabama enters the contest having played the toughest schedule in the SEC, according to the latest NET Rankings that were released on Feb. 7. The Crimson Tide boasts the No. 18 overall strength of schedule which tops the conference, while the No. 36 non-conference SOS is second in the SEC only to Florida (No. 32).
  • UA is tied for second in the nation in fewest games played against teams ranked above 200 in the NET, which also includes three additional SEC teams (Arkansas, Florida and Mississippi State). West Virginia leads the nation and has played only one game versus a team with a 200-plus NET ranking
  • Through its nine SEC contests, Alabama leads the league in scoring offense (80.6), threes made per game (9.4) and defensive rebounds (29.6). Additionally, the Crimson Tide ranks among the top five teams in league play in rebounding offense (2nd – 40.9), three field goal percentage defense (t3rd – .277), three-point field goal percentage (.322), blocked shots (4th – 4.9), assists (4th – 13.0), scoring margin (+3.9), field goal percentage defense (4th – .393) and offensive rebounding (5th – 11.3).
  • The Tide enters Saturday night’s contest leading the SEC and ranking No. 8 in the nation in scoring offense at 81.6 points per game. Additionally, UA is No. 7 in three-point field goals made per game at 10.3 (as of 2/7) to lead the league in both categories. UA also leads the SEC in threes made (226), threes attempted (647) and three-point field goal percentage (.349).
  • It was announced prior to the Arkansas game (Feb. 1) that junior Herbert Jones fractured his left wrist and is out indefinitely. When factoring in graduate senior Beetle Bolden’s four games missed and ACL injuries prior to the season to forwards James Rojas and Juwan Gary, both of which were expected to play significant minutes this season, injuries have cost UA players a total of 51 games this season.
  • According to Ken Pomeroy’s “Luck” statistic, the Crimson Tide ranks 337th out of 353 D-I teams. The category takes into account “the deviation between a team’s actual winning percentage and what one would expect from its game-by-game efficiencies. Essentially, a team involved in a lot of close games should not win (or lose) all of them. Those that do will be viewed as lucky (or unlucky).”

About Georgia

  • Georgia is coming off a narrow 81-75 defeat at Florida last Wednesday night. The Bulldogs led for a majority of the game and by as many as 22 points early in the second half, however, the Gators rallied for an 81-75 victory. It was the second time in their past three games that the Bulldogs have squandered a 20-point second half lead (held a 20-point second half lead at Missouri before falling 72-69) to fall to 12-10 overall and 2-7 in SEC play.
  • Freshman sensation Anthony Edwards tops the Bulldogs at 19.9 points per game, which ranks second in the SEC. He also leads the team in minutes (31.5 mpg), steals (30), field goals made (148) and attempted (355), three-pointers made (55) and attempted (167) and free throws made (87) and attempted (118).
  • Junior Rayshaun Hammonds is the only other Georgia player to average double digits at 12.4 points per contest. Hammonds also tops the squad in rebounding (7.5 rpg) while ranking second in three-point shooting (24-of-75, 32.0 percent) and minutes (27.3). Freshman Savir Wheeler also contributes on the offensive end, leading the Bulldogs at 4.4 assists a game and ranking third in scoring at 8.0 ppg.
  • As a team, Georgia is averaging 75.7 points per game and outscoring the opposition by +1.9 points per contest (75.3-73.8) entering Saturday’s contest. The Bulldogs are shooting 44.9 percent from the floor as a team and 30.7 percent from beyond the arc. Georgia ranks second in the SEC in steals per game (7.7) and is fourth in the lead in scoring offense.
  • Tom Crean is in his second season at the helm of the Georgia program and owns a 23-31 (.426) record. Now in his 20th season as a head coach, Crean, whose coaching stints include stops at Marquette (1999-2008) and Indiana (2008-17), owns a career record of 379-262 (.591).

Alabama-Georgia – Series Notes

  • Saturday’s game will be the 148th meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the seventh-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 95-52 lead in the series, with the 95 victories ranking fifth in program history.
  • Twenty-one of the last 27 meetings have been decided by under 10 points, including 13 of the last 17 contests played between the two schools.
  • Alabama has won 14 of the last 24 meetings overall in the series, however, Georgia has claimed five of the last seven games played between the rivals.
  • In the only meeting between the two teams last season, Alabama defeated Georgia, 89-74, in Coleman Coliseum. A full recap from that contest can be found on page 11.
  • Alabama has a record of 33-32 when playing Georgia in Athens but has just one win in the last four trips to Stegeman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide dropped its last contest at Georgia when it fell 65-46 back on Jan. 6, 2018. It was the fewest points scored by UA at Stegeman dating back to Jan. 21, 2004 when Alabama captured a 45-42 win.
  • The series has seen 13 overtime games, with Alabama owning an 8-5 lead in such contests.
  • The series began during 1921-22 campaign.

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