Alabama at Vanderbilt
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: Memorial Gym, Nashville, Tennessee
Alabama has had a
little trouble with consistency as it tries to make a case for an NCAA Tournament bid while alternating wins and losses
throughout February. Coming off a win over South Carolina, the
Crimson Tide would like to change that trend with a victory at Vanderbilt on Saturday. To do that,
they'll need to knock off a Commodores squad that won at Tuscaloosa in the teams' first meeting this season on Valentine's Day.
Kevin Stallings' Vanderbilt squad has won five of seven, thanks in part to an
offense that has scored at least 70 in four of the team's last five
outings -- hitting 84 percent from the field in the
second half of Thursday's win over Tennessee. Damian Jones (14.8 points per game)
and Riley LaChance (12.4) are the only two double-figure scorers for
the Commodores, though Luke Kornet comes off a 21-point outing
against the Volunteers. The Crimson Tide counters with guard Levi
Randolph, who leads the team in scoring (14.8), assists (2.4),
steals (1.4) and minutes (35.1) per game.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FSN, ESPN3
ABOUT ALABAMA (17-11, 7-8 SEC):
The maturation of freshman Riley Norris has been a bright spot for
the Crimson Tide as the 6-7 swingman has shown flashes of
his ability while continuing to gain confidence with more playing time. He had a career-high
14 points in an overtime loss to Georgia last weekend, and he was a
front line anchor against South Carolina while all the other Tide big men
dealt with injuries or foul trouble. "It's no cliché that freshmen
become sophomores at some point during the year,” Alabama coach
Anthony Grant told al.com. “I think he's matured to that point
where he understands what we need out of him and what it takes to try
ABOUT VANDERBILT (16-12, 6-9):
Following the big win on Thursday, Stallings spent much of Friday apologizing for his profane comments
to one of his players that were caught on national TV after the
contest. Guard Wade Baldwin IV was clapping at Tennessee's Armani Moore in
the postgame handshake line and Stallings lashed out him with an expletive-filled tirade that he regretted on Friday, but the veteran coach was not suspended by the university. “What didn't I do
wrong? I probably did about everything wrong you can do,” Stallings told reporters. “I used the wrong language, used the wrong words, wrong time.
I haven't found anything right about it yet.”
1. Alabama has announced that
starting G Ricky Tarrant, who is the team's second-leading scorer (13.1), will miss the rest of the season with a
ruptured plantar fascia that he suffered Jan. 27 against Florida.
2. The Tide will also likely be
without F Michael Kessens and F Shannon Hale, who were both hurt
against South Carolina on Tuesday.
3. Vanderbilt has won 11 of the
last 12 meetings between the two schools in Nashville, though Alabama was victorious in the last such meeting in February of 2013.
PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 69,
Stats and Records