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Men's College Basketball
Preview
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.

Coach 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 to win.”

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.”

TIP-INS

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, Alabama 66





Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Alabama 17-11 W1 13-4 3-6 1-1 3-2 14-9 7-8
Vanderbilt 16-12 W2 12-4 3-7 1-1 5-5 11-7 6-9
Last Meeting
Alabama Vanderbilt
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/14/15 VAN 76 ALA 68 68 36 39.7 76 28 47.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Alabama L. Randolph 15 50.0 3
Vanderbilt D. Jones 20 63.6 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Alabama R. Norris 8 0 8
Vanderbilt D. Jones 7 1 6
Assists Player  
Alabama R. Cooper 2
Vanderbilt W. Baldwin IV 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Alabama L. Randolph 415 49.0 105
Vanderbilt D. Jones 414 55.6 113
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Alabama M. Kessens 147 45 102
Vanderbilt D. Jones 181 60 121
Assists Player  
Alabama L. Randolph 67
Vanderbilt W. Baldwin IV 122
Quickchart Matchup
Alabama Off vs  Vanderbilt Defense
66.8 Points For
63.4 Points Against
43.8 FG%
40.8 FG%
30.4 Reb
29.3 Reb
Vanderbilt Off vs  Alabama Defense
68.9 Points For
63.6 Points Against
46.6 FG%
41.5 FG%
29.3 Reb
30.1 Reb