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North Alabama win streak ended by Jacksonville, 67-63

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (February 10, 2024) – A five-game winning streak came to an end for the University of North Alabama men’s basketball team at Jacksonville on Saturday, as the Dolphins pulled out a tight 67-63 victory over the Lions in Swisher Gymnasium.

 

Saturday’s task was not an easy one for the Lions, as Jacksonville entered with a 9-1 record at home despite being near the bottom of the Atlantic Sun Conference standings. The Lions, who had won five straight entering Saturday with two of those five on the road, were unable to overcome a late surge in the final 10 minutes of play.

 

With the loss, UNA drops to 6-5 in ASUN play, while Jacksonville moves back into the mix with a 4-7 record. With five games remaining, both teams remain in play for a spot in the 2024 ASUN Championship Tournament.

 

Tied at the half, North Alabama came out the aggressors, shooting 4-4 behind the arc to open the second frame. This gave UNA a 45-35 lead at the first media timeout, but Jacksonville went on a run of its own thanks to good defense and rebounding to tie the game back at 47-47. The Dolphins got ahead after that and maintained a one or two possession lead the rest of the way to end UNA’s win streak.

 

In the last three road games, UNA has played Kennesaw State, North Florida and Jacksonville. Those three teams combined for a 27-3 record before playing UNA, including a combined 20-game win streak. The Lions were able to win two of the three, ending an 11-game streak for KSU and a seven-game streak for North Florida. 

 

Senior KJ Johnson led the way with 18 points, including a 12-16 showing at the line. Sophomore Jacari Lane, junior Will Soucie and graduate Tim Smith Jr. each had nine points, while junior Dallas Howell added eight. Senior Eoin Nelson came off the bench and added six points over six minutes.

 

Jacksonville was led by Bryce Workman and Stephon Payne III with a pair of double-doubles, while Robert McCray matched Johnson with a game-high 18 points.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

 

First Half: For the first time all season, UNA ended the first half in a tie. Both teams shot between 35-40 percent with 11 field goals en route to a 31-31 tie at the break. The Lions led for most of the first half with nearly 12 minutes ahead, but Jacksonville surged back late to take a 26-23 lead with 5:43 to go. At this point, UNA went on a 6-0 run with two layups from Johnson. Howell ended the half with a basket to tie the game.

 

Second Half: The Lions opened on fire in the second half with four straight threes, taking their first double-digit lead of the game. Soucie hit three of the four triples in this run, making it 45-35. Jacksonville came back with a 12-2 run to tie it at 47-47, then Gyasi Powell drained the go-ahead three with 9:43 to go to take the lead. UNA stayed within six the rest of the way despite running into foul trouble with Soucie, Smith Jr. and Damian Forrest, pulling within two at the final minute, but Jacksonville retained the lead with timely plays.

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

 

•     UNA shot 19-51 for 37.3 percent, while going 7-19 for 36.8 percent behind the arc.

 

•     Jacksonville went 22-61 for 36.1 percent, while going just 3-21 from downtown for 14.3 percent.

 

•     Though UNA made up a lot of difference on three-point shooting, Jacksonville won the boards with a 45-26 advantage and had 21 second-chance points. UNA had 11.

 

•     There were seven lead changes and eight ties on Saturday.

 

COMING UP NEXT

 

UNA returns home to CB&S Bank Arena next week with games against Lipscomb on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. and Austin Peay on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Saturday’s game is senior night, as the Lions will honor Johnson, Nelson, Forrest and Smith Jr.

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

 

No. 16/16 Alabama Gets Back to Winning Ways with 109-92 Victory at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 16/16 Alabama men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways Saturday afternoon at LSU, defeating the Tigers 109-92 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. With the win, the Crimson Tide (17-7, 9-2 SEC) completes a season sweep of the Tigers, scoring a combined 218 points in the two victories (won 109-88 on Jan. 27).

 

Saturday’s contest featured 17 lead changes and six ties, with 15 lead changes and all six ties coming in the opening 20 minutes. LSU (12-11, 4-6 SEC) trailed by double digits early in the second half but clawed its way back to take a 73-72 lead at the 9:32 mark. Alabama responded by going on a 26-9 run over the next 5:29 to take control of the game at 98-82. The Tide would go on to score 60 points after intermission to take the 17-point win.

 

Five Tide players reached double digits led by Mark Sears, who finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Latrell Wrightsell Jr., who added 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Nick Pringle (17), Rylan Griffin (16) and Aaron Estrada (15) also reached double figures.

 

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

This was a big road win and that we needed to get it if we are trying to stay in the hunt and win the league. LSU came ready to go and we had no answer for (Will) Baker in the first half. Then they made their run to take the lead in the second half and we were able to open up a barrage of three’s. We were only able to force 12 turnovers, but we scored on most of them. I thought the job that Nick Pringle did in the second half was really good on Baker. We ended up outrebounding them by 12, which we knew we needed to do playing a small lineup. Latrell (Wrightsell Jr.) had a double-double for the first time this year and he played great. He shot six-of-nine from three and we keep trying to tell him he can't turn down open threes because he shoots it way too well to turn them down. I still think he might’ve turned some open ones down tonight, but he was great, with 10 rebounds. I thought Sears played a great game, he ended up with five assists on only two turnovers, Rylan had six assists and zero turnovers, Latrell had four assists and zero turnovers and Estrada seven assists and one turnover and when you add that up its 22 assists to only three turnovers. That is pretty impressive from those four guards that started. We've been on these guys about rebounding, turnovers and defensive intensity. We’ve got to get our front court a little bit better, I thought our backcourt was pretty good on everything we've been on them about. It’s big to get a win, we haven't played great on the road, and they have played great at home. So, to kind of blow this thing open at the end was big on number fronts.”

 

TEAM STATS

  • It is the seventh 100-point game for the Crimson Tide this season, which is a school record and the second-most in the Southeastern Conference in the last 30 years
  • Alabama’s 218 points scored against LSU this season is the most in any two-game stretch against the Tigers in series history. UA also made a combined 33 three-pointers in 78 total attempts (42.3 percent).
  • The Tide forced 12 turnovers while only committing eight, however, had a big +17 advantage (23-6) lead in points off turnovers
  • The 18 made three-pointers (18-40) were the second-most made in a game by UA this season (had 19 vs. Purdue and Eastern Kentucky)
  • Alabama took a season-high 81 shots, marking the second time in the last three contests that the Tide has had 80-or-more shots (83 vs. Mississippi State)
  • Nick Pringle scored a season-high 17 points and five rebounds, four of which were on the offensive glass
  • Wrightsell drilled six three-pointers, matched a career-best, while his 21 points set a new season-high
  • Wrightsell also earned his first double-double of the year

 

 

FIRST HALF

  • Both offenses were exceptional to start the game, as LSU shot 80 percent (8-10) from the field by the first media timeout led by Will Baker’s nine points and led 18-17
  • The game had 10 lead changes and tied twice by the first media timeout
  • From the 5:21 mark until the 4:14 mark of the half Alabama went on a 7-0 run to take its first double-digit lead (47-37) of the game
  • Alabama scored two points in the final four minutes, going into halftime with a 49-46 lead
  • LSU’s Will Baker had 22 points
  • Mark Sears and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. led Alabama with 12 points each

 

SECOND HALF

  • Alabama went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to take a 62-51 lead
  • LSU went on a 14-3 run to tie the game and eventually take its first lead of the half (73-72) with nine and a half minutes left in the game
  • Alabama led 76-75 and would go on a 12-2 run just under two minutes to take a double-digit lead with six and a half minutes left in the contest
  • The Tide’s run total of 26-9 turned a one-point deficit into a 16-point lead (98-72) with 4:03 remaining

 

UP NEXT

  • Alabama will have a bye date this week and will return to action next Saturday at home against Texas A&M
  • The game is slated for a 11 a.m. CT tipoff at Coleman Coliseum and will air live on ESPN or ESPN2

 

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

No. 12 Auburn falls 81-65 on the road at Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Chaney Johnson nearly recorded his first double-double but No. 12 Auburn fell behind early and trailed throughout, falling to Florida 81-65 Saturday at Exatech Arena, ending the Tigers’ three-game winning streak.

 

“Florida played great. They were ready to go,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They scored every time they touched it in the first half. There were a lot of things we talked about doing that we just did not get done. I think Florida is going to be one of the top five teams in our league. They were very physical.”

 

Johnson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored nine points on 3-for-4 shooting.

 

“Chaney is one of our best athletes,” Pearl said. “Florida was very athletic, bouncy and fresh. They were extremely prepared and ready. We had a really good game plan but we did not execute it.”

 

Johni Broome scored a team-high 14 points and added seven rebounds. K.D. Johnson scored 12 points and Denver Jones added 10. 

 

Florida, which had extra time to rest and prepare for Auburn after not playing since last Saturday, scored the game’s first nine points before Broome’s dunk accounted for Auburn’s first points.

 

“Our guys just were not as locked in nor as aggressive or physical,” Pearl said. “Florida was better than us tonight. Their guards were terrific. As a result, they got the win.”

 

The Gators used a 10-0 run to build a 17-point lead and led 42-26 at the half.

 

Auburn committed 15 turnovers while forcing only seven, leading to Florida’s 16-7 edge in points off turnovers. The Gators made 10 steals to Auburn’s one. Florida blocked six shots while Broome’s two blocks were Auburn’s only rejections.

 

Florida missed its last 14 shots as Auburn trimmed 13 points off a 29-point deficit to close the final margin to 16 points. 

 

Riley Kugel scored a game-high 22 points for Florida (16-7, 6-4). Fellow guards Walter Clayton Jr. and Zyon Pullin scored 20 and 19, respectively.

 

Auburn (19-5, 8-3) returns to Neville Arena Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT to host first-place South Carolina on SEC Network.

 

“We’ve got an opportunity,” Pearl said. “If we think Florida was physical, South Carolina is even more physical.”

 

FLORIDA POSTGAME NOTES

» Florida and Auburn have now split the last eight games in the series. The Gators lead, 52-29, in games played in Gainesville including 15-straight wins and victories in 20 of the last 21. AU still leads 91-83 in the all-time versus UF.

 

» Bruce Pearl is 12-13 against Florida during his coaching career including 4-8 at Auburn. Pearl is 3-9 lifetime on the road against the Gators including 0-6 at Auburn. He is now 1-1 against second-year Florida head coach Todd Golden, who served on Pearl’s staff at Auburn for two seasons – as the director of basketball operations for the 2014-15 season and as an assistant coach for the 2015-16 campaign.

 

» Auburn outscored Florida, 40-38, in the paint. The Tigers have outscored their opponent in the paint in 22-of-24 games this season and were even with St. Bonaventure in paint points in one of the other two games. Mississippi State is the only team to outscore Auburn in the paint this season, doing so 34-20, on Jan. 27.  

 

» AU also outscored Florida, 31-28, in bench points. The Tigers’ reserves have outscored its opponents’ bench in all but one game this season including the last 17 contests.

 

» Auburn shot 14-of-26 (53.8%) from the floor in the second half. It was the fourth time the Tigers have shot at least 50 percent for a half over the last four games.

 

» Auburn placed three players in double figures including 14 points from Johni Broome, 12 points from K.D. Johnson and 10 points from Denver Jones – all in the second half. Broome was 6-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-2 from long range. It was his 15th-straight game in double figures. He is 8-of-16 from 3-point range over the last seven games making a 3-pointer in all seven games. He added seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist on the afternoon. Broome has blocked a shot in 18 of the last 19 games including 15 multi-block games during that stretch. He has now recorded 135 blocked shots in his Auburn career surpassing former Tiger Pat Burke for 10th in program history.

 

» Johnson scored in double figures for the second time in three games and seventh time this season. It was Johnson’s 58th career game in double figures. He was 4-of-7 from the floor, including one 3-pointer, and grabbed three rebounds at Florida.

 

» Jones finished 3-of-6 from the floor, 1-of-2 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line against the Gators. He pulled down one rebound on the afternoon. It was his third game in double figures over the last four games and eighth of the season. It was also Jones’ 54th career game scoring in double figures.

 

» Chaney Johnson recorded SEC season highs with nine points and 10 rebounds at Florida. His previous highs in league play were eight points at Mississippi State and five rebounds against Ole Miss. It was his second game with double-digit rebounds on the season (11 boards vs. SE Louisiana).

 

» Jaylin Williams played in his 131st career game for the Tigers, tying him with Bryce Brown for second in program history and three games behind Frankie Sullivan’s school record 134 career games.

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Chaney Johnson nearly recorded his first double-double but No. 12 Auburn fell behind early and trailed throughout, falling to Florida 81-65 Saturday at Exatech Arena, ending the Tigers’ three-game winning streak.

 

“Florida played great. They were ready to go,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They scored every time they touched it in the first half. There were a lot of things we talked about doing that we just did not get done. I think Florida is going to be one of the top five teams in our league. They were very physical.”

 

Johnson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored nine points on 3-for-4 shooting.

 

“Chaney is one of our best athletes,” Pearl said. “Florida was very athletic, bouncy and fresh. They were extremely prepared and ready. We had a really good game plan but we did not execute it.”

 

Johni Broome scored a team-high 14 points and added seven rebounds. K.D. Johnson scored 12 points and Denver Jones added 10. 

 

Florida, which had extra time to rest and prepare for Auburn after not playing since last Saturday, scored the game’s first nine points before Broome’s dunk accounted for Auburn’s first points.

 

“Our guys just were not as locked in nor as aggressive or physical,” Pearl said. “Florida was better than us tonight. Their guards were terrific. As a result, they got the win.”

 

The Gators used a 10-0 run to build a 17-point lead and led 42-26 at the half.

 

Auburn committed 15 turnovers while forcing only seven, leading to Florida’s 16-7 edge in points off turnovers. The Gators made 10 steals to Auburn’s one. Florida blocked six shots while Broome’s two blocks were Auburn’s only rejections.

 

Florida missed its last 14 shots as Auburn trimmed 13 points off a 29-point deficit to close the final margin to 16 points. 

 

Riley Kugel scored a game-high 22 points for Florida (16-7, 6-4). Fellow guards Walter Clayton Jr. and Zyon Pullin scored 20 and 19, respectively.

 

Auburn (19-5, 8-3) returns to Neville Arena Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT to host first-place South Carolina on SEC Network.

 

“We’ve got an opportunity,” Pearl said. “If we think Florida was physical, South Carolina is even more physical.”

 

FLORIDA POSTGAME NOTES

» Florida and Auburn have now split the last eight games in the series. The Gators lead, 52-29, in games played in Gainesville including 15-straight wins and victories in 20 of the last 21. AU still leads 91-83 in the all-time versus UF.

 

» Bruce Pearl is 12-13 against Florida during his coaching career including 4-8 at Auburn. Pearl is 3-9 lifetime on the road against the Gators including 0-6 at Auburn. He is now 1-1 against second-year Florida head coach Todd Golden, who served on Pearl’s staff at Auburn for two seasons – as the director of basketball operations for the 2014-15 season and as an assistant coach for the 2015-16 campaign.

 

» Auburn outscored Florida, 40-38, in the paint. The Tigers have outscored their opponent in the paint in 22-of-24 games this season and were even with St. Bonaventure in paint points in one of the other two games. Mississippi State is the only team to outscore Auburn in the paint this season, doing so 34-20, on Jan. 27.  

 

» AU also outscored Florida, 31-28, in bench points. The Tigers’ reserves have outscored its opponents’ bench in all but one game this season including the last 17 contests.

 

» Auburn shot 14-of-26 (53.8%) from the floor in the second half. It was the fourth time the Tigers have shot at least 50 percent for a half over the last four games.

 

» Auburn placed three players in double figures including 14 points from Johni Broome, 12 points from K.D. Johnson and 10 points from Denver Jones – all in the second half. Broome was 6-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-2 from long range. It was his 15th-straight game in double figures. He is 8-of-16 from 3-point range over the last seven games making a 3-pointer in all seven games. He added seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist on the afternoon. Broome has blocked a shot in 18 of the last 19 games including 15 multi-block games during that stretch. He has now recorded 135 blocked shots in his Auburn career surpassing former Tiger Pat Burke for 10th in program history.

 

» Johnson scored in double figures for the second time in three games and seventh time this season. It was Johnson’s 58th career game in double figures. He was 4-of-7 from the floor, including one 3-pointer, and grabbed three rebounds at Florida.

 

» Jones finished 3-of-6 from the floor, 1-of-2 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line against the Gators. He pulled down one rebound on the afternoon. It was his third game in double figures over the last four games and eighth of the season. It was also Jones’ 54th career game scoring in double figures.

 

» Chaney Johnson recorded SEC season highs with nine points and 10 rebounds at Florida. His previous highs in league play were eight points at Mississippi State and five rebounds against Ole Miss. It was his second game with double-digit rebounds on the season (11 boards vs. SE Louisiana).

 

» Jaylin Williams played in his 131st career game for the Tigers, tying him with Bryce Brown for second in program history and three games behind Frankie Sullivan’s school record 134 career games.

 

 

North Alabama Basketball looks to stay hot at Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (February 9, 2024) – Fresh off an 79-74 road win last night at North Florida, the University of North Alabama men’s basketball team will look to leave Duval County with two wins as the Lions take on Jacksonville University on Saturday.

 

The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and will tip off at 2 p.m. for fans watching in the Shoals. Fans are also encouraged to tune into WLX Radio on 98.3 or 103.5 FM for the local broadcast featuring “Voice of the Lions” Benjamin Ray. The “Countdown to Tipoff” show begins at 1:40 p.m. Live stats are also available.

 

The Lions remain the hottest team in the Atlantic Sun Conference with five straight wins, overcoming a 1-4 start to league play to now sit in a tie for third at 6-4. A win tomorrow would give UNA its first six-game win streak since 2021.

 

Meanwhile, Jacksonville enters with a 3-7 record in conference play. The Dolphins are a much tougher team inside Swisher Gymnasium, owning a 3-1 record at home during ASUN play.

 

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Game: North Alabama at Jacksonville

Date: Saturday, February 10

Time: 2:00 p.m. CT

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Venue: Swisher Gymnasium

Capacity: 1,360

Watch: ESPN+

Radio: WLX 98.3 / 103.5 FM — “Voice of the Lions” Benjamin Ray

Live Stats: SIDEARM Stats

Tickets: Click here

UNA Game Notes: Click here

Social Media: @UNA_Basketball

 

NOTES

 

LAST TIME OUT: North Alabama won its fifth-straight game on Thursday, taking down North Florida by a 79-74 final in Jacksonville. Despite there being no lead changes, North Florida worked back from a double-digit deficit to tie it up at 74-74 with 46 seconds remaining. Senior KJ Johnson converted an and-one layup for the go-ahead points and later iced the game with two free throws. This marked UNF’s first home loss since December 2, snapping a seven-game home winning streak.

 

SCOUTING THE LIONS: UNA enters with an even 12-12 record and a 6-4 record in league play, tied with UNF and Lipscomb for third in the ASUN. The Lions average 77.4 points per game this season, but are averaging 81.6 PPG over the last five games. The Lions have five players averaging double figures over the last five games, including Johnson with 18.0 PPG and sophomore guard Jacari Lane at 15.4 PPG. Both guards are above 14.0 PPG for the season.

 

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Jacksonville enters with a matching 12-12 overall record, joining UNA as the only two .500 teams in the ASUN. Things have not gone as well for the Dolphins in league play, as they sit in 11th place with a 3-7 record — including an 0-6 league record on the road. Jacksonville does have some momentum heading into Saturday following a 59-55 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday. Robert McCray leads the squad with 17.0 PPG to rank fifth in the ASUN, including 19.8 PPG over his last five.

 

SERIES HISTORY: UNA leads the all-time series with a 6-2 record, including an 80-62 win last season at CB&S Bank Arena. The last four meetings have taken place in Florence, meaning this year’s trip to Swisher Gym is the first game at Jacksonville since 2020 before COVID. UNA has won three of the last four games.

 

RIGHT ON AVERAGE: UNA entered the week averaging 78.9 points in ASUN play this season. The Lions essentially met this average in Thursday’s win over North Florida, scoring 79 points in the five-point road victory.

 

SHOOTING STARS: The Lions are 6-1 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, including last night’s win where the Lions shot 28-56 for exactly 50 percent. On the flipside, UNA is 1-6 when shooting under 40 percent in games this season.

 

SOUCIE COOKS: Fourth year guard Will Soucie scored 15 points against FGCU last Saturday before drawing his fourth foul midway through the second half, but followed that performance with a season-high 20 points against North Florida on Thursday. This marks the second career game for Soucie where he scored 20 or more points, as his career-high remains 23 against Central Arkansas in 2022.

 

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: In the first four games of the five-game win streak, UNA experienced a combined 40 lead changes before coming out on top. Against North Florida, the Lions never lost the lead, but did fight off a tie in the final minute.

 

HELPER, HELPER: Sophomore Jacari Lane enters this week with 100 assists on the season. He needs just eight more to tie his own Division I era record for single-season assists which he set at 108 as a freshman over 33 games. His 100 total this season has come in just 24 games.

 

CAREER GUYS: Four-year players Will Soucie and Detalian Brown became just the second and third players in UNA Division I history to appear in over 100 games, joining Jamari Blackmon who played in 113 games from 2018-22. Dallas Howell is not far behind the pair at 87 games, tying Aleksa Matic (2019-22) for the fourth-most Division I appearances at UNA.

 

FOUR OVER A THOUSAND: The Lions have four players on the active roster who have scored 1,000 career points — Johnson, Smith Jr., Forrest and junior transfer Marco Foster. Johnson accomplished the feat last season, while Smith Jr. did so against Jacksonville State this season. Foster and Forrest hit the marks against Rust College and Morehead State, respectively.

 

ELITE COMPANY: UNA is one of nine known schools in Division I basketball with at least four 1,000 point scorers when factoring in players who scored some of their totals at the JUCO level. The list is led by St. John’s (NY) with six, followed by TCU and Missouri with five. North Alabama is joined by Tennessee, Villanova, St. Bonaventure, Memphis and New Mexico with four.

 

ON THE HORIZON: The Lions return home next week for its final regular season home games, starting with a visit from Lipscomb on Thursday, Feb. 15 and Austin Peay on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Saturday game will serve as UNA’s senior day, as the Lions will honor Johnson, Forrest, Smith Jr. and Eoin Nelson.

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

No. 16/16 Alabama Wraps Up Road Trip at LSU

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 16/16 Alabama men’s basketball team will wrap up this week’s Southeastern Conference road trip Saturday at LSU. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. CT at the Pete Maravich Center.

The matchup features three of the top-15 scorers during SEC play in Alabama’s Mark Sears (No. 3, 21.7 ppg) along with LSU’s Jordan Wright (No. 14, 16.1 ppg) and Jalen Cook (No. 15, 16.0 ppg). The Crimson Tide comes into the contest in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC with Auburn and South Carolina at 8-2.

The Crimson Tide will be looking for the season sweep of the Tigers, as Alabama posted a 109-88 home victory over LSU just two weeks ago (Jan. 27). 

The Broadcast

Saturday’s game is set for an 11 a.m. CT tipoff and will be aired on ESPN with Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Carolyn Peck (analyst) on the call.

The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call, while Tom Stipe (engineer) is turning the dials. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

Notes You Need To Know

About LSU

  • LSU’s four wins during SEC play surpasses last year’s win total (2)
  • During SEC play, LSU is 3-1 at home, with one win over an AP Top-25 opponent (No. 22 Ole Miss)
  • LSU has two players ranked in the top 15 in scoring during SEC play in Jordan Wright (No. 14, 16.1 ppg) and Jalen Cook (No. 15, 16.0 ppg)
  • LSU has three players averaging double figures during conference play in Wright, Cook and Will Baker (11.0 ppg)
  • During LSU’s last four contests, Wright is averaging 17.3 points per game
  • Wright’s 1.9 steals per game ranks No. 4 in the SEC and No. 69 in Division I
  • The Tigers will be playing its fifth-ranked team (1-4) in the AP Poll this season
  • In its last six contests, LSU has made 60 three-pointers led by Mike Williams III’s 13 threes made and 41.9 percent three-point percentage

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

 

No. 24/22 Alabama Faces Georgia Wednesday Night in SEC Road Test

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 24/22 Alabama men’s basketball team enters this week atop the Southeastern Conference standings and face a tough road test, Wednesday night at Georgia. The two squads will tipoff at 5:30 p.m. CT Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

Alabama’s Mark Sears was named the SEC Player of the Week, coming off a week where he averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in Alabama’s two wins over No. 8 Auburn and against LSU. The Crimson Tide’s offense continues to set program records, setting a new mark with six 100-point games this season and averaging 89.7 points per game, which ranks No. 1 in the country.

The Broadcast

Wednesday’s game is set for a 5:30 p.m. CT tipoff and will be aired on the SEC Network with Eric Frede (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) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call, while Tom Stipe (engineer) is turning the dials. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

Notes You Need To Know

  • Alabama is ranked in the AP Top-25 (No. 24) and USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 22) for the first time since Nov. 27
  • Alabama has scored 100 points in eight SEC games during the tenure of Nate Oats. The rest of the SEC has 10 100-point games during that span.
  • Mark Sears was named SEC Player of the Week for the second time this season and is the second SEC player (Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht) to earn the honor multiple times on the year
  • Sears is one of four players in Division I and the only Power 5 player that has 395 points, 75 assists, 75 rebounds and 45 three-pointers this season
  • Sears ranks No. 1 in the SEC in scoring (20.0 ppg), No. 5 in field goal percentage (52.0) and No. 7 in assists (3.9 apg) 
  • Sears (21.1 ppg) is one of four SEC players (Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, 28.0 ppg, Texas A&M’s Wade Taylor IV, 24.4 ppg and Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves, 20.3 ppg) that is averaging over 20 points per game during conference play
  • The Crimson Tide owns the No. 1-ranked offense, according to KenPom and the No. 1 scoring offense in the country (89.7 ppg)
  • The Tide (No. 7) is one of the three SEC teams currently ranked in the top-10 in the NET Rankings
  • Alabama has scored 1,793 points this season, the most any UA team has scored in the first 20 games of the season, surpassing last year’s team (1,663 points)
  • Alabama is one of three schools (Purdue and Wright State) in the country that has two players on its current roster that has scored at least 1,700 points throughout their career in Sears (1,753 points) and Estrada (1,732 points)

About Georgia

  • Georgia is currently 14-6 overall and 4-3 in SEC play – two victories shy of matching the Bulldogs’ overall and SEC win totals from a year ago with 11 regular-season outings remaining
  • Georgia is 11-1 in games at Stegeman Coliseum this season. During Georgia’s 10-game winning streak at home this season, which was snapped by Tennessee, UGA matched the seventh-longest home winning-streak ever and their fifth-longest since moving into the Coliseum in 1964.
  • Georgia ranks No. 20 nationally in bench points at 31.4 ppg. The Bulldogs’ reserves have won the bench point battle in 18 of 20 games to date and currently sport a scoring margin of +292 (+14.6 ppg).
  • Georgia is one of three teams with a higher scoring offense in SEC games over non-conference play. Three Bulldogs have upped their production significantly in league outings – Silas Demary Jr. from 8.5-13.8 ppg (+5.3), Justin Hill from 8.5-10.3 ppg (+1.8) and Jabri Abdur-Rahim from 13.2-14.8 ppg (+1.6).
  • After compiling an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.93 in the first eight games, Georgia’s effort has improved considerably to 1.20 in the last 11 outings.
  • The Bulldogs are converting 17.8 free throws per game this season, which ranks No. 13 in Division I

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

Johnson tabbed ASUN Player of the Week

ATLANTA (January 29, 2024) – For the first time in his five-year career, University of North Alabama senior guard KJ Johnson was tabbed the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.

 

In two pivotal wins over defending ASUN champion Kennesaw State and Queens, Johnson scored 51 points for an average of 25.5 points per game. He shot 48.1 percent from the field for 48.1 percent, while going 3-4 behind the arc and a whopping 22-24 from the free throw line. The free throws proved impactful as he iced both wins by a 90-84 final.

 

Another impressive stat, Johnson accomplished all of this scoring over 25.9 minutes per contest, which nearly equates to one point per minute.

 

Johnson won a pair of ASUN Newcomer of the Week awards in 2019-20 while at Lipscomb, but now celebrates his first Player of the Week honor at North Alabama. Johnson was also an all-freshman team selection in 2019-20.

 

The senior from Lewisburg, Tenn. Is the active career leader in ASUN scoring with 1,504 points. This is also tied with College of Charleston’s Marion Busby (1991-95) for 45th in career points in league history.

 

For the season, Johnson averages 14.6 PPG while averaging 17.6 PPG in seven conference play.

 

This marks the second ASUN Player of the Week for UNA this season, as sophomore guard Jacari Lane earned the honors back in December for his performances at Kansas State and against Tennessee Tech.

 

The Lions are back at home on Thursday, Feb. 1 for a quality matchup against Stetson. Opening tip is set for 7:45 p.m. inside CB&S Bank Arena.

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

 

Alabama's Mark Sears Named SEC Player of the Week

Mark Sears Named SEC Player of the Week

The senior from Muscle Shoals, Ala. earns his second SEC Player of the Week honor this season

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the second time this season, Alabama men's basketball guard Mark Sears has been named the SEC Player of the Week, the Southeastern Conference announced Monday. The honor comes after Sears averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the Crimson Tide’s wins over No. 8 Auburn and LSU. 

Mark Sears Notes

  • Recorded his 10th and 11th 20-point games of the season
  • Mark Sears is one of two SEC players (Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht) that has earned SEC Player of the Week multiple times this season
  • Ranks No. 28th in the country in points per game (20.0 ppg) and tied for first in the SEC
  • One of four players in Division I and the only Power 5 player with 395 points, 75 rebounds, 75 assists and 45 three-pointers
  • Ranks No. 5 in the SEC in field goal percentage (52.0) and No. 7 in assists (3.9)

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

Auburn. Travels to Tuscaloosa for Mid Week Rivalry Contest

GAME 19

#8/6 Auburn Tigers (16-2, 5-0 SEC) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-6, 4-1 SEC)

Jan. 24, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (CT)

Coleman Coliseum (13,474) | Tuscaloosa, Ala.

 

Television: ESPN

Play-By-Play: Karl Ravech

Color Analyst: Jay Williams

 

Radio: Auburn Sports Network

Play-By-Play: Andy Burcham

Color Analyst: Randall Dickey

 

» It’s rivalry week as No. 8-ranked Auburn (16-2, 5-0 SEC) travels North to Alabama (12-6, 4-1 SEC) for a much-anticipated Wednesday showdown for state bragging rights in Tuscaloosa.

 

» Auburn has seven Quad 1 games remaining based on the NET rankings of its remaining opponents: at Alabama (No. 9 in NET), at Miss State (No. 40), at Ole Miss (No. 70), Alabama, at Florida (No. 45), Kentucky (No. 18) and at Tennessee (No. 4).

 

» Bruce Pearl is 12-12 against Alabama during his head coaching career including 2-6 on the road in Tuscaloosa, while at Auburn.

 

» Since the 2017-18 season, Auburn and Alabama have combined to win seven SEC regular-season and tournament championships. The Tigers claimed regular-season titles in 2018 and 2022 and a tournament title in 2019, while Alabama claimed regular-season and tournament titles in 2021 and 2023.

 

» The Tigers currently boast the nation’s fourth-longest win streak (11), while Alabama Alabama has won 11-straight SEC home games at Coleman Coliseum.

 

SCOUTING ALABAMA

» Alabama head coach Nate Oats is 5-3 versus the Tigers (all with the Crimson Tide) including last year’s regular-season series sweep.

 

» The Crimson Tide is receiving votes in this week’s AP Poll (No. 29) and Coaches Poll (No. 26).

 

» Alabama currently ranks No. 4 in the country in scoring offense averaging 89.2 points per game. It is also No. 5 nationally averaging 11.3 3-pointers per game and No. 17 with a 38.9 3-point field-goal percentage accuracy.

 

SERIES HISTORY

» Wednesday night’s game is the 167th all-time meeting between Auburn and Alabama with the Crimson Tide holding a 101-65 series lead.

 

» Alabama leads 52-10 in games played in Tuscaloosa including 45-9 at Coleman Coliseum.

 

» Six of the last eight games in the series have been decided by eight points or less.

 

LAST SIX GAMES IN THE SERIES

Jan. 9, 2021              H         L, 90-94

March 2, 2021          A         L, 58-70

Jan. 11, 2022            A         W, 81-77

Feb. 1, 2022              H         W, 100-81

Feb. 11, 2023           H         L, 69-77

March 1, 2023          A         L, 85-90 (OT)

 

BACK IN THE TOP 10

» Auburn climbed five spots to No. 8 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll – the Tigers’ highest ranking since finishing the 2021-22 season No. 8. They are also ranked No. 6 along with Kentucky in this week’s ESPN Coaches Top 25 Poll.

 

» Auburn has now been ranked in the Top 10 in five of the last seven seasons under Coach Pearl.

 

» The Tigers are among the blue bloods of college basketball with the sixth-most Top 10 appearances in that impressive seven-year span behind Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Kentucky (7-of-7). Michigan State boasts the fifth most (6-of-7).

 

Team                          Seasons

Duke                           7

Gonzaga                    7

Kansas                       7

Kentucky                    7

Michigan State          6

Auburn                      5

Baylor                         5

Houston                     5

Michigan                    5

North Carolina          5

Tennessee                5

Villanova                    5

Virginia                       5

 

5-0 SEC START

» Auburn has started SEC play 5-0 with all five victories coming by at least 11 points. It marks the fifth time in program history the Tigers have won their first five SEC games including the second time in the last three seasons after opening league play 10-0 in 2022.

 

» This is also the first time in program history the Tigers have won their first five SEC games by double digits.

 

» The Tigers are currently one of just two power conference teams (Power 5 and BIG EAST) that remains undefeated in conference play. They are the only power conference team that has won all of their conference games by double digits.

 

5-0 STARTS IN SEC PLAY

Year                Start

1959               12-0

2022               10-0

2024               5-0

1999               5-0

 

Power Conference Teams Undefeated in Conference Play

Team                          Conference              Conference Record

Auburn                      SEC                            4-0

Alabama                    SEC                            4-0

North Carolina          ACC                            6-0

Oregon                       Pac-12                       5-0

 

PLAYER TO WATCH: JAYLIN WILLIAMS

» Graduate senior forward Jaylin Williams continues to play some of his basketball of his career. He led Auburn to another 2-0 week with victories on the road at Vanderbilt (W, 80-65) on Jan. 17 and at home against No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (W, 82-59) on Jan. 20. The Tigers are the lone undefeated team atop of the league standings.

 

» Williams had another perfect night from the field (7-for-7), 3-point arc (2-for-2) and free throw line (5-for-5) against the Commodores pouring in a game-high 21 points. It marked his ninth 20-point career outing. He followed that performance up with game-high tying 13 points on 71.4% shooting from the floor versus the Rebels.

 

» Williams has five 20-point games during Auburn’s 11-game winning streak during which he is averaging 15.5 points on 70.0 percent shooting from the floor, 53.6 from 3-point range and 83.3 from the free-throw line. His five 20-point games in his last 11 contests are one more than he had in 114 career games prior to the last 11 games.

 

» In SEC play, Williams is averaging a team-best 15.2 points and 5.4 rebounds and is leading the league shooting 77.1 percent from the floor. He is also shooting 88.2 percent from the free-throw line in conference play.

 

» With 1,108 career points to date he is 88 away from moving into the Top 25 of Auburn’s career scoring list. J-Will is also one game away from moving into the Top 10 for career games played (125).

 

Alabama Renews Auburn Rivalry Wednesday Night at Coleman Coliseum

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Two of the top Southeastern Conference teams will face off Wednesday night at Coleman Coliseum, as Alabama men’s basketball hosts No. 8/6 Auburn. The Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the country as they are currently riding an 11-game winning streak, the third-longest winning streak in Division I.  

This will be the fifth opponent and second consecutive game that Alabama has faced inside the AP Top-25 this season. Wednesday’s night matchup features of two of three SEC teams that are ranked in the top-10 in the NET Rankings, with Auburn at No. 6 and Alabama slotted at No. 8.

The Broadcast

Wednesday’s game is set for a 6:30 p.m. CT tipoff and will be aired on ESPN with Karl Ravech (play-by-play) and Jay Williams (analyst) on the call.

The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call, while Tom Stipe (engineer) is turning the dials. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

Notes You Need To Know

  • Head coach Nate Oats is 15-20 against AP Top-25 opponents while at Alabama and 5-9 against Top-10 opponents
  • In the last three seasons Alabama (2023, 2021) and Auburn (2022) has claimed all three SEC regular season championships
  • Since 2017, the Alabama-Auburn matchup has featured nine first round picks
  • In the Alabama-Auburn matchup, no team has won three consecutive matchups since 2015 (Alabama won three)
  • Alabama has won 11 straight SEC home games at Coleman Coliseum, the longest winning streak since 2012
  • Alabama has scored 1,605 points this season (89.2 ppg), the most any UA team has scored in the first 18 games of the season, surpassing last year’s team (1,512 points)
  • Alabama has the No. 2 scoring offense in the SEC while Auburn has the No. 2 scoring defense in the conference (65.3 ppg)
  • The Crimson Tide owns the No. 1-ranked offense, according to KenPom
  • The Tide (No. 8) is one of the three SEC teams currently ranked in the top-10 in the NET Rankings
  • Mark Sears is one of four players in Division I and the only Power 5 player that has 355 points, 40 three-pointers, 65 assists and 65 rebounds this season
  • Sears ranks No. 1 in the SEC in scoring (19.8 ppg), No. 4 in field goal percentage (53.3), and No. 11 in assists (3.6 apg)
  • Alabama is one of three schools (Purdue and Wright State) in the country that has two players on its current roster that has scored at least 1,700 points throughout their career in Aaron Estrada (1,714 points) and Sears (1,710 points)

About Auburn

  • Auburn is the lone remaining undefeated team in the SEC (5-0) and is off to its best start in league play since 1999
  • Auburn is 16-2 this season, marking the fourth time in the last seven seasons the Tigers have started 16-2 or better
  • During Auburn’s 11-game winning streak, AU has won every game by at least 11 points and boast a +21.8 scoring margin
  • Auburn is scoring 37.7 bench points per game, which ranks No. 3 in the country
  • The Tigers rank No. 7 in the country in assist/turnover ratio (1.8)
  • Aden Holloway ranks No. 11 in the country in assist/turnover ratio (3.7)
  • Three of the last four Alabama-Auburn matchups have been decided by single-digits
  • In Auburn’s five SEC wins, AU is winning by an average of 19.2 points
  • The Tigers’ defense is holding opponents to a 37.8 field goal percentage, which ranks No. 6 in the country

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

Huntsville City FC Appoints Matt Cairns as Director of Football Operations; Announces Coaching Staff Additions

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HUNTSVILLE CITY FOOTBALL CLUB APPOINTS MATT CAIRNS AS DIRECTOR OF SOCCER OPERATIONS; ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS

  • Cairns Replaces Liam Doyle following Nashville SC Promotion
  • Huntsville City FC Adds Christophe Berra, Zachary Herold and Fabio Hernandez to Coaching Staff

 

Huntsville, Ala. (Jan. 22, 2024) – Huntsville City Football Club announced today the appointment of Matt Cairns as the Club’s new Director of Soccer Operations. Cairns fills the position left by Liam Doyle, who joins parent club Nashville SC as Director of Soccer. Moreover, Huntsville City FC announced the addition of Christophe Berra, Zachary Herold and Fabio Hernandez to the club’s coaching staff.

 

“Matt has a tremendous amount of experience in the professional soccer landscape, both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Mike Jacobs, Nashville SC and Huntsville City FC General Manager. “He is somebody I’ve always admired and wanted to work with, and we are excited to add him to our club.”

 

Cairns joins Huntsville City FC after spending the last five years as the Director of Soccer for Topnotch Management in Minneapolis, Minn., where he represented players across Major League Soccer and the USL Championship. Cairns was born and raised in St. Albans, England before graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2013. After graduating, Cairns worked as a licensed agent and intermediary at Skylet Andrew and MLC Sport before joining Topnotch Management.

 

Additionally, the club announced the appointments of Christophe Berra and Zachary Herold as assistant coaches, and of Fabio Hernandez as goalkeeper coach. 

 

“These are great hires whose experience and character will provide immediate impact for our club both on and off the field,” said Jack Collison, Huntsville City FC Head Coach. “Bringing in coaches of this caliber underscores the commitment made by our group to empower leaders on the pitch who are good soccer minds and great people dedicated to building our program and moving our team forward in a positive direction.” 

 

Berra joins Huntsville from the Scottish Premiership where he was a first-team coach for Livingston FC. Before that, Berra made 560 appearances across Scotland’s and England’s Premier Leagues with childhood club Heart of Midlothian and Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively. Berra also played with Ipswich Town before returning to Heart of Midlothian and finally finishing his career as a player-coach for Raith Rovers in Scotland. Internationally, Berra was capped 41 times by Scotland, scoring four goals.

 

Herold, a former Generation adidas player from Port St. Lucie, Fla., joins Huntsville from the Atlanta United FC Academy where he coached with Huntsville City FC Head Coach Jack Collison. As a player, Herald was drafted by Toronto FC in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft but was diagnosed with a heart condition that unfortunately forced the end of his playing career. Herald, who represented the United States in the 2009 U-17 FIFA World Cup(TM), immediately launched his coaching career and spent six years working with the New York Red Bulls Academy before moving to Atlanta.

 

Hernandez joins Huntsville from Chattanooga Red Wolves of the USL League One where he served as a goalkeeper coach since 2022.

 

Joining Head Coach Jack Collison and the new hires on the technical staff for the 2024 season will be Analyst Matt Batista, Athletic Trainer Luis Rodas, Performance Coach Josh Stewart, Team Administrator Caylor Feltman, and Equipment Manager Tanner Smoot.

 

The first chance to see Huntsville City FC in 2024 is the inaugural “Huntsville City FC Blastoff Battle Invitational” on Feb. 16 – 18, 2024 at Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium. You can find more information about the tournament and how to get tickets here

 

Huntsville City FC 2024 season tickets are now on sale to the public by visiting MLSNextPro.com/HuntsvilleCityFC/Tickets or by calling 256-864-6426, ext. 2.   

 

QUOTE REPOSITORY:

 

Mike Jacobs, General Manager of Nashville SC and Huntsville City FC: “Matt has a tremendous amount of experience in the professional soccer landscape, both in the U.S. and abroad. He is somebody I’ve always admired and wanted to work with, and we are excited to add him to our club.”

 

Matt Cairns, Huntsville City FC Director of Soccer Operations: “I am thrilled to be joining Huntsville City FC and the Nashville SC organization.  Huntsville is an incredibly exciting and thriving soccer market and I can’t wait to build on the club’s inaugural season success.  The state of Alabama is no stranger to sporting success, and I will be working every day to bring them another champion.”

 

Jack Collison, Huntsville City FC Head Coach: “These are great hires whose experience and character will provide immediate impact for our club both on and off the field. Bringing in coaches of this caliber underscores the commitment made by our group to empower leaders on the pitch who are good soccer minds and great people dedicated to building our program and moving our team forward in a positive direction.”

 

Christophe Berra, Huntsville City FC Assistant Coach: “My family and I are excited to be moving over from Scotland to join Huntsville City Football Club. The club has everything in place to be successful on and off the pitch and I can’t wait to get started and the season to kick off.”

 

Zachary Herold, Huntsville City FC Assistant Coach: “I am extremely excited to be joining Huntsville City FC this upcoming season and look forward to building on last year's success.”

 

Fabio Hernandez, Huntsville City FC Goalkeeper Coach: "I am very excited to get the season started with the club. I am looking forward to seeing the Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis packed week in and week out.”

Nick Saban Announces Retirement after 17 Seasons at Alabama

Nick Saban Announces Retirement after 17 Seasons at Alabama

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama’s Nick Saban, who has won more college football national championships than any coach in the modern era, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

 

“The University of Alabama has been a very special place to Terry and me,” Saban said. “We have enjoyed every minute of our 17 years being the head coach at Alabama as well as becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community. It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it’s about the legacy and how we went about it. We always tried to do it the right way. The goal was always to help players create more value for their future, be the best player they could be and be more successful in life because they were part of the program. Hopefully, we have done that, and we will always consider Alabama our home.”

 

Saban spent 28 years as a college head coach at Toledo (1990), Michigan State (1995-99), LSU (2000-04) and Alabama (2007-23). He won seven national titles in those 28 years, his first at LSU in 2003 before capturing six championships at Alabama (2009, 2011-12, 2015, 2017 and 2020). He also coached the Miami Dolphins for two seasons (2005-06).

 

“Simply put, Nick Saban is one of the greatest coaches of all time, in any sport, and The University of Alabama is fortunate to have had him leading our football program for the past 17 seasons,” said Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “Throughout his career as a head coach, his teams have won seven national championships, 11 conference championships and 312 games, and he’s developed an NCAA-record 49 NFL first-round draft picks and, most importantly, hundreds of college graduates. He is the consummate coach, mentor and leader, and his impact is felt far beyond the football field. 

 

“Coach Saban and Ms. Terry have touched countless lives in our community and the state of Alabama with the work they’ve done through the Nick’s Kids Foundation. While his time as our coach may have come to an end, his legacy will live on forever. What an honor it has been for us to have a front-row seat to one of the best to ever do it. A truly remarkable career for Coach Saban.”

 

Saban’s teams won three national championships during the Bowl Championship Series era and three more after the start of the College Football Playoff. In 10 seasons of the CFP, Saban’s Crimson Tide teams qualified eight times.

 

“Words cannot adequately express our appreciation to Coach Saban for his exemplary leadership and service to The University of Alabama over the past 17 years,” said Alabama President Stuart R. Bell. “His commitment to excellence has set the standard for our program, both on the field and in the classroom. We are grateful for the lasting impact he has made on the lives of our student-athletes and the incredible memories his teams have created for our students, alumni, fans and supporters.

 

“Coach Saban and Ms. Terry are tremendous ambassadors for The University of Alabama and our community and we celebrate their many contributions and indelible legacy.”

 

Saban compiled a 297-71-1 (.806) collegiate coaching record, including a 206-29 (.877) mark in Tuscaloosa. His teams won a combined 11 SEC titles, going 11-1 in SEC Championship Games, including nine at Alabama (9-1 record) and two at LSU (2-0 mark). He also won 15 games with the Dolphins in 2005-06. 

 

In Saban’s six national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams went 21-2 against top-10 opponents, and, since 2008, the Crimson Tide was 37-15 overall against top-10 teams. Alabama was also ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll for at least one week for 15 straight years (2008-22), which broke the record of seven established by Miami (1986-92).

 

Saban coached four Heisman Trophy winners, joining Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy for the most in college football history. He is the only coach to ever coach Heisman Trophy winners at three different positions (RB, WR, QB). The Alabama program had just six individual national award winners when Saban arrived on campus, but Crimson Tide players have secured 60 national awards since 2008.

 

His players at Alabama have won 66 All-America honors by 58 different individuals over the past 16 seasons. Eight players have been named two-time All-Americans along with 46 consensus honors and 25 unanimous selections. Will Anderson Jr. became the first two-time unanimous All-American in Alabama history.

 

Saban’s success has also translated to NFL success for his players with a record 49 players chosen in the first round of the draft (44 at Alabama). His Alabama players have been paid over $2 billion over the last 16 NFL seasons.

 

Alabama’s success on the field over the past 17 seasons has coincided with the Tide’s success in the classroom. Since Saban’s arrival in 2007, Alabama football has seen a total of 656 degrees earned, including 103 master’s degrees.

 

The Sabans Nick’s Kids Foundation is a vibrant example of the family’s continuing concern for disadvantaged children. Since Nick and Terry arrived in Tuscaloosa, over $12 million has been distributed to students, teachers and children’s causes at over 150 charities through the Nick’s Kids Foundation. 

 

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on X and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

Alabama Drops 87-74 Decision to No. 4/4 Arizona at Hall of Fame Series in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to No. 4/4 Arizona, 87-74, Wednesday night in the Hall of Fame Series contest which was played at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

 

Grant Nelson paced the Crimson Tide (6-5) with 17 points while Sam Walters added 15 off the bench. Mark Sears collected 12 points, six steals and six rebounds while Aaron Estrada had 11 points and a team-leading six assists in the loss.

 

Wednesday night’s contest marked the Tide’s third consecutive game against an AP top-10 opponent. Alabama began the stretch by playing then-No. 2 Purdue (lost 92-86) on Dec. 9 followed by taking on then-No. 8 Creighton (lost 85-82) last Saturday.

 

Oumar Ballo led the Wildcats (9-1) with 16 points and 12 rebounds to top four Arizona players in double figures.

 

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“Another good game against a quality team. We just weren’t good enough. I thought we played pretty well in the first half. It was a big point of emphasis for us to keep them off the free throw line and the rebounding battle. In the first half, we did a good job of both things. In the second half, they shoot 27 free throws and we shoot eight, so we didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the line. We didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the glass either. It didn’t help that we didn’t shoot the ball well and turned the ball over too much. I thought their physicality bothered us. They are a tough, physical team. We have to be more mentally tough when stuff is not going on our way and we are missing shots. We have get back and play defense.”

 

Team Stats

  • It marked the first time that Alabama has played three consecutive top-10 opponents in non-conference action
  • Alabama was outrebounded, 48-38, on the night and falls to 0-3 this season when losing the battle of the boards
  • The Tide struggled shooting the ball from deep, hitting just 8-40 (20 percent) from beyond the arc
  • Alabama led for 21:52 of the contest while Arizona only held the lead for 13:22
  • Arizona owned a 22-4 edge in fast break points
  • The contest featured nine ties and seven lead changes throughout

First Half

  • Alabama began the game on a 9-0 run and held Arizona without a field goal until the 14:42 mark
  • The Crimson Tide went on to hold the lead for all but 1:49 of the half but it was the Wildcats that took a 41-40 lead into the locker room
  • Sam Walters led UA with 12 points with Mark Sears and Aaron Estrada adding seven apiece
  • Alabama struggled from the floor, hitting just three three-pointers (3-22) and shooting 31 percent (11-35) in the opening stanza

Second Half

  • After an opening bucket by Arizona, the Tide went on a 10-0 run thanks in large part to a pair of three-pointers from Grant Nelson to give UA a seven-point lead, 50-43, with 16:26 left to play
  • The Wildcats went on a 21-4 run, including scoring 14-straight points, over the next 8:17 to take control of the contest at 64-54 with just over eight minutes remaining
  • Arizona’s aggressiveness on the offensive end resulted in the Wildcats going 19-27 from the charity stripe in the second stanza while the Tide connected on just 7-8 in comparison

Up Next

  • Alabama returns to action Saturday afternoon when it hosts Eastern Kentucky inside Coleman Coliseum
  • Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

 

 

Auburn Football Early Signing Class

Auburn – Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze spoke Wednesday of the new additions to the Auburn football program. “I’m excited about this class. We focused on the high school class; we wanted them to know they are our priority. We did not chase everyone in the portal who could play, and there are a lot that could, because we were committed to our high school class and establishing a true rebuild here at Auburn.

 

“Our receiver class and our linebacker class have to be two of the tops in the country. We’ll go from here to fill in the missing pieces that we did not land.

 

“I really believe in the young men we’ve signed and the families they come from. I love these kids; I think they want to help the program reestablish itself as one of the elite programs in the country, and I’m excited to get a lot of them here soon and go to work.

 

“Making our first class here a Top 10 class was our goal. That’s how you start to build a program that is able to stack itself and create competitiveness on the roster. We had to close the gap to get into the battles for some of the top guys, and we did that by building relationships. I’m very thankful for the efforts of so many people who contributed to what was a large task.”

 

D.J. Barber (LB, 6-0, 230; Clay-Chalkville HS; Birmingham, Ala.): Do-everything linebacker with a high football IQ … totaled 152 tackles with 2 sacks, 8 TFL, 2 forced fumbles and an interception as a senior team captain … led the Cougars to the Class 6A state championship under Coach Drew Gilmer … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … 145 tackles as a junior, including 12.5 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 interceptions … three-year first team all-state ... state champs his sophomore season … four stars from Rivals and top 16 prospect at his position … ranks among top 40 prospects in Alabama by 247Sports, On3, ESPN … A-B Honor Roll … also a basketball and baseball letterman

 

Malik Blocton (DL, 6-4, 280; Pike Road HS; Pike Road, Ala.): Dominant defensive line prospect who registered 118 tackles (school record), 30 TFL, 14 sacks as a senior for Coach Granger Shook at Pike Road High … career stats: 323 tackles, 45 sacks (both school records) … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … second team all-state as a junior … four stars from Rivals, 24/7 … ESPN, On3, 247Sports, Rivals ranks him among top 25 prospects in state of Alabama … leadership council and honor student … also a basketball letterman … brother of Auburn defensive lineman Marcus Harris

 

J.R. Buckner (LS, 6-0, 235; Auburn HS; Auburn, Ala.): Hard-working long snapper with strong potential … special teams captain for Coach Keith Etheredge at Auburn High … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … National Honor Society, FCA, Junior Civitan … also a tennis and track and field letterman

 

Bryce Cain (WR, 5-11, 165; Baker HS; Mobile, Ala.): Fast, fluid wide receiver with plenty of upside … 69 receptions for 1,445 yards and 21 TD in just two seasons of football for Coach Steve Normand at Baker High … 7A regional leader with 43 catches for 948 receiving yards as a senior … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … four stars from On3, 247Sports, Rivals, ranking him among the top 15 prospects in the state of Alabama … also a baseball and track letterman

 

Dre Carter (OL, 6-5, 340; Mater Dei HS; Temecula, Calif.): Outstanding offensive line prospect who projects among the nation’s best on the interior … three-year starter at left tackle for Mater Dei High … helped the Monarchs under Coach Frank McManus capture the CIF state open division title as a senior … All-American Bowl … Polynesian Bowl … Max Preps All-American … three-time all-state and four-time all-Trinity League … OCVarsity Hot 150 … four stars from On3, Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN … ESPN ranks him the top O-line prospect nationally; top 10 from Rivals, On3, 247Sports … honor roll student

 

Cam Coleman (WR, 6-3, 190; Central HS; Phenix City, Ala.): Explosive receiver with speed and acceleration … 61 receptions for 1,372 yards and 18 scores as a senior … led Coach Patrick Nix’ Central High Red Devils to the Class 7A state championship … 73-yard TD reception in the title game to earn MVP honors … team captain … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game invitation … 31 catches gained 542 yards with 6 scores as a junior … AL.com A-List … Maxwell Award offensive semifinalist … Max Preps All-American … consensus five-star rating … rated as top recruit in Alabama by On3, 247Sports, Rivals … ESPN ranks him the top WR prospect nationally … also a basketball letterman

 

Jay Crawford (DB, 6-0, 190; Parkview HS; Lilburn, Ga.): Outstanding cover corner who ranks among the top prospects in Georgia … three-year starter for Coach Joe Sturdivant at Parkview High … team captain … Under Armour All-American … GACA North-South Game … Gwinnett Super Six … all-state, all-district, all-county and all-region … four stars from Rivals and ESPN, which rate him among the top 20 corner prospects nationally … also a track and basketball letterman

 

Kaleb Harris (DB, 6-1, 190; Thompson HS; Alabaster, Ala.): Skilled safety with great physical versatility … accomplished defender and team captain for Coach Mark Freeman at Thompson High … 130 tackles, 15 TFL, 4 interceptions, 6 PBU, 4 fumble recoveries as a senior leading the Warriors to the Class 7A state finals … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … part of state championships teams as a freshman, sophomore and junior … Rivals rates him among top 25 prospects in Alabama

 

Gage Keys (DL, 6-5, 290; Kansas; Hilliard Davidson HS; Hilliard, Ohio): Transfer defensive lineman from the Kansas Jayhawks … had 21 tackles, 4 QB hurries last fall, playing in every game … played 2020-22 at Minnesota, seeing action in seven games in 2022 … playing at Hilliard Davidson High for Coach Brian White, recorded 60 tackles, 20 TFL as a senior … No. 22 ranked recruit in Ohio and No. 34 ranked strong side defensive end in the country by 247Sports … also a basketball letterman

 

A’mon Lane-Ganus (DB, 5-11, 185; Moody HS; Moody, Ala.): Determined defender with speed and strength … played at Moody High as a junior and senior for Coach Jake Ganus … team captain … first team Class 5A all-state as a junior, recording 55 tackles, 9 PBU … injury hampered his senior campaign … Under Armour All-American … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … four stars from ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports … top 25 safety prospect nationally by 247Sports, ESPN … state finalist as a sprinter

 

Robert Lewis (WR, 5-11, 185; Georgia State; Newton HS; Covington, Ga.): Transfer receiver from Georgia State … set GSU single-game record with 220 receiving yards vs. Charlotte on just six catches; 97-yard reception was also a school record … third team all-Sun Belt in 2023 … in 32 career games played for the Panthers, 90 receptions for 1,019 yards, 10 TD … Athletic Director’s Honor Roll … Class 7A all-state selection for Coach Camiel Grant Jr. at Newton High ... first-team all-Region 8-7A … career totals of 62 catches for 1,238 yards and 16 TD for the Rams … brother Akeem Hunt played at Purdue and in the NFL

 

T.J. Lindsey (DL, 6-5, 270; IMG Academy; Little Rock, Ark.): Promising defender who spent his senior season at IMG (Fla.) Academy playing for Coach Billy Miller … as a junior, helped Bryant (Ark.) High to a 12-0 season and fifth-straight state title … two-time Class 7A all-state … 205 career tackles, 26 sacks, 4 forced fumbles … four stars from Rivals … ESPN, Rivals rate him among top 25 recruits at his position nationally … also a basketball letterman

 

Kensley Louidor-Faustin (DB, 6-0, 175; Naples HS; Naples, Fla.): Versatile defensive back with great instincts … 65 tackles, 5 interceptions, 12 PBU as a senior for Coach Rick Martin at Naples High … All-American Bowl … 3s/4s player of year … SW Florida defensive player of year finalist as a junior, recording 42 tackles, 5 interceptions for the Golden Eagles … all-area and three-time all-region … career totals: 209 tackles, 9 TFL, 17 interceptions, 31 PBU, 8 forced fumbles, 5 fumbles recovered … four stars from On3, Rivals, which rank him among the top 50 overall recruits from Florida … National Honor Society … also a track and field and basketball letterman

 

Dorian Mausi Jr. (LB, 6-2, 235; Duke; Detroit Jesuit HS; Detroit, Mich.): Transfer linebacker from Duke where he was a two-year starter … in 44 games played (2020-23), totaled 193 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 4 PBU … Academic all-ACC … played four years at University of Detroit Jesuit High for Coach Matthew Lewis, making two playoff appearances ... team captain, defensive player of the year, two-time all-city selection, and all-Catholic pick ... 2019 Detroit Free Press first team all-state … consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals 

 

Keaton McNutt (LS, 5-11, 210; East Coweta HS; Newnan, Ga.): Talented long snapper with excellent consistency … GHSA Region 2-7A specialist of the year for Coach John Small at East Coweta High … 5-star rating from Kohl’s kicking … also plays lacrosse

 

Joe Phillips (LB, 6-2, 240; Booker T. Washington HS; Shorter, Ala.): Well-rounded pass rusher with excellent play speed … as a senior, recorded 130 tackles, 28 TFL, 7 sacks, 20 QB hurries and 5 forced fumbles for Coach Lawrence O’Neal as team captain at Booker T. Washington High … also rushed for 420 yards and 5 TD, leading the Golden Eagles to the Class 4A state semifinals … career totals: 212 tackles, 22 sacks … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … AL.com A-List … four stars from Rivals, On3, 247Sports, ESPN, which rate him a top 10 recruit from Alabama … National Honor Society … also a basketball letterman, advancing to the state finals as a sophomore, and played baseball, track and soccer

 

Demarcus Riddick (LB, 6-3, 220; Chilton County HS; Clanton, Ala.): Sideline-to-sideline defender with all the tools … totaled 92 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, an interception and a defensive touchdown as a senior captain for Coach Marvin Morton at Chilton County High … All-American Bowl … one of 12 national semifinalists for high school Butkus Award … 109 tackles, 19 TFL, 7 sacks as a junior … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … AL.com A-List … Clanton Advertiser defensive player of year … four stars from On3, Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN, which all rate him among the top five LB recruits nationally … also a basketball and baseball letterman and a state qualifier in javelin and long jump

 

Laquan Robinson (DB, 6-3, 195; Holmes CC; Greenville HS; Greenville, Ala.): Top-rated juco safety who is a proven playmaker … first team all-MACCC North defender for the Holmes CC Bulldogs recording 49 tackles, an interception and 7 PBU … started playing football in high school at Greenville High for Coach Josh McLendon … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … top-ranked juco safety nationally by On3, 247Sports, ESPN … also a basketball letterman

 

Malcolm Simmons (WR, 6-0, 180; Benjamin Russell HS; Montgomery, Ala.): Athletic receiver prospect with explosive skills … team captain who led Coach Smitty Grider’s Benjamin Russell High Wildcats to the Class 6A quarterfinals and regional title … 60 receptions for 1,439 yards and 24 TD as a senior; also scored 8 rushing TD … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … AHSAA North-South All-Star Game … four stars from On3 and Rivals … ranked among the top 25 recruits in Alabama by ESPN, 247Sports, On3, Rivals … also a basketball letterman and state long jump and high jump champion as a junior

 

Perry Thompson (WR, 6-4, 215; Foley HS; Foley, Ala.): Physical receiver with unlimited potential … played offense, defense and special teams for the Foley High Lions and Coach Deric Scott … on offense, caught 53 passes for 718 yards and 7 TD, completed 5-6 passes for 93 yards and 2 TD and rushed for 102 yards and a TD as a senior … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … 87 catches for 1,059 yards, 9 TD as a junior, earning first team all-state honors … AL.com A-List … five stars from 247Sports … rated among top five overall recruits in Alabama by 247Sports, On3, ESPN, Rivals … also a state sprint qualifier in track

 

Jamonta Waller (Edge, 6-2, 235; Picayune Memorial HS; Picayune, Miss.): High-energy defender who plays with a purpose … MHSAA/MAC Class 6A Mr. Football … team captain who led Coach Cody Stogner’s Maroon Tide into the South state finals as a senior after back-to-back state titles … 69 tackles, 9 sacks, 22 TFL, 2 forced fumbles and a blocked punt as a senior … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … first team all-state … Under Armour All-American … Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen … 106 tackles, 24 TFL, 11.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries as a junior … five stars from ESPN … 247Sports and ESPN rate him the No. 1 overall recruit in Mississippi … also a basketball letterman

 

Walker White (QB, 6-4, 220; Little Rock Christian Academy; Little Rock, Ark.): Accomplished quarterback with a resume of success … three-year starter for Coach Eric Cohu at Little Rock Christian Academy … team captain who passed for 2,660 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Warriors to the Class 6A state championship game … offensive player of year and all-state … career passing: 6,837 yards, 80 TD; also rushed for 30 scores … All-American Bowl … four stars from Rivals, On3, 247Sports, ESPN … Rivals and ESPN rate him among the top five QB prospects nationally

 

Seth Wilfred (OL, 6-6, 305; Snow College; Bishop Gorman HS; Mitchell, Neb.): Talented offensive lineman transferring from Snow College, where he spent the 2023 season … NJCAA All-American … rated among the top five juco O-line recruits by ESPN, 247Sports, On3 … played for the Bishop Gorman Gaels in Las Vegas his senior season … originally from Mitchell, Neb., where he played at Mitchell High … also a letterman in track and field and wrestling

 

Amaris Williams (DL, 6-3, 260; Clinton HS; Clinton, N.C.): Strong and skilled defensive line prospect … 20 of his 40 tackles as a senior were for loss, with 11 sacks, along with 700 yards rushing and 12 rushing TD … led Coach Cory Johnson’s Dark Horses to the Class 2A state title game with a 15-1 record … All-American Bowl … Maxwell Award defensive semifinalist … four stars from ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports, On3 … 247Sports rates him the top overall recruit in North Carolina … also a state finalist in the shot put and a basketball letterman

 

Alabama Football Adds 23 Players on First Day of Early Signing Period

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football announced the addition of 23 student-athletes to its 2024 recruiting class on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

 

The 23 high school signees come from nine states and two countries – Alabama (9), California (3), Florida (2), Texas (2), Georgia (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (1) and Tennessee (1), along with Germany (1) and Canada (1).

 

Listed by position, the Crimson Tide added to its roster – four defensive backs, four linebackers, three offensive lineman, three defensive lineman, three athletes, two wide receivers, two tight ends, a quarterback and a running back.

 

Among the 23 players added during the early signing period are:

  • Two signees that are five-star prospects (Jaylen Mbakwe, Julian Sayin) and 18 players that are four-star athletes by at least one of the following: 247Sports, 247Composite, On3, On3 Consensus, Rivals.com and/or ESPN.com
  • 15 newcomers that were ranked in the ESPN300: Jeremiah Beaman, Zabien Brown, Sterling Dixon, Jameer Grimsley, Aeryn Hampton, Amari Jefferson, Cayden Jones, Jaylen Mbakwe, Steve Bolo Mboumoua, Caleb Odom, Casey Poe, Kevin Riley, Julian Sayin, Rico Scott, Peyton Woodyard
  • 11 players in the Top247: Jeremiah Beaman, Zabien Brown, Jameer Grimsley, Amari Jefferson, Jaylen Mbakwe, Caleb Odom, Casey Poe, Kevin Riley, Jayshawn Ross, Julian Sayin, Peyton Woodyard
  • 14 players who were listed on the Rivals250: Jeremiah Beaman, Zabien Brown, Sterling Dixon, Jameer Grimsley, Aeryn Hampton, Amari Jefferson, Jaylen Mbakwe, Rydarrius Morgan, Caleb Odom, Casey Poe, Kevin Riley, Jayshawn Ross, Julian Sayin, Peyton Woodyard

 

2024 Alabama Football Recruiting Roster (Alphabetical)

Name                           Pos.     Ht.        Wt.       Hometown/Previous School

Jeremiah Beaman         DL        6-4        265       Birmingham, Ala./Parker

Zabien Brown                DB       6-0        180       Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei

Sterling Dixon               LB        6-3        211       Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish Fort

Isaia Faga                     DL        6-2        275       Phenix City, Ala./Central

Jameer Grimsley           ATH      6-3        185       Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic

Aeryn “Bubba” Hampton   ATH      5-10      175       Daingerfield, Texas/Daingerfield

Joe Ionata                     OL        6-5        294       Clearwater, Fla./Cavalry Christian

Amari Jefferson            WR       6-0        200       Chattanooga, Tenn./Baylor School

Cayden Jones               LB        6-4        210       Arden, N.C./Christ School

Dre Kirkpatrick Jr.          DB       5-11      192       Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City

Jay Lindsey                   TE        6-5        235       Butler, Ala./Patrician Academy

Jaylen Mbakwe             ATH      5-11      170       Pinson, Ala./Clay-Chalkville

Steve Bolo Mboumoua  DL        6-4        275       Quebec, Canada/Notre Dame de Foy

Rydarrius “Red” Morgan    DB       6-0        175       Phenix City, Ala./Central

Caleb Odom                 TE        6-5        215       Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton

Justin Okoronkwo         LB        6-3        215       Munich, Germany/Therese von Bayern School

Casey Poe                    OL        6-4        290       Lindale, Texas/Lindale

Kevin Riley                    RB        5-11      195       Northport, Ala./Tuscaloosa County

Jayshawn Ross             LB        6-4        220       Kansas City, Mo./Liberty North

Will Sanders                  OL        6-3        290       Brookwood, Ala./Brookwood

Julian Sayin                  QB       6-1        195       Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad

Rico Scott                     WR       6-0        185       Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt

Peyton Woodyard         DB       6-2        188       Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco

 

 

JEREMIAH BEAMAN

DL, 6-4, 265, Birmingham, Ala./Parker

A local product who is considered one of the more dominant defensive linemen in the country … earned a five-star rating by PrepStar … listed at No. 61 on PrepStar’s Top 150 Dream Team and the outlet’s No. 11 defensive lineman … a four-star prospect and considered a top-10 player at his position by all the other major recruiting outlets … listed by On3 as the No. 9 player at his position, No. 5 overall player from Alabama and the 73rd-rated recruit in the nation … On3 Consensus’ No. 74 player in the nation … also ranked at No. 10 for defensive linemen and the No. 7 recruit from Alabama … ranked as the No. 6 player from the state by the 247Composite, which also listed him at No. 71 nationally and the No. 11 defensive tackle … No. 106 on the Rivals Top 250 list and is considered the 11th-best defensive end in the nation and No. 6 player in the state by the site … No. 118 on the ESPN300 list … also listed as the site’s No. 56 prospect in the Southeast Region and the eighth-rated tackle … selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … coached by Frank Warren at A.H. Parker High School … an all-state performer who was chosen to compete in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game … chose Alabama over Auburn and Clemson.

 

ZABIEN BROWN

DB, 6-0, 180, Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei

Considered one of the top corners in this recruiting cycle … the nation’s third-ranked corner and a five-star prospect according to PrepStar Magazine … listed at No. 40 on PrepStar’s Top 150 Dream Team … a four-star prospect by all other major recruiting outlets and recognized as a top-five cornerback in the country ... ranked No. 40 on the Rivals Top 250 while also listed as the No. 4 corner nationally and No. 9 player from California … 247Sports’ third-ranked corner, the No. 4 recruit from California and No. 45 player at any position … No. 61 in the country and the No. 5 cornerback and fifth-rated player from California according to the 247Composite … the No. 6 corner, the No. 4 player in the state and No. 52 overall prospect on the On3 Consensus … No. 128 on the ESPN300 list … also tabbed the No. 18 player in the West Region by ESPN … selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … coached by Frank McManus at Mater Dei High School ... chose Alabama over in-state USC along with Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State.

 

STERLING DIXON

LB, 6-3, 211, Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish Fort

One of the premier pass rushers in the country … ranked as a four-star prospect by all major recruiting outlets … a Top-300 All-American by PrepStar Magazine, which lists him at No. 13 overall in his position group … rated by the On3 Consensus at No. 12 on the edge, the No. 9 player in Alabama and the No. 163 prospect overall … On3’s 10th-ranked linebacker, the No. 10 player in the state and the No. 174 talent nationally … No. 163 on the Rivals Top 250 list … also rated as the No. 9 outside linebacker and No. 12 player in the state by Rivals … No. 244 on the ESPN300 … the No. 29 defensive end and No. 114 prospect in the Southeast Region by ESPN … ranked No. 183 in the country on the 247Composite list … also tabbed as a four-star signee, the No. 12 edge rusher and No. 11 player from Alabama on the Composite … coached by Chase Smith at Spanish Fort High School … tabbed the 2022 Class 3A Lineman of the Year in Alabama, leading the state in tackles (172) and sacks (18)…chose Alabama over Auburn, LSU and Miami.

 

ISAIA FAGA

DL, 6-2, 275, Phenix City, Ala./Central

Interior defensive lineman with great power and speed that transitions to the next level … a four-star recruit according to both PrepStar and On3 … rated as a three-star by all other recruiting outlets … ranked as the No. 24 defensive lineman and No. 14 player in the state of Alabama by On3 … listed at No. 30 for his position and a Top-300 All-American according to PrepStar … ESPN’s 22nd-rated player out of the state who is also the No. 28 defensive lineman and No. 204 player in the Southeast Region  … ranked on the 247Composite as the No. 54 defensive lineman and No. 28 prospect in Alabama … 247Sports’ No. 41 player in Alabama … coached by Patrick Nix at Central High School … chose Alabama over Auburn, Texas and Utah.

 

JAMEER GRIMSLEY

ATH, 6-3, 185, Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic

Blue-chip prospect who provides the Crimson Tide with terrific athleticism and speed … a standout on both sides of the ball during his prep career … earned a four-star rating across all major outlets … the ninth-ranked corner and a four-star prospect by PrepStar … the magazine also listed him No. 182 on its Top 300 All-American list … the sixth-ranked athlete in the recruiting cycle according to Rivals.com … listed at No. 220 on the Rivals Top 250 list and the No. 36 player out of the talent-rich state of Florida … ranked No. 14 in the state, No. 15 at his position and No. 99 nationally by On3 … the No. 25 player coming out of Florida by 247Sports and the No. 17 player on the 247Composite … No. 266 on the ESPN300 list … also ranked 25th at cornerback and No. 124 in the Southeast Region by ESPN … coached by Jeris McIntyre at Tampa Catholic High School … was also a standout sprinter on the TCHS track team … chose Alabama over Florida State, Michigan and Penn State.

 

AERYN “BUBBA” HAMPTON

ATH, 5-10, 175, Daingerfield, Texas/Daingerfield

Versatile athlete from the talent-rich state of Texas who boasts explosive speed at the corner position … a consensus four-start prospect and top-50 player out of the Lonestar State … No. 153 on the Rivals Top 250 list … also tabbed the No. 5 athlete and No. 26 recruit from Texas by Rivals … ESPN.com’s No. 31 player in Texas, the No. 38 recruit in the Midlands Region and the No. 204 player on the ESPN300 … rated the No. 16 athlete by 247Sports … the 12th-rated athlete and No. 37 player out of Texas by the 247Composite … rated as the No. 9 athlete and No. 40 player from Texas by the On3 Consensus … coached by Seth Hubbard at Daingerfield High School …selected as the 2022 District 11-3A MVP … caught 55 passes for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns on offense while racking up 57 tackles, including five tackles for loss, and adding two forced fumbles and three interceptions as a junior… chose Alabama over Texas and Michigan.

 

JOE IONATA

OL, 6-5, 294, Clearwater, Fla./Calvary Christian

An active blocker who has the ability to get to the second level when run-blocking while also providing a pocket in pass protection … father, Joey Ionata, was an All-American offensive lineman at Florida State … rated as a four-star prospect by On3 … listed as the No. 15 interior offensive lineman, No. 33 player from Florida and No. 262 prospect nationally by On3 … ranked as the No. 28 offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com … 247Sports’ 32nd-rated offensive lineman and the No. 59 player out of the state of Florida … also rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com, 247Sports and on the 247Composite … coached by Reggie Crume at Calvary Christian High School … chose Alabama over Florida and Georgia Tech.

 

AMARI JEFFERSON

WR, 6-0, 200, Chattanooga, Tenn./Baylor School

An explosive playmaker at the wide receiver position who possesses the speed to be a vertical threat … the top-ranked player from the state of Tennessee according to On3 and PrepStar … a unanimous four-star recruit by all major outlets … the 21st-ranked receiver by PrepStar Magazine and the No. 119 player on the PrepStar Top 300 All-American list … ranked No. 16 at wideout by On3 and the site’s No. 91 prospect overall … the third-ranked play from Tennessee, No. 26 wide receiver and No. 140 player in the nation according to 247Sports … the 247Composite’s No. 4 player in the state, the No. 22 wideout and No. 153 player at any position … Rivals.com’s No. 232 player on the Rivals Top 250 list … also tabbed the No. 3 player from Tennessee and No. 37 wide receiver in the country by Rivals … ESPN.com’s fifth-ranked player in the state and the No. 110 prospect in the Southeast Region … listed as No. 236 on the ESPN300 … coached by Phillip Massey at Baylor High School … named Tennessee’s D2-AAA Mr. Football after amassing 1,401 yards and 20 touchdowns on 74 receptions in 2023 … chose Alabama over Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee.

 

CAYDEN JONES

LB, 6-4, 210, Arden, N.C./Christ School

Athletic linebacker with size and length on the outside … tabbed a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, ESPN.com, PrepStar and On3 along with the 247Composite and On3 Consensus ratings … the top-ranked player from North Carolina, No. 30 prospect in the Southeast Region and the No. 62 recruit on the ESPN300 according to ESPN.com … also listed as the fifth-ranked outside backer by the site … PrepStar’s sixth-ranked recruit in the state and the No. 16 linebacker in the country … the No. 9 player in the Tarheel State and No. 19 outside linebacker according to Rivals … 247Sports’ No. 15 recruit in North Carolina and the 44th-rated linebacker in the country … the No. 18 linebacker nationally and sixth-ranked prospect in the state on the 247Composite … On3’s No. 19 linebacker overall and the site’s No. 12 player from North Carolina … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game … coached by Chad Walker at Christ School … accumulated 78 total tackles as a senior, including 11.0 for loss and four sacks … chose Alabama over Michigan, Notre Dame and USC.

 

DRE KIRKPATRICK JR.

DB, 6-0, 192, Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City

Versatile athlete who excels at defensive back and in the return game … the son of former Alabama All-American corner Dre Kirkpatrick … a top-50 player in the state of Alabama who was rated as high as No. 32 by Rivals.com … also listed as the site’s No. 63 corner … the No. 33 player from the state according to On3 and the On3 Consensus … ranked as the No. 38 recruit in Alabama and the No. 73 safety nationally by ESPN.com … the No. 43 player in the state by 247Sports and the state’s No. 48 prospect on the 247Composite … coached by Ali Smith at Gadsden City High School … signed with the Crimson Tide over Auburn.

 

JAY LINDSEY

TE, 6-5, 235, Butler, Ala./Patrician Academy

Big-bodied tight end who stayed in the state … the No. 22 player in Alabama and No. 24 tight end in the country according to On3 … listed as the No. 30 player from the state and eighth-ranked tight end nationally by ESPN.com … PrepStar’s No. 19 tight end and the 20th-rated player in Alabama … tabbed the No. 33 player in the state and No. 42 player at his position nationally by the 247Composite … Rivals.com’s No. 40 prospect in the state … coached by Jonathan Lindsey at Patrician Academy … signed with the Crimson Tide over Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

 

JAYLEN MBAKWE

ATH, 5-11, 170, Pinson, Ala./Clay-Chalkville

Explosive athlete who contributed all over the field for Clay-Chalkville … saw time at wideout, quarterback, defensive back and returner during his senior season … a five-star prospect by 247Sports, PrepStar and ESPN.com … also earned a five-star rating on the 247Composite and On3 Consensus lists … rated as a four-star recruit by On3 and Rivals.com … the second-ranked recruit overall on the ESPN300 … also tabbed ESPN’s No. 1 player in Alabama, the No. 2 corner nationally and the No. 2 player in the Southeast Region … the nation’s top-ranked athlete and the No. 2 player in Alabama by On3 and the On3 Consensus … the Consensus’ No. 17 recruit in the country and the No. 22 player nationally according to On3 … PrepStar’s top-ranked athlete and No. 4 player in the state who was also listed at No. 21 on the outlet’s Top 150 Dream Team … ranked the No. 18 prospect nationally, the No. 2 athlete and No. 2 player in the state on the 247Composite … the nation’s No. 28 player and second-ranked athlete while also being listed as the fourth-rated prospect in Alabama by 247Sports … listed at No. 39 on the Rivals Top 100 list … also tabbed as the site’s No. 3 corner overall and the third-ranked player in the state … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … also earned a spot in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … coached by Drew Gilmer at Clay-Chalkville High School … also ran track at CCHS … chose Alabama over Auburn and Georgia among his nearly 30 offers.

 

STEVE BOLO MBOUMOUA

DL, 6-4, 260, Quebec, Canada/Notre Dame de Foy

A Canadian prospect along the defensive front … rated as a four-star lineman by nearly every major outlet … the top-ranked recruit from Canada by ESPN.com, 247Sports and on the 247Composite … No. 253 on the ESPN300 and the site’s No. 30 defensive end overall … Rivals.com’s No. 22 defensive end … the No. 27 defensive lineman and a top-275 recruit overall by On3 … listed as the 38th-ranked defensive lineman on the 247Composite … the On3 Consensus’ No. 34 defensive lineman and a top-350 recruit at any position … grew up in Cameroon, playing primarily soccer … moved to Canada where he attended Notre Dame de Foy in Quebec … signed with the Tide over Florida and Georgia.

 

RYDARRIUS “RED” MORGAN

DB, 6-0, 175, Phenix City, Ala./Central

Talented in-state prospect at the safety spot … a four-star recruit by nearly every major site … the No. 16 safety and No. 189 player nationally according to On3 … also listed as the 11th-ranked player in the state by On3 … the No. 219 recruit on the Rivals Top 250 list who is also the site’s No. 18 safety and No. 12 player in the state … tabbed No. 31 at his position and the 17th-ranked player in Alabama according to the On3 Consensus … the 39th-ranked safety and 21st-rated player in the state on the 247Composite … PrepStar’s No. 24 player in the state and the No. 41 safety nationally … the No. 50 safety in country and a top-270 player at any position according to ESPN.com … coached by Patrick Nix at Central High School in Phenix City … chose Alabama over Florida State.

 

CALEB ODOM

TE, 6-5, 215, Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton

A playmaker at tight end that possesses natural ball skills and elite athleticism for his position … a unanimous four-star recruit by all major sites … the top-ranked tight end by both On3 and the 247Composite … On3’s 27th-ranked prospect in the country and No. 3 player from Georgia … the No. 44 prospect overall and No. 7 recruit in the state by the Composite … the second-ranked tight end, No. 46 player nationally and No. 8 recruit in Georgia according to the On3 Consensus … ranked 53rd in the country, third at his position and seventh in the state by 247Sports … No. 76 on the Rivals Top 100 list … also rated as the site’s No. 3 tight end and No. 10 player in Georgia … the No. 71 player on the ESPN300 list … also rated as the No. 4 tight end, the No. 36 player in the Southeast Region and the 12th-ranked prospect from Georgia … named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team where he was listed at No. 81 overall … also tabbed the No. 5 tight end and No. 11 player from the state by PrepStar … selected to the Under Armour All-America Game following his senior season … coached by Joey King at Carrollton High School … recorded 1,121 yards and 13 touchdowns across 64 receptions as a junior … also excelled at basketball for CHS … chose Alabama over in-state Georgia.

 

JUSTIN OKORONKWO

LB, 6-3, 215, Munich, Germany/Therese von Bayern School

Standout athlete with tons of upside who is just learning the game of football … an international prospect who grew up doing gymnastics and playing soccer … the top-ranked player from Germany by all major outlets … ESPN.com’s No. 14 inside linebacker and the top-rated recruit from all of Europe … listed as the 30th-ranked outside linebacker by Rivals.com … No. 34 on 247Sports’ linebacker rankings …  a top-500 recruit overall and the 42nd-rated linebacker according to the On3 Consensus … the No. 43 linebacker prospect by On3 … selected to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … born in Germany and began his playing career with club teams … signed with the Crimson Tide over Maryland, Michigan and Penn State.

 

CASEY POE

OL, 6-5, 290, Lindale, Texas/Lindale

Arguably the best interior offensive lineman in the nation with exceptional strength and quickness … a unanimous four-star prospect … rated as the No. 1 interior offensive lineman in the nation by On3, the On3 Consensus and the 247Composite … On3 ranked him as the No. 48 player nationally and the No. 11 player in the state of Texas … No. 85 overall on the 247Composite and the No. 15 player in Texas … rated 116th on the Rivals 250 … also listed as the site’s No. 3 offensive guard and No. 20 player in the state … listed 142nd in the Top247, the No. 4 interior lineman and the No. 24 player in the state … No. 134 in the ESPN300 and the outlet’s No. 3 offensive guard … ESPN also ranked him as the No. 26 player in the Midlands Region and the No. 21 player in Texas … a five-star prosect by PrepStar Magazine, the No. 2 offensive guard and the No. 75 player nationally … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … played for head coach Chris Cochran … named to the Texas District 9-4A D-I unanimous first team as a junior in 2022 after earning first team honors as a sophomore … competed in the shot and discus, winning the 2022 Texas 4A State Championship with a throw of 57-4 in 2022 … was the 2023 Texas District 16-4A champion … chose Alabama over Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU.

 

KEVIN RILEY

RB, 5-11, 195, Northport, Ala./Tuscaloosa County

One of the top running back prospects in the country from the Crimson Tide’s backyard … a unanimous four-star prospect … the No. 71 player on the On3 Consensus ratings, the No. 76 prospect on the 247Composite and the No. 5 running back in the country according to both … No. 69 on the ESPN300 and the outlet’s No. 5 running back, No. 35 player in the Southeast Region and No. 7 player in Alabama … the No. 76 player nationally according to On3 … also listed as the site’s No. 5 running back and No. 6 player in the state … ranked 113th on the Top247 list and was the No. 5 running back and the No. 9 player in Alabama … No. 142 on the Rivals 250 … also tabbed Rivals’ 10th-ranked running back and the No. 8 player in the state … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … coached by Adam Winegarden at Tuscaloosa County High School … rushed for 1,306 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior … chose Alabama over Arkansas, Auburn and Miami. 

 

JAYSHAWN ROSS

LB, 6-4, 220, Kansas City, Mo./Liberty North

A talented edge defender out of Kansas City … rated as a unanimous four-star prospect … No. 213 nationally, the No. 22 edge player and No. 6 player in the state of Missouri according to the On3 Consensus ratings … ranked No. 188 overall, the No. 20 edge rusher and the sixth-ranked player from Missouri by On3 … No. 201 on the Rivals 250 … also tabbed as Rivals’ No. 11 defensive end and the site’s No. 7 player in the state … the No. 18 outside linebacker by ESPN.com, the No. 57 player in the Midlands Region and No. 6 player in Missouri … tabbed the No. 19 edge rusher and No. 6 player in Missouri by the 247Composite … No. 230 nationally, the No. 16 edge player and the No. 6 talent from Missouri according to 247Sports … coached by Andy Lierman at Liberty North High School … recorded 23 tackles, with 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a senior … also caught 12 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns … chose Alabama over Florida State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Tennessee. 

 

WILL SANDERS

OL, 6-3, 290, Brookwood, Ala./Brookwood

A powerful interior offensive lineman from right down the road in Brookwood … a four-star prospect by the 247Composite and On3 Consensus lists … the No. 328 prospect overall, the No. 21 interior offensive lineman and No. 17 player in the state by the Composite … No. 299 in the On3 Consensus … also listed as the No. 23 interior offensive lineman and No. 15 player in Alabama by the Consensus … ranked 106th nationally, the No. 4 interior offensive lineman and the No. 10 player in Alabama by On3 … Rivals.com’s No. 20 offensive guard and No. 29 player in Alabama … the No. 30 offensive guard and a top-250 player in the Southeast Region by ESPN.com … the No. 39 offensive lineman by 247Sports and the No. 29 player in the state … participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … coached by Mike Bramlett at Brookwood High School … chose Alabama over LSU, NC State, Missouri and Vanderbilt.

 

JULIAN SAYIN

QB, 6-1, 195, Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad

Widely considered the nation’s top-signal caller … a unanimous five-star prospect … the No. 3 prospect on the ESPN300 … also listed as ESPN’s top-ranked dual-threat quarterback and the No. 1 player in the West Region and California … the No. 5 recruit in the country by both the On3 Consensus and the 247Composite … the No. 1 quarterback and No. 1 player in California by both sites, as well … No. 4 on the Rivals 250 list … Rivals’ second-ranked pro-style quarterback and the No. 1 player in the state … No. 7 nationally, the No. 1 quarterback and the top player in California by On3 … landed at No. 21 on the Top247 list … tabbed the No. 3 quarterback and No. 2 player in California by 247Sports … the sixth-rated recruit on the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team and the publication’s No. 2 quarterback and No. 1 player in California … selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and the Polynesian Bowl … selected as the Most Valuable Player at the 2023 Elite 11 Finals in advance of his senior season … coached by Thadd MacNeal at Carlsbad High School … completed 181-of-253 passes for 2,769 yards, 34 touchdowns and five interceptions as a sophomore … threw for 2,708 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior … as a senior, accumulated 2,347 yards and 24 touchdowns compared to just one interception … completed 158-of-212 passes and also rushed for 186 yards and four scores … led Carlsbad to their fifth straight Avocado League title … finished his high school career with 7,824 yards, 85 touchdowns and 10 interceptions … chose Alabama over Ohio State and Texas among his 25 total offers.

 

RICO SCOTT

WR, 6-0, 185, Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt

A unanimous four-star prospect across all recruiting outlets … an explosive receiver who ranks 254th on the ESPN300 … No. 304 in the On3 Consensus … also listed as the Consensus’ No. 50 receiver and the No. 5 player in the state of Pennsylvania … No. 311 nationally, the No. 49 wideout and the No. 6 player in the state according to the 247Composite rankings … 247Sports’ No. 40 receiver nationally and the No. 4 player in Pennsylvania … the No. 33 receiver, the No. 26 player in the New England Region and the third-rated player in the state by ESPN.com … listed as the No. 50 wide receiver and No. 6 in Pennsylvania according to On3 … the 77th-rated receiver by Rivals.com … a Top 300 All-American by PrepStar and the magazine’s No. 45 wide receiver … played for head coach Jeff Weachter at Biship McDevitt High School … caught 86 passes for 1,353 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2023 with another 92 yards rushing and a score … as a junior, recorded 66 receptions for 1,184 yards and 18 scores on the way to a PIAA Class 4A state title … averaged 33.5 yards per kickoff return in 2022 … caught 25 passes for 538 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore … chose Alabama over in-state Penn State along with Auburn, Georgia and Texas A&M.

 

PEYTON WOODYARD

DB, 6-2, 188, Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco

A versatile and talented safety prospect out of California … a unanimous four-star prospect … No. 101 in the 247Composite … also listed as the No. 9 safety and No. 12 player from California on the Composite … the No. 107 recruit overall, the No. 7 safety and No. 11 player in the state by the On3 Consensus … the 43rd-ranked prospect, No. 3 safety and No. 5 player in California according to Rivals.com … the No. 105 player on the ESPN300 list … also rated as the No. 6 safety, No. 15 player in the West Region and the No. 13 player in the state by ESPN … the No. 160 prospect, No. 12 safety and No. 14 player in the state by On3 … ranked 230th on the Top247 list … 247Sports’ No. 21 safety and No. 21 player in California … selected to play in the All-American Bowl and the Polynesian Bowl … coached by Jason Negro at St. John Bosco … recorded 53 tackles, with one interception and seven pass breakups as a junior in 2022 … added 62 tackles as a sophomore … chose Alabama over in-state USC along with Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State.

 

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on X and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

 

Alabama Drops Nailbiter to No. 4/4 Purdue in Toronto, 92-86

TORONTO – The Alabama men’s basketball team took one of the best teams in the country down to the wire Saturday afternoon before dropping a narrow 92-86 decision to No. 4/4 Purdue at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto.

 

Mark Sears had a career-night for the Tide (6-3), scoring 35 points while shooting 50 percent (8-16) from the three-point line in the losing effort. Reigning Naismith Player of the Year Zach Edey (35) and Braden Smith (27 points) combined to score 62 of Boilermakers’ (8-2) 92 points.

 

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“They (Purdue) are a really good team, they have good players. Zach Edey is the leading candidate for National Player of the Year and you can see why. He is a tough cover. We didn’t do a terrible job on him but he still had 35 points, so he makes things difficult. He gets the ball deep, he is so big and when you do double him he is pretty good at passing out of it. Then, you can’t foul him because he goes 11-11 from the free-throw line and is a good free-throw shooter. I thought our guys fought and for the most part. We executed the gameplan and I thought we just had too may errors. We have to step up to the free-throw line and make our free throws. I thought our guys battled all night. Purdue is arguably the best team in the country and they will be right there in the end. Our kids went toe-to-toe with them for 40 minutes. We just have to figure out a way to get some wins in these big games.”

 

Team Stats

  • Mark Sears scored a game-high 35 points, his career-best in an Alabama uniform
  • Sears is the first UA player to score 35 points in a game since Brandon Miller’s 41 points at South Carolina on Feb. 22, 2023
  • Alabama shot 41 percent (19-46) from beyond the arc, its highest percentage from three-point range this season against a Power Five opponent
  • Alabama committed 25 fouls while Purdue was called for 15 fouls
  • Alabama’s frontcourt was called for a combined 14 personal fouls with Mohamed Wague and Nick Pringle both fouling out
  • Purdue outscored Alabama 34-20 inside the paint
  • Rylan Griffen recorded a career-high in assists (5) matched his career-high in rebounds (7)
     

First Half

  • Alabama started the game on an 8-0 run and hit its first four shots from the three-point line
  • The Tide’s biggest lead was 12 points, 30-18, at the 10-minute mark before Purdue responded with an 11-1 run
  • The Crimson Tide made 15 total field goals in the first half, 13 of which came from beyond the arc
  • UA’s 49 points in the first half was the most Purdue gave up in a half this season
  • Mark Sears scored a team-high 15 points while Purdue’s Zach Edey led all scorers with 18 points

Second Half

  • After Alabama started the half on a 6-0 run, forcing to Purdue to take timeout, the Boilermakers were able to cut UA’s lead to just one-point (60-59) at the 12:44-mark
  • Purdue took its first lead of the game (62-59) at the 11:31-mark of the second half
  • The Tide regained the lead at the 4:49 mark before Purdue regained the lead for good less than 30 seconds later

Up Next

  • Alabama will return continue its road trip next week against No. 10/11 Creighton on Saturday, Dec. 16
  • Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised on FOX

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBBon X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

Alabama Men's Basketball Faces No. 4/4 Purdue in Toronto in the Hall of Fame Series

USCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men's basketball team will travel to Toronto, Canada, to face No. 4/4 Purdue in the Hall of Fame Toronto Series, Saturday at the Coca-Cola Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide’s (6-2) matchup against the Boilermakers (8-1) is the first of three straight matchups where Alabama will face a top-10 opponent in No. 4 Purdue, at No. 10 Creighton and vs. No. 1 Arizona (Phoenix, Ariz.).

Alabama continues to have one of the best offenses in the country, as the Tide ranks No. 2 in the country, according to KenPom. Alabama has scored 753 points (94.1 ppg), which ranks No. 2 in the country and the most in program history through the first eight games of the season, surpassing the 2000-01 team (708 points).

The Broadcast

Saturday’s game is set for a 12:30 p.m. CT tipoff and will be aired on the FOX with Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) on the call.

The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Roger Hoover (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call, while Tom Stipe (engineer) is turning the dials. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

Notes You Need To Know

  • Alabama head coach Nate Oats is 15-16 against AP Top-25 opponents and 5-4 against Top-10 opponents
  • Oats is 3-2 against Big Ten opponents during his tenure at UA
  • Alabama has scored 753 points this season, the most a UA team has scored in the first eight games of the season, surpassing the 2000-01 team (708 points)
  • Alabama is one of six schools in the country that has two players on its current roster who have scored at least 1,500 points throughout their career in Aaron Estrada (1,605 points) and Mark Sears (1,512 points) 
  • UA is making 22.8 free throws per contest, which ranks No. 2 in the country
  • The Crimson Tide owns the No. 2 ranked offense, according to KenPom
  • The Tide is averaging 94.1 points per game, which ranks No. 2 in the country
  • UA has an effective field goal percentage of 58.6 percent, which ranks No. 11 in the country
  • Mark Sears ranks No. 2 in the SEC in scoring (19.8 ppg), No. 4 in field goal percentage (57.1), and No. 4 in assists (4.4 apg)
  • Senior transfer Grant Nelson was named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List, which annually recognizes the top player in college basketball and the Karl Malone Award Watch List for the top power forward in Division I
  • Alabama’s trio of Estrada, Nelson and Sears have each scored over 1,000 points throughout their college career, which is tied for the third most in the country (St. John’s & TCU with four each)

About Purdue

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

Alabama Back in the Win Column Following a Dominant Victory Over Arkansas State, 89-65

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team (6-2) defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves, 89-65, Monday night inside Coleman Coliseum.

 

The Crimson Tide led the entire game, leading by as many as 31 points (71-40) before settling for a 24-point win.

 

Mohamed Wague finished the contest with a season-high 12 points and seven rebounds, while Davin Cosby Jr. also recorded season highs with nine points and five rebounds.

 

The Red Wolves (2-7), who were coached by former Alabama assistant coach Bryan Hodgson, were led by Izaiyah Nelson with 10 points and seven rebounds.

 

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“We have been emphasizing defense and I thought it was decent in first half (but) still wasn't where we needed it to be and got worse in the second half. We're making improvements on that side of the ball. It's good to have (head coach Bryan Hodgson) back from Arkansas State. I mean, he has an entire new coaching staff. They don't have their full roster and I know how it is coming into a program the first year trying to install a system that they're not used to playing. He's in year one trying to establish, and I think he's doing a good job. For us, we needed to get this one and we need to play better on defense, and we did that. They exposed a few things that we need to work on. Our defensive rebounding needs major work before we play a tough three-game stretch that’s in front of us. So, we're going to continue to work on our defense and try to get better.”

 

TEAM STATS

  • With his team-high 13 points on the night, Mark Sears has surpassed 1,500 career points
  • Aaron Estrada (11 points) also surpassed a milestone as he now has accumulated 1,600 career points
  • Alabama shot 44 percent (28-64) from the floor, 42 percent (13-31) from deep and 83 percent (20-24) from the line
  • In comparison, the Red Wolves shot 34 percent (22-65) from the field, 20 percent (6-30) from beyond-the-arc and 71 percent (15-21) from the charity stripe
  • The Tide led in virtually all categories including a 33-6 advantage in bench production, an 18-8 advantage in second-chance points and a 27-13 advantage in points off turnovers
  • UA had five players finish in double figures

 

FIRST HALF

  • After a pair of double-digit runs lasting over a combined six minutes, Alabama went on a 30-14 run, taking a 21-point lead (49-28) into the locker rooms
  • The Tide sparked it from deep in the first half, going into the break 9-18 (50 percent) from beyond the arc
  • Grant Nelson (10 points) and Mark Sears (10) led UA in scoring at the half with Sears also leading the Tide in assist (5)
  • The Tide owned a 23-7 advantage on points off turnovers

 

SECOND HALF

  • Alabama held Arkansas State to just 13.3 percent from beyond-the-arc over the final 20 minutes, the lowest percentage an opponent has shot from three in a half this season
  • Mohamed Wague scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half while also collecting five of his seven rebounds in the same half
  • UA’s bench outscored their counterpart 17-2 in the second stanza

 

UP NEXT

  • Alabama heads across the border, taking on No. 4 ranked Purdue Saturday in the Hall of Fame Toronto Series inside the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario
  • The game is slated to tipoff at 12:30 p.m. CT and will air live on Fox

 

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

 

Alabama to Play Michigan in College Football Playoff Semifinal

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide will square off with the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines in the College Football Playoff Semifinal on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The contest is slated to kick off at 4 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT) and will be televised on ESPN.

The Crimson Tide and Wolverines will meet for the sixth time in the history of the series that dates back to 1988. It will mark the second-straight time the two storied programs will meet in the postseason as Alabama defeated Michigan, 35-16, in the 2019 Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. With that win, the Tide now leads the all-time series, 3-2.

 

The winner of the Semifinal between Alabama and Michigan will meet the winner of the contest between the No. 2 Washington Huskies and the No. 3 Texas Longhorns, who will play in the CFP Semifinal Game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2024. The 2024 CFP National Championship Game is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 8 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Alabama will make its eighth appearance in the Rose Bowl with this year’s selection, owning a record of 5-1-1 in those contests. Most recently, the Tide defeated Notre Dame in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl (game played in Arlington, Texas due to COVID), 31-14.

 

Head coach Nick Saban is 16-6 in postseason games at Alabama, earning wins over Kansas State (2023 Sugar Bowl) Cincinnati (2022 CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic), Ohio State (2021 CFP National Championship Game), Notre Dame (2021 CFP Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl), Michigan (2019 Citrus Bowl), Oklahoma (2018 CFP Semifinal Game at the Orange Bowl), Georgia (2018 CFP National Championship Game), Clemson (2017 CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the 2016 CFP National Championship Game), Washington (2016 CFP Semifinal Game at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl), Michigan State (2015 CFP Semifinal Game at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic).

Prior to the CFP, the Tide defeated the Fighting Irish (2013 BCS National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl), LSU (2012 BCS National Championship Game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl), Michigan State (2011 Capital One Bowl), Texas (2010 BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl) and Colorado (2007 Independence Bowl).

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on X and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

 

Lions edged by Kansas State in overtime, 75-74

MANHATTAN, Kan. (December 2, 2023) – The University of North Alabama took Kansas State to the wire and nearly pulled off an upset against an 2022 Elite Eight finalist, falling 75-74 in an overtime heartbreaker inside Bramlage Coliseum. 

 

North Alabama (4-4) led for over 31 minutes and led by as many as 13 points, but K-State battled back to tie it late in regulation. The Lions had an opportunity to win in regulation, but K-State (6-2) escaped a pair of scoring threats. 

 

K-State’s largest lead of just eight points came in an 8-0 run to start overtime, but UNA pulled back within one point with 2.0 seconds remaining and had a chance to win it at the buzzer. The full court heave was on-line, but too powerful. 

 

The Lions battled foul trouble with a noticeably unbalanced second half, losing forwards Dallas Howell, Damian Forrest and Tim Smith Jr. to foul outs before the end of regulation. K-State shot 48 free throws in the game, while UNA was only granted 28 opportunities. 

 

While the abundance of free throws aided K-State, the Lions created their own way with tenacious defense and a strong shooting day behind the arc. UNA went 10-28 from downtown, while limiting K-State to just 3-18. 

 

The key individuals for UNA were sophomore Jacari Lane and junior Detalian Brown with 19 points each. Lane had his first career double-double with a career-high 11 assists, while going 11-14 from the charity stripe. Brown went 6-12 behind the arc for his second straight 19 point game. Smith Jr. finished with 15 points, including a pair of clutch triples late in the game. 

 

Another key player for the Lions, Forrest finished with seven points and 10 rebounds. His presence was key, as he finished the game with a plus/minus rating of +21. The next-leading player from either team was K-State’s Dai Dai Ames with a +6. 

 

Wil Soucie added eight points and seven boards, serving as an early spark plug for UNA. 

 

K-State was led by five players in double figures, including Tylor Perry with 16 points and the game-tying three-pointer with eight seconds to go in regulation. 

 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

 

UNA led 31-23 at halftime with a tenacious defensive effort, eventually taking a 13-point lead in the second half. K-State tied things up at 44-44 with about 10 minutes to go, and from there, the lead swapped a couple of times. UNA led most of the way, including the final minute. 

 

With eight seconds to go, Perry hit a game-tying three-pointer for Kansas State to make it 65-65. UNA quickly inbounded and had an opportunity to win it at the other end, but a layup attempt by Jacari Lane was heavily contested and no foul was called. Junior guard Detalian Brown got a three-pointer off with under a second left, but it missed off the glass to force overtime. 

 

K-State had full momentum to start overtime and took its largest lead of the game at eight points — 73-65. The Lions got a spark from Brown, who converted a four-point play on a three-pointer and a foul. The game went on to become 75-74 after a desperation three by true freshman Canin Jefferson, giving UNA life. After two missed free throws from K-State at the other end, Brown heaved up a full court prayer that was on-line, but missed off the shot clock. 

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS 

 

  • The Lions won the battle on the boards, outrebounding K-State 44-36. Of the 44 rebounds for UNA, 15 came on offense with a number of hustle plays to keep possessions alive.  

 

  • UNA held K-State below its season average in offensive rebounding, which ranked fourth in the nation.   

 

  • UNA also held K-State below its season average in scoring, despite going to overtime. 

 

  • UNA held K-State to 23 points in the first half, the fewest allowed by a K-State opponent this season. The only two K-State opponents to accomplish this last season were West Virginia (21) and Iowa State (23). 

 

  • Both teams were even on field goals with 35 percent shooting, but UNA also finished 35 percent behind the arc (10-28) while limiting K-State to 16 percent (3-18). 

 

  • UNA led for 31:28 of game time. K-State led for just 7:47. 

 

  • There were six lead changes and six tied scores.  

 

  • K-State had a 19-3 advantage in fast break points, as UNA did the majority of its work in half court sets. 

 

  • Both teams finished with 13 assists and seven steals. Lane and Perry each had three steals and led their respective teams in assists. 

 

  • K-State nearly doubled UNA’s free throw opportunities with 20 more trips to the line. 

 

  • All eight Kansas State players drew at least one foul from a UNA player. 

 

  • Today marked the second overtime game for UNA this season. 

 

 

COMING UP NEXT 

 

The Lions return home for “Elementary Day” inside CB&S Bank Arena on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. 

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

 

 

Lions make first trip to Little Apple this Saturday

MANHATTAN, Kan. (December 1, 2023) – Another Power Five opponent awaits the University of North Alabama men’s basketball team this weekend, as the Lions will battle Kansas State inside Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Manhattan, Kan. 

 

The Lions left for Kansas early Friday morning following a win on Thursday night against Tennessee Tech. UNA enters with a 4-3 record, while the Wildcats are 5-2 this season. 

 

GAMEDAY INFORMATION 

Game: North Alabama at Kansas State 

Date: Saturday, December 2 

Time: 1:00 p.m. 

Location: Manhattan, Kansas 

Venue: Bramlage Coliseum 

Capacity: 12,528 

TV: ESPN+ 

Radio: WLX 98.3 / 103.5 FM — “Voice of the Lions” Benjamin Ray 

Live Stats: StatBroadcast 

Game Notes: Click here 

Tickets: Click here 

Social Media: @UNA_Basketball  

 

NOTES 

 

LAST TIME OUT: The Lions battled Tennessee Tech on the hardwood for the first time in over 70 years on Thursday — and did not disappoint. Trailing 38-32 at halftime, the Lions exploded for 54 second half points to rout the Golden Eagles by an 86-71 final in Florence. UNA shot 52.6 percent for its first game over 50 percent from the field this season.  

 

SCOUTING THE LIONS: UNA is currently averaging 77.6 points per game while allowing 74.9 for a positive margin. The Lions have been efficient in their shooting with a respectable 44.1 field goal percentage. From downtown, UNA leads the Atlantic Sun and ranks 35th in the nation with a 38.6 three-point percentage. This includes last night’s game with Tennessee Tech, where the Lions went 8-18 behind the arc for over 44 percent. KJ Johnson leads the team with 14.6 PPG and entered the week as the ASUN’s top free throw shooter with 35 makes (79.5 percent). 

 

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Kansas State enters with a 5-2 record following a run to the Elite Eight in last season’s NCAA Tournament. Like UNA, K-State owns a 4-0 record at home, including wins over ASUN foes Bellarmine and Central Arkansas. The Wildcats are averaging 83.9 PPG with just 74.3 allowed — similar to UNA. K-State ranks fourth in the nation with 16.71 offensive rebounds per game. Senior guard Tylor Perry and junior forwards Cam Carter and Arthur Kaluma are all averaging over 15.0 PPG led by Perry at 17.4. Kaluma also has 8.5 rebounds per game. 

 

SERIES HISTORY: UNA and K-State have never battled on the hardwood, but did recently meet on the soccer pitch. The Wildcats edged the Lions by a 1-0 final in 2021 with the winning goal scored in the final minute of the match. Saturday marks the third time UNA will face someone who is currently a member of the Big 12, but it will be the first time against a team representing the Big 12 at the time of play. The other two are Texas Tech in 1989-90 (Southwest Conference) and UCF in 2021-22 (American). 

 

WELCOME TO KANSAS: UNA will make its first trip to the Sunflower State since the move to Division I in 2018. Kansas will become the 21st unique state UNA will play in over the last six seasons. In January, the Lions will travel to Texas for the first time to mark the 22nd state visit. 

 

HOME, SWEET HOME: UNA has a perfect 4-0 record inside CB&S Bank Arena this season. Furthermore, the Lions are 25-2 in non-conference home games under head coach Tony Pujol the last six seasons. This includes a 14-game home win streak over non-conference teams dating back to 2020.  

 

ROAD CHALLENGES: UNA is seeking its first road win on Saturday after challenging losses to No. 21 Mississippi State, UT-Martin in double overtime and Western Carolina, who is now ranked No. 10 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25. Last season, UNA tallied eight road wins, including a 66-65 win over Ole Miss for the first Power Five and SEC win in school history.  

 

BENCH CONTRIBUTIONS: The Lions outscored Tennessee Tech 44-6 off the bench on Thursday. Leading the charge was experience veteran Detalian Brown with 19 points on 7-8 shooting from the floor and 5-6 shooting from downtown. Brown is second on the Lions roster with 90 career games played, following starting guard Will Soucie with 91. 

 

DOUBLE VISION: For the first time this season, senior forward Damian Forrest tallied a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds against Tennessee Tech. Forrest had three double-doubles last season and has come close multiple times this season. 

 

TALE OF TWO HALVES: In the TTU game, UNA was outscored in the first half with six assists and four turnovers. The second half was a different story, as UNA outscored TTU 54-33 and tallied 11 assists to just one turnover. 

 

ROAD TO 100: At UT Martin, UNA scored over 100 points on the road for the first time in the Division I era. Prior to that, the last time UNA scored 100 points in a road game was a 100-63 win at Montevallo in 2017. In six seasons under Coach Tony Pujol, the Lions have scored 100 or more points six times — five at home and one on the road. 

 

BUILDING ON SUCCESS: North Alabama finished with an 18-15 record last season, representing the most single-season wins since the Lions made the jump to NCAA Division I in 2018-19. 

 

HUNTING ANOTHER POSTSEASON RUN: Last season, UNA played in the 2023 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) to mark the first postseason tournament in the program’s NCAA Division I history. Prior to that, UNA’s last postseason appearance was an NCAA Regional in 2013-14. UNA has participated in 14 NCAA Tournaments (all Division II), including five Final Four appearances and two National Championship wins. 

 

THE ART OF BALANCE: The Lions have 16 players on the 2023-24 roster, including eight returning lettermen and eight newcomers. Of this group, there are three freshmen, three sophomores, six juniors, three seniors and one graduate student. 

 

VETERAN LEADERSHIP: Experience is key for potential Atlantic Sun Conference contenders, and UNA brings that to the table this season with four returning starters. UNA returns 70 percent of its scoring to the starting lineup from last season to this season. 

 

PUJOL CONTINUES PROGRAM GROWTH: UNA head coach Tony Pujol enters his sixth season at the helm, serving as the first and only coach of UNA’s Division I era. Pujol enters Sunday’s bout with 67 wins over six seasons and led UNA to an 18-15 overall record in its first season out of the four-year Division I transition period. 

 

STRENGTH IN STAFF: The UNA men’s basketball coaching staff experienced some restructuring this offseason, including the promotion of Ahmad Smith to Associate Head Coach and Sean Foley to Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Additions to the staff include Austin Burnette as an assistant coach, Landon Travis to handle basketball operations and Eric Wagenlander to direct efforts in player development. Assistant Coach Carter Heston and Director of Sport Performance Leo Stern also return from last year’s staff. 

 

BALLING ALMOST EVERY DAY: UNA’s first six games took place on six different days of the week. The only day UNA has not played on this season is Friday. The only Friday game on the schedule is the regular season finale at Central Arkansas on March 1. UNA has wins on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. 

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

 

Lions power past Tennessee Tech with lights out second half

FLORENCE, Ala. (November 30, 2023) – On a day that brought adversity, the Lions found a way. 

 

Just hours before the University of North Alabama was set to host Tennessee Tech for a men’s basketball game on Thursday, a transformer issue inside CB&S Bank Arena caused some technical difficulties with the scoreboard and shot clock above the goals. But with the troubleshooting and hard work of many in the UNA Athletic Department, the show went on. 

 

The unusual scoreboard set up and an early 7-0 run by the visitors did not deter the Lions on Thursday night, and neither did a 38-32 halftime deficit. Instead, North Alabama rallied back with 54 points in the second half to end the night with an 86-71 win over the Golden Eagles in Florence. 

 

In a game that was anything but ordinary, the Lions improved to 4-3 on the season and a perfect 4-0 record at home. UNA is now 25-2 in non-conference home games over the last six season and has not lost a non-conference home game since 2020. 

 

The Golden Eagles fell to 2-6 on the season. 

 

While the energy was down in certain areas throughout the arena, the energy was high in “The Vault” — UNA’s student section. In fact, the crowd of 1,234 fans were energized most of the night as the Lions recorded a new Division I era school record with eight blocks and matched a season high with 17 assists. The 54 points are also the most for UNA in any half this season. 

 

The individuals that shined for UNA were aplenty, including the first double-double of the season for senior forward Damian Forrest. Forrest had 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to go with three blocks. Tim Smith Jr. also had three blocks, matching a career-high last set in 2019. 

 

Dual guards Jacari Lane and Detalian Brown stepped up with season-highs in place of leading scorer KJ Johnson, who exited the game early on. Lane finished with 20 points, while Brown was three shy of a career-high in scoring with 19 points. Brown went 5-6 behind the arc and 7-8 from the field, while Lane was 7-8 at the free throw line and drew five fouls without committing one. 

 

 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

 

FIRST HALF: The Golden Eagles started on a 7-0 run, as North Alabama scored its first points at the 16:53 mark of the first half. Tennessee Tech was able to hold that lead for nearly 10 minutes, as the Lions slowly inched back into it. The lead eventually shifted for the first time at the 10:16 mark, as Eoin Nelson made a layup and Lane sank a pair of free throws on the next possession to make it 16-15. The lead changed six more times in the half, but TTU would grow back to a six point lead by the break. 

 

SECOND HALF: UNA played perhaps its best half of the season coming out of the locker room, outscoring the Golden Eagles 54-33 to dominate the rest of the way. The momentum started early with three-pointers from Lane and Brown, tying the game at 40-40 with 17:53 to go. Down 43-41, junior forward Dallas Howell sank a triple to put UNA back in the lead — this time, for good. Howell’s triple sparked a 12-0 run that made it a double-digit lead with 12:57 to go. The Lions shot 17-28 from the floor in the second half for 60.7 percent, while going 7-11 behind the arc for 63.6 percent. On top of that, UNA was 13-16 at the line for 81.3 percent.  

 

The cherry on top of all of this came with about four minutes to go, as Forrest missed a layup and raced to the other end for his third block of the game. Josiah Fulcher rebounded the block and passed cross court to Brown. Fulcher sprinted to the paint, took the dish from Brown and tomahawked the ball one-handed to finish a highlight-worthy alley oop. 

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS 

 

  • UNA shot over 50 percent for the first time this season, finishing 52.6 percent from the floor on 30-57 shooting. The Lions were also deadly behind the arc with 8-18 for 44.4 percent. 

 

  • The assist-to-turnover ratio was night and day between the two halves. The Lions had six assists and four turnovers in the first half, then had a remarkable second half with 11 assists and just one turnover. This made for a season-high 17 assists and a season-low six turnovers. 

 

  • UNA had 44 points off its bench tonight, making up over half its scoring. Tennessee Tech had just six bench points. 

 

  • UNA posted a 42-28 advantage in the paint. 

 

  • The Lions converted 22 points off turnovers, while TTU only scored two points with its opportunities limited to just six. 

 

  • UNA only scored nine points on fast breaks, as most of the assists were totaled in the half court. 

 

  • The Lions won the boards with a 35-27 advantage. Twelve of Forrest’s rebounds were on the defensive glass. 

 

  • The game had seven ties and six lead changes. Only one lead change occurred in the second half. 

 

  • TTU led for exactly 18:30 of game time, while UNA led for 16:57. The Lions led for the final 15:32 after the 12-0 run early in the second half. 

 

  • TTU’s largest lead was eight near the end of the first quarter. The Lions doubled that in the second half with a 16 point lead at the 3:29 marker. 

 

  • Seven different UNA players totaled an assist, including Lane with four. 

 

  • Tonight was the first meeting between UNA and Tennessee Tech in 72 years. UNA now leads the series 2-1, winning the first game between the two in Florence. The previous two happened in Cookeville during the 1950-51 season. 

 

  • Six — this is the number of free boneless wings that fans can retrieve at the Buffalo Wild Wings location in Florence after every UNA win with the purchase of six wings. Fans are encouraged to show their ticket or the social media graphic to retrieve the offer. 

 

 

COMING UP NEXT 

 

UNA will have a quick turnaround the next two days as the team flies to Kansas State tomorrow for a game on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. inside Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. 

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

Lions welcome Tennessee Tech for first meeting since 1951

FLORENCE, Ala. (November 29, 2023) – The University of North Alabama men’s basketball team will battle Tennessee Tech in a regular season game for the first time in over 70 years this Thursday night, welcoming the Golden Eagles for a 7 p.m. tip inside CB&S Bank Arena in Florence. 

 

Thursday’s game is sponsored by First Bank. There will also be a Teddy Bear Toss to support Bank Independent’s Toy Share Drive. Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to toss on the court at halftime.  

 

Also, UNA’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee is accepting canned food donations and other items such as body wash, shampoo, conditioner and feminine hygiene products to help those in need during the holidays. Fans are encouraged to bring those items to the entrance of CB&S Bank Arena. 

 

Premium Seating at CB&S Bank Arena inside Flowers Hall is sold out for the year, but general admission season tickets and single game tickets are still available. For ticket information, contact bbond@una.edu, call 256-765-5466 or visit online at this link

 

Parking is available to the general public along the streets of Circular Road and Stewart Avenue, as well as the parking lot in front of Rice and Rivers Hall and the parking garage. Lots A-C at The Bill Jones Athletic Complex and below the arena are reserved parking spaces. There is also paid parking below the Science Building off Circular Road. 

 

GAMEDAY INFORMATION 

Game: North Alabama vs. Tennessee Tech 

Date: Thursday, November 30 

Time: 7:00 p.m. 

Location: Florence, Ala. 

Venue: CB&S Bank Arena at Flowers Hall 

Capacity: 2,223 

Watch: ESPN+ — "Voice of the Lions" Benjamin Ray (PxP) & Matt Daniels (Analyst) 

Radio: WLX 98.3 / 103.5 FM — Bryan Neece 

Live Stats: StatBroadcast 

UNA Game Notes: Click here 

Tickets: Click here 

Social Media: @UNA_Basketball 

 

NOTES 

 

SCOUTING THE LIONS: UNA has a 3-3 record with three home wins and three losses on the road. In six games, the Lions are scoring 76.2 points per game with 75.5 allowed for a near-even 0.7 positive scoring margin. The Lions also rank among the top 50 teams in the nation (out of 362) in both free throw percentage and three-point percentage. 

 

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Tennessee Tech enters with a 2-5 record with wins over Midway and Presbyterian. The Lions and Golden Eagles are both coming off losses to Western Carolina, with Tennessee Tech falling 69-65 at home last night. TTU is scoring 66.9 points per game with 76.0 points allowed per game. The Golden Eagles are among the top-100 teams in ball protection with just 11.0 turnovers per game. 

 

SERIES HISTORY: UNA and Tennessee Tech had two prior meetings — both during the 1950-51 season. UNA won the first meeting to open that season, while Tennessee Tech won the second meeting. Both were in Cookeville, making Thursday the first meeting between the two in Florence. This marks the first game of a home-and-home between UNA and Tennessee Tech this season with the return trip set for Dec. 16. 

 

LAST TIME OUT: The last two outings for UNA came on the road against tough competition, including a 105-103 double-overtime loss to UT Martin and a 81-63 loss to undefeated Western Carolina. The Catamounts are one of just 22 remaining undefeated teams in Division I basketball at the time of writing and are now ranked No. 10 in the College Insider Mid-Major Poll. 

 

LAST TIME AT HOME: UNA pulled off a thrilling 61-59 win over Jacksonville State on Nov. 18 in the last home game, as KJ Johnson sank the go-ahead layup with 1.9 seconds to go. The senior rattled off 14 points in the final 4:31 of the contest, which accounts for all 14 of UNA’s final points. This run of scoring started with UNA down 48-47, as Johnson sank two free throws to take the lead. He finished with 23 points in the rivalry win. 

 

HOME SWEET HOME: Over the last two seasons, UNA owns a 12-4 record at home inside CB&S Bank Arena. In six seasons under head coach Tony Pujol, the Lions are 24-2 in non-conference home contests. 

 

MOVING ON UP: Johnson leads all active ASUN players and ranks 78th all-time in the league in career scoring with 1,343 points. He’s scored in double figures all six games this season and is well above his single-season career-high of 13.5 PPG from 2020-21 with 17.0 PPG this season. 

 

ANOTHER MR. 1K: Graduate transfer Tim Smith Jr. scored his 1,000th career point in the last home game with four points in the second half. He entered this season with 963 career points, most of which came in two seasons at Division II Walsh University. He now has 37 points over four games at UNA. 

 

BUILDING ON SUCCESS: North Alabama finished with an 18-15 record last season, representing the most single-season wins since the Lions made the jump to NCAA Division I in 2018-19. 

 

HUNTING ANOTHER POSTSEASON RUN: Last season, UNA played in the 2023 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) to mark the first postseason tournament in the program’s NCAA Division I history. Prior to that, UNA’s last postseason appearance was an NCAA Regional in 2013-14. UNA has participated in 14 NCAA Tournaments (all Division II), including five Final Four appearances and two National Championship wins. 

 

THE ART OF BALANCE: The Lions have 16 players on the 2023-24 roster, including eight returning lettermen and eight newcomers. Of this group, there are three freshmen, three sophomores, six juniors, three seniors and one graduate student. 

 

PUJOL CONTINUES PROGRAM GROWTH: Pujol enters his sixth season as the head coach at North Alabama, serving as the first and only coach of UNA’s Division I era. Pujol enters Thursday’s game against Tennessee Tech with 66 wins over six seasons. 

 

STRENGTH IN STAFF: The UNA men’s basketball coaching staff experienced some restructuring this offseason, including the promotion of Ahmad Smith to Associate Head Coach and Sean Foley to Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Additions to the staff include Austin Burnette as an assistant coach, Landon Travis to handle basketball operations and Eric Wagenlander to direct efforts in player development. Assistant Coach Carter Heston and Director of Sport Performance Leo Stern also return from last year’s staff. 

 

PRESEASON POLLS: North Alabama was picked seventh of 12 teams in the preseason coaches and media poll for the ASUN. The Lions received one first place vote in the coaches poll. EKU was picked to win in both polls. 

 

ALL DAYS OF THE WEEK: UNA’s first six games happened on six different days of the week. The only day UNA has not played on is Friday, which will not happen until the regular season finale at Central Arkansas on March 1. UNA has wins on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. 

 

For more information on North Alabama Athletics, visit www.roarlions.com and follow UNA Athletics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Broome's double-double leads Auburn past Virginia Tech 74-57 in ACC/SEC Challenge

AUBURN, Ala. – Johni Broome dominated Virginia Tech to the tune of 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead Auburn to a 74-57 victory in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge Wednesday at Neville Arena, the Tigers’ fifth straight win and 48TH consecutive non-conference home triumph.

 

Valuing possessions at an elite level, Auburn committed a season-low eight turnovers while forcing 21, leading to a commanding 30-5 lead in points off turnovers. 

 

Tre Donaldson scored seven consecutive Auburn points early in the second half to restore the Tigers’ double-digit lead after Virginia Tech had gotten within seven. 

 

Broome took over from there, scoring 14 points in the second half after netting 16 in the first.

 

The Tigers won by 17 points despite making only 2 of 16 3-point attempts, holding Virginia Tech 27.5-percent shooting. 

 

Students in The Jungle, who filled their courtside seats 90 minutes before tipoff, chanted “SEC, SEC!” as the game concluded.  

 

Auburn led 33-24 at the half after holding the Hokies to 33-percent shooting and forcing 12 turnovers while committing only four. 

 

The Tigers took an early 18-4 lead with Baker-Mazara accounting for half of those points, including going 5-fo-5 from the free-throw line. Baker-Mazara filled up the box score in the half with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.

 

Broome stole a pass, left the ball for Aden Holloway and sprinted downcourt to receive and slam Holloway’s no-look lob to put Auburn ahead 25-10. 

 

After a 9-0 Virginia Tech run pulled the Hokies within six points, Broome stopped the run with a dunk, then made a pair of free throws before VT scored the last four points of the half.

 

Both teams struggled from 3-point range in the half, with Chaney Johnson accounting for Auburn’s only make in 11 attempts while the Hokies were 1-for-7. 

 

Auburn (5-1) travels to Boone, North Carolina, Saturday to play Appalachian State at noon CT on ESPN2.

 

No. 23/20 Alabama Falls at Home to Clemson, 85-77

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 23/20 Alabama men’s basketball team dropped an 85-77 decision to Clemson in the ACC/SEC Challenge Tuesday night inside Coleman Coliseum.

 

Mark Sears led the Crimson Tide (5-2) with a game-high 23 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists in the losing effort. Aaron Estrada (16) and Grant Nelson (14) also reached double digits.

 

The Tigers’ (6-0) PJ Hall finished with a team-best 21 points to lead four players in double figures. Ian Schieffelin finished with nine points and a game-high 14 boards.

 

Head Coach Nate Oats Postgame Comments

“I just want to address the great crowd. I thought the student section was great. So, I just want to make sure we thank them. We'll have to see if the team can come out and play some better basketball for them. I thought (Clemson's) physicality bothered us on both ends, on their offensive end I thought that they [went inside] and hurt us in the first half. So our big’s need to do a better job. Our guards couldn't get downhill and they were very physical on our drives just couldn't really get in the paint to trade much. I think we were 12-for-32 from two on the night, which we've been one of the number one offense’s in the country. So, I think a lot of it is being able to get to and finish at the rim. They did not have a lot of real rim protection, but they just didn't let you really get to the rim. They did a great job and we finished 10-of-24 at the rim so we didn't handle their physicality well. We aren't getting downhill and creating help, threes end up being tougher threes, and we didn't shoot well from three. We just got to do a lot better job. I thought defensively we were good. Offense struggled, defense kept us in the game then offense came alive in the second half. I think we had three straight threes and went on a little run. Went up seven, they called a timeout and we don't have enough defensive drive to get stops. We have to get better on defense so we know what we have to do. Show some pride on the defensive end and we got to do a better job as a program.”

 

TEAM STATS

  • Clemson finished the game shooting 53 percent (32-60) from the floor and 52 percent (11-21) from beyond the arc including knocking down 8-11 (73 percent) in the second half alone
  • In comparison, the Tide shot 42 percent (23-67) from the field and 31 percent (11-35) from deep
  • Alabama finished with a 16-8 advantage on the offensive glass but that translated into just 11 second chance points (outscored 12-11 in the category)
  • The contest featured seven ties and six lead changes
  • The Tigers reserves outscored the Tide’s bench 24-12

 

FIRST HALF

  • The Tide trailed by as many as eight points early, 25-17, thanks in large part to missing its first nine three-point attempts
  • Alabama rallied to finish the half 4-9 from deep while limiting Clemson to three baskets across its final 11 possessions to cut the lead to one, 33-32, at the half
  • The Tide accumulated five first half steals, leading to an 8-0 advantage on the fast break
  • Mark Sears (9) and Aaron Estrada (9) combined for 18 of the Tides’ 32 first half points

 

SECOND HALF

  • With the score tied at 44-apiece with 15:21 left to play, Alabama went on a 9-2 spurt to take a 53-46 lead
  • Immediately following a timeout, Clemson scored 16 of the game’s next 18 points over the next 3:05 to take control of the game at 62-55 with 9:47 remaining
  • The Tigers would go on to lead by as many as 10 points before settling for the eight-point win

 

UP NEXT

  • Alabama returns to action Monday, Dec. 4, facing Arkansas State in Coleman Coliseum
  • The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. CT and air live on the SEC Network

 

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on X, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on X and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

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