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Alabama to Host Kentucky Tonight

The Alabama men’s basketball team will host the second of it’s two-game home-stand tonight (Tuesday) when it welcomes Kentucky to Coleman Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN. “We are excited to tomorrow’s game against Kentucky,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said.   The last time Alabama met in Tuscaloosa happens to be the last time the Tide had a win over the Wildcats (68-66) on Jan. 18, 2010.

The Crimson Tide (11-6, 3-1 SEC) comes into the game having won three straight SEC games and four of its last five and is lead by “The Trevor’s”.  Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey and Junior guard Trevor Releford are teaming up as the dynamic duo this season.  In the last game against Texas A&M, Lacy hits the game winning shot with just under nine seconds remaining and finished the game with 14 points and led the team with six rebounds, five assists and three steals.  Lacey is second on the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and leads the SEC in three-point field goal percentage for the season (45.5 percent).  Releford comes into the Kentucky game as the team’s top scorer and ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 16.2 ppg, and third in the SEC with an average of 18.7 points per game.  Combined, the duo of Releford and Lacey, has contributed to 28.7 points per game, or approximately 44 percent of the team’s 65.5 points per game.  Senior guard Andrew Steele has added to the dimension of the team.  “I think it gives us an advantage in terms of setting tempo since we like to press a lot on defense” Grant said, and “Offensively, it spaces the court for us and allows us to take advantage of our quickness and skill level, so I don’t see it as a shortcoming at all.”

Kentucky comes into Coleman Coliseum with a 12-5 overall mark and they are tied for third in the SEC standings with Alabama at 3-1. The Wildcats have won four of their last five games as well behind a trio of freshmen. Guard Archie Good leads the way with 15.0 ppg, forward Alex Poythress is second on the team with 13.1 ppg and Nerlens Noel averages 10.8 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds a game.

Head coach Anthony Grant (1-4 when facing Kentucky) went on to discuss the Wildcat’s talented team,  “After watching them on film, I am very impressed with their length, athleticism, speed and quickness. The numbers tell the story on what they are doing from an offensive standpoint. They are very efficient offensively. Defensively, they are an extremely diverse team. They are very talented in their ability to create steals, block shots and get in passing lanes. It will be a great challenge for our team. We have to do a great job offensively with our decision making and execution. Defensively we have to do a great job getting back in transition and limiting their opportunities in the open floor situations. We are looking forward to the opportunity.”

”  On playing a Kentucky team that has nearly an entire new roster: “We look at every game as a different situation. We try not to base anything from the past. We only worry about what we can control going forward. Our coaches do a good job on their scouting report and are very detailed with their tendencies. We go into every game extremely prepared.” Junior guard Trevor Releford On how his ankle is feeling after the Texas A&M game: “I think my ankle is coming along good. We have a great medical staff who have taken good care of me and are making sure I am getting the proper treatment and stuff like that, so I think it is good to go. – UA –

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