TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama will play its fourth road contest across its last six games when it travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the LSU Tigers on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2. It will mark the first of two games played between the longtime rivals this season as LSU will play the return game in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. CT.
First place will be on the line when the Tide and Tigers square off inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Alabama (11-3, 6-0 SEC) enters the contest having won seven straight and eight of its last nine games following 90-59 victory over Arkansas last Saturday. That victory came on the heels of an 85-65 win over Kentucky in Rupp Arena earlier in the week. Meanwhile, LSU (11-2, 5-1) has won four consecutive contests entering Tuesday’s showdown and are a perfect 8-0 in home games this year.
Alabama and LSU will meet for the 184th time in a series history that began during the 1915-16 season. Tuesday’s game will mark the first of two meetings between the squads this season. The Crimson Tide owns a 109-74 lead in the all-time series. The 183 meetings are the second-most Alabama has played against any single opponent, while the 109 wins rank as third best against any foe
Alabama enters this week back in the national rankings, checking it at No. 18 in the Associated Press Top-25 and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches poll. It’s the first time since December of 2017 that UA is ranked in the AP Poll. Furthermore, the last time the Tide has been ranked in the AP poll this late in the season came when it was ranked No. 25 for the week of Feb. 19, 2007.
- Tuesday’s game will be available on ESPN2 with Kevin Fitzgerald (play-by-play) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) on the call.
- The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play), Bryan Passink (analyst) and Roger Hoover (sideline) on the call. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.
- Coming into Tuesday night’s contest, Alabama not only leads the SEC at 6-0, but it is the top defensive team in conference play. The Crimson Tide currently ranks first in the league field goal percentage defense (.366), three-point field goal percentage defense (.259), is second in steals (9.3) and third in scoring defense (68.7).
- Alabama ranks among the top-20 in the nation in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com (as of 1/18). The Crimson Tide is 20th nationally in offensive efficiency coming into Tuesday’s contest at LSU and ranks No. 17 overall in defensive efficiency. Additionally, the Tide is the third-fastest team in the nation, averaging 14.2 seconds per possession according to the same site.
- Alabama will be looking to win its eighth straight game which would mark the longest winning streak since starting the 2002-03 campaign with nine consecutive victories. The Tide’s six-straight SEC wins is the best since winning eight straight to start the 1987 SEC season.
- The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 18 in the NCAA NET rankings (as of 1/18) which is second-best among SEC teams. Alabama is one of four SEC teams ranked among the top-25, which also includes No. 3 Tennessee, No. 22 LSU and No. 25 Missouri.
- While Alabama is known for what it can do offensively, it’s the Crimson Tide’s defense that has helped it to a 6-0 start to SEC play. Alabama leads the SEC in field goal percentage defense (36.6 percent), three-point field goal percentage defense (25.9 percent) and defensive rebounds a game (29.2), while ranking second in steals (9.3) and third in scoring defense (68.7).
- John Petty Jr. has been on fire during SEC play, having earned the league’s Player of the Week award in two of the last three weeks (Jan. 4 and Jan. 18). The Huntsville, Ala., native is averaging a team-leading 15.3 points per game in league play, while shooting 57.4 percent (35-of-61) from the floor and 50.0 percent (18-of-36) from beyond the arc against league competition. He leads the league in conference play in three-point field goal percentage and total threes made, ranks second in threes made per game (3.0) and is 13th in scoring average. Furthermore, with five made threes vs. Arkansas on Jan. 16, Petty became the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (currently has 265). Additionally, his 688 career attempts from deep is 51 shy of breaking Williams’ program record of 738 three-point shots.
- According to KenPom.com, Alabama’s strength of schedule ranks No. 29 overall which is third-best among all SEC teams. Eleven of the Crimson Tide’s first 14 opponents on the season are ranked in the Ken Pomeroy top-100 RPI, while eight are among the top 65 and four inside the top 50 (all numbers as of 1/18).
- Alabama enters contest at LSU riding a seven-game winning streak – the longest winning streak dating back to winning seven-straight to open the 2011-12 campaign. The Crimson Tide extended its best win streak in 10 years with an impressive 90-59 victory over Arkansas last Saturday. It was UA’s largest win in an SEC game since defeating Mississippi State by 32 points, 75-43, on Jan. 16, 2013.
- Four Crimson Tide players are averaging 12.5 or more points per game for head coach Nate Oats in the early part of the season. Guard Jaden Shackelford leads the way at 13.6 ppg while John Petty Jr. is second on the team with 13.5 ppg. Guard Jahvon Quinerly, who missed three games with a medical condition before returning to the lineup against Arkansas, averages 12.5 ppg while forward Herbert Jones is at 12.6 ppg.
- Jones, considered one of the top defensive players in the entire nation, leads the team in rebounding (5.9 rpg), three-point field goal percentage (.500, 10-of-20), charges taken (4), Blue Collar Points (287, 20.5 BCP per game), deflections (45), floor dives (12) and Hard Hat Awards (7). He also boasts much improved offensive numbers during his senior season. In addition to averaging double digits, Jones is collecting 1.9 assists per contest, while shooting 47.2 percent from the field (60-of-127).
- The combination of Petty (31-of-82) and Shackelford (30-of-83) have combined to hit 61 of the Tide’s 142 three-pointers (43.0 percent) and have 165 of the team’s 417 (39.6 percent) total attempts from beyond the arc. Combined, the duo is shooting 37.0 percent (61-of-165) from beyond the arc.
- As a team, Alabama is outscoring the opposition by 10.0 points per contest (80.1-70.1) while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from deep and 69.4 percent from the charity stripe.
- It’s the Crimson Tide’s defense that has set the tone to its 6-0 start in SEC play. UA leads the league in defensive efficiency, ranking first in field goal percentage defense (36.6 percent) and three-point field goal percentage defense (25.9 percent), second in steals (9.3) and third in scoring defense (68.7).
- This season, the Tide welcomed back four starters and five of its top seven scorers off last year’s team, three were named as All-SEC performers a year ago. Petty (Second Team All-SEC), Shackelford (All-Freshman) and Jones (All-Defensive) all earned a spot on the postseason teams. Both Petty and Jones tested the NBA waters, with Petty, who was one of the last players to withdraw his name, announcing his return in early August and Jones in mid-June.
- Alabama was predicted to finish fifth overall as voted on by a select panel of both SEC and national media members. Additionally, Petty All-SEC Preseason First Team honors by both the coaches and media members, while Jones earned a spot on the preseason second team as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Petty was selected to the 2020 Jerry West Award Watch List for the nation’s top shooting guard. He was also tabbed preseason All-SEC by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.
- Head coach Nate Oats is in his second season at the helm of the Crimson Tide program and owns a record of 27-18 (.600) during his time at the Capstone. Oats, who is in his sixth season as a collegiate head coach, owns a career record of 123-61 (.668).
- LSU comes into Tuesday’s contest sporting a 10-2 overall record and sit a game back of Alabama in the league standings with a 5-1 record. The Tigers have won four straight and nine of its last 10 following an 85-80 victory vs. South Carolina on Saturday night. Tuesday’s contest will be the third straight home game and the fourth SEC home contest in its last five games to begin league play (4-0)
- Freshman sensation Cameron Thomas comes into the contest leading the SEC in scoring at 22.1 points per game, while leading LSU in field goals made and attempted (80-of-190) and free throws made and attempted (77-of-86). Thomas is one of four Tigers who average double digits, along forward Trendon Watford (18.7 ppg), guard Javonte Smart (15.2 ppg) and forward Darius Days (13.7 ppg) combine with Thomas to average 69.7 of the team’s 86.1 points per game average – approximately 81 percent of the teams total scoring average.
- In addition to ranking second on the team and third in the SEC in scoring, Watford is also second on LSU with 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 33.6 minutes per contest. Smart leads the team in minutes (34.1) and assists (4.0) per game, while Days tops the team in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and steals (1.5 spg).
- As a team, the Tigers are outscoring the opposition by 14.8 points per contest (86.1-71.3) and outrebounding the competition by 4.2 rebounds per game (38.8-34.6). Offensively, LSU is leading the SEC in scoring offense, field goal percentage (.491) and free throw percentage (.769), ranks second in scoring margin and is third in three-point field goal percentage (.367). Defensively, the Tigers lead the league in steals (9.3 spg) and are second in three-point field goal defense (.276).
- In conference play, LSU is outscoring foes by 9.3 points (83.7-74.3) while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Tigers are averaging a league-leading 10.3 steals per game, rank second in scoring offense, field goal percentage (464) and free throw percentage (.763).
- LSU head coach Will Wade is in his fourth year at the helm of the LSU program. During his time in Baton Rouge, Wade owns a record of 74-32 (.698) and has a career record of 165-77 (.682).
Alabama-LSU – Series Notes
- Alabama and LSU will meet for the 184th time in a series history that began during the 1915-16 season. The Crimson Tide owns a 109-74 lead in the all-time series. The 183 meetings are the second-most Alabama has played against any single opponent, while the 109 wins rank as third best against any foe.
- The teams split a pair of games last season, with each squad winning on its home court. The Tigers captured a 90-76 win over the Tide at the PMAC on Jan. 29 to earn their third straight win in the series after sweeping the Tide in 2018-19. However, Alabama snapped the skid with an 88-82 win over then No. 25 LSU inside Coleman Coliseum on Feb. 15.
- Despite having its winning streak in the series snapped, UA enters the matchup having won five of the last seven and 17 of the last 26 contests (17-9) against the Tigers
- Alabama and LSU have played in 10 overtime games in series history, including two triple overtime contests (2/10/90 & 2/23/13) and a quadruple overtime contest (2/12/72) – one of only two four-overtime game in school history. Alabama has an impressive 8-2 record when it has played LSU in overtime.
- The Tide had won three consecutive games at the PMAC prior to last season’s setback. It was the first time since 1974-77 that UA had won three-straight in Baton Rouge. In the 78 total games played at LSU, Alabama owns a record of 30-48.
- Four of the last 13 games played between the two teams have been decided by three or fewer points, while nine of the last 14 have been decided by less than 10 points.
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