A little over two months ago the thought of Alabama fans getting excited about coach Anthony Grant’s Crimson Tide stringing together back to back wins would have seemed laughable. However, that is the position Bama fans find themselves in going in to Alabama’s 7 pm CT tip-off Saturday against Ole Miss at Coleman Coliseum. After halting a 4 game losing streak last Saturday with a 72-66 victory over Arkansas, Grant and the Tide look to continue to their winning ways against Andy Kennedy’s Rebels.
Alabama (14-7, 3-4 SEC) is also trying to get back to.500 in league play after starting their conference schedule off with wins over Georgia and LSU. They continue to be led by the 3-headed monster of JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell, and Trevor Releford. Green is averaging over 13 points a game and almost 7 rebounds, while Mitchell contributes 13 points and 7 boards. Releford continues to run the point for the Tide while averaging over 12 points and 3 assists a contest. Senior Andrew Steele continues to contribute big off the bench after being cleared to re-join the team 8 games ago. Steele, whose career was thought to be over last season after suffering several concussions, is averaging over 6 points a game.
Ole Miss (14-7, 4-3 SEC) comes to Tuscaloosa on a hot streak, having won 3 out of their last 4 games in conference play. The Rebels are fortunate to have four players that average double digit points per game. Terrance Henry leads the Rebels with over 12 points a game and almost 5 rebounds. His biggest assistance comes from Murphy Holloway, who averages almost 11 points a game and almost 10 boards. Jarvis Summers and Nick Williams also contribute greatly, both averaging 10 points a game, respectively. While not averaging double digits a game, forward Reginald Buckner contributes over 6 points a game and almost 9 rebounds.
Coach Grant has made it very clear that Alabama has their work cut out for them if they are to defeat the Rebels. Grant had high praise when asked about the Rebels’ play this year.
"I've been impressed with what Ole Miss has done, I think Andy Kennedy has done a great job with his team and I'm certainly impressed with their players individually," said Grant. "They've got one of the biggest front courts in our league and have done a great job from a defensive standpoint. They pose a lot of challenges for us to get prepared for."
Saturday’s game will be the true indication of whether the Tide has found their winning ways again, or if Bama fans are going to have to continue to hope for another two game winning streak in the future. The game is scheduled to be broadcast by ESPN 2.