Detroit Titans at #15 Alabama Crimson Tide
Coleman Coliseum – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Sunday, December 11, 2011, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Alabama -13 1/2
Current Line: Alabama -13 1/2
Opening Total: 134
Current Total: 133
Opening Money Line: Alabama -1300 / Detroit +850
Current Money Line: Alabama -1200 / Detroit +800
Though basketball will always play second fiddle to football at Alabama, the Crimson Tide have a pretty good hoops team as well. The Tide are 7-2 this season under coach Anthony Grant and are #15 in the country. Alabama started off the season 7-0 with wins over Maryland, Wichita St, Purdue, and VCU. However, Alabama has lost two games in a row at home to Georgetown 57-55 and Wednesday night at Dayton 74-62.
The Crimson Tide look to rebound as they take on the 5-6 Detroit Titans of the Horizon League. The Titans are coached by Ray McCallum. After a 3-6 start that included losses to Notre Dame, George Washington, Bowling Green, Akron, Youngstown St, and Cleveland St, the Titans have won 2 straight games against St. John’s 69-63 and Western Michigan 92-81. This is the second ever meeting between Alabama and Detroit, as the Crimson Tide beat the Titans in the 2001 NIT semifinals.
Detroit was a 5 point favorite on the college basketball betting line Thursday night at home against Western Michigan. In the first half Detroit went on an 18-2 run to take a 36-12 lead. Detroit went on to score 25 more points in the half to take a 61-39 lead into the locker room. Western Michigan opened the second half on a 7-0 run but were never able to cut the deficit below 9 points after that. The Titans held on for the 92-81 win. Detroit was 33/62 from the field, but only 2/8 on three pointers. The Titans made 24 of 33 free throws. Detroit had 33 rebounds, 18 assists, and 8 turnovers in the win. Forward/center Eli Holman had 21 points to lead the Titans off the bench. He also had 7 rebounds (3 on offense), 4 blocks, an assists, and a steal. Guard Chase Simon added 20 points and 5 rebounds. Ray McCallum, Jr., son of the Titans’ coach, had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Guard Jason Calliste added 12 points and 4 rebounds. The Broncos were 27/64 from the field and 7/21 on three pointers.
Detroit is outscoring opponents 76-71 this season. The Titans are shooting 46.7% from the field including 29.4% from 3 point range. Detroit is shooting 73.4% from the free throw line. The Titans average 36.5 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +1. The Titans average 13.6 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 6.6 steals, and 5.5 blocks a game. Detroit opponents are shooting 43.1% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range.
Holman played his first game of the season Thursday night. He missed the first 10 games due to person reasons. Guard Chase Simon averages 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. McCallum averages 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He leads the Titans in steals and assists. Forward Nick Minnerath is averaging 12 points and 4 rebounds a game. He is out until at least December 17 with a knee injury. Calliste averages 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Doug Anderson averages 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds to lead the team. LaMarcus Lowe averages 7.3 points, 5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game to lead the team. Forward John Hoskins (knee) and guard Chris Blake (suspension) are also out for the Titans.
Alabama was a 5 point favorite at Dayton Wednesday night. Dayton jumped out to a 38-27 lead with Alabama star forward JaMychal Green on the bench for most of the first half with foul trouble. In the second half Alabama rallied and pulled to within 57-53 with just under 8 minutes to go. However, from that point on, Dayton closed the game on a 17-9 run to win 74-62. Alabama was 27/54 from the field, but only 4/16 on three pointers. The Crimson Tide made 4 of 8 free throws. Forward Tony Mitchell led the Tide with 18 points, and also added 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Guard Trevor Releford scored 13 points for Alabama. Green finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. The Tide had 20 rebounds, 18 assists, and 11 touchdowns. Dayton shot 28/46 from the field, including 10/19 from 3 point range. The Flyers made 8/11 free throws.
Alabama is outscoring opponents 67-55 this season. The Crimson Tide are shooting 45% from the field including 26.7% from 3 point range. Alabama shoots 73.1% from the free throw line. The Crimson Tide average 37.9 rebounds, and have a rebounding margin of +4.9. Alabama averages 12.8 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 6.2 steals, and 5.3 blocks a game. Crimson Tide opponents are shooting 36% from the field and 27.8% from 3 point range.
Mitchell averages 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks a game. He leads the Crimson Tide in scoring and rebounding. Green averages 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 blocks a game to lead the team. Releford averages 11.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists to lead the team, and 1.1 steals a game. Levi Randolph leads the team in steals with 1.3 a game. Center Moussa Gueye is out for the season with a knee injury.
Alabama is 3-3 against the spread this season and the total is also 3-3. Detroit is 2-6-1 ATS and the total is 4-5 this season. The Titans are 3-1-1 as a road underdog of 13 points or more, 1-3-1 after a win, 2-6-1 in conference games, 3-10-1 as an underdog, 2-7-1 overall, 3-12-3 in road games, 1-7-1 as a road underdog, 1-8-2 in road games against teams with winning home records, 0-2-2 in road games after 3 or more consecutive home games, 0-4-1 after scoring 90 points or more, and 0-4-1 against teams with winning records. The Crimson Tide are 14-4-1 ATS as a home favorite, 16-6-1 as a favorite, and at home, 13-28 as a home favorite of 13 points or more, 2-5 after failing to cover, and 1-4 at home against teams with losing road records.
Detroit has been very inconsistent this year, but has been playing better recently. If the team that beat St. John’s shows up, then the Titans can give the suddenly struggling Crimson Tide a game. Otherwise, Alabama should win this game handily.