Saturday , Feb , 17 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Top-25 showdown in the SEC

Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) – The 20th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats and 25th-
ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will collide in Tuscaloosa in an SEC heavyweight
bout.

Kentucky is on a bit of a down swing, as the team has lost its last two
games, including an 89-85 setback at Tennessee on Tuesday. Still, the
Wildcats are 18-7 overall, including 7-4 in league play, and they figure to
be in tremendous position to claim a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Alabama owns the same overall record as Kentucky, but the Tide is just 5-6
in the SEC after falling to top-ranked Florida on Wednesday, 76-67. That
loss was the second straight setback for ‘Bama, which is a stellar 12-1 at
home heading into tonight’s contest.

Kentucky owns a dominant 95-34 advantage over Alabama in the all-time
series, and the clubs split a pair of meetings a year ago.

Kentucky shot a stellar 56.4 percent from the floor against Tennessee on
Tuesday, and the club earned a 39-27 rebounding advantage as well.
Unfortunately, sloppy play resulted in defeat, as the Wildcats finished with 19
giveaways, while the Vols turned the ball over only eight times. Joe Crawford
paced Kentucky in defeat with 24 points, while Randolph Morris posted 14 points
and 12 rebounds. Ramel Bradley had 14 points as well, while Jodie Meeks rounded
out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Morris is clearly one of the top
frontcourt players in the SEC, as he is scoring 15.6 ppg to go along with 7.6
rpg and 49 blocked shots. Crawford (14.7 ppg) and Bradley (14.2 ppg) complete
one of the most productive trios in the conference. Kentucky is limiting its
opponents to 39.5 percent shooting from the floor this season.

Alabama led Florida by as many as 18 points early in Wednesday’s clash, but the
Gators proved why they are the nation’s top team by outscoring the Tide by 20
points in the second half. Richard Hendrix scored 16 points in defeat, and
Alonzo Gee was close behind with 15 points. Jermareo Davidson added 13 points
for the Tide, which got 10 points from Mykal Riley off the bench. Alabama was
outscored 22-9 from the foul line in that clash and permitted the Gators to
shoot 51 percent from the field. Davidson leads the team in scoring with 15.0
ppg, and he is pulling down 8.7 rpg as well. As for Hendrix, he checks in with
14.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg. Gee adds 13.2 ppg for the Tide, who are getting 12.3 ppg
from Riley. The biggest disappointment for the team has been the play of
overrated point guard Ronald Steele. Considered one of the top players at his
position entering this season, Steele has looked average on most nights and has
often been a non-factor.

ALABAMA KENTUCKY