Wednesday , Feb , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Tide rolls into Knoxville

Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) – The 25th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and
Tennessee Volunteers will do battle in an SEC contest tonight in

Alabama carried a two-game losing skid into Saturday’s game against
Kentucky, but the Tide recorded a thrilling 72-61 decision over the
Wildcats. While Alabama is 19-7 overall and 6-6 in league play, the club
is just 2-6 in true road games.

Tennessee carried a three-game win streak into Saturday’s clash with
South Carolina, but the result was a lopsided 81-64 loss to the Gamecocks.
The Vols have won all 14 of their home games this season, so expect them
to play with a wealth of confidence.

Alabama owns a 71-61 series lead over Tennessee, and tonight’s game marks
the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

Richard Hendrix has led Alabama in scoring in four consecutive outings, and
he is averaging 15.0 ppg this season to pace the squad. Hendrix is also
pulling down 8.9 rpg and remains the most underrated player in the SEC.
Jermareo Davidson adds 14.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg to the mix, and Alonzo Gee is
scoring 13.0 ppg. The fourth and final double-digit scorer in the lineup is
Mykal Riley, as he is posting 12.2 ppg. The most disappointing player for
the Tide has been point guard Ronald Steele, as he has failed to live up
to his All-American billing. Steele is shooting just 38.5 percent from
the floor, including 34 percent in league games, and he has been a non-
factor in many of the club’s tilts. That was not the case in the big win
over Kentucky on Saturday, as Steele scored 15 points and dished out seven
assists. Hendrix finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, and Riley added 12

Not much went right for Tennessee in the loss to South Carolina on
Saturday. The Vols connected on only 38.2 percent of their field goal
attempts while allowing the Gamecocks to shoot 53.7 percent from the floor.
Sure, Tennessee earned a 14-4 offensive rebounding advantage and a 16-10
edge in points from the foul line, but the overall effort was disappointing.
Ramar Smith scored a team-high 15 points in defeat, and Chris Lofton
tallied 13 points. Lofton is the best player for the Vols and one of the
finest performers in the SEC. He is averaging 20.4 ppg on 44.3 percent
shooting from three-point range and is knocking down 83.3 percent of his
free throws. JaJuan Smith is netting 15.0 ppg, and Ramar Smith adds 10.4 ppg
to the lineup.