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Alabama is coming off its second consecutive loss. After having its 24-game home court winning streak ended by Georgetown last Sunday, then going on the road and losing to mid-major Dayton, Crimson Tide Coach Anthony Grant said, "Anytime you're coming off a loss, there's an anxiousness to get back on the court."
The opportunity comes Sunday when Alabama hosts Detroit in Coleman Coliseum at 5 p.m. CST. ESPNU will televise the game.
Alabama fell to 16th in the nation in the Associated Press poll and 15th in the Coaches' Poll following the Tide's loss to Georgetown and can be expected to drop a bit more after the setback at Dayton.
The loss to Georgetown is the only Coleman Coliseum loss by Bama in the past two years.
Detroit hasn't demonstrated it is a good road team, but the Titans did have an impressive sounding victory in defeating St. John's at home. Detroit also beat Western Michigan and is 5-6 this season with its two-game winning streak.
Although Bama has played very good defense most of this season, the Crimson Tide was not effective against a hot-shooting Dayton team in that 74-62 loss. Detroit brings in a high-scoring team, averaging 75.9 and having scored 90 or more points four times this season.
In pre-season predictions, Detroit was expected to finish second to Butler in the Horizon League.
"I'm very impressed with what I've seen of Detroit so far," Grant said. "They're a very talented team that's coming off consecutive wins so they have momentum in their favor."
Despite a subpar night against Dayton, the Tide's defense remains one of the top in the nation by allowing just 55.4 points per game this season, the 12th best average in the nation. Only three of UA's opponents have even reached the 60-point mark this season and three have failed to score 50 points. UA's nine opponents have converted on just 36 per cent of their field goal attempts, the 11th lowest average in the nation.
After averaging 19 points in his last two games, Tony Mitchell leads the Tide in scoring and rebounding with 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. JaMychal Green is second on the squad with 14.8 points per game while converting on 53.7 percent of his attempts and hauling in 6.9 rebounds per game.
Over the summer, Green was teammates with Detroit's Ray McCallum on the USA Basketball World University Games team that competed in Shenzhen, China. Green averaged 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds for the team while McCallum added 4.5 points per game.
"He's a very talented guard," Green said. "He's quick, can shoot the ball from the three-point line with a great mid-range game. He's a great all-around player and our guards are going to have to be ready."
Sunday's game is the second between the two programs with the last coming in the semifinals of the 2001 NIT with UA advancing courtesy of a 74-63 win. Following Sunday's game the Tide will have a week off for finals before traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to face Kansas State on Saturday.