Tide Basketball Is Host To Tourney

Retin Obasohan

One of the pleasant surprises of the early Alabama men's basketball season has been the play of sophomore guard Retin Obasohan. Obasohan teams well with Crimson Tide star Trevor Releford, allowing Releford to operate more as a scorer than a true point guard.



An interesting aspect of Alabama basketball under Coach Anthony Grant has been his experimentation with the lineup in early season play. Putting Retin Obasohan into the rotation appears to be a positive. In the season-opening game against Oklahoma in Dallas, Obasohan matched his career high with 14 points. In last week's home opener, a win over Coach Tubby Smith's Texas Tech Red Raiders, Obasohan set a new career best with 15 points.

Obasohan is a native of Antwerp, Belgium. His parents immigrated from Nigeria to Antwerp, Belgium, where he was born and raised. Alabama Associate Head Coach John Brannen played professionally in Antwerp. His coach later became coach of the Belgium national team, where Obasohan was one of his players. Brannen was notified and Obasohan, a two-time academic honoree in the Southeastern Conference, ended up in Tuscaloosa.

Last year he had 14 point against Stanford in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Obasohan began to get playing time in the last half of last season and he averaged 6.8 points and 1.1 steals per game in the Tide's final 12 contests. This year he is second on the team with 14.5 ppg, while shooting 52.4 per cent from the floor and 87.5 per cent from the foul line. In addition, he also leads Alabama with 3.0 steals per game.

Men's college basketball is primarily played a game at a time leading up to post-season play, which is tournament time. There are, however, tournaments prior to the start of Southeastern Conference play, and Alabama will play in one beginning Monday in Coleman Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide will open play in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament Season Tipoff when it hosts the Stillman Tigers on Monday night at 7 p.m. CST.

The Tide is the No. 3 overall seed and is serving as the team host of the South Region. Georgia State and McNeese State will play the first game of the event on Monday at 4:30 p.m. CST. The winning teams and the losing teams of the first round will then meet on Tuesday, Nov. 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Regardless of Monday's outcome, Alabama will play in the 7 p.m. game on Tuesday.

Both of Alabama's contests in the NIT Season Tipoff will be televised on ESPN3.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant is in his fifth season at the helm of the men's basketball program. He owns an 87-53 (.621) record during his time at The Capstone and is 163-78 (.676) in eight seasons as a head coach. Stillman head coach Michael Grant is in his sixth season with the Tigers and owns a career record of 85-62 (.578).

Monday's game will mark the first time that Alabama and Stillman will meet during the regular season; although the teams have played exhibition contests, including last year. In last year's game Alabama claimed a 76-68 victory, as Nick Jacobs led four players in double figures with 16 points on the night.

The winner of the South (University of Alabama) Region of the NIT Season Tipoff will advance to play in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27 and 29. Four teams will play in New York.

Alabama is coming off a 76-64 victory over Texas Tech on Thursday night. Trevor Releford led all scorers with 29 points.

Alabama is shooting 50.9 per cent from the field and 31.0 per cent from beyond the arc. The Tide is also out-rebounding the competition through its first two games, 34.5-32.0 and outscoring foes, 74.5-73.0.

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