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MBB Tip-Off Showcase | Oklahoma Sooners Opponent Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

Kevin C. Cox

We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Oklahoma, we have a lot of respect for their program, their coach and their players. They had a lot of success last year going to the NCAA Tournament. We know that it will be a great challenge for our team this early in the year. There are a lot of things that we have to prepare for in a game of this magnitude." -Anthony Grant

The Oklahoma Sooners will play their first game of the regular season in Dallas, Texas inside the American Airlines Center during the Tip-Off Showcase. The event will feature a Big XII Conference member in each of its match-ups during the triple-header.

The Opponent

Alabama Crimson Tide

Led by fifth year head coach, Anthony Grant, the Alabama Crimson Tide is coming off a 23-13 season (12-6 in conference) and an appearance in the NIT. Eventually reaching the quarterfinals, Bama was defeated by a single point at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins.

From that squad, Bama is returning eight letterwinners and three starters headlined by All-SEC first teamer, Trevor Releford. In 2012-13, Releford averaged 14.9 points to lead the team. While the name may be familiar, there is no need for a double take. Those who watch and follow Big XII Basketball will remember Trevors's brother and former Kansas Jayhawk, Travis Releford.

Joining Trevor in the backcourt will be two experienced starters. The first is junior guard, Rodney Cooper who has the ability to score to the tune of 10.2 points per game while also pulling down 4.5 rebounds. His counterpart, Levi Randolph rounds out the trio by adding another 8.1 points per game and dishing out 1.6 dimes. Needless to say, this is a team that will rely heavily on the play of the guards to lead the way to victory as depth and experience down low is a bit of a concern.

In the lone exhibition game, the Crimson Tide faced Division II West Georgia, a game that was decided in overtime. During the stint of the game, Alabama found themselves outrebounded 49-40 which led to a bit of trouble. The end result was a 1-point victory as Coach Grant found out quite a bit about where his team stood heading into the Tip-Off Showcase.

The Series

Oklahoma and Alabama have met a total of six times throughout the years. Currently the Sooners hold a 4-2 edge as the Crimson Tide have won two of the last three meetings including a 70-55 on December 7th, 2007 in the Coleman Coliseum.