VCU vs. No. 13 Alabama preview

Staff Reports
Commonwealth Times’ Sports Twitter

Quick hits
All-time series: Alabama leads 3-0.
Last meeting: The Crimson Tide took a 72-59 decision at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
Records: VCU (3-2), Alabama (6-0).
Last time out: VCU used a strong defensive performance to defeat Western Kentucky for the second straight time, this time in the Hilltoppers home arena by a score of 68-45. Alabama destroyed Alabama A&M 82-45 behind 16 points and nine rebounds from sophomore Charles Hankerson Jr.
Coaching ties: Current Alabama head coach Anthony Grant coached three seasons at VCU before taking over as head of the Crimson Tide two seasons ago. Grant coached current VCU players Bradford Burgess and David Hinton in his time with the Rams’ program.
Other notes
– With Alabama’s win over Alabama A&M last Wednesday, the Crimson Tide have now won 23 straight home games, good for the fifth-longest active home-winning streak in the country.
– Alabama leading scorer Tony Mitchell made an early departure from Wednesday night’s game after injuring his ankle. Senior forward JaMychal Green didn’t participate in the Crimson Tide’s last game due to a hip pointer. Al.com’s Don Kausler Jr. reports that Anthony Grant expects both players to play tonight against VCU.
– Tonight’s game marks the seventh time in the past 11 games VCU has faced a BCS opponent. The Rams are 5-2 over that stretch. The SEC is the only conference that head coach Shaka Smart and VCU have not beaten a team from in the past three years.
– Alabama has won 10 of its last 11 outings counting back to last year.

Team leaders
Points: (VCU) B. Burgess 11.2 (Alabama) T. Mitchell 14.7
Rebounds: (VCU) J. Reddic 5.0 (Alabama) T. Mitchell 8.7
Assists: (VCU) D. Theus 4.2 (Alabama) T. Releford 2.7
Steals: (VCU) B. Weber 2.4 (Alabama) L. Randolph 1.3
Blocks: (VCU) D. Theus .6 (Alabama) J. Green 1.6

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