November 19, 2006

Paradise Jam: Iowa vs. Alabama

What: Iowa (1-1) vs. No. 10 Alabama (2-0), Paradise Jam semifinals.
Where: University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center, St. Thomas, VI
When: Sunday, Nov. 19
Time/TV: 5 p.m. (CST)/Fox College Sports
Tournament update: Alabama advanced to the semifinals on the strength of a 71-62 win over Middle Tennessee in the opening round. Iowa knocked off Toledo 78-65 in the first round. The Iowa-Alabama winner will play the winner of Sunday's Xavier-Villanova semifinal for the tournament title Monday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Monday's third place game is slated for 5 p.m. CT. Click here for the tournament bracket.
Series record: First meeting.

The Coaches
Alabama -- Mark Gottfried (ninth season) has compiled a record of 162-96 at Alabama and an overall mark of 230-120.

Iowa -- Steve Alford (eighth season) has compiled a record of 137-92 at Iowa and an overall mark of 293-169.

The Starting Lineups
Alabama
Forward -- 35 Richard Hendrix (6-8, 265, So., 9.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG)
Forward -- 12 Alonzo Gee (6-6, 215, So. 16.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG)
Center -- 33 Yamene Coleman (6-9, 230, rFr., 5.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG)
Guard -- 4 Brandon Hollinger (5-11, 170, So., 3.0 PPG, 7.0 APG)
Guard -- 22 Ronald Steele (6-3, 185, Jr., 8.0 PPG, 6.0 APG)

Iowa
Forward - 34 Tyler Smith (6-7, 219, Fr., 15.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG)
Forward -- 52 Kurt Looby (6-10, 210, Jr., 8.5 PPG, 11.5 RPG)
Center - 53 Seth Gorney (7-0, 245, Jr., 10.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG)
Guard - 1 Adam Haluska (6-5, 210, Sr., 19.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
Guard - 11 Tony Freeman (6-1, 190, So., 4.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG)

Around the perimeter

Alabama: Steele continues to be hampered by tendonitis in his right knee, but it didn't keep him from scoring 20 points in 38 minutes of action against Middle Tennessee in the opening round. In addition to starting at the two, Hollinger continues to be the first option behind Steele at the point. With Davidson out, Gee and Mykal Riley provided some help on the boards, combining for 11 rebounds. Riley's four assists tied Steele for the team lead.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes are led by Haluska, a three-year starter who also serves as team captain. After earning third-team all-Big Ten honors a year ago, Haluska was named to the league's preseason all-conference team. Point guard Freeman is shooting 25 percent from the field and has committed 11 turnovers in two games. Haluska and Freeman combined for 13 turnovers and 13 rebounds in Iowa's opening round win over Toledo.

Advantage: Alabama

In the paint

Alabama: With Jermareo Davidson unavailable, Hendrix stepped into the roll of primary post option against Middle and responded with 16 points and eight rebounds. Davidson, who remained in Alabama to attend his girlfriend's funeral on Friday, joined the team in St. Thomas on Saturday. Coleman got his first start against MTSU. Coleman and Demetrius Jemison split time evenly, with both seeing 20 minutes of action in round one. Coleman showed decent range in knocking down a pair of jumpers, while Jemison scored from both inside and out on his way to finishing with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Hendrix and Jemison both fouled out in the win.

Iowa: Smith has been a bit of a mystery in the Hawkeyes' first two games. The freshman needed just 10 minutes to foul out in Iowa's season-opening win over The Citadel. Smith followed that up with a 28-point performance against Toledo on Friday. He added six rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes of work. Smith came off the bench in the first two games, but he's listed as a starter for game three. Behind Smith and Looby, the Hawkeyes outrebounded Toledo 51-30.

Advantage: Alabama

What to watch for: For the first time on the young season, Alabama will go against an opponent that has legitmate size in the paint. Davidson, who turned 22 on Wednesday, is listed as questionable for Iowa, but his presence in St. Thomas would seem to indicate that he'll be available for Sunday's game. Whether or not he plays could go a long way in determining who wins the rebounding battle -- and the game.

Prediction: Alabama 72, Iowa 67

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