A home game against the team that Anthony Grant coached before coming to Alabama, a game at Grant's alma mater and a game in sophomore point guard Trevor Releford's hometown are among the highlights of the Crimson Tide's 2011-12 schedule that was announced Thursday.
Virginia Commonwealth, which went to the 2011 Final Four, will visit Coleman Coliseum on Nov. 27. Grant coached the Rams for three seasons before coming to Alabama, where he is preparing to start his third season.
Grant went to Dayton, which will play host to Alabama on Dec. 7.
Releford's homecoming will be on Dec. 17 when the Crimson Tide meets Kansas State in Kansas City, Mo.
The schedule also includes a Jan. 3 game at Georgia Tech and a Dec. 21 game against Oklahoma State at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Arena.
"Playing in Birmingham is good for us and our program," Grant said in a news release. "It gives our fans in that area an opportunity to see us play a quality Big 12 opponent in Oklahoma State. We played them in Oklahoma City last year and are looking forward to playing them in Alabama this season."
Previously announced was a Dec. 1 home game against Georgetown and an appearance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Alabama will open against Maryland on Nov. 17 and will meet Colorado or Wichita State in the second game. The Tide defeated Colorado in March in the NIT semifinals and lost to Wichita State two nights later.
"The non-conference schedule presents a lot of different styles of play, challenges and road environments that will prepare us for the conference season," Grant said.
The Tide will open Southeastern Conference competition on Jan. 7 with a game at Georgia. Its SEC home opener will be on Jan. 11 against LSU.
Alabama also will visit South Carolina and Kentucky. It will play host to Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Florida..
Exhibition games have not yet been announced.
Of the Tide's 30 regular-season games, at least 15 will be against teams that finished last season ranked in the top 100 of the RPI.
"This is as strong of a non-conference schedule as Alabama has faced in recent years," Grant said in a news release. "We'll face a Final Four team in VCU, NCAA Tournament teams in Oakland, Georgetown, Kansas State and programs such as Dayton and Oklahoma State that advanced to the NIT. Plus there are seven other very good programs we could potentially face in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off."
Alabama opens its season on Nov. 11 with a home game against North Florida.