Alabama Looking to Bounce Back Against Auburn After Tough Loss to Vanderbilt
Saturday, head coach Avery Johnson and the Crimson Tide fell to the Vanderbilt Commodores by a score of 71-63, but have a big game Tuesday night when they'll travel to Auburn to do battle with second year head coach Bruce Pearl and the Tigers down on the plains.
It's the Iron Bowl of basketball, and recently, the Tide have had success against the Tigers, winning six of the past eight match-ups between the two teams.
Auburn is one of the teams in the Southeastern Conference that goes by the motto, "Live by the three, die by the three." The Tigers shoot the most three's per game in the SEC, and also hits the most three's per game. Alabama also shoots a lot of three's (third in the SEC), and they also make a lot of three's (fourth in the SEC), so expect quite a few shots from beyond the arc Tuesday night.
Kareem Canty is Auburn's #1 scorer, averaging 19 points/game, but he's also their main distributor of the basketball, averaging 5.6 assists/game. The 6'1" junior will more than likely get his and he's more than capable of getting the Tigers into the appropriate set in the front court, so limiting the amount of damage Canty can do will be the main game plan for Johnson and his Crimson Tide squad.
Canty will most likely be guarded by 6'1" senior guard Retin Obasohan when the Tide play their man-to-man defense. He's been extremely active this season on the defensive end of the court (averaging 1.6 steals/game), and he'll have yet another challenge against the Auburn Tigers.
Along with his defensive talents, Obasohan is also the catalyst for the Tide offense, leading the team with 13.7 points/game. If he's able to keep up his current pace of scoring (along with the seemingly random big scoring games from any other players on the Crimson Tide roster), the Tide should leave Auburn with a victory.
Down in the paint, Auburn will utilize the broad size of their senior forward Cinmeon Bowers. Bowers doesn't tower over anyone (standing at 6'7"), but he's a load under the basket to deal with (260 lbs), and can make plenty of room down low to snag rebounds (averaging 8.9/game).
Matching up with Bowers will be a combination of Jimmie Taylor, Donta Hall, and Michael Kessens, so keeping their legs fresh to deal with the physicality of Bowers will be integral for Johnson to work into the game plan to take down the Tigers for the seventh time in the past nine meetings.