Dayton vs. Alabama Preview
Coming off an impressive 77-64 win over the Kennesaw State Owls this past Friday night, the Alabama's men's basketball team will travel to Dayton, OH to take on the Flyers on Tuesday as part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Leading the Tide against the Owls was the play of senior Retin Obasohan, as he produced a team high 18 points, while snagging three rebounds and three steals. He'll look to continue his solid play Tuesday against the Flyers.
Freshman point guard Dazon Ingram earned his first official start of his collegiate career Friday night, and the hype surrounding him during the off-season seemed to be accurate. He finished the night with 16 points and four assists, but one of the most important stats for Ingram on the evening was his one lone turnover, an integral piece of the complex puzzle known as Avery Johnson's up-tempo style of play.
Arguably the most impressive part of Alabama's game Friday night was the play of their big men, and the Tide will need this kind of production from them in order to defeat the Flyers on Tuesday. Junior Jimmie Taylor had an outstanding game against the Owls, while only scoring six points. He was able to snag 10 boards while altering a number of shots inside the paint.
Junior Michael Kessens only played nine minutes, but he was productive on the scoreboard during that short amount of time. He ended up with eight points and also grabbed two rebounds. The 6'9" junior Shannon Hale wasn't exactly "hot" from the floor either, but he did end up with 13 points, mainly from his 5-7 shooting from the free throw line.
For the Flyers, they sport an impressive 6'7" freshman by the name of Ryan Mikesell. Mikesell led the Flyers from the floor in their first game against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, producing 21 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He's a mismatch for many players, but he may not be the most dangerous player on the court for the Tide to keep an eye on.
Kendall Pollard is a 6'6" 235 beast down in the paint, and he was the second highest scorer on the Flyers' team last season. He was held in check against the Redhawks (eight points and 10 rebounds), but watch for him to get his looks Tuesday as they'll most likely look to utilize his strength and athleticism against Alabama.
And let's not forget the head coach of the Flyers, the highly sought-after head coach during the off-season, Archie Miller. Miller was reportedly a candidate to take over the Alabama program after the firing of Anthony Grant, but he opted to sign an extension with Dayton in March earlier this year.
Tip-off is at 12:00 CST.
Watch coach Avery Johnson's press conference from Monday below: