Basketball Preview: Alabama Stays Home Against Another Tough Non-Conference Opponent
The Alabama Crimson Tide (6-2) have five more non-conference games this season and the next four could possibly be their toughest stretch of season.
Avery Johnson and the Crimson Tide has had to escape close games with UT-Arlington and Louisiana Tech where they had to pull away with the victory late in the second half. The Crimson Tide finally met their match on Sunday with the UCF Knights coming into Tuscaloosa after losing a close game to the Missouri Tigers and defeated the Crimson Tide 65-62.
Alabama shot 36.4 percent from the field and was 1-6 from the three-point line including a missed three at the end of regulation by John Petty. Forward Donta Hall lead the game in points with 20 points, 9-9 from the field, and four rebounds.
Now the Crimson Tide goes into a stretch of games where the next four are must wins before they begin SEC play against Texas A&M on December 30.
Rhode Island (5-2) are next up for the Crimson Tide and the Rams are having similar season losing two games, one on the road to Nevada 88-81 and the other in Brooklyn, NY to #12 Virginia 70-55. Both teams are playing for early season momentum to carry into conference play and the Rams are no pushover team.
The Crimson Tide has had trouble defending guard play this season and the Rams have a whole rotation of talent guards led by senior Jared Terrell who's averaging 17.9 points per game and the Rams are 20-7 in two season when he collects five or more assist.
Sophomore Jeff Dowtin, who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team last season, comes into this season averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 assist and also the on-ball defense of Stanford Robinson who has collected 21 steals to start the season including seven in their season opener against UNC Asheville.
The match-up to look out for in this game is Collin Sexton and another freshman on the opposite end Fatts Russell who is being regarded as one of the best point guards in the Atlantic 10 Conference and has scored two points the Rams last two games. Russell is shooting 45 percent from the field an like Sexton he scores at-will and he can put up points quick against this Crimson Tide team.
Although the Rams will be without their star guard R.C Matthews, who is out with a right knee injury, they are four or five deep at that position.
The Crimson Tide will have a lot on their plate in this Wednesday night game at Coleman Coliseum, but if they can shut down the Rams guard play and collect more offense from Sexton, who was 0-4 from the field against UCF and scored 7 points in the game.
Tip-off will begin at 7 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network+. We will be broadcasting the game live here on Tide 102.9/100.9 with coverage beginning at 6 p.m.