Preview: Alabama Set to Take on Oregon in Vulcan Classic in Birmingham
It's not the long overdue football match-up that we all have been expecting for the past six or seven years, but Alabama and Oregon will tip-off Monday night in Birmingham's Legacy Arena at 8 PM, with both teams looking to sneak into the Top 25 before they take their Christmas breaks.
The Tide and the Ducks come in to this match-up both in the top 35 in RPI, and a win for either school will be a nice addition to both team's resume when seeding for the NCAA Tournament begins.
Alabama senior guard Retin Obasohan is coming off being awarded the SEC Player of the Week, after his huge performances against the Clemson Tigers and the Winthrop Eagles, throwing up a total of 35 points and shooting 51.7% over those two games. The Crimson Tide will need another solid performance from Obasohan if they want to leave Birmingham with a victory.
Junior center Jimmie Taylor seemed to have found his groove on offense and defense during the Tide win over Winthrop. Taylor finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Alabama doesn't have much size in the paint, so his contributions will be vital in shutting down a hot-shooting Oregon Ducks squad.
Duck point guard Casey Benson has been one of the most impressive point guards so far this season, as he leads the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 9/1. He isn't the best shooter in the country (36.2% from the floor), but he's been an exceptional game manager for the Ducks, leading them to a 9-2 record thus far.
However, one of the best scorers in the country is on the Ducks' roster. Sophomore Dillon Brooks is averaging 15.9 points/game this season and also has been a big presence under the basket, averaging 6.8 rebounds/game. His performance from the charity stripe has been top-notch as well, making 85.7% of his free throw attempts.