A Quick Thought on Alabama
Hey guys -
We just wanted to drop you a quick note in advance of the Aggies' game against Alabama on Wednesday night and give you a couple of things to watch for. The game will be broadcast on ESPN-U with a tip-off scheduled for 8:20 PM. ESPN-U is not available on Comcast-Houston but is on DishNetwork channel 148 and DirecTV channel 609.
The Crimson Tide are 3-1 on the young season and their only blemish was an inexplicable 83-85 home loss to Belmont University.
Alabama is led by another top-50 pre-season Wooden watch list candidate, 6'9" junior forward Richard Hendrix. Hendrix is simply a beast and is averaging 23.8 points and 14.5 points per game so far this year. The other big gun for Alabama is Alonzo Gee, a 6'6" junior guard who is averaging 15 points and 8.5 rebounds. The best 3-point shooter for Mark Gottfried's 2007-2008 squad is 6'6" guard/forward Mykal Riley, a JUCO transfer from Panola JC in the fine city of Carthage, Texas.
Joining Hendrix, Gee and Riley in the starting lineup will likely be 6'7" sophomore forward Demetrius Jemison (9.5 / 5.3) and 6'5" sophomore guard Mikhail Torrance (3.3 / 2.3).
Gottfried's rotations have generally been about 8 or 9 guys deep, but he has no significant contributors that come off the bench.
One thing that stood out to me more than anything about the Alabama starting 5 was that their backcourt seems to be quite tall - - 6'5" / 6'6" / 6'6". Does this mean that Kirk, Sloan and Carter will be able to fly by them with their speed, or does it mean that Gee, Torrance and Riley will be able to slow the Aggies down with their size.
On the perimeter I think you may see an extra dose of Derrick Roland as Turgeon will likely use Roland's size to help neutralize the Alabama guards. Inside, I would guess that Turgeon will call on both Junior Elonu and Bryan Davis to come off the bench and help pound on Hendrix as he is clearly the catalyst for the Tide.
A couple of other storylines leading into this game:
- Josh Carter, Richard Hendrix and Alonzo Gee all played together this summer at the Pan American Games Trials where Alabama coach Mark Gottfried was an assistant coach for Team USA.
- Richard Hendrix took a knee to the head in Alabama's last game against Southern Miss and has been limited in practice this week. Coach Gottfried said this week at his weekly press conference, "He’s cleared to play but we want to be real careful with that for a day or two. The negative side is he just hasn’t practiced so you can’t improve when you don’t practice. But at the same time, you want to make sure he’s all the way, 100 percent, which I think he is. So I think he’s ready to go, good to go. But we just wanted to be careful with him for a few days.”
- Vegas has inserted the Aggies as 12 point favorites on Wednesday night. I guess that number seems about right, the only thing I would be concerned with is to see whether or not the Good Guys have any hangover from their time in NYC.
Let's go with another Aggie win and say that they bring home a 71-64 victory on Wednesday night at Reed Arena.