My Two Cents: It's been a frustrating season at times for this Alabama basketball team. One thing in their favor is they have not suffered a "bad loss", i.e. a loss to a sub-150 team. Alabama should extend that streak against Stetson, but I would like to see a strong performance. The Arkansas State game was arguably the best 40 minutes of basketball this Bama team has played. Can our guys avoid a post-Christmas letdown, and build some momentum heading into conference play?
Players to Watch: Donta Hall and Jimmie Taylor haven't exactly been offensive dynamos during their Alabama careers. Donta's offensive game is still developing, while Jimmie, being a senior, is what he is at this point. That was pretty good in the last outing, when he posted a season high in points (12), while adding 3 boards, a block and an assist. Stetson opponents are averaging 44.5 rebounds per game, leaving the Hatters with a rough rebounding margin of -7.8. Alabama has made improvements in the rebounding stat, which leads me to hope that the Bama big men can have a big night.
Stetson has a pair of guys in Derrick Newton (16.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 43% from 3) and Divine Myles (16.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 47% from 3) that could create some headaches. Both guys can really shoot the ball. Myles, who hails from Mobile, will likely be excited to play this game. Watch out for him to have a big game.
Prediction: Our guys finally exhibited some chemistry and toughness in the Arkansas State game after a slow start. I hope that wasn't a mirage. Newton and Myles are capable scorers, but Bama's defense controls the game. Alabama - 79 - Stetson - 58.