Alabama Mississippi State
My Two Cents: Our guys have played some of their best basketball of the season in the last two games, following what was probably their worst game of the season vs Clemson. Does that mean anything? Tuesday night will begin to answer that question. Mississippi State is a young team, but this Alabama team has yet to prove that they can handle the rigors of a true road game. They fell to pieces in the 2nd half at Texas, and in the final minutes at Oregon. They've gotta prove it.
Players to Watch: Riley Norris finally snapped out of his scoring slump with an 18-point outburst vs Stetson. Riley had been tentative as a shooter in recent games, but against Stetson he led the team in field goal attempts, knocking down 7-11 (3-6 from 3-point range). While younger players like Dazon and Braxton may be the more talented members of this team, it's the play of the upperclassmen such as Riley, Jimmie, Shannon and Corban, when he returns from a groin injury, that will help determine the remainder of this season.
While Quinndary Weatherspoon is the unquestioned star of this team, another player that has impressed me when watching MSU is Aric Holman (6'10, 222 lbs). Holman leads the team in FG% (54), rebounds (6.5), and blocks (2.1). He's also averaging 10 ppg.
Prediction: Maybe this is just my heart talking, but I still believe this Alabama team can salvage this season after a slow start. The rotation is starting to round into shape (too bad it took a groin injury and a lung infection to get there, but so it goes) and this Alabama team is starting to look a bit more comfortable with each other as a result. Mississippi State is a talented, well-coached team, but they are also a very young team. If Alabama brings their defense on the road, they've got a chance. Alabama - 71 - Mississippi State - 64