Thursday, November 12, 2015

Game Preview: Kennesaw State

The Avery Johnson era officially begins tomorrow night at 7:30 PM when the season tips off against Kennesaw State. The game will be the second of a doubleheader, which also includes the women's team tipping off their season against Alabama A&M at 4:30 PM. Tickets for both games are $5.00. If you're in the area, please go support both teams and help them get off to a successful start. Avery Johnson announced today on Twitter that only 2,000 tickets remain for the game so a good crowd is anticipated for tomorrow night. If you can't make it to Coleman, the game will be available to watch on SEC Network+, accessible through the Watch ESPN app.

Kennesaw State, a member of the Atlantic Sun conference, will also be introducing a new head coach in Al Skinner, previously the head man at Rhode Island (1988-1997) and Boston College (1997-2010). At Boston College, he was the National Coach of the Year in 2001, as well as the Big East Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2005. He brings a wealth of experience to the bench, and I expect him to have success at Kennesaw. He will have a nice foundation with two senior starters back who were also the top two scorers for the team last season.

Three Players to Watch for Kennesaw State:

1. Yonel Brown - G - 5'9, 160 lbs - Led team in scoring (15.2), assists (2.8), steals (1.2) last season.
                                                       Shot 38% from 3, 90% from the free throw line. Can do a little bit of
                                                       everything for this team.
2. Nigel Pruitt - F - 6'7, 180 lbs - 2nd on the team in scoring (12.2) last season.
3. Bernard Morena - F - 6'8, 200 lbs - Began his career at Auburn. This Kennesaw team does not have a
                                                            lot of size. Morena (and fellow forward, Jordan Jones) are the
                                                            tallest players on the team at 6'8.

The Bama guards will have their hands full trying to contain Brown, and Skinner's college coaching experience (even Coach Avery cited it in his press conference) on the bench is an x-factor in this game. Otherwise, Alabama appears to have the advantage in all other areas, at least on paper. It will be one of the few times this season Alabama will have a clear size advantage on the floor so they need to exploit it. Buckle up, a new season is upon us. Roll Tide!

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