Thursday, November 16, 2017

Game Preview - Alabama A&M

The Alabama men's basketball team will play its first game as part of the Barclays Center Classic on Friday when it hosts Alabama A&M. This is the first of four games in the event for Alabama, with the team hosting one more game on Tuesday night before heading to Brooklyn for the Thanksgiving weekend slate of games. Game time for Friday is 6 P.M. CT. The game will be streamed via SEC Network +, via the Watch ESPN app. Hit the different links for team stats, Pomeroy scouting reports, etc. (please note: you'll need a Pomeroy subscription to view those pages).

I want to echo DJC's frustration with the two games in Barclays not being televised. Alabama and Minnesota could both be ranked when they meet next weekend, but the game will not be available to a national television audience. Avery has done a tremendous job raising the profile of this basketball program, but these November tournaments are a great opportunity for national exposure and, frankly, the program has not taken advantage by playing in these under the radar tournaments. Watching these games on Facebook Live (is there another way to watch?) is not my idea of exciting. As DJC also reported in the previous post, Alabama will take part in the Charleston Classic next season. That's an ESPN tournament so that one will be televised, and Charleston isn't a bad trip for those with a little traveling bread to spend. Check out DJC's post for more info on the other teams, including two that Bama hoops fans are very familiar with by this point. 

My Two Cents: Bama's non-conference schedule is devoid of games that, at least on paper, are clear mismatches, but this might be one. Alabama A&M only won two games last season, and they're off to an 0-2 start this season. Ken Pomeroy currently has them ranked 350 out of 351 Division I teams. As long as our guys don't completely implode, they should be able to handle their business in this one.

Players to Watch: Dazon Ingram is off to a great start in his sophomore season. He played arguably his finest game in an Alabama uniform in the opening game vs Memphis, and continued that strong play this past Tuesday vs Lipscomb. Turnovers continue to be an issue for Dazon (3.5 per game so far), but he's more aggressive on offense, he can rebound, assist, run the offense, he can defend, and he's showing signs of being more of a leader on the floor.

For A&M, Arthur Johnson is the team's leading scorer (17.0) and rebounder (7.0). He's shooting the ball well through two games (48.1% FG; 50% from 3). If A&M is to pull off the upset, Johnson will have to play well.

Prediction: Our guys have a clear advantage in talent in this game. The hope is that fans in town for the early football kickoff fill Coleman to watch this exciting basketball team, and the team delivers against what should be an inferior opponent. Alabama - 97 - Alabama A&M - 55

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