Bama Hoops Hype

Alabama vs. Lipscomb: Game Preview

Alabama Men's Basketball

Alabama will host Lipscomb on Tuesday night for its 2017-18 home opener. The Crimson Tide are coming off of a win against Memphis and will be looking to keep the momentum rolling through non-conference play.

The Tide will be headlined by the return of Collin Sexton who has been reinstated by the NCAA and will play in his first game of the season. The star freshman is expected to be in the starting lineup and could get Coleman Coliseum loud early and often on Tuesday.

“He’s playing in his first regular season home game and first college basketball game,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “So we want him to be excited but we don’t want anyone on our team to think they need this out-of-world experience to lead us to victory every game.”

The Crimson Tide won on Friday without Sexton behind double-digit scoring efforts of five different players.

“You’ve got to move on with the process,” said Donta Hall, who finished with a double-double on Friday. “We’ll be glad to have him back tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be a spark and get us going.”

Dazon Ingram led the way with 20 points against Memphis. Avery Johnson Jr. and John Petty finished with 13 points and 11 points, respectively.

Now that Sexton will be thrown back in the mix, it will be interesting to see how Coach Johnson uses his guards against Lipscomb. Dazon Ingram may not have to play 33 minutes but we should expect to see three or four guards on the floor for most of the game.

How to Keep Up

Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

When: 7:00 p.m. CT

Watch: SEC Network or WatchESPN (Dave Neil and Dane Bradshaw)

Listen: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink)

Projected Starting Lineups

Alabama (1-0): G Dazon Ingram (20 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg); G Collin Sexton; G John Petty (11 ppg, 1 rpg, 2 apg); F Herb Jones (12 ppg, 5 rpg, 1 apg); C Donta Hall (11 ppg, 11 rpg, 3 apg)

Lipscomb (2-0): G Garrison Matthews (31 ppg, 3 rpg, 1 apg); G Matt Rose (5.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 1 apg); G Michael Buckland (8.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 7 apg); F Eli Pepper (11 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 apg); C Rob Marberry (15 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.5 apg)

Key Matchup

Garrison Matthews vs. Alabama defense. Matthews has been a prolific scorer throughout his career and he does not show signs of slowing down. The junior guard is averaging 31 points per game this year and shooting 50 percent from the field. He’s made eight of his 15 three-point attempts. During his career, Lipscomb is undefeated when Matthews scores more than 30 points but just 6-12 when he scores less than 10. It may be likely that neither of those extremes happen but the key to slowing down Lipscomb will be to limit Matthews on offense. Whether it’s Sexton, Ingram, Jones or somebody else, defense may win the ball game on Tuesday night.

Key Stat

11-6 at Coleman Coliseum. That was the Crimson Tide’s record at home last season. Sure, it’s a winning record but it is not exactly a home court advantage. Avery Johnson has preached on this throughout his tenure at Alabama and he hopes a new era of home dominance begins tonight. The fans may show up to see Sexton but the atmosphere will be key for tonight and for the rest of the season.

Prediction

Collin Sexton’s speed is about to be on display against a less athletic team with the crowd behind him. If he (and the rest of the team) can stay focused and control the ball, this should go down as an easy win for Alabama. I expect there to be plenty of nerves from Avery Johnson’s squad so expect more fouls and turnovers but the Tide should roll on Tuesday night. Alabama 84, Lipscomb 70

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @CalebTurrentine.

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login