Bama Hoops Hype

Alabama’s Home Stretch Begins With South Carolina

Photo by Joe Habshey - Bama Hoops Hype

The 9-6 Alabama Crimson Tide look to put an end to a two-game losing streak on the road as they return to Coleman Coliseum to host the Gamecocks of South Carolina.  This game will begin a nice home stretch for the Tide with five of their next seven contests coming under their own roof. The Tide is coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the year against a stout Georgia defense that held them to a mere 46 points on the night.

 

The Gamecocks, led by junior forward Chris Silva, will look to overtake the Tide for the ninth spot in the SEC. The 6-9, 223 lb international from Libreville, Gabon is tough to deal with on the glass and will force the Tide to commit bodies to secure rebounds.  He’s a menace in the paint but certainly capable of stretching the floor if left unguarded.  Keeping him in check will be of paramount importance for the Tide.

 

Inconsistencies have shown on the offensive side of the ball in big games for Avery Johnson’s men and will need to be put to bed if they hope to have a shot in this one.  Alabama will be hopeful for Dazon Ingram’s return who missed the game in Athens due to illness.  While Herbert Jones seemed to be a fitting replacement on paper, it was apparent very early on that the Tide was missing a key cog in their scoring machine

 

Alabama was able to knock off the fifth ranked Aggies in Coleman Coliseum just before the new year and will be looking to continue their unbeaten home form in this matchup.  The hype surrounding this Tide team has been demonstrated in the revitalization of Coleman Coliseum, allowing this team to have a real home-court advantage in these big games.

 

Collin Sexton has been nothing short of phenomenal throughout the season, averaging 20.6 points per contest – one of four Tide players in double figures on the year.  His offensive prowess was one of the few bright spots in an overall sloppy game Saturday afternoon.

 

Alabama is the favorite coming in, but to capitalize and get back to winning ways, the Tide will need to start fast and build the lead early to walk away from this game with a win.  Not only are the Gamecocks capable of scoring in bunches but their defensive could certainly put the pressure on and trouble the Tide if they are not able to get out and run in transition.

 

This game is a difficult one to predict; it could just as easily be a shootout as it could be a defensive slugfest.  Look for the Tide to push the tempo early and try to ignite the crowd as they rebound from Saturday’s slump.

 

How to Watch:

 

When: 6:00 p.m. CT

 

Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

 

Watch: SEC Network, WatchESPN

 

Listen: Crimson Tide Sports Network

 

Johnathan Anderson covers Alabama Men’s Basketball for Bama Hoops Hype.  You can follow him on Twitter for updates throughout the season.

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