Who: Jacksonville State (0-0) at Alabama (0-0)
When: 7 pm CT, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020.
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink)
The 2020-21 Alabama basketball season officially tips off on Wednesday night against Ray Harper’s Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Jacksonville State is coming off of a 13-19 (8-10) season where they finished 7th in their conference, but they have some pieces that could help them be more competitive this season. Last year, the Gamecocks played at a slower pace and averaged 68.3 PPG while shooting 49.5% from the field (according to TeamRankings).
That style of play shouldn’t change with the roster they have coming in this season. Meanwhile, Nate Oats and his staff have managed to build one of the most talented rosters in Alabama basketball history and expectations for this season are high. The Coaches Poll has Bama ranked #25 while the AP Poll has the team just outside at #29. Last year, Nate Oats had to take the roster he inherited and make it work as best as he could. That team averaged 82 PPG on 52.1% shooting and played at one of the fastest paces in the country. The negative about last year’s team was they were one of the worst defensive teams in the country (#214 in defensive efficiency). That has to improve for Alabama to take that next step starting Wednesday night in Coleman Coliseum. With a new roster full of players that fit Oats’ system, Alabama fans are excited to see this team in action.
JSU Players to Watch:
JUCO G Jalen Finch (9.9 PPG, 5.1 APG)
JUCO G Demaree King (19.5 PPG on 46.2% from 3)
G/F Kayne Henry (10.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 49.6 FG%)
Transfer G Darian Adams (12.1 PPG)
F Martin Roub (5.1 PPG, ranked 4th on the team in made 3-pointers, scored in double
digits 5 times with a career high of 21)
F/C Brandon Huffman (3 years at UNC)
Alabama’s non-conference schedule gets a little more difficult next week with the Maui Invitational so they need to take advantage of this week’s game against Jacksonville State and get this season started off with a win....and they will. Alabama is the better team from top to bottom. This team is loaded with talented players who can shoot and succeed in Nate Oats up-tempo system. JSU won’t be able to keep up offensively with the Tide in this one.
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