Who: Alabama, 11-7 (4-2) vs. Kansas State, 8-10 (1-5)
When: 5 p.m. CT, January 25, 2020.
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink; Sideline: Roger Hoover)
Alabama fans have been looking forward to Saturday’s game against Kansas State since the matchup was announced last year. It’s not an opponent with a ranking by their name or a rival, but there’s some intrigue to this game due to 2 people.....Kira Lewis Jr. and Kansas State HC Bruce Weber. Bruce Weber was Kira’s head coach last year with Team USA. While Kira was playing as well or better than some others in front of him, he didn’t see many minutes at all and I’m sure he’ll use that as motivation on Saturday afternoon in Coleman Coliseum. Alabama and Kansas State are very different teams, but both are capable of winning this game. Bama is on a 3 game win streak and playing very well for the most part while Kansas State beat a ranked West Virginia team by 16 two games ago. Stat wise, Alabama looks way better on paper. Alabama is averaging the second most PPG in the country at 83.1 PPG while KSU is only scoring 65.3 per game (according to TeamRankings). The Tide also shoot better overall and from 3, rebound much better than the Wildcats, and play at a much faster pace. Alabama has been dominant on the boards this year averaging 41.9 RPG while KSU is getting 33.2 RPG. One area KSU has an advantage is defensively. They like to steal the ball a lot with 8.7 steals per game so that could cause Alabama some trouble being that the Tide have been turnover prone this season (15.9 per game). If Alabama wants to pick up another non-conference win for their resumé, they’ll need to be dominant on the boards like usual and take care of the ball against a stout Wildcat defense.
Key Players to Watch:
F Xavier Sneed (14.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.5 APG)
G Cartier Diarra (12.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.2 APG)
Alabama will come out in front of a good crowd and take care of business like they have at home most of the year. They’ll do this by being dominant on the boards like I mentioned earlier, and by a hot shooting performance from John Petty. Kira Lewis will also have a huge game in front of Bruce Weber and the Tide will roll.
Kansas State- 74
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