Who: Alabama, 9-7 (2-2) vs. Missouri, 9-7 (1-3)
When: 2:30 p.m. CT, January 18, 2020.
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink; Sideline: Roger Hoover)
After a big win against Auburn on Wednesday night, Alabama hosts the Missouri Tigers Saturday afternoon. Missouri comes in with a 9-7 record and a 1-3 record in SEC play. The Tigers come in with one of the best defenses in the country. They are giving up 59.7 points per game which is ranked 12th in the nation. This match up will pit two very different squads against each other.
Alabama comes into this game ranked 3rd in the nation in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, at 76.6 possessions per 40 minutes. Missouri comes into the game ranked 276th in the nation in adjusted tempo at 66.6 possessions per 40 minutes. Missouri will look to slow down an Alabama team that is built on scoring quickly. Alabama has been thriving on going fast. The Tide's average offensive possession is 15.1 seconds which is the 12th fastest in the NCAA. More importantly, Alabama has done a great job of speeding up their opponents. Team that have faced Alabama have had an average possession length of 15.8 seconds. This is good for the 7th quickest defensive possession length in the NCAA. The big thing to watch for is whether or not Alabama can speed up a Missouri team that has been built on slowing down opponents. Missouri is averaging 66.9 points per game which is 286th in the nation in scoring. Alabama comes in averaging 83.2 points per game which is 4th in the nation in scoring. If Alabama can get Missouri to speed up and play at their tempo it could be a long night for the Tigers.
Key Players to Watch:
G Dru Smith (11.4 ppg, 4.2 RPG, 4.3 APG)
G Mark Smith (11.1 ppg, 4.7 RPG, 40.6% 3P%)
G Javon Pickett (7.8 ppg, 45.1% FG%, 39.1 3P%)
Alabama is coming into this game looking to not have a letdown game following a signature win against then undefeated Auburn. In years past, this is a game that the Tide tend to lose. Under new head coach, Nate Oats, Alabama is looking to prove that they are not like the teams in years past. I expect Alabama to come out aggressive early and make a statement.
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