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Maui Invitational: Alabama vs. UNLV Preview


Who: Alabama (1-1) vs. UNLV (0-2)

When: 8:30 pm CT, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.

Where: Harrah’s Cherokee Center; Asheville, NC.

Watch: ESPN2

Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink)


Alabama lost to Stanford in the first round of the Maui Invitational and will now take on the winless UNLV Runnin’ Rebels tonight in Asheville, NC. The Tide must take advantage of this game for a couple of reasons. First of all, you really don’t want to start your season off 1-2 no matter the circumstances and secondly, the loss to Stanford was not pretty at all and Bama needs to use this game against what seems to be a lesser opponent as an opportunity to get better and work on some things. UNLV is coming off of 2 losses to start their season which were both by double digits (Montana State and North Carolina), so it would not be surprising to see them come into this game tonight on fire wanting to pick up their first win of the year against a quality opponent. While UNLV is not considered a good team this season, you could see a small glimpse of how dangerous they can be in their last game against North Carolina. They started the game off with a 13-0 lead and were hitting most of their shots, especially from deep. After the strong start North Carolina adjusted and took over from there winning by almost 30. So this is a team that can not be overlooked just because they have not won a game. On Alabama’s side, there’s plenty for the coaches and players to work on during the game. To start with, they need to start playing with more energy. You could see the frustration and lack of effort at times when things went bad and it just escalated from there. Rebounding is a huge point of emphasis heading into this game. Getting out-rebounded by 16 will get this team beat most games, especially when they are shooting poorly. That’s the other thing to expect to improve starting with this game. Alabama has not shot the ball very well in either of its games, but eventually the shots will start to fall and that will help everything else start to click.

UNLV Players to Watch:


G Bryce Hamilton (21 PPG, 3 APG, 6 RPG)

G Marvin Coleman (7 PPG, 4 APG, 1.5 RPG)

G Caleb Grill (11.5 PPG, 1.5 APG, 3 RPG)

G “Nick” Blake (11.5 PPG, 1.5 APG, 3.5 RPG)


Prediction:

Eventually the shots have to start falling for Alabama, and this is the game where it will begin. John Petty hasn’t been himself from the 3 point line so far in his first 2 games, but this is a game where the most talented players like Petty should stand out. I expect he will get back on track and lead his team to a double digit victory.


Alabama- 76

UNLV- 66

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