Who: Alabama; 12-3 (7-0) vs. Miss State; 9-6 (4-3)
When: 5:00 pm CT, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.
Where: Coleman Coliseum; Tuscaloosa, AL.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink)
Alabama comes into Saturday’s matchup against Mississippi State as the hottest team in the country. They have won eight straight games and are blowing teams out as of late, most recently in a 105-75 win at LSU. Nate Oats’ squad hopes to keep that streak alive when the Bulldogs roll into town with a 9-6 overall record. Mississippi State is coming off of an 18 point home loss to Ole Miss in which they only scored 46 points. They will have to be much better offensively if they want to be competitive against Alabama. Miss State comes into this game averaging 71.7 PPG according to TeamRankings. That is approximately 10 points less per game than what Alabama is scoring (81.8 per game). The one thing the Bulldogs do well is when they shoot the 3, they make a high percentage of them (37.2%). The problem is they rarely shoot it from deep, ranking almost last in the country in attempts and makes per game. That is not going to be enough to beat an Alabama team who ranks no. 4 in the country in 3-point attempts and makes per game. The one area of hope Ben Howland’s team has is their ability to get offensive rebounds. Their offensive rebounding percentage is 36.7%. When you put that up against Alabama’s defensive rebounding percentage, which is one of the worst in the country statistically, they have the advantage there. But overall, if Mississippi State does not rebound the ball well offensively and take advantage of those by making some shots, especially from deep, they are in trouble.
Miss State Players to Watch:
G/F Jalen Johnson (7.1 PPG, 0.5 APG, 2.4 RPG)
G Iverson Molinar (17.4 PPG, 3.3 APG, 4.5 RPG)
F Javian Davis (4.3 PPG, 0.8 APG, 5.1 RPG)
G DJ Stewart Jr. (17.4 PPG, 2.5 APG, 3.7 RPG)
F Abdul Ado (5.7 PPG, 0.8 APG, 6.7 RPG)
F Tolu Smith (13.5 PPG, 1.1 APG, 8.7 RPG)
Alabama made 23 three-pointers and set an SEC record while scoring 105 points and beating LSU to win an 8th straight game on Tuesday night. It does not get much better than that yet the Tide continue to impress every week. Mississippi State has had some bright moments, but overall this has been just a slightly above average season for them. Offensively, they do not have enough to keep up with Alabama, and it could get ugly if they do not come out ready to play from the tip-off. Expect Petty, Quinerly, and Shackelford to once again come out on fire and lead this team to another win.
Miss State- 68
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