Who: Alabama (4-2) vs. Western Kentucky (5-2)
When: 1 pm CT, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.
Where: Coleman Coliseum; Tuscaloosa, AL.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink)
After Alabama’s game with Houston was canceled due to Covid issues, Alabama quickly found a replacement with Rick Stansbury’s Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. They come in at 5-2 on the year and are led by their star center Charles Bassey. This may not be a game against a top 10 opponent, but it will be a tough test. Statistically, both teams are very similar from their PPG to the amount of points they give up. Neither team shoots the ball very well from 3, but Western Kentucky shoots a little better overall than Alabama does (44.7% compared to 40.9% according to TeamRankings). One thing that separates these two teams is Alabama takes almost twice as many 3-pointers per game than the Hilltoppers do (30.3 compared to 18.9). As mentioned earlier, Alabama has not shot the ball well at all from 3, so if those shots start to finally fall, the game will favor Alabama. That will be one of the main things to watch in this game. The key for this game is stopping Charles Bassey. Western Kentucky has a good team overall, but Bassey is the difference maker for this team. The 6-11 center averages a double-double per game, so Jordan Bruner must have his best game of the season defensively if Bama wants to win.
WKU Players to Watch:
G Jordan Rawls (6.4 PPG, 1.4 APG, 1.6 RPG)
G Josh Anderson (9.7 PPG, 0.9 APG, 3.1 RPG)
G Taveion Hollingsworth (16.4 PPG, 2.4 APG, 2.7 RPG)
G Luke Frampton (7 PPG, 1.7 APG, 2.3 RPG)
G Dayvion McKnight (6.6 PPG, 2.9 APG, 3.1 RPG)
F Carson Williams (5.4 PPG, 1.1 APG, 6.1 RPG)
C Charles Bassey (16.4 PPG, 0.7 APG, 11.3 RPG)
Alabama showed a lot of heart and fight in the second half comeback against a good Furman team at home. Some players like Rojas and Gary got their chance to shine and took advantage of it and showed out. Those guys will continue to get more minutes and will have the opportunity to take advantage of it once again. Petty and Shackelford have both been cold from 3, and Bama needs at least one of them to get hot in this game. Alabama will not be able to completely slow down Bassey, but they will make enough shots to win the game.
Western Kentucky- 74
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