Alabama basketball sits at 4-0, with a 104-62 blast from Jacksonville State in the last game of the Crimson Tide. Was the one-sided review misleading? Not in the slightest. The Crimson Tide made 21 three-point shots while shooting 45.7% from outside the arc.
The Crimson Tide’s dominance on the glass was almost enough for Alabama to double the boards pulled down by the Gamecocks with a final 49-25 lead, including 19 offensive rebounds for the Tide.
Super freshman Brandon Miller led the tide with 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a block. Miller’s performance earned him the SEC Freshman of the Week.
After four games, Alabama is the No. 1 rebounding team in Division One basketball. Among the SEC teams, the Crimson Tide has the highest scoring, producing nearly 85 points per game and keeping opponents under 58 points.
The stats are impressive, but they were generated against opponents who aren’t as good as the Tide in the Phil Knight Invitational tournament. The Tide opens the tournament on Thanksgiving night against perennial powerhouse Michigan State.
The Spartans are 3-1 this season after beating Northern Arizona, Kentucky 86-77 in double overtime and Villanova 73-71. Michigan State’s loss was 64-63 to Gonzaga.
The Spartans are pretty much old-school basketball, with solid offense, not overly dependent on three-pointers, tough defense, and strong rebounds. Alabama presents a very different approach, especially now that Jahvon Quinerly can play with no minute restrictions.
The game will be a test for both teams. Unlike the Spartans, the Crimson Tide get their first real benchmark for this season’s potential.
A subplot of the game is that it is a student versus teacher competition. As a high school coach, Nate Oats attended player camps in Michigan for years. Oats often credits Tom Izzo with the knowledge he shared long before Oats switched to college coaching.
Alabama Basketball vs Michigan State Info
Today’s competition is at 9:30pm CST. The game will be broadcast by ESPN, starring Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton as the television crew. Roger Hoover and Bryan Passink will conduct the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network (Sirius/XM 134/201). The game will also be streamed via the ESPN app and on fuboTV.
With the exception of Dom Welch, Alabama should have a full roster. Darius Miles will be available although his minutes are expected to be limited.
Alabama Basketball Game Prediction
Many college basketball pundits have the Crimson Tide as a slight favorite. I hope they’re right, although I’ve read that the game is a tossup. Predictions at the beginning of the season between two good teams are always difficult. Michigan State is much better known than the Crimson Tide. I suspect Alabama is sneaking past but has the potential to lose by double digits.
Alabama 71 – Michigan State 70
Full Alabama Basketball Game Notes are available here.
Depending on the outcome, Alabama will play the winner or loser of UConn vs. Oregon on Friday.