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Alabama versus Mississippi State Men’s Basketball Preview

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The Bulldogs take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in their SEC opener.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Mississippi State Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in the 2016-17 Men’s basketball season for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the team will take on a team from the SEC. The Alabama Crimson Tide will com to the Humphrey Coliseum in a game that will be televised on the SEC Network starting at 7:30 p.m. central.

Info to know

Mississippi State Profile

  • Record (9-3, 0-0 SEC)
  • Record at home: 6-2
  • RPI: 210
  • Current Place in SEC Standings: N/A

Alabama Profile

  • Record (7-5, 0-0 SEC)
  • Record on the road: 2-4
  • RPI: 108
  • Current Place in SEC Standings: N/A

Projected Starting Lineups

Mississippi State

  • Quinndary Weatherspoon (19.1 PPG, 49.2 FG%, 44.7 3PT%, 4.7 RPG)
  • I.J. Ready (10.7 PPG, 47.1 FG%, 5.1 APG, 61:23 Assists to Turnover Ratio)
  • Tyson Carter (10.1 PPG, 38.8 FG%, 39.3 3PT%, 88.5 FT%)
  • Mario Kegler (9.4 PPG, 41.0 FG%, 36.4 3PT%, 5.5 RPG)
  • Aric Holman (10.0 PPG, 54.0 FG%, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 BPG)

Alabama

  • Riley Norris (7.8 PPG, 40.0 FG%, 4.2 RPG, 31.8 3PT%)
  • Dazon Ingram (9.7 PPG, 55.7 FG%, 4.6 RPG, 3.8 APG)
  • Avery Johnson, Jr. (7.0 PPG, 40.5 FG %, 35.5 3PT%)
  • Braxton Key (9.7 PPG, 47.9 FG%, 34.5 3PT%, 5.0 RPG)
  • Donta Hall (6.1 PPG, 65.9 FG%, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 BPG)

The Storylines

  • The game tonight will be mostly about how Mississippi State’s offense can do against the Alabama defense. Alabama doesn’t score a lot of points, but they don’t give up a lot either. Mississippi State is averaging 73.9 points per game but Alabama is only giving up 61.8.
  • The game could likely be determined behind the three point arc. The Bulldogs are teh second best team in the SEC from three point range 37.7% and Alabama gives up a relatively high percentage at 35.5% If the many Bulldog shooters get hot, they could shoot the Crimson Tide out of the gym.
  • Much of the focus for the Crimson Tide will be stopping Quinndary Weatherspoon. He is the fourth leading scorrer and the rock for the Bulldogs. Alabama doesn’t have a player that jumps off the stat sheet like Weatherspoon does for Mississippi State. Avery Johnson will likely try to slow Weatherspoon down and try to make the rest of the team beat Alabama.
  • One interesting note is the absence of Corban Collins the past two games for the Tide. He started the first 10 games of the season and was the best three point shooter on the team. He didn’t play the last two games, and I can’t find any information on why not. He was a graduate transfer from Moorehead State, so I’m sure we will find out why he hasn’t played tonight during the broadcast.

Prediction

This is a game the Bulldogs need to win. They are infinitely more talented than the Crimson Tide, but they are far less experienced. If the Bulldogs hit some shots early, I think they’ll cruise to a relatively easy win. Mississippi State 75 - Alabama 64.