Who to watch: Jimmie Taylor. Nine points in two games is a disastrous start for the 6-10 junior from Greensboro. After never getting into the offensive flow until garbage time against Kennesaw State, two early fouls (a career-long stumbling block) kept Taylor on the bench while Dayton blew Monday’s game wide open. Taylor still provided valuable minutes in the opener, notching 10 rebounds and two blocks against KSU. But against the Flyers he only grabbed four rebounds and committed four turnovers to boot. He needs to turn things around fast because the Ragin’ Cajuns have a legitimate NBA prospect in 6-11 center Shawn Long (16.4 points, 10.2 rebounds per game in 2014-15). In ULL’s only Division I game so far, the Cajuns were blown out 93-77 at Miami, but Long did his part with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor needs to find a way to defend without fouling or Bama is in big trouble against the Sun Belt Conference favorites.
Big thing to watch: 3-point attempts. Through two games the Tide is a cringe-worthy 9-for-37 (24.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Whenever Bama gets frustrated on offense it has a dangerous tendency to quickly jack up a 3-pointer and hope for the best. This may be the area where Coach Avery Johnson’s shoot-fast philosophy crashes against the limits of what these players are capable of producing. Even in Bama’s best half of basketball, the opening 20 minutes against KSU, the Tide was a modest 3-for-9 from deep range. This may be an area where less is more until players find their touch.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter at @TideFansChris
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