Bama’s upset dreams hinge on frontcourt revival

Jan 16, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) hangs on the rim after a dunk over Arkansas Razorbacks forward Keaton Miles (55) during the second half of a game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU defeated Arkansas 76-74. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Tigers forward (25) hangs on the rim after a dunk over Arkansas Razorbacks forward Keaton Miles (55) during the second half of a game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. LSU defeated Arkansas 76-74. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

By Chris DePew
TideFans.com staff
Jan. 23, 2016

Where to watch: LSU (11-7, 4-2 SEC) at Alabama (10-7, 1-4) – 1 p.m. Central today, Coleman Coliseum, ESPNU

Who to watch: . The Greensboro junior may be the biggest enigma wearing crimson and white this winter. He actually played as well as anyone in his limited second-half minutes at Auburn, scoring all eight of his points and grabbing five of his eight rebounds after intermission. But yet again, his effectiveness was limited by foul trouble, and he eventually fouled out after playing just 18 minutes. His struggles in SEC play are a key reason the frontcourt has underachieved as a unit this month, and that’s a recipe for disaster against LSU.

What to watch for: Can the Crimson Tide avoid being dazzled by the Ben Simmons circus? The freshman sensation may well be preparing for his first NBA All-Star Game this time next year, but he is coming off a bad game too. Of course, bad for Simmons still translates into 10 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to remain among the top five SEC players in all three categories. The 6-foot-10 point center averages 19.4 points and a league-best 12.8 rebounds per game, but teams that concentrate too much on him risk being burned by 6-foot-9 forward . The Arizona transfer has 10 or more points in nine of the 10 games he’s played since becoming eligible in mid-December, and the Tigers are 7-3 with him in the lineup.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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