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Tide needs to come up big against small Vols

.com staff
Jan. 26,

Where to watch: Tennessee (10-9, 3-4 SEC) at Alabama (10-8, 1-5) – 9 p.m. Central today, Coleman Coliseum, Network

Who to watch: Retin Obasohan. It’s hard to go wrong anytime focusing on the 6-foot-1 senior from Belgium, who averages a -high 14.8 points per game. But in addition to his usual on offense, keep an eye on how well he defends his opposite number, ’s Kevin Punter. The ’s second-leading scorer (23.3 points per game), the 6-2 Punter strongly resembles Obasohan as a natural shooting guard who has logged significant time at the point out of necessity. He’s broken the 20-point barrier 13 times in the last 16 games and scored a career-high 36 Saturday as the upset South Carolina. Their one-on-one battle could be one of the better ones this year.

What to watch for: Can frontcourt rise up? The Vols only have three on the roster taller than 6-foot-5, and only one who sees significant minutes. Sometimes that spells disaster, such as last Wednesday’s 88-74 loss to Vanderbilt, and sometimes can run bigger teams ragged, as in the 78-69 upset of the Gamecocks. has had success in spurts on plays designed to get him the ball in the paint, but hasn’t been a consistent focal point on offense. He could be primed for a big game, as could if he will take advantage of his size and not settle for 3-pointers all night.

Follow on Twitter @TideFansChris

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