Where to watch: Dayton (1-0) at Alabama (1-0) – Tuesday 12:15 p.m. Central, Coleman Coliseum, ESPN2
Who to watch: Riley Norris. When he led the Crimson Tide with nine points in last year’s 80-48 drubbing in Dayton, it seemed more like a fluke from a disheartening blowout than the emergence of a key player. But Norris stubbornly refused to fade away, played his way into the starting five and shows no signs of giving ground even as the talent around him is upgraded. He looked shaky at times in the first half of Friday’s win against Coastal Carolina but like most everyone else found his groove in the last 20 minutes, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds.
What to watch for: Can Alabama create its own energy? ESPN’s around the clock marathon of college hoops is a delightful treat for true fans, but somebody has to fill in the matchups during the odd hours. It will be hard for many fans to make their way to Tuscaloosa for a lunchtime game on a Tuesday, which is a shame since this could well be the best team (non-Kentucky division) to visit Coleman this season. The battle-tested Flyers return three senior starters off last year’s NCAA tournament team, while Bama is still working to develop chemistry with a roster that’s split evenly between players who saw time last year and those who are new. Any emotional lift is going to have to be internally generated.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris