Where to watch: Alabama (2-1) vs. Valparaiso (3-1) – Today 11 p.m. Central, MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas), bd Global channel on YouTube (online only)
Who to watch: Ar’Mond Davis. A Tacoma, Wash., native who played junior college ball at Southern Idaho, Davis returns west looking to build on his first breakout game. Recruited as a pure shooter, he went a miserable 2-for-11 in his first two games but lit up Ball State for 17 points, including a 5-for-7 showing from behind the arc. He may be Alabama’s best hope of shedding its reputation as a grinding team that can’t put the ball in the basket, but it will take much more than one game or one tournament for him to prove it.
What to watch for: Maturity against an experienced opponent. Valpo has only played one quality opponent this year, getting blown out 76-54 at Oregon. But the Crusaders won 30 games last season and made it to the NIT championship game. Coach Bryce Drew left for Vanderbilt, but two starters return, including forward Alec Peters, the preseason Horizon League player of the year. In all, the Crusaders have 10 juniors and seniors on the roster. Valpo is off to a cold start shooting from the floor but has been forcing opponents into more than 18 turnovers a game. Bama hasn’t been too bad at turning it over, but with half the roster in its first season playing in crimson, the chemistry needs to be sharp tonight.
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