Who to watch: Corban Collins. After back-to-back 15-point games to open his Capstone career, the graduate transfer disappeared altogether against Ball State and struggled to find his shot versus Valparaiso despite tying for the team scoring lead with 10 points. It might not be fair to ask a player who just arrived at his third college over the summer to be a senior leader, but Bama needs somebody to step up and he’s the most likely candidate. At some point his role will have to be more clearly defined as either a point guard or shooting guard, which in turn will dictate how much time he spends paired off with Dazon Ingram.
What to watch for: A potential youth movement. Avery Johnson may not be looking to change his starting five for a second neutral site game in less than 48 hours, but plainly some underclassmen deserve longer looks than some older players that are stagnating. Bola Olaniyan has started the last three games at power forward over fellow senior Shannon Hale, but whatever he’s shown in practice to earn those starts hasn’t shown up at game time. Freshman Braxton Key has played more minutes than either one in three out of four games and deserves a chance to juice up Alabama’s offense from the beginning of a game. Likewise, senior center Jimmie Taylor can do some good things in a complementary role but clearly has hit a talent ceiling, while there is still hope for sophomore Donta Hall to continue growing into the role.
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