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Alabama tries to bounce back against burly Aggies

By Chris DePew
.com staff
Feb. 25, 2017

Where to watch: Alabama (16-11, 9-6 SEC) at Texas A&M (14-13, 6-9) – Today 7 p.m. Central, Reed Arena, ESPN2

Who to watch: Ar’Mond Davis. With NCAA tournament dreams all but extinguished for this year, the focus is on the future and wondering how the returning players will fit into it. And nobody has more to prove in the last few games than Davis, who will be battling two McDonald’s All-American shooting guards for playing time. Hailed as a sharpshooter coming out of junior college, he is averaging under seven points a game, shooting barely 34 percent from the field and is best known for his maddening habit of shooting (and usually missing) absurdly long 3-point attempts. He’s had nine games where he’s scored in double digits and 11 others where he’s had three points or less (not counting the two Mississippi State games where never even played him). His 17 points against LSU and 15 versus over the past week are the best two-game stretch he’s had in crimson, but he can’t stop now if he wants to be more than an afterthought for 2017-18.

What to watch for: If can handle some Texas-sized beef down in the paint. While the rest of basketball trends towards guard-heavy, perimeter-oriented lineups, the Aggies with two 6-foot-10 centers and 6-foot-9 freshman forward Robert Williams in the starting lineup. Williams, a borderline NBA lottery pick in waiting, scores a healthy 11.9 points per game but stands out more for his defensive work. He’s second in the league in rebounds per game (7.8) and tied for the lead in blocks (2.7 per game). Tyler Davis, one of the aforementioned centers, leads A&M with 14.4 points a night and chips in nearly seven rebounds per game himself. What has kept the Aggies down this year are turnovers and a nearly non-existent bench, so Johnson may want to speed up the game to try and wear down the home team.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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