By Chris DePew
Nov. 25, 2017
Who to watch: Collin Sexton. When the freshman guard hit his first rough patch in Friday’s win over BYU, his teammates were there to pick up the slack. But it is going to take a top performance from Sexton for Bama to hang with the Golden Gophers, who went from eight wins to 24 a season ago and return virtually all the key pieces for a run at the Big 10 title. Since he was suspended for the neutral-site opener against Memphis, this weekend is the first time Sexton has played college games away from Coleman Coliseum. He needs to get his scoring average back into the 20s, distribute the ball well and cut back on turnovers for the Crimson Tide to have a solid chance at the upset.
What to watch for: Frontcourt defense. The one BYU player Bama couldn’t contain was Yoeli Childs (21 points, 11 rebounds) and the Gophers have an even scarier threat in small forward Jordan Bryant. He has had a double-double in all five games he has played this year, including 23 points and 14 rebounds at Providence, the only power conference team Minnesota has played to date. Jordan averages nearly 24 points and better than 12 rebounds per game. Avery Johnson might elect not to start his twin towers frontcourt of Donta Hall and Daniel Giddens in favor of letting Herbert Jones defend Bryant and having Hall man the post.
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