By Chris DePew
Feb. 6, 2018
Where to watch: Alabama (15-8, 6-4) at Mississippi State (17-6, 5-5) – Today 6 p.m. Central, Humphrey Coliseum, SEC Network
Who to watch: Daniel Giddens. The sophomore center scored 13 points in the first meeting with MSU back on Jan. 20 – and then laid an egg with 13 combined points in the next four games. Nobody in the Bama brain trust has figured out how to get him consistently motivated but just when you are ready to give up he’ll produce a solid game after stringing together two, three or even four clunkers in a row. Let’s hope he’s primed for another big night because he was essential to countering the Bulldogs big men last time. Playing against a team with three players 6-foot-10 or taller, and with Donta Hall still finding his way after wrist surgery, Giddens not only scored in double figures but blocked three shots and stayed on the floor 22 minutes in the first game. He and Hall with both need to protect the rim tonight.
What to watch for: The maturity to handle a trap game. The Crimson Tide whiffed badly when faced with this challenge last week, playing lifeless and suffering a frustrating loss to Missouri. And Bama nearly got burned once already by Mississippi State, having to hold on for dear life after blowing a 20-point lead in Tuscaloosa. The nation has seen what Alabama is capable of when playing the best competition. What this team hasn’t proven yet is that it will bring the same intensity and effort to putting away a dangerous opponent that isn’t a glamour team and doesn’t draw the spotlight and extra attention from NBA scouts. A win in Starkville would help erase some of those doubts, not to mention put the Tide back to .500 in games away from Coleman Coliseum.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
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