By Chris DePew
Nov. 18, 2018
Who to watch: Kira Lewis. The freshman point guard has come back down to Earth in two games at the Charleston Classic, but hasn’t looked totally out of place either. After joining the crowd in laying an egg versus Northeastern, Lewis settled into a support role while others grabbed the spotlight, racking up eight points and three assists. But his limitations as a defender have shone through at times, particularly in Thursday’s loss, and the Shockers make it their mission to free up shooters for open 3-pointers, making nine per game. For Bama to take the next step, Lewis must raise his off-ball play to match his counting stats.
What to watch for: Containing Markis McDuffie. Wichita State is trying to integrate a large freshman class and a couple of juco transfers into the program after losing most of the key players on last season’s 25-win team. That’s left the Shockers leaning heavily on McDuffie, and the senior forward has responded with better than 20 points a game so far this month. Despite his 6-foot-8 frame, McDuffie has modest rebound numbers (3.3 per game) and shoots better from behind the arc than inside of it. The Crimson Tide has done a decent job of keying on the opponent’s best player and slowing down McDuffie would go a long way in securing a winning record for this road trip.
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