Who to watch: Donta Hall. There’s no other way to describe the start of Hall’s senior season than bizarre. There have been three games where he has scored in double figures and been an active part of the offense and three others where he didn’t make a field goal and barely got looked at by teammates in his limited minutes. It’s unclear whether he is nursing some undisclosed injury or has taken up residence in Avery Johnson’s doghouse or is just in a plain old slump. Hopefully a rematch with the Knights, this season’s favorites in the American Athletic Conference, can jump start things. In last year’s 65-62 loss to UCF in Tuscaloosa, Hall was the only bright spot on offense, scoring 20 points while going 9-for-9 from the floor.
What to watch for: Control of the glass. Alabama, which has outrebounded every opponent so far, is one the country’s better teams on the offensive boards and when it comes to limiting the opponent’s rebounds. But the Knights feast on the glass, averaging 42.8 per game (15th nationally). That large number comes from UCF’s stingy defense and plodding pace, which is designed to force opponents into low-value jump shots. The Crimson Tide couldn’t speed up UCF at Coleman Coliseum last year, and if it settles for another 40 minutes of walking up the floor and running isolation plays it probably won’t get revenge tonight.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris