By Chris DePew
Jan. 16, 2019
Who to watch: Donta Hall. Bama’s senior big man laid an egg last January against the Tigers in Tuscaloosa, not only being held to nine points and four rebounds but getting embarrassed defensively by Jeremiah Tilmon and Jontay Porter, who took turns scoring at will in the paint. Now Tilmon is back after last year’s 6-for-6 shooting night and looking to get back on track against the Crimson Tide after fouling out of his last three games. If that isn’t motivation enough for Hall, his feeble defensive showing against Texas A&M last Saturday hopefully will provide fuel for his fire.
What to watch for: A focused finish. All signs point to an evenly-matched game, which could leave Avery Johnson reaching for the antacid down the stretch. For a team that only has one freshman and three starters who are upperclassmen, Bama sure does make a lot of mistakes at crunch time, like Riley Norris fouling out in the last minute of a one-possession game against the Aggies or Dazon Ingram getting mental vapor lock and turning it over in the closing seconds against both A&M and Kentucky. Truthfully the Tide hasn’t had a clearly superior second half in a win since dispatching Liberty before Christmas (in what has turned into a sneaky-good victory for its computer rankings). More than one somebody has got to step up under late-game pressure and show they have the poise and confidence to pull out a difficult win.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
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