By Chris DePew
Jan. 29, 2019
Where to watch: No. 22 Mississippi State (15-4, 3-3 SEC – #26 Pomeroy Rating) at Alabama (12-7, 3-3 – #46) – Today 7:30 p.m. Central, Coleman Coliseum, SEC Network
Who to watch: Tevin Mack. Listed at 6-foot-6, Mack has had to play more of an undersized power forward role instead of his more natural fit as a combo guard. After scoring at the rim early and often against Baylor, it isn’t likely that MSU and its seemingly unlimited supply of 6-foot-10 rim protectors will let him get so comfortable on the low blocks. But if he can establish his mid-range and outside jumpers, that could draw a Bulldog out for an uncomfortable matchup and create breathing room for Donta Hall, not to mention driving guards like John Petty or Dazon Ingram.
What to watch for: If 3-point success can become contagious. In five of the Crimson Tide’s seven losses, it has had only one or at most two players who made multiple 3-pointers, while their teammates dented the rims with brick after brick. Against Baylor it was Riley Norris who was perfect behind the arc while his teammates were 1-for-13. Petty and Kira Lewis combined for nine treys at Tennessee but everyone else in crimson shot 1-for-10 from deep. Likewise Petty made a half-dozen 3s versus Texas A&M, but nobody else had more than one as the rest of the team went 4-for-16 collectively from long range. The Bulldogs can be vulnerable to giving up 3-pointers and Bama must take advantage to keep up in what figures to be a high-scoring game.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris