Tide rolls into central Texas with season hanging by a thread

By Chris DePew
TideFans.com Staff
Feb. 19, 2019

Where to watch: Alabama (15-10, 6-6 SEC – #56 Pomeroy Rating) at Texas A&M (10-14, 3-9 – #97) – Today 8 p.m. Central, Reed Arena, SEC Network

Who to watch: John Petty. Bama’s ultimate hot and cold player was sizzling in the season’s first meeting, draining six 3-pointers as the Crimson Tide built a double-digit lead before the Aggies rallied for an 81-80 upset at Coleman Coliseum. Trusting him to duplicate that result is like placing your retirement savings down on a craps table, but it isn’t like Bama has many other reliable options to turn to. The problem with a team where anyone could be the leading scorer on a given night is that there are some nights where nobody steps up to fill up the basket. Only Kira Lewis approaches Petty’s raw ability as a pure scorer, and with nearly two full years of college basketball experience it’s time for Petty to sink or swim as a team leader.

What to watch for: Are there any buttons for Avery Johnson left to push? A plane ride far away from Tuscaloosa might not be the worst thing for the Tide, which started shorting out in the closing minutes against lowly Vanderbilt and then failed to compete altogether in the next two games. Johnson has kept the same starting lineup in place since the beginning of SEC play, but only Lewis seems indispensable from the starting five at the moment, even if Petty is the only bench player likely to crack the rotation of a Top 25 team. Something has to be done to grab attention and change the narrative for a team that’s gotten universally ripped for its bad energy and sloppy habits the last few days.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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