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HomeBasketballArkansas trip is last best chance to reverse ugly trends

Arkansas trip is last best chance to reverse ugly trends

By Chris DePew Staff
March 9, 2019

Where to watch: Alabama (17-13, 8-9 SEC – #59 Pomeroy Rating) at Arkansas (16-14, 7-10 – #53) – Today 5 p.m. Central, Bud Walton Arena, SEC Network

Who to watch: Donta Hall. Just over a year ago, with Bama faltering near the end of the season much like now, Hall stunk up the gym against the Razorbacks. After starting off with a pair of lazy defensive possessions and getting an extended bench seat for it, Hall went 2-for-5 from the floor and missed all three foul shots in a three-point loss. And that was against the freshman version of Daniel Gafford. As a sophomore, Gafford has stepped up and carried an inexperienced roster on his back, posting the second-highest PER in the league behind Tennessee’s Grant Williams. Hall has been more consistent this season but still has a reputation for backing down when challenged physically. This is his chance to change the script against a borderline first-round NBA prospect, and the only regular player in the SEC shooting better from the field than Hall.

What to watch for: Cracking the elusive 70-point barrier. Nobody was confusing this offense with the Houston Rockets, but for a good chunk of the season the Crimson Tide had settled into a nice offensive groove. After a grinding loss at No. 25 UCF to end November, Bama scored 70 points or better in 13 of its next 16 games. That came to a screeching halt at Mississippi State and now Alabama has gone seven consecutive games without hitting 70, even in wins against Vanderbilt and South Carolina. Whether it is an over reliance on 17-year-old Kira Lewis late in the year or teams getting more tape on Avery Johnson’s offensive sets, Bama’s last best chance to correct course will be against the Hogs, who are giving up 72.9 points per game and haven’t held anyone besides Vanderbilt under 70 points since the end of January.

Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris

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