Who to watch: John Petty. The junior from Huntsville has started every game and averages better than 33 minutes a night out of necessity, but so far he looks like the same turnover-prone streak shooter he has always been in Tuscaloosa. Pulling down a team-high eight rebounds per game has been a pleasant surprise, but he still makes too many freshman-level bonehead decisions and his shooting from the floor is mired at 28 percent, including just 20 percent from 3-point range. Usually the tendency is for him to have a brilliant game out of nowhere, perhaps two in a row, and fool people into thinking he’s turned the corner for good. Right now though, it would be nice just to have one good performance to overreact to.
What to watch for: Is this young team prepared for a classic trap game? Coming off an emotional loss at Rhode Island and with next week’s trip to The Bahamas to face fifth-ranked North Carolina looming, this is the perfect setup for the Paladins to catch Bama napping. Furman won 25 games a year ago, spent three weeks in the AP poll after upsetting then-defending champion Villanova and was one of three teams from the surprisingly rugged Southern Conference with legitimate NCAA credentials. This season Furman is off to another solid start and has yet to allow more than 63 points to an opponent. Watch to see which team forces its will with the tempo. The Tide is the fourth-fastest team in America in adjusted tempo, averaging nearly nine more possessions a game than the Paladins.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
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