Who to watch: Alex Reese. The junior from Pelham is starting to click as a nearly-ideal stretch forward and has become a matchup nightmare for opponents at the start of games. Reese scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half of the upset of Auburn and 15 of his 17 points before halftime against Missouri. Teams start off leaving him alone on the perimeter and then once he makes a couple of 3-pointers their big men have to come out to challenge and leave a hole inside for the Crimson Tide guards to exploit.
What to watch for: How much fight the Commodores even have left. These are grim times for basketball on the West End of Nashville. Vandy didn’t have much going for it this season, but it did have a breakout star in Aaron Nesmith, who was averaging 23 points per game. But he suffered a stress fracture in his foot just before the Texas A&M matchup, and the Dores have lost all three games since by an average of 19.3 points. Rock bottom came Saturday in a 66-45 loss to Tennessee where Vandy got booed off its home floor after failing to make a single 3-pointer, snapping a streak of 1080 games with at least one that dated back to the introduction of the rule in the mid 1980s. If Bama takes care of its business, it should win the game regardless. But if Vanderbilt can’t pull itself together, it may not matter what the Tide does.
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