Who to watch: Herbert Jones. Bama may have become a 3-point juggernaut under Nate Oats, but the glue holding this team together is a guy shooting 9 percent from behind the arc. Jones has always been up for doing the dirty work on defense and in the paint to let the team’s natural shooters shine, but his own game has blossomed in his junior season. He’s now averaging 10.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and has pushed his shooting average to nearly 50 percent despite taking more shots than ever. Oh, and he continues to be one of the SEC’s most respected defenders, routinely drawing the hardest matchup each night.
What to watch for: Going back to the drawing board for ball security. The Crimson Tide’s turnover problem seemed to be under control in January until flaring up at Vanderbilt like an acne outbreak on picture day. Bama was lucky to escape with a deceptively-big win after turning it over 25 times, and not against particularly heavy pressure from the Commodores either. K-State doesn’t have much going for it in this rebuilding season, but the Wildcats do force opponents to turn it over on more than 21 percent of their possessions, including 8.7 steals per game. In another game fraught with downside resume risk, the surest way for Bama to beat itself is to get careless with the ball once again.
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