Who to watch: John Petty. It isn’t guaranteed, but all signs point to the junior from Huntsville being ready to go for the regular season finale. And heaven knows the Crimson Tide can use his firepower and his underrated defense, both sorely missing from Tuesday’s home debacle against Vanderbilt. You’ll forgive the Tigers if they are less enthusiastic. Petty sank four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 20 points and added six rebounds during the January matchup in Tuscaloosa, an 88-74 Bama victory.
What to watch for: Who gets the minutes at the post spot? There may not be any right answers left when choosing among Bama’s big men, but Nate Oats has to figure out what the least-wrong one may be. Alex Reese has been getting the starts, but his shot hasn’t been falling consistently and his effort level has ranged from sporadic to microscopic. Javian Davis had an outstanding game last weekend against South Carolina, but has looked every bit like a lost freshman through the rest of the SEC schedule. Galin Smith is more experienced but not talented enough to compete at a credible level on either end of the floor. If Petty indeed returns from a sprained elbow, Oats may elect just to use Herbert Jones as an undersized 5 and spread the floor with four guards.
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