February 14, 2009

Basketball Preview: South Carolina at Alabama

What: South Carolina (17-5 6-3) at Alabama (13-10 3-6)
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Al.
When: Saturday.
Time/TV: 2 p.m. Raycom.
Series record: Alabama leads 19-11.


Alabama probable starters
Pos.PlayerSizePPGComment
GMikhail Torrance6-5, 2108.9/TD>Led the Crimson Tide with 12 points at LSU.
GSenario Hillman6-1, 18813.0Will have the task of slowing down South Carolina’s Devan Downey.
G/FAlonzo Gee6-6, 22014.0Will need to put up a lot of points to keep up with the Gamecocks.
FJustin Knox6-9, 2205.0Must hit shots around the basket and maintain his solid rebounding.
FJaMychal Green6-9, 22510.2Is banged up after suffering a hip pointer in the loss to LSU
Alabama top reserves
Pos.PlayerSizePPGComment
FDemetrius Jemison6-8, 2402.8Has seen increased minutes since the coaching change.
GAnthony Brock5-9, 1654.7Is becoming the Tide’s best threat from behind the arc.
































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LSU probable starters
Pos.PlayerSizePPGComment
GDevan Downey5-9, 17520.0Is a dynamic scorer and is one of the SEC’s best.
GZam Frederick6-0, 20315.9Leads the team in minutes played and second on the team in scoring.
FDominique Archie6-7, 20011.5Archie leads the team in foul outs and most fouls commited.
F/CMike Holmes6-7, 23011.2Leads the team in rebounds and blocked shots.
FEvaldes Baniulis6-7, 2107.2Is a very consistent player as a starter and sixth man for the Gamecocks.
LSU top reserves
Pos.PlayerSizePPGComment
GBrandis Raley-Ross6-2, 1936.0Provides points off the bench and also 2 assist per game.
FAustin Steed6-8, 2154.4Gives the Gamecocks a solid inside player off the bench.


























Analysis and Prediction

This game is the tale of two teams in two very different places. South Carolina enters this game tied for the lead of the SEC East standings as Alabama enters near the bottom of the West.

The Gamecocks, under first year head coach Darrin Horn, have the number one scoring offense in the SEC, largely in part to junior guard Devan Downey. Downey is a dynamic scorer who will take what you give him. He will shoot from outside or take it to the rim. The Gamecocks also lead the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage (39.1) and in 3-point field goal defense (30.9).

Defensively Alabama’s guards will have to find a way to slow down Downey. If he scores early and often look for the Crimson Tide to have a long day. Offensively the Crimson Tide is going to need help from the outside. Anthony Brock must knock down some shots from behind the arc much like he did against Vanderbilt. Also watch how JaMychal Green fares after suffering a hip pointer against LSU.

Prediction: South Carolina 85, Alabama 78.

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