December 1, 2006

Preview: Alabama vs. Tennessee State

What: Tennessee State (2-2) vs. No. 6 Alabama (6-0)
Where: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
When: Saturday, Dec. 2
Time/TV: 2:30 p.m. (CST)/ACN
Series record: UA leads 3-0
Last Meeting: The Tide beat the Tigers 87-79 in 2005.

The Coaches
Alabama -- Mark Gottfried (ninth season) has compiled a record of 166-96 at Alabama and an overall mark of 235-120.

Tennessee State -- Cy Alexander (fourth season) has compiled a record of 36-35 at Tennessee State and an overall mark of 313-257.

The Starting Lineups
Alabama
Forward -- 35 Richard Hendrix (6-8, 265, So., 13.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG)
Forward -- 12 Alonzo Gee (6-6, 215, So. 15.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
Center -- 33 Jermareo Davidson (6-10, 230, Sr., 14.0 PPG, 11.2 RPG)
Guard -- 4 Brandon Hollinger (5-11, 170, So., 3.5 PPG, 2.8 APG)
Guard -- 22 Ronald Steele (6-3, 185, Jr., 12.8 PPG, 4.4 APG)

Texas Southern
Forward -- 25 Courtney Bohannon (6-8, 200, Sr., 4 PPG, 7 RPG)
Forward -- 54 Clarence Matthews (6-7, 250, Sr., 15.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG)
Center -- 44 Larry Turner (6-11, 240, Sr., 6 PPG, 9.8 RPG)
Guard -- 02 Reiley Ervin (5-10, 160, Jr., 5 PPG, 2.3 RPG)
Guard -- 12 Ladarious Weaver (6-0, 165, Jr., 15 PPG, 2.8 RPG)

Around the perimeter

Alabama: The Tide suffered through one of its worst perimeter shooting games in a while Tuesday but don't expect that to happen again this week. Junior Mykal Riley appeared to catch fire late in the game and Davidson looks more comfortable shooting from outside as well.

Tennessee State: Unlike the guard-heavy set that ULM brought on Tuesday, TSU will not bring the same heavy assault from three-point range hitting just 24 percent of their deep shots this season. JUCO transfer Weaver, who is averaging 15 points per game, will be the biggest threat from the perimeter.

Advantage: Alabama


In the paint

Alabama: As the season goes on, the Tide's play in the paint has begun to show its depth as a tough night for Davidson on Tuesday was overcome by an impressive 18-point performance from Hendrix. Also tough to account for is Gee who is averaging, get this, 3.3 dunks per game.

Tennessee State: The Tigers will give the Tide its best challenge in the paint since Iowa. The Tigers have rebounded their opponents by an average of 44 to 38 and at 6-11, Turner will be quite the physical presence for the Tide's big men to go up against.

Advantage: Alabama

What to watch for: The Tide struggled without Steele against ULM but began to find its flow in the second half. Look for a much cleaner, sharper performance against the Tigers even if Steele is out again.

Prediction: Alabama 70, Tennessee State 55

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