March 14, 2008

Scouting report: UA vs. Mississippi State

Alabama (17-15, 6-11) vs. Mississippi State (21-9, 12-4)
What: SEC basketball tournament, second round.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta.
When: 6:30 p.m. CST
TV: Raycom.
First round: Alabama topped Florida 80-69, never trailing after opening a 14-0 lead; Mississippi State earned a first-round bye as the top seed in the West Division.

Alabama probable starters
GRico Pickett6-3, 1755.9Freshman got to free-throw line (11 trips) vs. Gators
GMykal Riley6-6, 18514.5Has scored 26 in each of his last two games
GAlonzo Gee6-6, 22014.6Defensive game will need to be sharp vs. Bulldogs
FDemetrius Jemison6-7, 2255.6Pulled down nine rebounds against Florida
FRichard Hendrix6-8, 26517.7Scored 22 vs. UF, but will knee soreness flare with back-to-back games?
Alabama top reserves
GBrandon Hollinger5-11, 1706.4Took just one shot vs. Gators, but made four assists
GSenario Hillman6-1, 1904.6Played through pain for 15 minutes in opening round

MSU probable starters
GBen Hansbrough6-3, 20510.4Shooting skills make him a key cog for MSU in its half-court set.
GBarry Stewart6-2, 17011.7Second on team in both steals (36) and assists (78)
GJamont Gordon6-4, 23017.5When shot clock winds down, the ball goes to Gordon
FCharles Rhodes6-8, 24516.8One of the SEC's top power forwards and a physical rebounding presence
CJarvis Varnado6-9, 2107.8SEC Defensive POY averages 4.80 blocks per game
MSU top reserves
GPhil Turner6-3, 1704.7Solid defender who averages 18 minutes per game as a freshman
FBrian Johnson6-9, 2452.3Can sub for Varnado or Rhodes and hold his own defensively at either spot

Analysis and Prediction

Mississippi State goes for its third win over Alabama this year after sweeping the season series.

Prediction: Mississippi State 74, Alabama 69.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!