February 18, 2009

Basketball Preview: Alabama at Florida

What: Alabama (13-11, 3-7) at Florida (19-6, 6-4).
Where: O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.
When: Wednesday.
Time/TV: 6 p.m. CST/Sun Sports.
Series record: Alabama leads 73-55.

Alabama probable starters
GMikhail Torrance6-5, 2109.1Needs to score in double digits if the Tide wants a win.
GSenario Hillman6-1, 18813.1Had a nice game off the bench for the Tide against S. Carolina.
G/FAlonzo Gee6-6, 22014.1Continues to lead the team in scoring.
FJustin Knox6-9, 2405.8Needs to be more productive offensively to see more minutes.
FJaMychal Green6-9, 22510.0Still trying to come back from a hip pointer injury.
Alabama top reserves
GAnthony Brock5-9, 1654.5Needs to improve on 7 turnovers against the Gamecocks.
FDemetrius Jemison6-8, 2402.8Continues to see more playing time.

Florida probable starters
GNick Calathes6-6, 19418.6Yet again another scorer the Tide must keep in check.
GWalter Hodge6-0, 1708.0Shoots 41 percent from behind the arc.
FDan Werner6-7, 2358.9Has started all 25 games for the Gators.
FAlex Tyus6-8, 22012.4Team leader in rebounds and shooting percentage (61%).
FChandler Parsons6-9, 21310.1Will be the toughest test inside for the Tide.
Florida top reserves
FErving Walker5-8, 1619.3Is the Gators sixth man off the bench.
G/FRay Shipman6-5, 2123.8The freshman has shot close to 50 percent from the field.

Analysis and Prediction
The Crimson Tide head to Gainesville desperatly looking for a win where they have not won since 1995. The Gators come off a 88-86 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, who were winless in SEC play before defeating the Gators.
The Crimson Tide will have to have one of its better defensive performances of the season to pick up a win at the O'Connell Center. The Gators lead the league in shooting percatage (49%) and assist (409).
Once again, Alabama guards will have to guard one of the SEC's best scorers, Nick Calathes. Alabama offensively will have to limit turnovers. The Tide committed 21 turnovers in the loss to South Carolina on Saturday.
Anthony Brock and the other Crimson Tide guards will have to take care of the ball and have more mental toughness.
Prediction: Alabama 68, Florida 80.

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