To say that a mess exists surrounding this Alabama basketball team would be a huge understatement. There’s little to glean from Alabama’s situation this early in the news cycle, and I’m not in any place to make comments or assume anything. Let us just say it doesn’t look good for the Crimson Tide.
Therefore, I’ll write this preview as if Miller is playing and Oats is coaching. But I urge our readers to heavily monitor the news before considering betting on this game.
Alabama is the most impressive team from an on-court perspective.
In their last game, Alabama lost to Tennessee in a loss that never should have happened at this point in the season.
Alabama, at its highest point, is an almost unstoppable athletic machine on offense -- using an elite rim and-3 style -- as well as an overwhelming force on defense -- using long drop coverage sets.
Alabama's guard play would be a nitpick if I had to. What's the deal with Jahvon Quinerly specifically?
Quinerly saw his minutes increase in January. He logged at least 20 minutes in five out of six games between Jan. 21-February 8. He played just 11 minutes against Auburn, and then he put together a terrible performance against Tennessee (17 mins, three points; 1-for-5 shooting; six turnovers).
Quinerly's court metrics are excellent. He runs the most pick-and-roll sets on the team and has the highest assist rate on the team. He's now in a backcourt that is crowded.
Jaden Bradley may be a better match. Bradley's defense is better, He's also been much more efficient in transition (1.176 to.688).
Charles Bediako is the anchor of the drop defense and has been a top interior defender in the SEC. Miller is the Crimson Tide’s clock-watcher. Miller leads all freshmen in scoring per game (18.7), while adding eight boards to his game (1.096 PPP).
The Gamecocks seem to be in the middle of a lost season. The Frank Martin era is over and this program needs to find an identity..
The results have been disappointing but not unexpected.
GG Jackson's numbers, especially his 92.4 ORtg, are not impressive. The Gamecocks backed up a win against Kentucky with eight consecutive SEC losses.
Jackson, a projected first-round selection, is still a project that has not fully developed yet.
Jackson, for the moment, is a big guard. In a win against LSU, he scored 20 points and seven boards.
This was after being benched for three matches after draggin' coach Lamont Paris live on Instagram.
South Carolina won 82-73 against LSU, marking its second consecutive win in three attempts. This was the best run of the conference season.
So, it seems things are trending up for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks need to improve offensively (ShotQuality suggests they should score around 1.01 PPP rather than the actual.96).
They get too involved in isolation sets and off-the-dribble 3s.
It's an indictment against the Gamecocks' defense is that they have not progressed the way they should have so far this season.
Last season saw Alabama beat South Carolina at home 90-71, two years ago was the last time these two teams played in Columbia and Bama escaped with a three-point win.
Between those two games, there is this road match with South Carolina. But, dare I suggest it, the Gamecocks may be starting to play better. Despite all the losses, they have won two of their three previous games and have covered five of six.
I like the spot for South Carolina, regardless. In my opinion this spread should be more in the 11-13 point range, so this is a quality pick taking the underdogs and the points in this one.
This should be a fairly high scoring game. I am thinking something like 80-68, or something in that range. I will reluctantly take the over in this game. The best bet is still to take the points and South Carolina in this one.
Alabama vs South Carolina How to Watch
📅 Date: Wednesday, February, 22
🕚 Game Time: 9:00 pm
📺 How to Watch: ESPN2 TV
🏀 Colonial Life Arena
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