Matt usually does these (and for good reason), but real life is rudely intruding for him today so y'all are stuck with me. The Crimson Tide Basketball team comes home tonight to take on the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana with tipoff set for 8pm. The game will be televised on CSS, ESPN3.com, Tide TV, and of course the Crimson Tide Radio Network. We'll have a game thread up at about 7:45, and Matt is optimistic he'll be able to join in. To say that a game against SE LA is important feels weird, but considering our beloved Tide has yet to win a road contest and is sitting at 4-5 right now, continuing to handle the cupcake teams at home is an absolute necessity. I'm not even going to pretend to know enough about basketball to do any sort of preview, but here a few links/quotes for you to delve into for more information.
"This team just has not shown the ability to handle any adversity," Grant said.
"Southeastern Louisiana will be a team that will challenge us defensively, and we have been a team that tries to take a lot of pride in our ability to defend. So my main focus will be on our team."
SLU is the second high-scoring offense the Tide has faced as the team is averaging 80.7 points per game and has scored 90 or more points in three of its games this season.
"For us, we try to take a lot of pride in being a team that can defend," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said of facing the Lions’ offense. "We’ve been challenged in a variety of way this year and if nothing else we’ve gotten some experience through the course of the year. I would hope our team would come out and take the challenge to do a good a job on defense."
Southeastern (5-2) returned from a week-long layoff for final exams winning its sixth straight meeting against Southern and improving to 1-1 on its longest road trip since the 1988-89 campaign. Brandon Fortenberry and David Ndoumba each posted career-highs with 22 points in the win while Deshawn Patterson added 14, Gary Dixon 11 and Trent Hutchin 10.
Hutchin, who is fourth in the Southland Conference in scoring, leads Southeastern at 18.1 points per game while pacing the league in 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and ranking fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.500).
Fortenberry is next in scoring for the Lions at 11.8 points while leading the team with 3.7 assists and ranking second in the Southland Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.579). Ndoumba, the SLC leader in field goal percentage (.719), is Southeastern’s third player averaging in double figures at 10.6 points per game while leading the team in rebounds (7.6) and blocked shots (2.1).
Reserve forward Roosevelt Johnson (9.9), Dixon (9.7), Jason Marks (5.2) and Patterson (5.0) are next in scoring for the Lions, who average 80.7 points per game while leading the Southland Conference in field goal shooting (.482) and 3-point field goal shooting (.390).