The Crimson Tide basketball team will host its final non-conference game of the season tonight in Coleman Coliseum when the Toledo Rockets of the Mid-American Conference visit. Tip-off is set for 7:00 C.T., and the game will not be televised. Instead, it will be streamed live via TideTV and will be available on radio throughout the state on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. This will be Bama's last non-televised games, as all 16 SEC games are slated for TV.
Tonight's matchup should be nothing more than a tune-up, as the story headline suggests. Toledo is 2-10 on the season and is ranked 317th by Pomeroy. Only Florida A&M and Alabama A&M hold lower rankings of Bama's non-conference opponents thus far (wins of 39 and 26 points respectively).
The Rockets are the 28th-worst team in the country in offensive efficiency, while the Tide is 23rd-best in the country in defensive efficiency (out of 345 D-1 teams), so the Tide should hold a massive edge on that end of the floor. Toledo's defense isn't a whole lot better--ranked 294th in defensive efficiency--but then again Bama's offense isn't exactly known for lighting it up. Expect a low-scoring game but Bama should be able to pull away with turnovers and JaMychal Green's hot scoring in the post.
The big news for the Tide personnel-wise is the expected return of guard Andrew Steele, who missed most of last season with a fracture in his foot and has missed the first 13 games this season with cartilage damage in his knee. His return, if he is indeed healthy and back to form, would be a huge boon for the Bama backcourt which has struggled this season with production and depth in that area.
If Bama can take care of business tonight, the team will have a chance to start off SEC play this Saturday with a good bit of momentum after an ugly start to the season.