Time to pack out Coleman Coliseum, as the veteran Memphis Tigers come to T-Town looking to put a major damper on a hot Crimson Tide start for the second season in a row. The Tide finds itself ranked higher than it's been since the 2006-07 season, coming in at #4 in the most recent AP Poll. Meanwhile, Penny Hardaway’s Tigers were listed as the first team outside of the Top 25.
Memphis has plenty of talent and a ton of experience, so Alabama better come ready to avenge its upset loss to these guys almost exactly 365 days ago. Great teams show up with the same level of intensity and effort every night, no matter how the previous game played out. Nate Oats’ guys will need to be ready to go tonight, especially after late breaking news that Nimari Burnett - the Tide’s best perimeter defender and one of the best shooters on the team - underwent surgery on his wrist and will be out for a significant portion of the season:
Alabama announces basketball guard Nimari Burnett is out indefinitely after wrist surgery.— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) December 14, 2022
Not ideal. Dom Welch still hasn’t started live contact drills in practice, so his “day-to-day” absence won’t be ending any time soon. Additionally, Memphis’ Damaria Franklin was cleared to play tonight after sitting out the first ten games awaiting clearance of a medical hardship waiver. The graduate transfer was an All-Horizon performer last season at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he led the Flames with 17.8 PPG, to go along with 6.9 RPG and 2.5 APG.
The Tide is going to need its best tonight. Oats will also have to see what this rotation looks like without Burnett for the foreseeable future. Despite the loss of Burnett, Alabama is listed as a 7.5-point favorite tonight. The game will tip-off at 8:00 PM CST and will be televised on EPSN2.
EDIT: Looks like Jaden Bradley is getting the start. Let’s get it, young man
Starting ✋ against Memphis! pic.twitter.com/FlFa2MBa7m— Alabama Men’s Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) December 14, 2022