It’s the opening night on the hardwood for SEC hoops, and your Alabama Crimson Tide is set to close out the evening with a top-25 showdown with the bordering Mississippi State Bulldogs. This one should be a physical contest, as both teams are among the nation’s best on the defensive end of the court. It also provides Alabama with yet another opportunity to bring home a win against a ranked opponent, which will continue to solidify the top-tier NCAA Tournament resume that the Tide has built over the first two months of the season.
There’s also a chance we see Dom Welch make his debut in Crimson tonight. Nate Oats made it sound like he would be a game time decision. His appearance in the rotation could go a long way for Alabama since the Tide lost Nimari Burnett indefinitely. Another thing to watch is the Tide’s legs. The guys have had a rather crazy couple of weeks - from playing a brutal stretch of Houston/Memphis/Gonzaga, to getting hit with a nasty bug that ran through the locker room, to having a week off, it’ll be interesting to see how the guys come out from the opening tip tonight.
EDIT: Looks like Welch will be giving it a go tonight:
Alabama’s Dominick Welch will be available tonight and is expected to make his Crimson Tide debut, but will be on a minutes restriction, source told @Stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 29, 2022
Welch averaged 12.3 points and shot 37 percent from 3 last season at Saint Bonaventure.
Alabama is listed as a 1-point favorite for tonight’s battle at the Hump. The game will tip at 8:00 PM CST and will be televised on the SEC Network.