After his biggest win of the Nate Oats era earlier this week, the No. 4 Alabama basketball will look to repeat his performance against an LSU team that has already blown him this season. The Crimson Tide devastated the Tigers 106-66 at Coleman Coliseum last month. On Saturday, attempts will be made to complete the regular season sweep on the road at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Alabama is aiming to start the SEC game 10-0 for the third time in program history while LSU hopes to continue a nine-game losing streak.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
WHO: No. 4 Alabama (19-3, 9-0 in the SEC) at LSU (12-10, 1-8)
Whether: 3:00 p.m. CT, Saturday, February 4
Or: Pete Maravich Convention Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Regard: ESPNU (Play-by-Play: Kevin Fitzgerald; Analyst: Daymeon Fishback; Sideline: Alyssa Lang)
Hear: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-Play: Chris Stewart; Analyst: Bryan Passink; Engineer Tom Stipe)
Alabama has planned the starting lineup
Jaden Bradley: 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, freshman
Stats: 8.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, 42.2% FG, 35.3% 3pt
Marcus Sears: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 41.3% FG, 36.4% 3pts
Brandon Miller: 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, freshman
Stats: 19.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 45.9% FG, 44.7% 3pt
Noah Clowney: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, freshman
Stats: 9.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 47.6% FG, 25.7% 3pts
Charles Bediako: 7 feet, 225 pounds, second year
Stats: 5.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 59.6% FG
LSU has planned the starting lineup
Judge Williams: 6 feet, 175 pounds, second year
Stats: 3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 35.8% FG, 17.4% 3pt
Adam Muller: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, sophomore in redshirt
Stats: 12.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 34.7% FG, 31.7% 3pt
Cam Hayes: 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 7.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 46.7% FG, 36.5% 3pt
Fountain Derek: 6-foot-10, 225 pounds, junior
Stats: 7.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 53.4% FG, 18.2% 3pt
KJ Williams: 6’10, 250 pounds, senior
Stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 49.3% FG, 42.9% 3pts
What a passion for shooting
Dom Welch is starting to find his footing after a calf injury sidelined him in the first 12 games of the season. Now Alabama hopes its shot will come.
Welch, a transfer from Saint-Bonaventure, shoots just 14.3 percent from the floor, including just 3 of 22 (13.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Those are puzzling numbers for a senior who has shot 40.2% from the floor and 36.7% from deep in his career.
“The injury didn’t help him because he shot the ball very well in training, like everyone else in the squad before he was out for so long,” the coach said. – chief of Alabama, Nate Oats. “I think he just needs to get comfortable and increase the reps. He needs to hit the gym and shoot.
Outside of his shooting matches, Welch has been a strong contributor off the bench. The 6-foot-5 guard recorded a season-high five rebounds last time out against Vanderbilt and has been one of Crimson Tide’s best defenders at the perimeter this season. On Friday, Oats said it was only a matter of time before his shot followed.
“The great thing about him is he’s prolific in everything else,” Oats said. “He plays strong in defense. He recovers. He is a veteran with experience. He’s just not filming right now for some reason, but he’s had four years of college experience filming them at nearly 40% clip.
Don’t take tigers for granted
Alabama lit up the scoreboard in their last meeting against LSU, catching 20 shots from beyond the arc, including 14 in the first half, in a 106-66 win at Coleman Coliseum. However, Oats thinks the eruption was a bit misleading. On Friday, the head coach warned his team not to take the Tigers for granted, reminding them that last month’s game was closer than it looked after the tide kicked off.
“The last thing I told them on video this morning was that the score in the second half was 47-44,” Oats said. “It’s good that we came out in the first half and hit 14 3s, but in the second half we didn’t play very well. Our defense wasn’t good. It was a pretty balanced game throughout the second half. And this time we’re playing away. I think we have to play better to be honest.
LSU went 21-24 from the free throw line in the second half. The Tigers also saw Cam Hayes shoot 4 of 5, including 2 of 2 from deep after the break.
“They have shooters who can shoot, and one way to get excited is to give shooters candid looks,” Oats said. “We can’t give their shooters open looks.”
– On Friday, Nate Oats received a contract extension to keep him in charge
Alabama basketball schedule through March 14, 2029.
–Alabama is looking to move to 10-0 in the SEC game for the third time in program history.
– The Crimson Tide’s 101-44 victory over Vanderbilt on Tuesday was the biggest win in a game between two Power 5 teams since March 3, 2008 (Kansas beat Texas Tech 109-51).
– The Alabama bench has averaged 34.5 points in its last four games.
– Brandon Miller is shooting 0.445 percent from 3-point range, who is No. 12 in Division I.
– LSU’s KJ Williams is averaging 17.09 points per game, which is No. 3 in the SEC. He has the SEC’s all-time best 51 field goals this season, ranking 51st in the nation. In addition to his total points, he ranks seventh in the conference with an average of 7.5 rebounds per game.
–Williams and Miller are two of four SEC players in the top seven in points per game and rebounds per game this season.
– The last time Alabama beat LSU at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center was Jan. 19, 2021, when the Crimson Tide set the SEC record for most 3-pointers in a game and 23 shots- beyond the arc in a 105-75 win.
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