Sycamores Could Challenge Alabama Basketball
Despite the margin of victory, Nate Oats wasn't happy with his team's defense in Alabama's 105-73 opening win over Morehead State. He is calling for improvement on that end Friday night vs. Indiana State at home.
“If you aren’t locked in on defense, miss a switch or make the wrong switch, they’ll make you pay,” Oats said. "We’ve got to contest the three-point shots better, do better on pick and rolls. There’s no [Charles] Bediako back there to protect the rim,”
One person who could help in that area is 6-10 freshman Jarin Stevenson, who many compare to NBA rookie Noah Clowney. Oats said Stevenson is “good enough to start. He’s going to get starter minutes.”
Are the Sycamores good enough to beat an Alabama team that has won 16 straight games in the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum? Maybe.
Yes, Indiana State, is mainly known for being the alma mater of NBA legend Larry Bird who lost in the 1979 finals to Magic Johnson and Michigan State. However, this year's team won its opener over Saint Mary of the Woods Pomeroy.
After you finish laughing, consider that ISU had three players in double figures in the win: Isaiah Swope (26), Ryan Conwell (25), and Jayson Kent (14). Xavier Bledson had 11 assists, most in America in opening games.
In addition, Indiana State placed three men on the Missouri Valley Conference pre-season All Star teams, namely 6-10 center Robbie Avila and Larry on the second team, with Swope third team.
Oats is particularly concerned about Avila. "He moves great. Plays on the perimeter. Shoots the ball well and is a lob target," Oats said when asked what stood out on tape of ISU.
Tip time Friday is set for 7 p.m. at Coleman and you can hear the game on 95.3 The Bear.
Alabama Men's Basketball's Top Career Rebounders
10 Underrated Soul Food Restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Gallery Credit: Buck Wilde