TideIllustrated – How to watch: No. 4 Alabama basketball travels to LSU
After recording its biggest win in the Nate Oats era earlier this week, No. 4 Alabama basketball will look for a repeat performance against an LSU team it has already blown out this season. The Crimson Tide trounced the Tigers 106-66 inside Coleman Coliseum last month. Saturday it will attempt to complete the regular-season sweep on the road inside Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Alabama is aiming to start SEC play 10-0 for just the third time in program history while LSU is hoping to snap a nine-game losing streak.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup.
How to watch
Who: No. 4 Alabama (19-3, 9-0 in the SEC) at LSU (12-10, 1-8)
When: 3 p.m. CT, Saturday, Feb. 4
Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Watch: ESPNU (play-by-play: Kevin Fitzgerald; analyst: Daymeon Fishback; Sideline: Alyssa Lang)
Listen: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink; engineer Tom Stipe)
Alabama projected 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% 3-pt
Mark Sears: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 41.3% FG, 36.4% 3-pt
Brandon Miller: 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, freshman
Stats: 19.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 45.9% FG, 44.7% 3-pt
Noah Clowney: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, freshman
Stats: 9.9 ppg, 8.4, rpg, 0.8 apg, 47.6% FG, 25.7% 3-pt
Charles Bediako: 7-foot, 225 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 5.4 ppg, 5.5, rpg, 0.6 apg, 59.6% FG
LSU projected starting lineup
Justice Wiliams: 6-foot, 175 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 35.8% FG, 17.4% 3-pt
Adam Miller: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, redshirt sophomore
Stats: 12.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 34.7% FG, 31.7% 3-pt
Cam Hayes: 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 7.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 46.7% FG, 36.5% 3-pt
Derek Fountain: 6-foot-10, 225 pounds, junior
Stats: 7.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 53.4% FG, 18.2% 3-pt
K.J. Williams: 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, senior
Stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 49.3% FG, 42.9% 3-pt
Welch’s shooting woes
Dom Welch is beginning to find his footing after a calf injury kept him out of the first 12 games of the season. Now Alabama’s hoping his shot will start to fall.
Welch, a transfer from St. Bonaventure, is shooting just 14.3% from the floor, including just 3 of 22 (13.6%) from beyond the arc. Those are puzzling numbers for a senior who has shot 40.2% from the floor and 36.7% from deep over his career.
“The injury didn’t help him because he was really shooting the ball well in practice, as well anybody on the team before he was out for that extended time,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “I think he’s just got to get back to feeling comfortable and get reps up. He’s got to get in the gym and shoot.”
Outside of his shooting struggles, Welch as been a solid contributer off the bench. The 6-foot-5 guard recorded a season-high five rebounds last time out against Vanderbilt and has been one of the Crimson Tide’s best defenders on the perimeter this season. Friday, Oats said its only a matter of time before his shot follows.
“The good thing with him is he’s productive in everything else,” Oats said. “He’s playing hard on defense. He’s rebounding. He’s a veteran with experience. He’s just not making shots for whatever reason right now, but he’s got four years of college experience at making them at almost a 40% clip.”
Don’t take the Tigers for granted
Alabama lit up the scoreboard during its previous meeting against LSU, hitting 20 shots from beyond the arc, including 14 in the first half, during a 106-66 victory inside Coleman Coliseum. However, Oats believes the blowout was a bit deceiving. Friday the head coach warned his team not to take the Tigers for granted, reminding them last month’s game was closer than it looked after the Tide’s hot start.
“The last thing I told them in video this morning is that the second-half score was 47-44,” Oats said. “It’s great we came out and hit 14 3s in the first half, but we didn’t play very well in the second half. Our defense wasn’t good. It was pretty much an even game the entire second half. And we’re playing on the road this time. I think we’ve got to play better, to be honest with you.”
LSU went 21-for-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’ve got some shooters who can make shots, and one way to get upset is to give shooters open looks,” Oats said. “We can’t be giving their shooters open looks.”
— Friday, Nate Oats received a contract extension to keep him in charge of the
Alabama basketball program through March 14, 2029.
— Alabama is looking to improve to 10-0 in SEC play for the third time in program history.
— The Crimson Tide’s 101-44 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday was the largest margin of victory in a game between two Power 5 teams since March 3, 2008 (Kansas beat Texas Tech 109-51).
— Over the last four games, Alabama’s bench is averaging 34.5 points.
— Brandon Miller is shooting .445 percent from 3-point range, which ranks No. 12 in Division I.
— LSU’s K.J. Williams is averaging 17.09 points per game, which ranks No. 3 in the SEC. He has made an SEC-best 51 field goals this season, putting him at No. 51 in the nation. In addition to his scoring, he ranks seventh in the conference averaging 7.5 rebounds per game.
— Williams and Miller are two of four players in the SEC to rank in the top seven in both points per game and rebounds per game this season.
— The last time Alabama defeated LSU at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center was on Jan. 19, 2021, when the Crimson Tide set the SEC record for most 3-pointers made in a game, draining 23 shots from beyond the arc in a 105-75 victory.