How to watch: Alabama vs. Missouri in the SEC semifinals
Alabama is once again on the cusp of rewriting history.
After setting the program record for most wins in a regular season, the Crimson Tide aims to break that mark on Saturday afternoon. To do that, it must beat a Missouri, who beat Tennessee by eight points less than 24 hours ago. As Alabama tries to earn its ticket to the SEC Championship Finals, a win over the Tigers would be the first time since 2016-17 it has defeated Missouri twice in one season.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
WHO: No.2 Alabama (27-5) vs. Missouri (22-11)
If: Noon CT, Saturday March 11th
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Regard: ESPN (Play-by-Play: Karl Ravech; Analyst: Jimmy Dykes; Sideline: Marty Smith)
Hear: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-Play: Chris Stewart; Analyst: Bryan Passink; Engineer Tom Stipe)
Alabama’s scheduled starters
Jahvon Quinerly: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, senior
Stats: 7.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 39.2% FG, 34.3% 3pt
Markus Sears: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 13.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 42.7% FG, 37.7% 3pt
Brandon Miller: 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, freshman
Stats: 19.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 45.3% FG, 40.4% 3pt
Noah Clowney: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, freshman
Stats: 10.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 48.8% FG, 26.5% 3pt
Charles Bediako: 7 feet, 225 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 5.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 63.2% FG
Missouri’s estimated starting lineup
Nick Honor: 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, senior
Stats: 8.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 41.9% FG, 40.5% 3pt
D’Moi Hodge: 6-foot-4, 188 pounds, senior
Stats: 14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 46.9% FG, 39.6% 3pt
DeAndre Gholston: 6ft 5, 215 pounds, senior
Stats: 10.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 43.4% FG, 33.7% 3pt
Mohammed Diara: 6-foot-10, 215 pounds, junior
Stats: 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 45.3% FG, 30.8% 3pt
Kobe Brown: 6ft 8, 250 pounds, senior
Stats: 16.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 55.8% FG, 45.5% 3pt
Gurley continues his grind
Something needs to be said about a player who continues to stay ready even when not getting game time.
Noah Gurley has done that all season for Alabama, averaging 14.8 minutes per game, but in the SEC game he only surpassed that average four times. Of late, the senior has cut his playing time even further, playing 10 minutes or less in six of their last seven games.
Regardless, Gurley remained committed to the team and just bided his time. On Friday he was rewarded, scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shots in 21 minutes.
“We’ve talked about his leadership all year, I think you see it,” Oats said. “For a guy who has some DNPs late in the year for a fifth grader who made a big contribution, he started a lot of games last year to get in and get mentally ready.
“This is a team that plays big. Cam Matthews is a more traditional four-man. We decided to play in fours with Gurley more often. Had great practice, he was ready to go. I think he embodies our team to be honest with you. Incredible culture of guys who only care about their teammates. He kept leading, never sulking. We needed him today.”
While his contributions were needed, Gurley was 3-for-4 behind the arc, taking the team’s 3-point shooting percentage to over 35%. He also had an effective field goal percentage of 92, which was second on the team to Dom Welch, who went 1-on-1 before suffering a coccyx injury.
“He just stuck with it, led the team as a leader, stayed in the gym, worked his ass off,” Oats said. “I mean, I was in the training room two days ago. He walked in all sweaty, probably three, four hours after practice was over. I said, ‘What did you do?’ He was soaked. He said, ‘I just finished shooting practice.’ This is a kid who never bowed his head and never pouted. A really characterful kid. All of our children are strong children. But he’s at the top and I’m really happy for him.”
A rematch with Kobe Brown
Saturday’s rematch means a second meeting with Huntsville, Alabama native Kobe Brown.
The 6-foot-8 senior has led Missouri all season, averaging 16.2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. Alabama didn’t get a chance to face Brown during the regular season as he struggled with an ankle injury. Since returning to the ground, however, he has hit double digits in all but three games, including a 24-point performance against Tennessee on Friday.
“I wasn’t here when he was recruited out of high school, so I take no responsibility for not recruiting him,” Oats said in January. “Maybe you can put that out there so he doesn’t take it out on me. I would love to have him on this team. You can tell how good he is.
“He shoots the 3-pointer well, he’s big and strong and when he gets to the edge he’s done. He really is one of those matchup guys. He’s gotten better every year like he’s shooting the ball better than when he arrived. He doesn’t have many holes in his game.”
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