Alabama will close out a three-game home-stand at 8 p.m. CST Thursday hosting Southern Miss in Coleman Coliseum. Both teams are 2-0. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.
Alabama lost a top scorer from last year’s team and a few other players, but the Crimson Tide of Coach Anthony Grant returns four starters and eight lettermen. As expected, Levi Randolph, a senior guard, is leading the Tide, averaging 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in the first two games. Shannon Hale averages 12 points per game, Ricky Tarrant 11.5, and Rodney Cooper 10. Inside post player Jimmie Taylor had career high points (15) and rebounds (10) in the Tide’s 80-74 win over Western Carolina Tuesday.
Southern Miss has nine newcomers and only two seniors on a team with five new starters. Forward Matt Biongaya leads the Golden Eagles with 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game with Shadell Millinghaus averaging 15 and Chip Armelin 12.
Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said, “’ve known Doc for a long time. He’s a great guy and heck of a coach. I know he’ll have his team ready.”
Grant described Southern Miss as “a very aggressive team. You’re talking about a team that’s very gritty, very aggressive, forces turnovers. They’ve got an ability to come up with 50-50 balls. They rebound on both ends extremely well.”
In Alabama’s Monday night win over Western Carolina, the Tide made only 2-17 on three-point shots. Randolph was asked if that was a concern and said, “No, I don’t think it’s really a concern. I think we scored 80 points, so, I mean, points are points. It’s obviously being efficient on offense, whether it comes from the three-point line, the free-throw line, or in the paint, we just want to try to put points on the board and do what we have to do defensively.”