'Bama Takes on Georgetown

In the first neutral floor game of the season, the Alabama Crimson Tide Men's Basketball team (4-2) will battle the No.4 ranked team nationally against the Georgetown Hoyas (5-0). In the inaugural year of the event tabbed the Pizza Hut Big East/SEC Invitational, this clash will take place in the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center Wednesday (12/5/07) at 6pm CST on ESPN.

In this game, Alabama will see its first Associated Press Pre-season First Team All-American of the season in 7-2, Roy Hibbert. Hibbert follows in that long line of Georgetown centers such as Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutombo.

The Ewing name will also be present as Patrick's son Patrick Ewing Jr. (6-8) will start at forward.

The rest of the Hoyas line-up will consist of Alabama native Jonathan Wallace at guard, DaJuan Summers (6-8) at forward, and Jessie Sapp at the other guard.

This yet is another stern test for this Alabama team as Georgetown will counter with size, inside/outside game, athleticism and quickness.

Georgetown's success is credited to their relentless pressure defense. To apply this hard-nose defense, the Hoyas will use a deep bench in order to keep fresh legs in the game. Nine Georgetown players average 15 minutes or more to hold opponents to a 50 point average a game scoring mark. The Hoyas use ball pressuring, shot contesting, and traps to give their opponents fits.

Against this defense of man-to-man, opponents are shooting 34.3% from the floor and 29.6% from the three point line. Georgetown is averaging 38 rebounds, 5.4 blocks, and 5.6 steals per game as team.

The Hoyas on offense will also use those fresh legs in transition when the opportunity presents itself, but when they don't have the numbers look for them to get the ball to Hibbert as they average 65.2 points per contest as a team.

Hibbert leads the team in several categories such as points (14.4) and field goal percentage (63.8%) while also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.

As a team, Georgetown, averages 48.8% from the floor, 37.1% from the arc, and 52.7% from the free throw line. The Hoyas also distribute the ball at the rate of 15.6 assists and 10.8 turnovers per game.

For the Tide defensively, the emphasis is on Hibbert as he could cause some match-up problems. Bama will still need to keep up with Wallace and Sapp as they shoot 41.5% (20-48) from the three point line combined.

The Tide should zone with stints of man-to-man to keep the Hoyas from establishing any rhythm. Bama should also foul on easy baskets and make them earn it as Georgetown shoots poorly from the charity stripe.

On offense, Bama could use the three point fire power that it displayed at the end of their last game against S.E. Louisiana to give the Hoyas something else to defend. The Tide guards should not succumb to the Georgetown defense by protecting the ball, but needs to be a scoring option either on drives or jumpers.

Bama will need to work the offense in order to get good shots as they are liable not to have many second tries. If the Tide is the aggressor on both ends of the floor, they should come away with a close win.

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