The Red Wolves have two non-conference games left before starting league play on New Year’s Eve at the Convo. With at least nine non-conference wins, AState will enter league play in better shape than any squad of the past several years.
Even with nine wins already in the books, AState has two more games to play before opening league play with the Cajuns.
While the Red Wolves have gained some attention with the fast start. Coach McCasland is more interested in what he has seen from how the team has developed.
“Being 9-2 or whatever we are, I don't look at it too much.” McCasland added, “I can tell you the pulse of our team; l like where we are at because these guys are figuring it out how to win and to win in different ways and with different people stepping up.”
Video below Coach McCasland discusses the record so far and three point shooting.
Wednesday, the Red Wolves get a rare opportunity playing a high resource conference opponent some place other than their own arena. The Alabama Crimson Tide will travel 150 miles to Huntsville to AState. The Red Wolves will travel almost twice as far as Bama and the crowd will be heavily pro-Bama unless there is a last minute push of AState fans making the trip to help offset the crowd.
Bama will have the fans but they won’t familiarity of being in their dressing rooms nor playing in their building.
The Tide is 5-5 on the year but the losses are all names familiar to basketball fans: Dayton, Valparaiso, Texas, Oregon, and Clemson. The wins are more in line with the slate you expect an SEC school to load up with at home: Coastal Carolina, Ball State, St Louis, Charleston Southern, and South Carolina Upstate.
Alabama is treating the trip a bit like a basketball bowl game. They spent Monday touring the Space and Rocket Center with the Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama.
The game will tip at 8pm Central and will be shown on the SEC Network. The odds makers tab this game as even while power ratings tend to tab the Tide as a favorite by around 7 points.
The Twin Cities may have been bitterly cold during the past weekend but the Gophers have been one of the hottest teams in the nation.
Minnesota is 11-1 with the only loss coming November 28 at Florida State as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.
The Gophers have faced a few familiar names, AState will be the fourth Sun Belt team they face this year. They beat Louisiana Lafayette 86-74 to open the season then defeated Texas-Arlington 84-67. Minnesota also beat Georgia Southern 86-49. Minnesota also took a 14 point win over Arkansas.
AState and Minnesota will tip off at 6pm on Friday. The game will be telecast on the Big Ten Network. The power ratings pick Minnesota by around 13 points.