About the Lady Crimson Tide:
This has been a long season for second-year coach Wendell Hudson, especially in SEC play where they have won just one of nine contests. They are led by Tierney Jenkins who is averaging 12.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. They are giving up almost as many points as they are scoring but on the bright side they are averaging 41.2 rebounds a game. They are in rebuild mode under a new coach so it may be a while before they are in the mix for a spot in the upper echelon of the SEC.
Projected Starting Line-Up:
About the Lady Bulldogs:
The Lady Bulldogs are at a stage now where they are going to be fighting for an NCAA Tournament berth the rest of the season. They will receive a boost with TySheka Grimes, who is likely to play limited minutes versus Alabama. Grimes, who was dressed but didn't see any action the last two games, should add to the overall depth of the team and provide much needed leadership. The Lady Bulldogs, in their last three games faced ranked opponents, defeating Vanderbilt and Georgia, then falling to Kentucky in last Sunday's match-up. The Lady Bulldogs hope to make a run to finish out the SEC schedule.
Projected Starting Line-Up :
Mississippi State - Alexis Rack, once again, is my player to watch for Mississippi State as she had one of her worst performances of her career versus Kentucky going 4-24 from the field. Rack will surely look to redeem herself against Alabama in Thursday's match-up. I wouldn't be shocked to see her have a big day, which should bold well for the Lady Bulldogs.
Georgia - Tierney Jenkins is my player to watch for Alabama. She has been a force inside for Alabama this season, averaging nearly a double-double with 12.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season. If they expect to have any chance of beating the Lady Bulldogs she has to have a big day.
This is a rare game where Mississippi State has the size advantage on a team with Alabama employing a three-guard lineup with the tallest player being 5'7. Their post players have a good size standing 6'0 and 6'4, but Mississippi State starts 6'3 Rima Kalonda and 6'5 Chanel Mokango. The strange thing is that Alabama averages more rebounds a game but I just don't see them outrebounding the Lady Bulldogs. This game on paper favors the Lady Bulldogs. And I expect them to take care of business and win this one in a rout unless they shoot ourselves in the foot.
Jeremiah Short is a columnist who covers various Mississippi State sports for GenesPage.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org