Coach Avery Johnson didn’t need to know Georgia’s Yante Maten is the Southeastern conference’s No. 2 scorer (19.6 points per game) to know how dangerous the Bulldog’s bite could be.
“When we evaluated the talent and broke down all of our SEC opponents’ rosters, he’s one of the guys that we thought could definitely be a pre-season MVP in the league,” Johnson said. “He’s that type of player.”
Maten’s improved jump shot on both sides of the arc is just one of the reasons the Crimson Tide will attempt to keep the ball out of his hands when the teams take the floor on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Athens, Georgia.
The game against the Bulldogs will provide Alabama (11-7, 4-2) with a chance to defend its top five position within the conference. If Georgia (12-7, 4-3) wins then the Crimson Tide could find itself ending the week at the back of the pack looking as seven SEC teams are only one win or less behind Alabama.
For some fans, Alabama already appears like it’s destined to finish near the bottom of the SEC after a second half collapse led to a 20-point loss to Auburn.
“Obviously when it’s an in-state rival people forget that you ever won a game in the SEC right. and it seems like we’re 0-6, [not] 4-2,” Johnson said.
On Tuesday, Johnson didn’t make excuses for his team’s performance on Saturday. The Crimson Tide turned the ball over 16 times, but these weren’t just interceptions, Johnson said many of them were pick sixes.
Wednesday’s game will give Alabama a chance to redeem itself on the road before the team returns home on Saturday to take on Mississippi State, but it will also serve as the start of Alabama’s participation in Coaches against Cancer which allows fans to donate money to the American Cancer Society for every 3-point shot the team knocks down.
“I’m really excited about this because both of my parents died of cancer so this kinds of hits close to home so I want to encourage everybody to take part in this program.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports