The Alabama men’s basketball team travels to Auburn, Alabama, tonight for a 7:30 p.m. CT tip-off against the Tigers, who are seeking revenge after an early season upset from the Tide. Head Coach Avery Johnson and coveted future NBA draft pick Collin Sexton will lead the 17-10 Crimson Tide down the road to Bruce Pearl’s 12th ranked Auburn Tigers. who are currently sitting at 23-4 after recent losses to Texas A&M and South Carolina. The last time these teams played was in Tuscaloosa, where Alabama pulled off a 76-71 victory. Despite the Tide being without Sexton in that game due to injury, John Petty had himself a career night, knocking down eight 3-pointers in a 27-point performance. Alabama held the Auburn Tigers to 39% shooting as a team and 35% from the 3-point line that night, ending their 14-game win streak at the time. Avery Johnson will have to put a heavier emphasis on defense since his team has struggled on the road this season.
Two things need to happen in order for the Tide to get the season sweep against the Tigers. First, John Petty needs to make 3-pointers against a tough Auburn home defense; Petty has been shooting a considerably lower percentage away from Coleman Coliseum, and that can’t happen tonight if Alabama wants to win. Second, Herbert Jones needs to set the defensive pace for the Tide against a potent Auburn offense. Bama is coming off a Saturday loss at Kentucky, and has struggled with inconsistency since SEC play began. After tonight’s contest, Alabama will be back home on February 24th when they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks as they hit the final stretch of the regular season.