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Alabama at South Carolina Preview Capsule and Gameday Open Thread

Alabama Crimson Tide Preview Capsule

SB Nation Community: Roll Bama Roll

Record: 14-14 (4-10)

Season Thus Far: Alabama impressed out of the gate, with key non-con wins against the Baylor Bears and Michigan Wolverines and a near miss against an elite Purdue Boilermakers team. This early-season performance had Tide fans hoping that Anthony Grant would take no time to create a winner in Tuscaloosa. However, things haven't gone according to plan, as Alabama has struggled mightily in SEC play. The Tide are only 4-10 in the league, a fact made all the worse by the weak state of the SEC West.

Alabama, though, is better than their record. They have lost numerous games by small margins, including several on final-minute shots. While the Tide's tendency to meltdown late in games is partly to blame here, we can also surmise that this is just a team that's a little down on its luck.

What to Expect: Alabama comes into this game without star forward JaMychal Green and possibly without important guard Senario Hillman. If Hillman misses the game, the Tide will come in with only seven scholarship players, one of whom has played rarely throughout the year. Depth and fatigue, to say nothing of having to play less talented players more, will be major issues for 'Bama if that is the case.

Because of the depth issues, expect 'Bama to favor zone defenses with some modifications to limit Devan Downey thrown in. That means we should see plenty of open looks. If Downey, Ramon Galloway, Brandis Raley-Ross, and Sam Muldrow can shoot consistently, we should be able to score some points.

Offensively, I expect you'll see the Tide essentially put the game in the hands of talented PG Mikhail Torrance. Without Green and Hillman, they will have few other reliable scoring options, and you'll likely see Torrance try to do his best Downey impression and attempt to score in any way possible. Horn, hopefully, will have a plan in place to limit his effectiveness in this regard. It's worth noting that without Green, the Tide lack the kind of big man that's been so good at beating us this year. His loss was a major hit for the Tide in this game.

Prediction: This game scared me coming in, as we're playing poorly and 'Bama, although not a particularly good team, had the players to beat us. Without Green and (possibly) Hillman, though, I don't see the Tide winning this one. Their only chance is for Torrance to go off, and with the game in Columbia on a hopefully raucous Senior Night atmosphere, I think that's unlikely. 'Cocks in a 6-10 point victory.