Alabama vs. Northeastern
When: 1 p.m. CT
Where: TD Arena, Charleston, S.C.
Records: Alabama 2-0, Northeastern 1-1
Radio: 95.3 FM
There are two Associated Press Top 25 teams in the field at the Charleston Classic but Alabama head basketball coach Avery Johnson chose not to discuss either one earlier this week.
“I don’t mean this as an insult but my attention is totally on Northeastern,” Johnson said earlier this week. “I can’t allow myself to look past Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock (1 p.m. CT). All the teams in this tournament are too good to look past one game to another”
The Huskies (1-1) were the preseason pick to win the Colonial Athletic Association and have a pair of peseason All-CAA honorees in Vasa Pusica (first team) and Shawn Occeus (honorable mention). Other returnees include CAA All-Rookie honoree Tomas Murphy and CAA Sixth Man of the Year Bolden Brace.
“They have really clever guards,” Johnson said. “They’re veterans. They’re well coached. They know what they want to do.”
Alabama is a four-point favorite in the game according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.
Senior center Donta Hall leads Alabama with team highs of 16 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game entering the Thursday contest. He has knocked down 75 percent (12 of 16) of his field goals and leads the team with five dunks.
Freshman guard Kira Lewis, who led Alabama with 21 points in last Sunday’s win against Appalachian State, continues to attract attention although Johnson said Tuesday “he is a freshman so we are not counting on him to go out and win every game for us.
“He’s coming along. You’ve got to remember that he is playing against older guys every time he takes the court. He can’t play against anybody younger because he is the youngest.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 295-722-0225.