Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Indiana St. Sycamores Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 10th 2023

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No. 24 Alabama will look to build off its impressive season-opening win over Morehead State when it hosts Indiana State in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday night.

The Crimson Tide (1-0) jumped out a 20-point first-half lead and never looked back in cruising to a 105-73 win behind offseason acquisitions Grant Nelson, Aaron Estrada and Jarin Stevenson.

Nelson, a North Dakota State transfer, led the Crimson Tide in points (24) and rebounds (seven) and was 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range.

Estrada, a Hofstra transfer, had 16 points, three rebounds and three assists and was 7-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-3 from behind the arc.

Stevenson, the 2023 North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench for Alabama.

Veteran starters Mark Sears (13 points, five assists, five rebounds), Rylan Griffen (nine points, four rebounds, three assists) and Nick Pringle (five points, four rebounds) picked up where they left off last season and supplied their usual production, especially on the defensive end.

The Crimson Tide scored 29 points off turnovers against the Eagles, which allowed Nate Oats’ team to get out in transition and attack. Despite some ups and downs, Oats was happy to get a win.

“I thought it was a great start to the season,” Oats said. “We started well tonight and jumped out of the gate. I was pleased with where our heads were at to start the game. I did think we had a little bit of a letdown at various points, but we were able to turn it back up.

“There’s plenty of stuff we need to work on, particularly on the defensive end. I thought we got the ball moving, we had 16 assists tonight. A few too many turnovers but we were able to turn them over a little bit as well. That’s a good team. They were picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference. It’s a good team with good players and I thought our guys played well.”

Indiana State finished 23-13 last season and had a 13-7 record in the Missouri Valley Conference, good for fifth in the league. The Sycamores made it to the quarterfinals in their conference tournament before being ousted by top-seed Bradley 71-70.

Indiana State beat South Carolina-Upstate 67-62 in the opening round of the 2023 College Basketball Invitational before losing to Eastern Kentucky, 89-88, in the quarterfinals.

The Sycamores (1-0) downed Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 90-60 on Monday night in their season opener behind Isaiah Swope, Ryan Conwell and Jayson Kent, who all scored in double figures.

Swope posted 26 points, while Conwell added 25. Kent tallied 14 points in 28 minutes.

Both Swope and Conwell nailed five 3-pointers each and accounted for 35 of Indiana State’s 44 points in the first half.

“I thought Isaiah Swope, first half, was tremendous,” Indiana State coach Josh Schertz said. “Obviously his shot-making got us a lead and then the second half we played with a lot more force.”

–Field Level Media

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