The Alabama Basketball team will wrap up non-conference play and 2023 as a whole on December 30th when they face off against the Liberty Flames. The Flames will enter the matchup at 10-3 also preparing to enter conference play. According to Joe Lunardi if the season ended today the Flames would be a twelve seed in the NCAA tournament while Alabama Basketball would be a six seed showing how close these teams may be.
The Flames are a well-balanced team offensively scoring 79.2 points per game. Liberty has four players averaging ten or more points per game with Kyle Rode leading the team with 13.7 points per game. The Flames are a great three-point shooting team shooting 37.1% as a team not too far off Alabama Basketball's 38.1% mark. Kyle Rode and Kaden Metheny are key shooters for Liberty both shooting above 40% from three. The Flames offense runs through point guard Collin Porter who averages 9.4 points per game and leads the team with 3.7 assists per game.
Defensively the Flames are a middle-of-the-pack team in the country allowing a misleading 59.5 points per game which is helped by playing Mid-Atlantic, St. Andrews, and Miss Valley State. The Defensive leader for the Flames is Forward Zach Cleveland who leads the team with 0.9 steals per game and 0.8 blocks per game.
Alabama Basketball: Time to step up defensively
There's no question that this Alabama Basketball team can score with any team in the country. The issue all season has been keeping opponents from scoring at a high rate as the team allows opponents to score a staggering 77.5 points per game. Against a team that shoots as well from three as Liberty the Alabama Basketball team will need to play sound defense and close out on Liberty's top scorers or this game will become a track meet. Where Alabama should benefit this game is size, Liberty doesn't overwhelm opponents with size with their tallest rotation player coming in at 6'7". Liberty could look to use Kai Yu or Bryson Spell more than they have given their added size but, Alabama will have the size advantage in this matchup.
Note: Stats via ESPN