While the Huskies missed out on the NCAA tournament, the season is not over as Northeastern will tip-off N.I.T. action tonight against Alabama. It is just the second time the Huskies take on the Crimson Tide in program history and the third time the Huskies play in the N.I.T.
Just like the Huskies, Alabama is well rounded when it comes to their scoring. They’re led by a high-scoring backcourt made up of Trevor Releford (15.4 ppg) and Trevor Lacey (11.7 ppg) so it can be expected that coach Bill Coen will be relying on his co-captains to keep constant pressure on the two Trevor’s by looking for their shot.
Aside from Jon Lee and Joel Smith, sophomore Reggie Spencer will also have a good match-up in this one as he goes up against a fellow Alabama native, Rodney Cooper.
Cooper leads the Roll Tide in rebounds per game with five and while he lacks height (similar to Spencer), the sophomore makes up for it in his 215 pounds worth of strength.
However, Alabama doesn’t rely on Cooper to do all the dirty work inside; just like Northeastern they rebound as a team.
Five players on the Roll Tide average four or more rebounds, so the Huskies will have to make sure they can match Alabama body for body, especially when in their zone defense.
Lastly, the Huskies will have to make sure they prevent turnovers against Alabama, something that plagued them in their first half against James Madison.
The Roll Tide average 8.4 steals a game and force 14 turnovers a game, so if the Huskies have hopes of getting an actual flow in their offense and not finding themselves down by 20 with 4 minutes to go in the first, they’ll have to start with protecting the ball.
Should be a good one and if sophomore Quincy Ford can make up for his 0-point performance in the CAA championship with a big night, an upset alert may be warranted.