Alabama State Hornets
Southwestern Athletic Conference (22-9, 16-2)
Big Wins: 1/3 Jackson State (66-60), 1/10 at Arkansas Pine Bluff (71-66), 1/31 at Prairie View A&M (65-53)
Bad Losses: 11/18 at Southern Miss (61-74), 11/22 at SMU (51-56), 1/26 Alcorn State (74-79)
Last NCAA Tournament: 2004, First Round loss to Duke
Coach: Lewis Jackson (First NCAA appearance)
Why They Can Surprise:
Brandon Brooks has emerged as a great scorer, distributor and ball handler. The 6-2 senior is a capable outside shooter, but most of his scoring will come from inside the paint. Brooks does a superb job getting to the basket and once he is there he will find his teammates or finish himself. At the least, Brooks will get to the charity stripe and he is the best free-throw shooter on the team. Brooks will even play solid defense and nab a steal or two and help out on the glass.
Andrew Hayles will see plenty of time on the wing. He is the team’s best outside shooter and knocks down 2.2 per contest. When Hayles’ shot is falling, Alabama State’s offense can be difficult to stop. Roland Fitch is an intriguing piece of the Hornets puzzle. The 6-7 forward does not see much playing time, but he is averaging 9.8 points per game and can add another dynamic to the offense. Fitch will do most of his scoring in the paint, but he can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The problem is Alabama State is not a great shooting team. Hayles is the lone threat from beyond the arc and he, along with Brooks, will need some help from the bench players. Rashad Provitt, Menji Mundadi, Ivory White and Tramaine Butler are capable of hitting the outside shot, but they do not take too many attempts. Provitt is capable of coming in off the bench and scoring a dozen points or so. Mundadi has been very quiet late in the year, but he did score 17 points earlier in the campaign against Jackson State.
Who To Watch:
The frontcourt has a superstar in Chief Kickingstallionsims. The 7-1 senior is a major presence in the paint and blocks 2.7 shots per contest. Kickingstallionsims has always been a solid defender, but now he has developed into a major scoring threat in the paint. He averages 8.8 points per game and his presence in the paint has opened up looks for the rest of the team. Wesley Jones, a 6-7 junior, is a decent scorer around the basket too. Unlike Kickingstallionsims, Jones can stretch out the defense with his outside shooting ability. The Hornets have the weapons to compete with more talented team in the tournament, but they did earlier this season too and they lost just about every non-conference game against Division I opponents.
Brandon Brooks, Senior, Guard, 13.8 ppg, 6.8 apg, 4.1 rpg
Andrew Hayles, Senior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 1.5 apg
Rashad Provitt, Senior, Forward, 6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Wesley Jones, Junior, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Chief Kickingstallionsims, Senior, Center, 8.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg
Tramaine Butler, Freshman, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.3 apg
Roland Fitch, Sophomore, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Menji Mundadi, Junior, Guard, 3.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Ivory White, Freshman, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.0 (139th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.1 (83, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.7 (31, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (42, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (180, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (156, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.2 (291, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.4 (142, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (83, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (147, 1)
Following the Bracket announcement, more team info will be added, including final RPI, final team statistical rankings, Joel's prediction, and more!