Hard to compare two meetings between Alabama, Mississippi State

Alabama and Mississippi State will renew its rivalry this evening in Coleman Coliseum in a match-up that will differ greatly from the last one.

These two played to a 56-52 Bulldog win in Starkville on Jan. 14. Here’s how that result means little today:

  • Three of the five Alabama starters from that game won’t repeat the feat.
  • Tony Mitchell (8 points) won’t play the rest of the year, Trevor Lacey (8 points) is doubtful with a sprained ankle and JaMychal Green (14) would have to come off the bench after serving a four-game suspension.
  • Bulldog starter Rodney Hood (1 point) is also doubtful with a deep bone bruise, according to reports from Starkville.
  • Alabama freshman Rodney Cooper didn’t play that day. He’s coming off a 17-point game at Arkansas.
  • Another State starter, Renardo Sidney (8 points) will play today, but missed last Saturday’s loss at Auburn with back spasms.
  • Neither 7-footer Carl Engstrom, nor Moussa Gueye played a single minute in the last game.
  • Andrew Steele (7 points) was playing just his fourth game of the year in Starkville. He’s averaged 12 points in the last three games.

We’ll see if any of this matters at 5 p.m. Alabama is a 6-point favorite if you’re asking Las Vegas sports books.

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