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- American basketball coach
Alabama men’s basketball has experienced some exhilarating ups but has also been subject to some bad luck.
Nate Oats has led his team to victories over two of last season’s Final Four participants, yet the team has also suffered losses to Iona, Memphis and Davidson. Add the struggle against Jacksonville State to the mix and it results in some very nervous Crimson Tide hoops fans.
While there are definitely some issues present, it isn’t the end as we know it for Alabama’s 2021-22 season. Memory serves to remind me that last season the Tide went 5-4 out of conference before posting a 16-2 SEC record prior to the conference tournament.
At 8-3 heading into conference play, we should be grateful that we are where we are. It could be much worse.
The issues that are present, meanwhile, are issues that can be corrected over time.
Slumps are part of the game, and many of our shooters appear to be suffering through one simultaneously. It’s not unprecedented, but to get out of it will take minutes in the gym on their own time and focus on the court during the action.
Defensive play, on the other hand, is a more delicate issue that takes more time to repair.
“We didn’t do a very good job defensively,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said following the 79-78 loss to Davidson. “We haven’t been great on defense here lately. We’ve got to get our defensive energy up, our attention to detail. Until we do that, we’re not going to be able to beat quality teams. Our offense wasn’t bad, but we really lost the game on the defensive end.
“Not exactly what you want going into Christmas break. I don’t know how many wake-up calls we’re going to need to pick up the defense, but we’re not going to win games in the SEC at a high level until we decide to guard much better than we did tonight.”
The Tide struggled to contain a Wildcats team that finished the night making 53% of its shots from the floor, including 50% (12 of 24) from beyond the arc.
Moving forward, defense is the catalyst that will either make or break this Alabama basketball team. With a long way to go, there’s really no reason to panic just yet.
Alabama hosts the Tennessee Vols at home on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. CST.
Stay tuned to Roll Tide Wire for all the latest on the Crimson Tide!