Saturday, February 24

Alabama Basketball: What blowout loss to Aggies means to the Tide

Wednesday night Alabama Basketball was favored over Texas A&M by 9.5 points. The Crimson Tide lost by 16. What is shocking is the loss is not surprising. The Aggies need a Quad 1 win to have any chance to play themselves into the NCAA Tournament bubble.

The Aggies played like a team with its back to the wall. Alabama, with its Big Dance participation already locked in, did not have to win. The Crimson Tide performed like a team that believed the game didn’t matter.

The Aggies outplayed the Crimson Tide. Buzz Williams outcoached Nate Oats. Even the Coleman Coliseum crowd did little to help the team. With three minutes left in the last home game of the season, fans headed for the exits.

What does the loss mean for Alabama Basketball?

Nate Oats recently said some of his guys were playing “their best” of any point in the season. After seeing the Aggies destroy the Tide, some Alabama fans wonder who Oats was referring to.

Check out what Nate Oats had to say, provided by Nick Kelly,

Our defense was a disaster in the second half

I’m embarrassed. They’re embarrassed.

And this from Oats, provided by Charlie Potter,

Obviously a disappointing loss. The last home game, I thought we’d get better effort than we did.

Oats and his players did not need another wake-up call, not after losing to Missouri and one of the worst SEC teams in many seasons, Georgia. That being the case, playing harder cannot be the total solution to the Tide’s poor performance. Alabama is the most inconsistent team in college basketball this season. It is true sometimes the defensive effort lags, but a bigger problem against the Aggies was Buzz Williams had three guys the Tide could not guard.

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Quenton Jackson, Henry Coleman III and Tyrece Radford scored a combined 68 of the Aggies’ 81 points. Jackson scored 28 points on just 13 field goal attempts. The trio shot 65% for the game. Even when Crimson Tide players were clearly trying hard to guard Jackson, they often could not keep a body on him.

Nineteen Tide turnovers converted to 29, A&M points was another problem. So was getting out-rebounded by nine boards. The rebound deficiency was somewhat an effort issue with the Aggies battling for everything. Many of the Tide’s turnovers were either unforced or the result of bad decisions.

What does it mean? Alabama Basketball can still get a decent Big Dance seed. Even a loss on Saturday to LSU, followed by an opening game loss in the SEC Tournament would probably not drop the Tide below a 7-seed.

That is because the most inconsistent team in college basketball has an overall outstanding resume with seven Quad 1 wins and six Quad 2 wins.

To Nate Oats’ credit, he also said,

What concerns some Crimson Tide fans is a loss like Wednesday night suggests the Big Dance could be a short song. Then again … it could be an amazing run.

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