Tide Getting Rolled When It Should Be Rolling
The well-respected NBA veteran Avery Johnson as coach, the nation’s #3 recruiting class and dynamic one-and-done point guard Collin Sexton.
The potential for this season’s Alabama basketball team was cause for baton-handing excitement in Tuscaloosa after the football team’s dramatic National Championship.
But instead of providing some type of Tua Tagovailoa-like results, the team has rolled down the lane like a gutter ball in bowling. This is largely due to lackluster efforts against so-so (or worse) teams like Arkansas, a 17-turnover disaster at home in which it missed half its free throws the final few minutes and fell to a pedestrian 18-12.
It was the third straight loss – including a late collapse in a winnable game at Kentucky a week earlier (understandable) and a total second half collapse in a 19-point blowout at Auburn earlier in the week – among other hands-in-the-face performances.
Now, the team with all this promise and talent is hanging on by its fingernails to make March Madness. Speaking of which, watching this team is sheer madness.
The team can’t shoot a lick. Forget the stats, whatever they are, because stats don’t tell the story. For instance, the team hit a few late 3s against Arkansas but couldn’t come close when it really mattered down the stretch. Looking for that momentum-maker to break open a game? Clang!
It also has too many turnovers. And not aggressive turnovers but lazy turnovers. Plus, there are so missed free throws you wonder if the players are looking at the rim or the cheerleaders.
Oh, the Tide teases. It beat Auburn and Oklahoma (ranked #13 at the time) at home, Florida on the road and whipped Tennessee and LSU by a combined 43 points in back-to-back mid-February games. There’s running down the court, lobs that result in hammering slam dunks by Donta Hall and defensive intensity that would make Nick Saban proud.
Yet, like a pretty girl who winks at you from across the bar and coaxes you to approach her only to shoot you down when you talk to her, it’s all a miserable tease.
Alabama’s biggest problem – other than an inability to hit a jump shot – is attitude. It simply doesn’t play with the effort that is needed each game. That’s why the team produces duds like it did against Arkansas.
March Madness awaits. But for this team, it’s looking like another March sadness for Alabama fans.
Editor’s Note: The game after this article was written, Alabama lost by 20 points at home to Florida. The Tide shot 4-of-30 from the field – including going 0-for-19 – in the first half with nine turnovers. That’s the way to really impress the NCAA Tournament Committee!