Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
With seven games to go in the regular season, Alabama Crimson Tide basketball is holding on to a 16-8 record overall and is second place in the conference. The Tide have an 8-3 record in the SEC, coming off a victory over the Georgia Bulldogs Wednesday night.
How’s the Tide doing so far as we hit the final stretch of the season before the madness begins? Let’s take a look at Alabama’s report card and their tournament resume thus far:
Offensive Game: C+
Alabama’s offensive game isn’t the most prolific in the country and it shows. Currently, they are the 277th out of 347 teams and are 11th in the conference in scoring offense. Turnovers have improved in-conference compared to non-conference, but are still too high at about 13 per game. The Tide three-point game is also a concern, as Alabama averages 33 percent from beyond the arc.
The positives? They are scoring enough to win games and are solid from the charity stripe at 66 percent.
Defensive Game: B
One of the things that’s great about Anthony Grant’s defense is that it’s dependent on the press, and has worked very well for Alabama this year. Alabama is forcing almost 15 opponent turnovers per game. They are also averaging five blocks and nine steals per game.
Some have called for coaching changes, but coaching only goes so far in NCAA basketball. Anthony Grant is doing all he can with the team he has. It’s not easy being a men’s basketball coach in the SEC. One thing that has been positive this year: Anthony Grant’s halftime speeches have worked miracles, and an inspired Crimson Tide have come out of the locker room fired up to play.
Non-Conference Wins and Losses: C
The non-conference record is what’s hurting the Tide the most. They won the 2k Classic early in the season with big victories over South Dakota State and Villinova, but the losses have dampened some early-season expectations. The Crimson Tide went through December with only one victory (over Oakland) and won only two of the last seven non-conference games. Their losses include Dayton, Mercer and Tulane, all of which have RPI’s in the 100’s.
Conference Wins and Losses:B+
The conference record is probably the biggest positive of the Crimson Tide this season. An 8-3 record is nothing to sneeze at. Significant wins over Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas A&M, all under 100 in RPI, have helped the Tide’s resume a good bit. The one real blemish that keeps this from reaching the A rating is the Auburn loss, where Alabama collapsed monumentally in the second half of the game.
Final Verdict: In NIT Solidly
Despite a fantastic and surprising SEC season and some significant victories overall, the Tide would, at the present time, be out of the NCAA Tournament if it came down to an at-large bid. Their next four games are not resume builders – all are in the 200’s in RPI – but a win over Florida could be a huge resume booster. Realistically, the Tide’s only chance at getting the NCAA Tournament is winning out in the SEC Tournament in Nashville.
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