Alabama Basketball: Tide Looks to Rebound Against Florida

TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Collin Sexton
TUSCALOOSA, AL - JANUARY 27: Collin Sexton /

Following a disappointing home loss to Missouri, the Alabama basketball team will look to get back on track against the Florida Gators

 With arguably the toughest remaining schedule in the SEC, the Alabama basketball team can not afford another performance like Wednesday night.  The Tide, coming off of their most impressive win of the season, lost a home game to a struggling and depleted Missouri team.

If there were a perfect time for a complete turnaround, Saturday would be ideal.  That’s when Alabama (14-8) travels to Florida to take on the #23 ranked Gators in a crucial SEC road game.

The Gators (15-7) are coming off of a road loss to Georgia and are looking to rebound in conference play as well.  They are still considered a virtual lock for the NCAA tournament, so, a win could really help the Tide.

Even with the loss to Mizzou, Alabama is currently considered a #9 seed according to Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology.

For Alabama to come out with a victory in this game, they have to key in on Chris Chiozza and Jalen Hudson.  Hudson leads the Gators in scoring with 16.2ppg and Chiozza is the main facilitator with 6.1 assists per game.

Florida’s offense runs through Chiozza who thrives in driving and kicking it out to the perimeter.  The main recipient of those passes is usually Hudson, who is shooting 43 percent from the arc.

Alabama clearly has the wing defenders to be able to defend the drive and kick, so, this matchup could very well favor the Tide.

To win this game, Alabama must get back to their identity. That’s using pressure defense to force turnovers, which creates offense.  Against Missouri, the Tide couldn’t capitalize on turnovers, which slowed the game down and forced them into an uncomfortable half-court offense.

Role Players Must Show Up

Letting Collin Sexton score at will seems to be the formula for teams looking to defeat the Tide. Sexton scored 23-points against Missouri, but they focused on limiting other players which worked in their favor.

Against Missouri, only two Alabama basketball players scored in double figures.  Key contributors like Braxton Key, John Petty and Herbert Jones combined to score only six points.

None of them seemed to be able to find any rhythm and often took some questionable shots.

Against Florida, role players will decide the game for the Tide.  A defensive specialist like Jones should be an x-factor because of his ability to do it all.

Florida isn’t a great defensive team, so, Alabama should look to get their offense going by spreading the ball.  That should open up the floor for shooters like Key and Petty.

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The game starts at 3 P.M. CST and will be aired on ESPN.  After Florida, the Tide will head to Starkville to take on Mississippi State.