Alabama Basketball: Tide travels to Starkville to face hot Bulldogs


Alabama basketball can take nothing for granted on the road against Mississippi State, Tuesday night. The Bulldogs are playing well and fighting to reach the NCAA Bubble.

Alabama basketball fans wonder which team the Tide will be Tuesday night. The first half Tide against the Florida Gators or the second half version. The Tide has not followed up many big wins with positive results this season. After beating TAMU, what followed were two weak performances on the road, losing to Vanderbilt and Georgia. The same pattern after the Oklahoma win led to a Missouri loss at home.

Coming off another big win, the tough SEC regular season schedule does not allow for any lapses in intensity and concentration. Basketball ‘numbers-crunchers’ are projecting a loss to the Bulldogs, and a 3-5 Tide finish in the regular season. Limping into March is no way to be assured of a Big Dance invite.

Speaking of the Florida game and what the Tide needs to do in Starkville, Avery Johnson said,

"we have had a tale of two different teams … (need) to be ready to have more of a sustainable effort… We better take good care of the ball and we can’t take anything for granted."

Collin Sexton still hampered by injury

Due to an abdominal strain, Collin Sexton did not play against Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa. Asked about Collin’s health, Avery said,

"I think it will be something he’ll be managing all year."

Quinndary Weatherspoon and Aric Holman lead the Bulldogs in scoring. The player who gave the Tide fits in the Tuscaloosa win was Lamar Peters who had 17 points in only 28 minutes of play. Peters who is shooting 20.1 percent from outside the arc this season, hit 40 percent on threes in Tuscaloosa. The Tide had the game under control in Tuscaloosa until Peters fueled a big second-half surge.

The younger brother of Quinndary, Nick Weatherspoon was the SEC freshman of the Week last week. He shot 63.6 percent in games against South Carolina and Georgia. After dropping three straight games in early January, the Bulldogs have won three in a row and four of their last six games. They have only lost once in Humphrey Coliseum this season, to Auburn.

Sitting just outside the NCAA Bubble, the Bulldogs are 17-6, with a current RPI of 57. Going back to last season, the Tide has won four straight against the Bulldogs and 10 of the last 11 contests. Alabama basketball has also won five of its last six games in Starkville.

None of those streaks matter Tuesday night. The game is one the Tide should win and certainly needs to win for NCAA qualification.

Next: Crimson Tide 'Bracket Watch' - Feb. 5th

On Monday, Collin Sexton was announced in the Top-20 list of the 2018 John Wooden Award. Sexton is the only SEC player on the list. For any Alabama basketball fans who have not heard, the young man is excelling in the classroom. His fall GPA in business was 4.0.