Alabama Basketball: Herbert Jones ‘out-gutted’ the entire LSU team

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

In one of the most, dare we say, heroic performances ever by an Alabama basketball player, Herbert Jones chose to beat LSU, and with some help, he prevailed.

The Alabama basketball win over LSU Saturday afternoon was not one of the major upsets of the season. Some prognosticators had the Crimson Tide as a slight favorite. Still, measured by the ability or inability to win close games, the Bengal Tigers were the favorite.

Nate Oats, Herbert Jones and the rest of the Crimson Tide knew the past had no bearing. There was only a packed Coleman Coliseum and a game Alabama basketball had to win for a real chance at an NCAA bid.

The Crimson Tide rose to the challenge. Much credit goes to Nate Oats who has molded this team into a determined unit. With his system fully understood and embraced, the Crimson Tide has become a tough out. In its best outings, Oats’ team can compete with any team in the SEC.

After losing four of its last five games, the Crimson Tide needed a boost. Herbert Jones asked to carry the load. His broken wrist was expected to keep him out for three weeks. Thirteen days later, he played against Auburn. The seven minutes in Auburn were critical, showing Herbert what he could do while playing, basically, with one hand. Again credit to Oats and his staff for relenting to Herbert’s pleadings to play against Auburn.

Herbert Jones did not literally beat LSU by himself. But his toughness and determination fueled his teammates.

Along with the 17 rebounds, Herbert had six points, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Herbert shoots left-handed but when he went to the foul line, late in the second half, he shot one-handed. He used his right hand. The second ball touched only nylon. At that point, the Crimson Tide lead, which had been 16 points at 9:59, was down to two points. The two Jones’ frees, pushed the lead out to four. Take a look.

Even LSU coach, Will Wade described Herbert as a “warrior.”

Nate Oats knows any win, no matter how big, must be followed by others. His post-game comments, reported by Cecil Hurt were forward-focused.

"We’ve got to draw a line in the sand. Are we going to keep losing close games or are we going to do what it takes to win them? We made the plays to win tonight. I didn’t like it getting within one point, but I liked our response."

Oats situation-subbed Herbert throughout the game. He went out and back on dead balls, depending on when the Tide would be on defense. The photo below says it all.

Next up for the Crimson Tide is TAMU in Tuscaloosa, Wednesday night. The remaining regular-season schedule is at Ole Miss, at Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and at Missouri. Missouri knocked off Auburn Saturday. Ole Miss scared Kentucky in Lexington. The Aggies, Mississippi State and South Carolina all won.