Alabama Basketball: Clemson clamps down the Crimson Tide offense

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Basketball: The explosive by design Crimson Tide offense was a dud against Clemson.

On Saturday night in Atlanta, Alabama basketball took on a Clemson team that cares nothing about high-scoring scoring games. There are two reasons for that. One is Clemson is not very good at scoring. The other is the Tigers are quite good at making it hard for opponents to score.

As we mentioned in an earlier post, Clemson went into the game being the nation’s best at scoring defense. In a recent win over Maryland, Clemson held the Terrapins 31 points below their scoring average.

Team defense is even less valued by college basketball fans than it is by college football fans. The result being, the now 5-0 Tigers may not get much love.

Clemson was not expected to run up points on the Crimson Tide. The Alabama basketball team cooperated by being less productive than the Tigers. It took over seven minutes of the first half for both teams to reach double-digit points. It took the Crimson Tide 15-plus minutes to reach 18 points. Clemson led by 11 points during the first half. A late ‘scoring spurt’ by the Tide cut the halftime deficit to four at 34-30.

In the second half, Clemson pushed the lead back to 10 points at 17:28. At 9:36, it was Clemson by 12. Alabama basketball kept fighting on defense and scrambling for points on offense. Herbert Jones hit a jumper at 6:10 to give the Crimson Tide a 55-54 lead.

After taking the lead, the Crimson Tide scored one more point in the game. Herbert Jones hit a free throw with 38 seconds left, for the Tide’s 56th and final point. The Tigers won by eight, 64-56.

The Tide shot 30.4 percent for the game, including making only three of 22 shots outside the arc. Clemson controlled the boards 43-28. All that kept the Alabama basketball team in the game was its foul shooting. The Tide outscored the Tigers by 14 points at the line, making 86.4 percent.

Speaking after the game, Nate Oats said,

"We didn’t make shots. We didn’t make any second-chance points. We’ve got to get better shots, part of that is on me. I need to do a better job finding the shooters better shots.We missed shots all night. We got to find ways to win when shots weren’t dropping. And one of those ways is to get second-chance points."

Nate Oats is searching for answers. Alabama basketball played an ugly game on Saturday night. Right now, the 3-2 Crimson Tide is a long way from being a good basketball team.

Nate Oats also publicly apologized to Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski, because of comments Oats made earlier in the week.

"I want to publicly apologize to Coach K for what I said. … I actually felt terrible about it after the press conference. I reached out to him. He was gracious enough to return my call. I have the utmost respect for him as a coach."

Next. Smitty keeps looking better for the Heisman. dark

Herbert Jones with 17 points and John Petty Jr. with 10, led the Tide in scoring. The leading rebounders were Alex Reese with five and Herbert Jones with four boards.