Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide gets ‘must-win’ to move to 5-3.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Basketball took down East Tennessee State, Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa. Jaden Shackelford busted out of a slump to lead the way.

There are three key points coming from the Alabama Basketball win over East Tennessee State, Tuesday night. One is more a reminder than new information and it is when the Crimson Tide hits threes, it is hard to beat.

The Alabama Crimson Tide took 34 threes in the game; 13 of them by Jaden Shackelford. The team proficiency was just so-so at 35 percent. That is because of the 21 threes shot by other players, only four were made. Shackelford made eight of his 13 attempts outside the ar, leading the Tide with 26 points. The sophomore Crimson Tide shooter exploding from a slump is key point number two.

Key point number three is sobering. The Tuesday night game was a must-win for the Crimson Tide. Rarely do good basketball teams face must-wins In December. Does that tell us something about this season’s future for Alabama basketball? Hopefully, it does not.

What the Crimson Tide faces next is scheduling brutality. On Dec. 29, the Crimson Tide opens its SEC regular-season schedule at home with Ole Miss. In the three weeks that follow, the Tide will travel to Knoxville, Auburn, Lexington and Baton Rouge. The home games in the run are against Florida and Arkansas. There are losses on the Crimson Tide horizon and every win possible will be needed. Beating ETSU at home was a necessary starting point.

It’s not that beating ETSU is a resume-builder. A win over the Buccaneers would have been big last season when the Bucs went 30-4. This year, not so much, as the team lost around 90 percent of last season’s scoring production. It was a win the Tide needed anyway.

The Crimson Tide did without two key players Tuesday night. John Petty Jr. and James Rojas were inactive for the game. After the contest, Nate Oats spoke about the two players,

"(he) fully anticipates (them) back for Ole Miss. I’m going to leave it at that."

Further commenting on the game, Oats said,

"We need to be making shots because our defense isn’t strong enough to withstand how bad we were shooting the ball on offense. We needed a half like this to realize what we’re capable of doing. We needed a win bad going into Christmas, to be honest with you."

Coach Oats will get no argument from us.

Along with Shackelford, there were other bright spots Tuesday night. Jordan Bruner was solid with eight points, eight rebounds and four assists. Jahvon Quinerly had nine assists to go with 14 points. Keon Ellis and Juwan Gary showed promise. Keon Ambrose- Hylton looked smooth and talented in his few minutes.

Next. Nick Saban and Tide players get SEC honors. dark

Nate Oats and his Alabama basketball team need to progress quickly. If they do not, before long, every game could become a must-win.