Big SEC road win for Alabama Crimson Tide Hoops


For the Alabama Crimson Tide and every other SEC basketball program, all conference, road wins are good wins. The one the Crimson Tide got Wednesday night in Gainesville, was better than most. It may have ignited a much-needed passion for aggressive defensive play. For Nate Oats’ team, that kind of passion has been in too short supply this season.

Led by its smothering defense, Nate Oats’ team exploded early in the second half. At the 18:03 mark, three Florida free throws gave the Gators a one-point lead. Less than six minutes later, Alabama led by 15 points. During the Tide’s run, the Gators scored one point.

The Crimson Tide gashed the Gators with 17 points in the run. The scoring came from five Tide players, led by seven points from Keon Ellis. The key to the sudden success was defense.

Speaking after the game, Nare Oats said,

"Huge road win. Ton of credit to our guys. … It’s as good a half defensively as we’ve played maybe all year against a quality team."

Alabama had to resort to defense after it struggled offensively in the first half. Florida is very good defending outside the arc. The Gators held the Tide to 29.4 percent, three-point shooting in the first half. Alabama was worse in the second half, shooting just 26.7 percent. The Tide shot 48.6  from the floor in the second half and 40.3 percent overall for the game. The second-half, shooting success came from going 14-for-22 inside the arc. Also in the second half, the Tide was 7-for-8 at the foul line, was plus-2 on the boards, and forced 12 turnovers, aided by 10 steals.

Alabama Crimson Tide Defensive Intensity

What the Alabama Crimson Tide had missed in its three losses this season was the defensive intensity Herbert Jones and John Petty brought to the team last season. Without the pair this season, the Tide has not played defense with an equal passion. If Wednesday night in Gainesville indicated a lasting transformation, the Tide’s defensive passion is back.

See Keon Ellis turn defense into offense in the game.

Jahvon Quinerly and Juwan Gary led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 19 points each. Jaden Shackelford had 14 points, Keon Ellis, 13 points, and Charles Bediako had 11 points. Gary led the team in rebounding with eight boards, followed by Bediako with seven. Quinerly also had five rebounds and five assists.

Thanks to the Nate Oats system and the second-half defensive effort, the Crimson Tide had 20 more field goal attempts in the game than the Gators. The final score was Alabama 83 – Florida 70.

dark. Next. No 'Big Talk' from Tide and Dawgs

Alabama has a more talented roster than Florida, but the Tide won on effort rather than talent. And Nate Oats out-coached Mike White.