Alabama Basketball: What’s wrong and why quick turnaround is needed

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

It is too early to state Alabama Basketball has a must-win game on Saturday. There is plenty of season remaining and early success came close to making the Crimson Tide a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

So there is no reason to panic – but an indication Nate Oats’ team can end its slide is important. Losing three of the last five games and four out of the last seven creates real concern. The most recent loss was a close one because the Tide ‘D’ became effective over a several-minute period in the second half. That is encouraging. The offensive collapse that followed was the opposite of encouraging.

Looking at the next segment of the Tide schedule there are seven games, with at least four wins needed. The games are at Mississippi State, LSU, Missouri, at Georgia, Baylor, at Auburn and Kentucky. The seven-game slate reframes Saturday’s game in Starkville as an, almost must-win.

So how does Nate Oats get the Tide turned around? First a look at the recent problems.

Alabama Basketball Season Stats

Source: NCAA Stats

  • Field Goal Percentage – 45.79 percent, No. 106 in Division 1
  • 3-point Field Goal Percentage – 32.06 percent, No. 251 in Division 1
  • Field Goal Percentage Defense – 43.06 percent, No. 210 in Division 1
  • Assist to Turnover Ratio – 1.12, No. 121 in Division 1
  • Turnover Margin; -0.3, No. 218 in Division 1

Many of these stats must improve for the Crimson Tide to have any NCAA Tournament success. To make any kind of SEC championship or SEC Tournament run, all the stats must have marked improvement.

There have been times in recent games when the Tide defense has shown it can be much better than No. 210 in Division One. Those times have not been frequent enough. One problem is overall, and especially without Charles Bediako on the floor, the Tide lineup is small. In five-out sets with Noah Gurley as the Tide’s tallest player, the lineup is disadvantaged against bigger and stronger teams. Unless Bediako can become more of an offensive threat and stay out of foul trouble, Nate Oats has few options. In limited minutes, Keon Ambrose-Hylton has been mostly ineffective.

The other major problem is volume shooting does not work at a team average of 32.06 percent. In recent games, the average has been lower. Only three Crimson Tide players are shooting threes at 34 percent or higher; Jaden Shackelford, Keon Ellis and Darius Miles. Four Tide players are at less than 30 percent; Noah Gurley, 29.7%; JD Davison, 29.4%; Juwan Gary, 25.9% and Jahvon Quinerly, 25.3%. Jahvon Quinerly shot 43.3% from outside the arc last season. The team shot 35.2% last season.

These results must change – quickly.

Alabama Basketball stats from

dark. Next. Goodbye and thank you to 2021 football season

Winning in Starkville does not come easy. The Tide won at ‘The Hump’ last season for the first time since January 2017.