Alabama Basketball: Five keys to beating Notre Dame

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Check out five keys for an Alabama Basketball win over Notre Dame. Actually, there would be six keys, but one is so obvious – no Crimson Tide turnover explosion – that no elaboration is required.

Notre Dame is not without talent. They are a smart team that understands how to compete with teams that may be better athletically. The Fighting Irish will not beat themselves. Instead, they are the type of team that will let an opponent beat itself.

  1. Jahvon Quinerly should be able to use his speed and quickness and get to the rim often. If he is not loose with the ball and finishes, the Irish may not have an answer.
  2. Shooting threes effectively will be important for the Crimson Tide. The Tide does not have to scorch the nets from outside the arc, but as a team, it needs to reach about 38%. Only once in its last eight games has the Tide shot threes that well; 39.4% against South Carolina. In the three recent losses, the Tide has averaged 27.5% outside the arc.
  3. Notre Dame’s offense has success getting space for its three-point shooters. The Irish have four guys who shoot the three well; Nate Laszewski at 46.2%, Dane Goodwin at 45.6%, Trey Wertz at 38.7% and Cormac Ryan at 38.4%. Two of those shooters are 6’5″, one is 6’6″ and one is 6’10”. Alabama must be careful to not foul them trying to close out late. All four are above 80% at the foul line.
  4. The Notre Dame bigs are not leapers and Charles Bediako should cause them trouble near the basket. The risk for Bediako and the Tide will be trying to block every shot, leading to foul trouble. The only Irish defensive answer to Bediako is to get him to watch most of the game from the bench.
  5. Tempo will be on the side of the Crimson Tide. Irish coach, Mike Brey does not like to go more than seven-deep. Alabama can wear down Notre Dame with its pace, but the effect may not be seen until late in the game. The reverse of tempo working for the Crimson Tide would be defensive lapses by Alabama. This season the Crimson Tide defense has, at times, faltered late in possessions. Notre Dame is built to take advantage of such lapses.

An Alabama Basketball Big Dance Win or Not?

Check out last night’s post for a score prediction. Predicting how this season’s Crimson Tide will play is perplexing. Alabama’s tempo and depth should prevail, but it is a mistake to think Notre Dame is not a formidable foe.

Note: Player and team stats from

Next. Crimson Tide NCAA Tournament History. dark

One interesting factor will be how tightly the game is officiated. Away from whistle-happy SEC officials, the Tide may prosper.