Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide rang Liberty’s bell in blowout


Alabama Basketball moved to 2-0 on the season Friday night in Tuscaloosa. The Liberty Flames came to T-Town as the preseason favorite to win the ASUN. The Flames may win the ASUN and as some predict, produce 20-plus wins on the season, but they were blown out in Coleman Coliseum.

Liberty is a well-coached team. The Flames play a disciplined, energetic style, with good spacing on offense and good movement, with and without the ball. The Flames are led by a senior guard, Darius McGhee who is a two-time ASUN Player of the Year.

McGhee averaged 24.6 points last season, aided by 39% three-point shooting. He scored eight points against the Crimson Tide, while making 1-of-5 shots outside the arc. Much of the credit for shutting down McGhee goes to Nimari Burnett and Jaden Bradley, but other Tide players also harried the Liberty star.

Speaking after the game, Nate Oats said,

"That was a pretty dominating win. I was really happy with our guys’ effort, especially on the defensive end of the floor."

Alabama Basketball Passion on Defense

So far this season the Alabama basketball team is playing defense with a passion that was not always evident in recent seasons. Oats has such a deep roster, shared minutes will limit fatigue and anyone not playing hard on defense can watch from the bench. It is clear the effort level is a focus for Oats this season.

"We haven’t had an issue with the effort in the first 2 games. That’s what we want all year. If we lose at some point this year because we just can’t make a shot and got quality shots and our effort was there, we can live with that"

Check out all of Oats’ post-game comments.

There is a long way to go and the competition will soon be much tougher than Longwood and Liberty. In this season’s two wins, Alabama has had some ugly stretches. Going into Friday night’s game, Alabama’s three-point shooting had been glaringly poor. Against Liberty, the Crimson Tide was 10-for-22 outside the arc.

Four Crimson Tide players finished with double-digit scoring. Mark Sears led the team with 22 points. Brandon Miller had 20 points and Rylan Griffen added 16 points. The Crimson Tide owned the glass again with 48 rebounds to 23 for the smaller Liberty team. The leading rebounders for the Crimson Tide were Sears and Miller with eight boards each. Noah Clowney had six rebounds in 16 minutes of play. Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley had five each.

Next. Get to know the 2022-23 Crimson Tide Backcourt. dark

Next up for Alabama Basketball is South Alabama in Mobile on Tuesday night.