Alabama Basketball falls to Gonzaga in Birmingham

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] /

Alabama basketball lost its second game of the season, dropping a 100-90 decision to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. It was a high-octane and high-scoring game throughout, featuring a battle between two potential first-team All Americans in Brandon Miller and Drew Timme. In the end, the Tide could not overcome its 21 turnovers, an issue that has plagued the team all season.

Miller carried Alabama basketball, particularly in the second half. The freshman wing finished with a career-high 36 points on 12-22 shooting. Gonzaga seemed to answer every bucket, shooting 57 percent from the field for the game. The Bulldogs were led by Timme’s 29 points and 10 rebounds, but deployed a balanced attack that saw six players score in double-figures.

The freshmen class for Bama hoops has been impressive all season, and they showed up in a major way on a big stage today. The issue was that they did not get much help from their teammates.

Brandon Miller’s 36 points was even more impressive than it looks in a box score. He scored 26 points in the second half, single-handedly keeping Alabama in the game against the hot-shooting Zags.

Fellow freshman Jaden Bradley poured in an efficient 18 points and four assists. Noah Clowney battled relentlessly against Timme, finishing with nine points and 13 rebounds. Lastly, Rylan Griffen contributed eight points off the bench.

The freshmen combined to score 71 of Alabama’s 90 points, and no other player scored more than six points. Guard Jahvon Quinerly continues to struggle after returning from a knee injury. He had previously shown flashes of his All-SEC ability, but has regressed in the past few games. He scored just two points and contributed three turnovers in limited minutes against Gonzaga.

The Bama bench remains thin without experienced wings Nimari Burnett and Dom Welch, who are sidelined with injuries.

Hopefully this game will be a learning experience for a young Alabama basketball team that has overachieved so far this season. The loss could keep the team from getting too complacent, allowing it to re-focus before heading into SEC play. With Coach Nate Oats at the helm, the team should continue to improve. As Quinerly gets more comfortable, and Burnett and Welch are able to eventually rejoin the lineup, Bama will only get sharper at both ends of the floor.

dark. Next. Busy weekend for Bama football

It is an enviable position to be 10-2 and ranked in the top-10 nationally with so many things to improve upon. If Coach Oats and the team approach things the right way, this team will begin to peak just in time for postseason play.