Alabama Basketball: Crimson Tide hoops teams gearing up for SEC play

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Both Alabama basketball teams are off to a solid start to the 2022-23 season. The men’s team currently sits at 10-2 and is ranked no. 9 in the nation. The unranked women’s team finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with an impressive 11-2 record.

The only losses for the women’s team came in competitive games against very good teams in South Florida and Utah. Similarly, the men have only fallen to top-10 caliber teams in UCONN and Gonzaga.

Alabama Basketball: Women’s team leaning on experience

Alabama women’s basketball is a very experienced team, with four graduate students, a senior, and three juniors accounting for the top eight players in Coach Kristy Curry’s rotation.

Guard Brittany Davis is having an All-SEC caliber season, and leads the team with 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game.

She is joined in the backcourt by fellow grad students Megan Abrams and Hannah Barber, as well as junior Loyal McQueen. Barber has started every game, averaging 7.9 points and a team-high 3.0 assists per game while shooting 52.1 percent from the three-point line. Abrams is averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, while McQueen has contributed 7.2 points and 2.2 assists per outing.

Senior Jamya Mingo-Young and juniors Aaliyah Nye and Sarah Ashlee Barker have been effective on the wing for the Lady Crimson Tide. Nye is a three-point specialist, shooting 51.6 percent from deep and averaging 9.1 points per game, both good for second on the team. Mingo-Young is one of the more well-rounded players on the team. The senior is averaging 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Barker is averaging 4.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.

Finally, graduate student Jada Rice has been a force in the paint. Rice is scoring 6.7 points and grabbing 4.2 rebounds per game. Her true value is as the anchor of the Alabama defense. She averages a team-high 2.9 blocks per game, and is responsible for 38 of the team’s 59 blocked shots this season.

The Lady Crimson Tide begin conference play on Thursday, December 29th at home against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Alabama Basketball: Youth movement on the men’s team

The Alabama men’s basketball team has been largely led by its elite freshman class. Wing Brandon Miller is the gem of the group, and has been Bama’s best player this season. He has also been arguably the best freshman in the country, and one of the best players in college basketball regardless of class. Miller is averaging 19.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 44 percent on a high volume of three-point shots.

Miller is joined on the wing by freshman Rylan Griffen, who is contributing 6.1 points per game. Redshirt sophomore Nimari Burnett is an elite perimeter defensive presence, but is currently sidelined with an injury. Additional injuries to junior Darius Miles and senior Dom Welch have hurt Alabama’s depth on the wing.

Another freshman, Noah Clowney, has been the most productive member of a deep frontcourt. Clowney has posted numbers of 9.5 points, a team-high 8.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. The freshman has great length and athleticism and plays with a tremendous motor, making him a menace on the boards and a constant lob threat.

Fellow big Charles Bediako has been a good complement to Clowney. The 7-foot sophomore is averaging 5.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and a team-high 1.9 blocks per game. Graduate student combo forward Noah Gurley is an undersized big that is averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Alabama’s backcourt may have the potential to be one of the nation’s best. Senior Jahvon Quinerly has played at an All-SEC level in the past, but suffered a torn ACL in the NCAA tournament last season. Quinerly has returned from his injury, but has been inconsistent in trying to adjust to the new team. While he has been turnover-prone, he has shown flashes of his creative ability. Quinerly posted a stat line of 21 points, eight assists, and three steals in Alabama’s win over North Carolina. For the season, he is averaging 6.1 points and a team-high 4.1 assists.

Junior Mark Sears has been one of the Tide’s best shot-makers, shooting 42 percent from three. The Ohio transfer is the second-leading scorer on the team, averaging 14.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Freshman point guard Jaden Bradley has been very impressive playing alongside the two veterans. Bradley is averaging 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, and has defended well.

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Alabama basketball will open conference play on Wednesday, December 28th at Mississippi State.