What has Alabama Basketball shown through three games?

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

Alabama Basketball absolutely eviscerated the South Alabama Jaguars on Tuesday night by a score of 102-46. The lopsided 56-point margin, which occurred in spite of a rough start for the Crimson Tide, improved Bama’s record to 3-0.

Last season’s Bama Hoops team, which finished 31-6 and was one of the best squads in school history, went down to Mobile and beat the Jaguars just 65-55.

In this year’s game, Bama shot 12-23 (52.2%) from the three point line and outrebounded USA 49-26. Senior guard Mark Sears led the way with 17 points on 5-7 shooting, adding five rebounds and five assists.

Freshman wing Sam Walters also found his groove, making all four of his field goal attempts en route to a 16-point night. Walters lit it up in preseason scrimmages against TCU and Wake Forest, but got out to a slow start in the regular season. His big night against South Alabama represented his first career double-figure scoring game.

Big men Nick Pringle and Mohamed Wague combined to shoot 11-11 from the field and rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Crimson Tide.

Bama’s 102 points, which it scored despite off nights from Aaron Estrada, Rylan Griffen, and Grant Nelson, put the team’s depth on display. The Tide got significant contributions from newcomers Davin Cosby, Latrell Wrightsell Jr., and Jarin Stevenson in the win.

Additionally, the veteran leaders for Alabama Basketball were able to impact the game even though their offense wasn’t flowing. Nelson, who is a unicorn with his athletic versatility, recorded team-highs of six assists and three blocks. Estrada, known primarily for being a scorer, tied for a team-best with seven rebounds from his guard position and notched a game-high four steals.

Some of the factors that made the 2022-23 Alabama Basketball team great were its versatility, depth, and ability to win games in a multitude of ways. This year’s Bama team has already shown flashes of these same traits.

Bama has scored over 100 points in all three games, with Sears, Nelson, and Estrada usually leading the way. However, others have flashed hints of offensive prowess, including true freshmen Sam Walters and Jarin Stevenson. Alabama has also gradually improved as a defensive team, which will pay dividends on nights when shots aren’t falling.

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Alabama Basketball still has plenty of room to grow, and will have one more buy game (at home against Mercer on Friday evening) before the non-conference schedule quickly picks up.