Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats sends a strong message to his team ahead of tough stretch

Alabama v Tennessee
Alabama v Tennessee / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

As the Alabama Basketball team prepares to faceoff against Auburn and LSU, two of the toughest teams in the SEC Nate Oats issued a strong message to his team through the media. In Saturday's game against Tennessee, Alabama came out flat and never really fought their way back into the matchup. The issues in the Tennessee game were the same issues seen all season as the team struggled defensively, allowed too many offensive rebounds, and turned the ball over 22 times.

Nate Oats addressed his current feelings with his group saying the following:

"I am still trying to figure out, are we a competitive group that does what it takes to win? Or do we just got a lot of really talented players that fold when they're in the middle of tough games against good teams? I'm not sure yet. I hope we have some competitive guys."

Nate Oats

Whether Nate Oats really questions his team's competitive spirit or not there's no better point in the season to issue a powerful message. The Crimson Tide will play host to eighth-ranked Auburn on Wednesday looking to hand the Tigers their first SEC loss of the season. Alabama just faced a similar opponent in Tennessee and was disappointed, looking as though they didn't belong on the same court as the Vols. If Nate Oats' challenge can spark his players to show their competitive side, rather than just their talent, we may see a stronger emphasis on the defensive end where the Tide's struggled all season.

Alabama Basketball: Go send a message

So far this season Alabama Basketball has lost every big game they've had against top-ten teams dropping games to Purdue, Creighton, Arizona, and Tennessee. Wednesday will provide the Alabama Basketball team with an opportunity to break this spell while handing their most hated rivals their first loss of conference play. The Auburn Tigers can score with some of the best teams in the country meaning Alabama will need to show the effort Nate Oats is looking for on the defensive end of the court.