Opportunity to close strong for Alabama Basketball

Tennessee v Alabama
Tennessee v Alabama / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

The last two weeks have not unfolded in an ideal manner for Coach Nate Oats and company. After being positioned to possibly take home the SEC regular season crown for the third time in four years, Bama has lost three of its last four games. Currently, the Tide is on a two-game losing streak, its first of the entire conference season. 

While the regular season title is out the window, Alabama still has plenty to play for heading into the postseason. It will close the regular season at home against Arkansas, and needs a win to regain a little bit of the momentum it previously had.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Crimson Tide will be at full strength for this game. Guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. made a brief appearance in the loss to Florida, and should be a lot closer to 100 percent against the Hogs. Unfortunately, however, wing Rylan Griffen suffered a calf injury in that same game and is considered ‘day-to-day’ per Nate Oats. 

Just as the Tide was easing one of its best shooters back into the lineup in Wrightsell (44 percent 3-point shooter), it may have lost another in Griffen (38 percent).

Still, Alabama Basketball has a lot of depth and should be able to handle Arkansas. Aaron Estrada and Sam Walters will have to make shots from the perimeter to complement Mark Sears, while bigs such as Grant Nelson and Jarin Stevenson will have to be active in the paint and also stretch the floor occasionally. 

Griffen’s injury may also provide an opportunity for Davin Cosby to continue to play extended minutes. Cosby, a freshman guard, played well in Wrightsell’s absence, hitting five triples against Ole Miss and two more against Tennessee.

Alabama needs to play well against an Arkansas team that has been largely disappointing this season. A convincing win would get momentum moving back in the right direction heading into the postseason. Led by Sears, this is a team that is capable of making a run in March if it finds its rhythm.