Will the Crimson Tide be at full strength against North Carolina?

Charleston v Alabama
Charleston v Alabama / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball will need its full allotment of resources on Thursday night when it takes on the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels.

The biggest question mark will be the status of guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr., who has arguably been Bama’s best shooter this season. Wrightsell took an elbow to the head early in the Crimson Tide’s Round of 32 game against Grand Canyon and did not return. 

Fortunately, it appears that this was more of a precautionary measure, perhaps influenced by a concussion that caused Wrightsell to miss multiple games earlier this month. Coach Nate Oats was able to confidently say on Sunday night that Wrightsell would play in the Tide’s Sweet 16 matchup.

Perhaps even more promising was the way Bama responded after the senior guard’s injury. When Wrightsell missed an extended period of time late in the regular season, the team looked discombobulated and really struggled without the extra offensive spacing.

Against Grand Canyon, however, the team gutted through the loss of one of its top backcourt performers. While it did struggle offensively, Alabama won a defensive contest for the first time all season.

The Crimson Tide will already be without reserve guard Davin Cosby for the rest of the postseason. Cosby suffered a fractured foot that ended his freshman campaign prematurely, but Coach Oats expects to have the full host of his primary rotational pieces.

If Latrell Wrightsell is truly at 100 percent, Alabama may be the most dangerous offensive team left in this tournament. Whether its defense can match its second round energy against a top-5 caliber opponent remains to be seen, but the Crimson Tide has enough elite shooters to contend with anybody.