Bama Basketball Has Tough Task

Talking defense? You bet. How about OU? There has been some conversation. And the funny things is, that's not just regarding the Alabama football team. Defense and OU--Oakland University--are hot topics in the Crimson Tide basketball offices, too.

The Alabama men's basketball team of Coach Anthony Grant will host Oakland University at 7 p.m. Monday in Coleman Coliseum in a game that should be quite a bit more difficult than the season-opening victory the Crimson Tide posted over North Florida last Friday night. Bama held North Florida to just 23.2 per cent shooting.

Oakland will present many defensive problems for Bama. The Golden Grizzlies of Rochester, Mich., are coming off back-to-back Summitt League championships and NCAA appearances, and Oakland does it with offense. OU finished second in the nation last year in scoring at 85.5 points per game and third in field goal percentage at 49.2.

The Grizzlies have made at least one three-point shot in 700 consecutive games, the seventh longest streak in NCAA history.

This will be Oakland's season-opening game. Bama is 1-0 after its 64-44 win over North Florida.

Oakland was 25-10 last year, including defeating a Tennessee team that was ranked seventh in the nation at the time in Knoxville by 89-82.

"Oakland is a very good team," Grant said before the Crimson Tide's Sunday practice. "They have an elite point guard in Reggie Hamilton and an elite three-point shooter in Travis Bader."

Hamilton, a 5-11 junior, is considered one of the nation's top five point guards after being named a Mid-Major All-America last year.

Bader, a 6-4 sophomore, finished ninth in the nation in three-point shooting accuracy last year as he made 94 treys.

"We're going to have to be at the top of our game defensively," Grant said. "I hope the experience of game one helps us in game two.

"Our offensive execution (against North Florida) was not where it needs to be, but the effort was there."

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