Tide Basketball Faces Tough Test

Alabama Basketball Coach Anthony Grant isn't looking in the rear view mirror. It's no secret that Bama's basketball season has been in a skid similar to those throughout the state last week when an unusual ice event sent vehicles sliding off the roads and into ditches.

Alabama has lost four of its last five games and now heads to Arkansas to play in one of the most difficult venues in the Southeastern Conference, Bud Walton Arena. Tipoff Wednesday is at 7 p.m. CST with television coverage on the SEC Network.

The Crimson Tide is coming off its second consecutive blowout loss, falling to Tennessee by 76-59 in Tuscaloosa. Bama is now 9-12 overall and 3-5 in SEC play. The Razorbacks are 13-8, but, surprisingly perhaps, are doing even more poorly than Alabama in the SEC, only 2-6. Arkansas, however, is 12-2 on its home court.

Both teams are on two-game losing streaks, Alabama to Auburn on the road and the Vols, Arkansas on the road at LSU and to Missouri.

"I'm very impressed with Arkansas," Grant said. "I think they are leading the league in scoring (correct, 82 points per game, and that increases to 87.8 ppg in Fayetteville) and in forced turnovers (Arkansas leads the league in both turnover margin and turnover to assist ratio).

"We will have to take care of the basketball and take quality shots," Grant said.

The Tide coach said the losses this season are disappointing, "but we're going to take it one day at a time. You compete to win. When you lose, you dust yourself off and get back trying to win. That's what we do every day. I know that's the mindset of our guys and that's my mindset.

"We focus on one game. We're going to focus on Arkansas.

"I'm not a rear view mirror guy. I'm looking at the present and the future. I'm confident.

"I want to play a full 40-minute game and see where we are."

A problem for Alabama has been playing a half of basketball. In recent games, Bama has fallen far behind in the early going – a total of 30-0 in the last three games – and been unable to overcome the deficit.

Arkansas is one of the few SEC teams that has an edge in the all-time series against Alabama, and it's a slim one – 28-27. That record is 6-616 for Bama when playing in Fayetteville, but the Tide did win its late game there, 79-68. Grant is 5-2 against the Hogs.

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