Alabama basketball fans are likely looking ahead to Saturday’s rematch with Auburn, the Crimson Tide’s most disappointing road performance of the year when the Tigers sprinted away in the last 10 minutes for an 84-64 win over Bama. But before that game, Alabama has a Wednesday road game at Arkansas as the Tide goes for its fourth Southeastern Conference road victory.
The loss to Auburn was Bama’s only SEC loss away from Coleman Coliseum as Alabama has forged a 13-7 overall record and 6-2 conference mark.
The Tide will be at Arkansas at 6 p.m. CST Wednesday to take on the Razorbacks (16-5 overall and 5-3 in SEC play). The game will be televised on SEC Network.
Arkansas is 2-2 in the league at its Bud Walton Arena.
Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said, “I like the way our guys are starting to compete in practice, a high level in every drill, offense and defense. Rebounding competition, whatever it is. Hopefully the result of that will be a consistent effort in games, particularly on the road.”
He said that he knows Arkansas plays well at home. “Moses Kingsley, the preseason SEC player of the Year, is a load,” he said.
Johnson also said it will be important that Alabama avoid slow starts that have plagued the Tide in some games.
Alabama has not done well at Arkansas in recent years, losing its last two meetings and eight of its last nine in Fayetteville. This is the Tide’s fourth road game in its last six outings and is the only game this year between Bama and the Hogs.
Bama is off to its best start in SEC play since 2012-13 primarily because of its road success. The Tide will be looking for its first 7-2 start in the league since the 2010-11 team, which went on to an 11-2 start.
Alabama is coming off a 71-62 win over Mississipppi State, the Tide’s eighth win in its last 10 games. Arkansas was beaten by Oklahoma State, 99-71, as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge last weekend, but has an SEC best four straight conference wins.
In addition to the Auburn game in Coleman Coliseum Saturday, the other three games in Bama’s next four all rank among the top 30 in RPI – Arkansas 28, South Carolina 19, and Kentucky 8.
The story is the same for Alabama as it has been most of the season. When Bama’s defense holds the oppositiion to 62 points or fewer, the Tide is 12-0. Arkansas averages 81 points per game.
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Offensively, Alabama has been led by true freshman Braxton Key (this week’s SEC Freshman of the Week). He is one of seven freshmen in the nation who leads his team in scoring (11.9 points per game) and rebounding (6.0 per game). Redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram is averaging 9.8 ppg and junior forward Riley Norris 8.9, including 10.6 in SEC games.