Tide Needs To Put Brakes On Losing

The Alabama men's basketball team may feel like it's in the front seat of a runaway 18-wheeler. Things are going fast and they aren't going well. Back-to-back one-point losses in games that could have (should have?) been won make for an uncomfortable ride.

Just hours after Alabama let a game against Florida get away from the Crimson Tide in Coleman Coliseum, Bama has to prepare for a road game against 25th ranked Ole Miss in Oxford. And the Tide will barely be back from that trip before trying to get ready for a game Tuesday night in Lexington against national heavyweight Kentucky.

Tipoff against the Mississippi Rebels Saturday will be at 5 p.m. CST with regional television coverage on Fox Sports South.

The Crimson Tide of Coach Anthony Grant has had back-to-back heart-breaking losses, but not games in which opponents threw in a Hail Mary at the buzzer or something like that. Instead, Bama's misery is mostly of its own making.

Alabama played a miserable game in losing to Auburn in Auburn last weekend, turnovers particularly damaging to the Tide's cause. On Thursday night, Bama was out-rebounded by 11, giving up 13 offensive rebounds and 21 second chance points, in falling to Florida.

In both games, Alabama had the ball with a chance to win, and in both games failed to run a play that would give the Tide a chance for a winning shot.

Alabama has now fallen to 13-9 overall and 3-5 in Southeastern Conference games. Two of those three league wins came against winless LSU. Three of Bama's five conference losses have been by one point.

Part of Bama's problem is that the Tide has played a difficult schedule. Five of Bama's nine losses have come at the hands of ranked teams. But Florida isn't ranked, and Auburn is among the league's weakest teams.

Ole Miss will be rested, having last played Tuesday when the Rebels were beaten by Kentucky, 85-75, in Lexington. Mississippi is 16-6 overall and 4-4 in SEC games.

Mississippi enters Saturday's contest with a 16-6 overall record and 4-4 record in SEC games after losing its most recent contest, an 85-75 decision at Kentucky on Tuesday evening.

Mississippi is averaging 74.4 points per game in conference action and if recent trends are any indication, UM may have difficulty reaching that average as conference opponents are scoring just 58.4 points per game against the Tide with just one SEC opponent, Arkansas, scoring 70 or more points. Florida's 66-point output marked the first time in four games an opponent has even reached the 60-point mark.

The Tide's defense has held SEC opponents to 39.3 per cent shooting with just Florida, Auburn and Arkansas shooting 40 per cent or better against UA.

Mikhail Torrance remains Alabama's top scorer after posting a game-high 22 points in Thursday's loss to Florida. On the season, the senior is averaging 15.4 points per game on 50 per cent shooting. Against Florida, he connected on a career-high five three-pointers. Inside, JaMychal Green is the Tide's top threat with 14.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The sophomore has four double-doubles under his belt this season.

Mississippi is led by Chris Warren's 16.6 points per game with a team-high 69 three-pointers while Terrico White is second on the team with 15.2 points per game after scoring a game-high 19 points against Kentucky.

BamaMag Top Stories