Alabama Suffers Another Painful Loss to Georgia
The Alabama basketball team dropped another winnable game on Tuesday night against Georgia.
Throughout the year, the team has struggled to put together a consistent product on the court. They have played up to their best competition and down to their worst. This was certainly the case Tuesday night in Athens.
Nate Oats had some strong thoughts on the effort (or lack there of) that his team put forward tonight and did not at all shy away from his share of the responsibility for that. “Turnovers are a major problem, but the biggest problem is just our energy, our effort. As a head coach, that stuff comes back on me.”
While the energy on the court might be their biggest issue, the turnovers are a very close second. Alabama had 19 this evening and the majority of them were unforced. Combine unforced turnovers with a lack of off-ball movement, sluggish movement in transition, soft defense, and a propensity for missing free-throws and you get Tuesday's result; an embarrassing loss that calls into question the legitimacy of the program Alabama has been building.
To open the first half, the Tide let Georgia build a quick 11-9 lead. Alabama finally got its first lead of the game at the 12:47 mark, lost it quickly, and didn’t get another one until the 4:20 mark. They went into the locker room leading the Bulldogs 42-36.
Coming out of the half, the Tide grew their lead a little bit, but almost immediately let Georgia back in to tie the game up. The inability to simply put teams away has given Alabama fits all year. Early in the half, the Tide got quite the scare from Darius Miles.
Miles, a sophomore forward from Washington, DC, took a shot below the waist on a contested rebound. He waived off medical attention at the time, but just a few series later came down awkwardly on his left leg while defending a layup. He spent several minutes on the floor in pain before being helped to the locker room.
Moving forward, Oats still has hope for the season. There’s a lot of basketball left to play. Oats shared that following tonight’s game, he and the team spoke about UCLA last season. “We referenced UCLA losing four straight before they went on a run and, shoot, they were one play away from playing in the national championship game.”
Look to potentially see some line-up changes moving forward, as well. Oats added when speaking about the lack of effort, “I gotta figure out how to put the right guys on the floor that care about their teammates and will play hard for them. I’ve obviously not done a great job of figuring out how to do that.”
Georgia will play their next game this Saturday against Vanderbilt. On the same day, the Tide will have another opportunity to right the ship against the Baylor Bears.