Inside Alabama’s players only meeting following scrimmage loss to TCU


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama head coach Nate Oats and forward Noah Gurley speak with ESPN during SEC Tipoff ’23 on Oct. 19 at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, Ala.

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

On Sunday, Nate Oats’ fourth year squad travelled to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on preseason Big 12 title favorite TCU. While center Charles Bediako and guard Nimari Burnett were out with minor injuries, the Crimson Tide fell 99-69 in a scrimmage closed to the public. 

A performance not up to Oats’ standard of excellency — especially when you consider Alabama’s recent standout summer showcase overseas. 

As a result, team leadership held a Monday morning player’s only meeting to reset focus. Called by senior guard Jahvon Quinerly, the team met for 15-20 minutes with forward Noah Gurley and Burnett taking the charge. 

“No yelling or screaming,” Bediako said Wednesday at SEC Media days in Birmingham. “Definitely being real, no sugarcoating.” 

While players-only meetings typically conjure thoughts of disfunction externally, there seems to be no signs of internal turmoil in Tuscaloosa. 

“I think we’ve got a really good group of guys. I think they want to see each other do well,” Oats said Wednesday. “We see guys wanting to spend time with each other. I like our group. I like our chemistry.” 

Nonetheless, with a new roster makeup, this year’s team aims to learn from the mistakes of those prior. 

“Last year there was a bit of complacency which resulted in what happened,” Bediako said. “Really with me, especially even now, I just always want to find something, if there’s another level I can reach.” 

Loaded with offensive firepower, players know there’s still plenty of work to be done.  

“It just showed there’s more things to the game than simply scoring the ball,” Gurley said. “Playing together on defense and all the tactical things of the game, that’s very important.” 

As for Gurley himself, Bediako credited the fifth-year Furman University transfer as being a helpful veteran presence within the meeting itself. 

“He’s like a teacher,” he said.

The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 20 in the AP preseason men’s basketball poll, will now set their sights on a Nov. 7 visit from Longwood — Alabama’s regular season opener.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]