Column: Consistency is women’s basketball’s path to a successful January

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Contributing Columnist

In the game of basketball, mistakes can decide whether a team walks out of an arena with a win or a loss. In a competitive conference like the SEC, the mistakes must be kept to a minimum. Otherwise, a team can slide to the back of the pack.  

The month of January hasn’t been kind to Alabama women’s basketball in recent history. Over the last three seasons, the Crimson Tide has gone 10-16 in January. Alabama has made it clear that it wants to return to the NCAA tournament. The first step to a second tournament berth in three seasons is limiting the mistakes as the Crimson Tide finishes their January slate.  

Diagnosing the problem 

The first step to solving an issue is admitting that there is an issue. The Crimson Tide has already done this. Alabama started off conference play with a gritty home win over Georgia but dropped two straight to Tennessee and Missouri.  

After a loss to Missouri that saw some uncharacteristic mistakes from the Crimson Tide, head coach Kristy Curry preached about consistent play from her players moving forward.  

“You don’t have a lot of margins for error, so at multiple positions, you have to show up every single day,” Curry said. “You just have to do that. Brittany [Davis] alone can’t carry the load.”  

It’s hard to understate the impact a scorer like Davis has when she’s on the floor. However, Alabama returned over 90% of its scoring from last season. The women on the team can score. Now, it’s a matter of getting a chunk of the team to score consistently game in and game out.  

Finding the solution 

It’s not too difficult to spot when a team has a problem. Rather, the difficult part is finding a solution that works. Luckily, for Alabama, it had the perfect opportunity this past week.  

The Crimson Tide had a bye this past week, so the team’s attention was dedicated to establishing the consistency the team wants to see in game. Alabama, of course, rested during the bye. But the team also spent time breaking down film and working on problem areas.  

“One of the biggest areas [of focus] has just been what can we do to put ourselves in more of a position [that helps us] minimize mistakes and the value of valuing every possession,” Curry said. 

Curry also stated that she loved the Crimson Tide’s attention to detail and their work ethic in practice. The team clearly wants to perform better, and clearly wants to work hard to get better. Now it’s a matter of putting it all together in game, starting at Oxford, Mississippi on Sunday.  

“It’s a game of mistakes and we have to minimize ours,” Curry said.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]