Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide dominates in SEC play


Alabama basketball has started off Southeastern Conference play with the best record (4-1) the Crimson Tide has had since the 2004-2005 season. After winning seven of its last eight games, Alabama is now 12-7 overall.

The fans have a lot to do with the Tide’s success this season. Five of the seven wins this month have been at home. Alabama is currently undefeated at home, and this Saturday’s game against LSU is less than 300 tickets away from a home-game sellout.

“Our fans, especially the last couple of games, have been tremendous,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “The fans have certainly helped our team in terms of the energy that they bring and the excitement that’s in the building. As long as our players continue to stay focused and understand our responsibility on the court with the effort we’ve got to play with it, it makes for an exciting atmosphere for the fans to watch.”

Alabama’s only SEC loss of the season happened on the road at Arkansas. The Tide lost by five points to the Razorbacks, 70-65, on Jan. 15.

Since that game, Alabama has had two wins, one against archrival Auburn. In the game, the Tigers became the 10th opponent this season the Tide has held to fewer than 60 points — the third in SEC play. Auburn also became the 14th opponent to shoot less than 40 percent against the Alabama defense.

Although the success of the team in conference play seems somewhat surprising, the team said they’ve been expecting this kind of playing all year long.

“We knew we had the potential,” sophomore guard Andrew Steele said. “We knew we had it inside of us. It was a great feeling to finally see it coming to life. I don’t think we were really surprised. It was more like, ‘Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for since coming here.’ But, we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Alabama’s defense is allowing just 57.3 points per game, the sixth best in the nation. In the Tide’s five SEC matchups, the team is allowing 0.83 points per possession — the top mark in the nation.

Alabama’s opponents are also converting on just 36 percent of their field goals, the second best percentage in the nation.

“Anytime you can have success, it brings confidence and assurance that maybe your hard work is starting to pay off,” Grant said. “Hopefully that will make us more hungry and more alert. That’s my hope as a coach. But certainly I see no negatives in our success.”

Alabama is aiming for its first 5-1 start in SEC play in six years, when the squad started off with a 6-1 record and ended with a 12-4 overall league record. With the team’s recent success, the players said they are finally getting noticed by their classmates and developing into campus celebrities.

“I think we’ve got a little more respect on campus, and students are starting to get excited about us playing,” said junior forward JaMychal Green. “Whichever team we are playing, people just tell us to go out there and get it and friends slap us on the back. It’s a good feeling. I knew from the start we were a good team. We just had to get our stuff together and get team chemistry.”

The Tide’s next matchup against LSU will be another test to whether Alabama can protect its house. The Tigers have lost three straight games and are 10-10 overall and 2-3 in the SEC.

More to Discover