NCAA BK

Reasons for Bama's issues include Nos. 1, 2 and 6

Share This Story

   
 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)

Alabama's record says plenty about the season's challenges.

But so do the latest national rankings.

The Crimson Tide (11-16, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) enters Wednesday night's visit to Mississippi (16-11, 7-7) already assured of its first losing regular-season mark since 1999-2000, Mark Gottfried's second season.

Most of the blame can go toward deficiencies in the major categories of rebounding, defense and scoring beyond star guard Trevor Releford.

Playing No. 1 Florida (twice), No. 2 Wichita State and No. 6 Duke doesn't help either, though the Tide dropped those four games by a respectable average of 7.5 points.

''Every one of those games we had opportunities,'' coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday. ''That's how fragile it can be. In terms of your individual and team confidence, being able to win one or two of those games makes all the difference in the world. We knew we played a very challenging schedule.

''Sometimes you have to make your breaks. Unfortunately we weren't able to make some of those breaks against those teams.''

Grant needs a strong finish and an SEC tournament run to avoid his first losing mark in eight seasons as a head coach and first since he was a Florida assistant 16 years ago.

The tough nonconference schedule and losing three players during the offseason made it challenging.

Last year's No. 2 scorer Trevor Lacey transferred to North Carolina State. Top recruit Devonta Pollard didn't return for his sophomore season after an offseason arrest, and center Moussa Gueye left for Valparaiso.

The Tide ranks 12th in the SEC in scoring offense and last in rebounds per game and is giving up nearly 10 more points per game than last season.

Grant, though, sees a glimmer of hope in how his players have held up while losing eight of their past 11 games. The Tide is coming off one of its bigger victories of the season, beating Missouri 80-73 Saturday in what Grant called a character win.

The Tide was stuck overnight after the flight back from a Thursday night loss at Texas A&M was canceled, and the bus broke down on the way back to campus Friday, forcing the team to hold an evening practice.

''A lot of times when you see teams going through some of the struggles we go through, you begin to worry in terms of how they feel in terms of the work that they're putting in and the results that they're getting,'' Grant said.

''I called it a character win because I think our guys have approached practice the right way just in terms of preparing every game, approaching their preparation to try to put themselves in position to win.''

Another encouraging sign for the Tide is that Levi Randolph scored a career-high 33 points against Missouri. He had totaled only 24 in the previous seven games.

It was Alabama's second win of the month over a team that is still nursing hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Alabama beat Ole Miss 67-64, on Feb. 11 on Releford's last-second 3-pointer in a tie game.

The senior guard is hoping wins like that translate to a better finish in the last four regular season games and the SEC tournament.

''Winning games like that, any player or competitor, you can see that when you play your best basketball and you buy in, you can win some of those games that we have lost this year,'' Releford said.

Tagged: Alabama, Trevor Releford

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..