As a football season unfolds, Nick Saban often describes one of his teams as a “work in progress”. Nate Oats could say the same about his Alabama basketball team. The Crimson Tide has a long road to championship ahead and no outcome is predictable. We can draw early conclusions as to where Crimson Tide Hoops is now.
In the broader view of the nation’s best teams, Alabama basketball is no mirage. The Crimson Tide is the real deal, even if Nate Oats doesn’t want to talk about it.
After Saturday night’s win over Missouri, Oats was asked to comment on the Tide as one of college basketball’s best teams.
He skillful and wise the remark deflected and redirected.
We don’t talk about where we stand in the country. We talk about what we need to do to get better
Alabama basketball is relentless
Forget what other college basketball teams do. What Alabama basketball is – is relentless.
The Missouri Tigers were weakened Saturday night without their leading scorer, Kobe Brown. Thanks to Missouri coach Dennis Gates, none of his available players backed down.
Playing in front of an intense home crowd, Missouri led 16-14 with 9-30 left in the first half. The rest of the half proved the “Alabama is unrelenting” claim. The Crimson Tide beat the Tigers 25-12 and led 38-28 at halftime.
There is a story about where the 25 points came from. Brandon Miller, one of college basketball’s greatest players, scored just four of the 25 points. Mark Sears scored nine, Jahvon Quinerly five, Rylan Griffen three, and Jaden Bradley and Noah Clowney two each.
Most of the time, not only was it unsuccessful in taking Miller over 10 minutes away from the Alabama offense, but Missouri landed in a hole from which it could never recover.
Alabama basketball players deserve recognition. So does the former high school math teacher-turned-one of college basketball’s brightest minds. Thanks to Nate Oats’ ingenious system and the success he and his staff have had in recruiting, the Crimson Tide has harnessed the diverse talents of college basketball.
As Daymeon Fishback said during the broadcast,
Coach Nate Oats has more guns than John Wick
Closing with some brake pumping is required. Alabama has yet to play Tennessee in Knoxville, the Auburn Tigers (twice), along with road games in Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Much remains to be done. But the Crimson Tide is 17-2, 7-0 in the SEC game, and none of these seven SEC teams come close.