Alabama basketball facing dwindling opportunities to improve defense

Alabama basketball struggles defensively in loss to Creighton

Alabama basketball is facing defensive challenges as it heads into the NCAA Tournament. The team suffered a tough loss to eighth-ranked Creighton, falling 85-82 in a game that revealed significant defensive vulnerabilities.

The Crimson Tide’s defensive struggles were evident as Creighton’s offense found success both inside and outside the paint. Despite only making six three-pointers, the Blue Jays were able to score easily around the basket, with 7-foot-1 center Ryan Kalkbrenner particularly effective, shooting 9 of 11 from the field.

This loss was part of a disturbing trend for Alabama, as the team has allowed high point totals in recent games against top opponents. Over the last three weeks, the Crimson Tide has given up 92 points to Ohio State, 91 to Oregon, 85 to Clemson, 92 to Purdue, and 85 to Creighton. These defensive lapses have led to a 1-4 record in those games, with the sole victory coming against Oregon.

Head coach Nate Oats expressed his frustration with the team’s defensive performance, stating, “Our defense stinks right now.”

Oats has been vocal about the team’s defensive struggles throughout the season, and with SEC play on the horizon, it is becoming increasingly crucial for Alabama to address these issues. The team has three more non-conference games against Arizona, Eastern Kentucky, and Liberty before opening SEC play at Vanderbilt.

The lack of effective defense is a growing concern for Alabama, especially with challenging matchups against highly-ranked opponents on the horizon. Oats emphasized the need for improvement, particularly in guarding against dribble penetration and defending the rim.

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As the team prepares for conference play, it is clear that defensive adjustments are essential for Alabama to have success in the NCAA Tournament. The team must prioritize defensive stops to secure victories in the challenging games ahead.