University of Alabama men’s basketball coach Avery Johnson said on the “Hey Coach!” radio program Monday night that the Crimson Tide had a “very tough” practice earlier in the day in order to “get us where we need to be.”

The Crimson Tide is coming off its most one-sided defeat of the season, an 84-63 loss at Auburn. Alabama committed 21 turnovers in the loss.

“We are playing at Level 2 right now,” Johnson said. “We need to be Level 5.

“That starts with taking care of the basketball. We can’t turn the basketball over and give the other teams easy opportunities. If we eliminate the turnovers, defend well and rebound, we can run and take advantage of our speed. We’re the fastest team in the SEC according to our analytics.”

Alabama is playing at a slighter faster tempo than in the previous three years, despite its high turnover ratio.

With a current No. 46 ranking in the daily NCAA Net calculations, and more than half its SEC schedule remaining, the Crimson Tide is still a possibility for an NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide has played all five of the SEC’s top-rated teams — Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn and Mississippi State — in its first eight league games, giving UA the highest in-conference strength of schedule to date. The Crimson Tide still has rematches with LSU and Auburn but also has four games remaining against the league’s bottom three teams (Georgia on Wednesday night, as well as Texas A&M and two games against Vanderbilt.)

 

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