After dropping its third-straight game away from Tuscaloosa, the Alabama women’s basketball team has been forced to contemplate what has gone wrong in the nonconference portion of its season. There have been no easy answers to that question so far.
“The message is this,” said Alabama women’s basketball coach Kristy Curry. “I need to coach better. (The players) have taken ownership on their end, and I’ve taken some on mine. The bottom line is if you’re not getting the job done you need to sit own, regardless if you’ve started in the past or been here for four years, one year, two years or three years.”
After struggling more than expected, Curry said that she will continue to change around lineups until she finds one that works. So far, she has not found a starting combination that has been able to get her team off to a good start. The Crimson Tide has had the lead after the first quarter only twice this season.
“We’re late,” Curry said. “Late to your spot, and late to your job. We’re late to close-outs. We’re late to the boards. We’re late sprinting. Lazy and late are two ‘L’-words that will not be tolerated. We’ve watched it on film, and we’ve communicated in practice the late and lazy part. There’s no sense of urgency.”
Alabama’s two highly sought transfers Amber Richardson and Jasmine Walker will become eligible to play starting Dec. 17, and the addition of the players will have an impact on the number of minutes current contributors will see. There are two games left for current players to make an impression before the transfers will receive their opportunity.
“We add two new faces that come in and compete for playing time,” Curry said. “We have 14 players that will be competing for playing time come December 17. If you’re not getting the job done, you need to come sit by me, and I need to coach that (situation) better.”
The Crimson Tide has already attempted to regroup once after a tough trip to Florida where it dropped back-to-back games, but fell to a tough TCU team by 21 points in its last game. Senior and team leader Ashley Williams said it’s the seniors’ job to take ownership when things aren’t going well.
“We had a meeting yesterday, and our biggest thing was ownership and communication,” Williams said. “Not just the seniors, but everybody. Coach says that age does not define beauty.”
Meeting as a team was also an opportunity to boost the team’s confidence, as pointed out by sophomore point guard Jordan Lewis. This season in particular, the experienced Crimson Tide entered with high-expectations, but early losses have put a dent in its resume. There’s still plenty of games for Alabama to make up ground in a tough conference like the SEC.
Lewis has been hindered by a lingering ankle injury this season but has felt better as the year has moved along.
“I think as I get more healthy my confidence will continue to go back up,” Lewis said. “That’s what’s lacking right now with me, and with the team. We have to be confident to knock down shots that we practice every day.”
Next up for the Crimson Tide is its fourth-straight game away from Coleman Coliseum, a matchup against Lipscomb. Curry mentioned a few things that would be signs of the Crimson Tide’s return to its usual level of performance.
“A plus-10 rebounding margin, less than 13 turnovers, and making more free throws than our opponent shoots,” Curry said. “It’s mind over matter, make a basket. Be tough enough to be able to find ways to score the basketball.”
Alabama women’s basketball
Alabama vs. Lipscomb
Where: Allen Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
When: 6:30 p.m.
Records: Alabama 4-3, Lipscomb 2-7
Radio: 93.3 FM