The University of Alabama basketball team heads to St. Louis this week and head coach Avery Johnson thinks the reset might do his reeling squad some good.
The Crimson Tide is on a five-game losing streak and would have its longest stretch of losses since 1970 (six) if it cannot find a way past Texas A&M on Thursday at noon.
Of the three most high-profile NCAA bracketology sites, two — Joe Lunardi of ESPN and the Bracket Matrix — currently have Alabama as the last team in the 68-team field. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports does not even include Alabama on “the bubble” list of NCAA possibilities.
“(A record) of 17-14 ain’t gonna get it done,” Palm said about Alabama’s chances via his Twitter account. “Don’t look capable of the kind of (SEC Tournament) run it would take to improve things, but you never know.”
Palm has indicated that Alabama would need wins over Texas A&M and Auburn in St. Louis as a bare minimum to re-enter the conversation.
The Crimson Tide’s RPI is currently at No. 59 and would need the boost from a win over the Aggies (currently No. 24) and likely Auburn (No. 8) to move into selection territory.
Johnson said on the SEC teleconference on Monday “probably” needed at least one win in St. Louis to make the field.
“Every time we’ve had a little bit of a fresh start, it’s been good for us,” the coach said.
Alabama played without two occasional starters in Saturday’s 68-66 loss as freshman Herbert Jones and sophomore Daniel Giddens did not play.
Jones, who missed the game due to a concussion, could be a game-time decision Thursday, Johnson indicated. Giddens, who had been averaging 11 minutes per game in the five games prior to Saturday, did not enter the game in College Station. Asked about Giddens’ status, Johnson said only “no injury” and did not elaborate further.