Vanderbilt at Alabama
Where: Coleman Coliseum
When: Saturday at 5 p.m.
Records: Vanderbilt 9-17, 0-13 SEC; Alabama 15-11, 6-7 SEC
Radio: 95.3 FM
That is the word being thrown around amid the Alabama men’s basketball team’s three-game losing streak, which is the season’s longest.
“We’re really desperate right now,” senior guard Riley Norris said. “I feel like coming off the last three games, we have the right mindset. We’re moving forward, not worried about the past.”
During the losing streak, Alabama’s biggest struggle has been on offense, scoring less than 62 points in all three games. The Crimson Tide is winless (0-8), when scoring less than 70 points. It is 15-3 when it surpassed the 70-point mark.
Coach Avery Johnson has taken the brunt of the blame, saying he could have prepared his team better, but Norris disagrees.
“The coaches do a great job,” Norris said. “Coach Avery and his staff, he has a tremendous staff. Coach Avery himself does a great job. They prepare us each and every game. If we lose, most of the time, we made silly mistakes.”
The losing streak mirrors the one at the end of last year. In that five-game stretch, where Alabama lost three games by double digits, including a 19-point loss at Auburn. In its current streak, Alabama lost to Mississippi State by 19 and to Florida by 18. Alabama was also outscored 33-12 in the final 12 minutes of its last loss against Texas A&M (65-56).
Even though there are some similarities in the two streaks, forward Daniel Giddens guaranteed the three-game streak won’t extend to five.
“We’re staying together in a way we didn’t stay together last year,” Giddens said. “I believe that is going to help us in our next couple games.”
Vanderbilt is still looking for its first conference win of the season, which according to Giddens, makes them a more dangerous team.
The two played each other just two weeks ago. Alabama’s 10-point win was its first at Vanderbilt since 2013. The Crimson Tide made 50 percent of its 24 shots from 3-point range and missed just four of its 21 free-throw attempts.
The Commodores shot just 36 percent from deep and 60 percent from the free-throw line.
“In their last five games, they were capable of winning any of those games because of the way they shoot the ball,” Johnson said. “We have to be ready to defend the 3-point line.”