The University of Alabama basketball team faces a quick turnaround, facing Texas A&M in an SEC game just 48 hours after a home loss to Georgia. For that reason, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson says his first order of business is reminded his team that the season did not end on Thursday night.
The Crimson Tide was one of several teams still on the NCAA “bubble” and seemed to have a chance to strengthen their resume and improve its possible SEC Tournament seeding with a win over Georgia, but could not overcome a disappointing first half in a 60-55 defeat that dented, if not ended, the Crimson Tide’s postseason chances.
The loss also dropped Alabama to 4-4 in SEC play at Coleman Coliseum.
“We were disappointed,” Johnson said at his Friday press conference. “Any time you lose at home, it’s disappointing.
“Looking at the film, it was poor shot selection, lack of ball movement, lack of focus. There wasn’t anything (Georgia did) that surprised us. But I keep seeing on social media that our season ended last night. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to go to Texas A&M. But we still control our destiny. We haven’t even made it to the SEC Tournament yet. We’ve got three games against quality basketball teams before that.”
Asked again if he thought Alabama was out of the NCAA field, Johnson replied that “you’ll have to ask (ESPN “bracketologist”) Joe Lunardi.”
Johnson also said that “most people with common sense” realized that Alabama is still in the early stages of a building process.
“Let’s say we’d have won that game,” Johnson said. “We’re still just two years into this. We are still changing the culture. I’m sure South Carolina would have wanted to beat us at home, or Georgia when we played them over there.
“I know we’re in a microwave society. This team has given a major effort. We’ve played hard. We haven’t played smart all the time. We’re still building.”
Johnson also gave a brief scouting report on Texas A&M, which has one of the more formidable frontcourts in the SEC.
“They have a couple of players to highlight,” Johnson said. “Tyler Davis is a monster inside at 6-10 and 270. The other player that is gaining some traction for them is Robert Williams, a freshman, 6-9 and 230 and an incredible athlete. There’s starting to be a lot of talk about him being a lottery pick in the (NBA) draft.
“Hopefully we’ll play well for two halves because one half isn’t going to be enough.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.