Coming off its most important win thus far this season at home, the Alabama men’s basketball team will try to continue its Southeastern Conference momentum on the road on Tuesday night.
The Crimson Tide will face Vanderbilt in Nashville’s quirky Memorial Gymnasium (6 p.m. CT, SEC Network) and Alabama coach Avery Johnson said his team can take nothing for granted against the Commodores, who have struggled this season but are 5-3 at home.
Alabama vs. Vanderbilt
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn.
Records: Alabama 9-4 (1-0 SEC), Vanderbilt 5-8 (0-1 SEC)
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 95.3 FM
“I’m not going to assume anything about (our) team,” Johnson said on a Monday teleconference. “I’m not going to say ‘we played well on the road at Arizona so we will play well at Vanderbilt. We are still not playing with that consistency. I thought we would play well against Texas (in a neutral site game in Birmingham) and we did not.
“We’ve yet to prove that we can play on a consistent basis, day after day, week after week,” Johnson added. “We still have some 18-year-old kids playing some big minutes for us. That’s not an excuse.
“We had a hard-nosed practice today. So we will keep working.”
Johnson noted that working sophomore forward Braxton Key into the lineup will be part of the development of consistency. Key scored just two points in 20 minutes against Texas A&M but had six rebounds and two steals. Key will make a homecoming of sorts as a two-team Tennessee state Player of the Year at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville transferring to Oak Hill (Va.) Academy for his senior season.
Vanderbilt lost its SEC opener at Florida last Saturday, falling 81-74. Jeff Roberson, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, scored 18 points in that game and is the Commodores’ leading scorer at 14.6 points per game.
Alabama has one win at Vanderbilt since 1990, a 58-54 win in 2013. The Crimson Tide is 1-13 in Nashville over that stretch.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.