Coming back from Saturday's embarrassment, the Crimson Tide responded with their largest SEC victory in program history. PIC: Alabama Athletics
Nate Oats met the media last night after their victory. He opened with a simple statement: "It was unfortunate that they [Vanderbilt] were the team that played us after the Oklahoma game."
Indeed, Saturday was certainly a blemish in Alabama's otherwise solid resume this year. They sat comfortably as nearly a 6-point favorite over the Oklahoma Sooners, whose season has been a mixed bag of top-tier wins and sub-par losses. But it was Oklahoma's day, taking the Tide to the woodshed...they won 93-69.
Nothing was working for Alabama on Saturday. They took to the locker room with a 50-33 deficit, they didn't get the day they were hoping for with Freshman of the Year hopeful Brandon Miller (11 pts, 3-10 from the field), and they surrendered 30 points to OU's Grant Sherfield...as well as 26 to Jalen Hill.
Now, for the record, I'd like to keep the Vanderbilt slander to a minimum. They're a team that hasn't done much wrong this year...some losses that stand out are a 5-point loss to a pesky VCU team, and a stinker to Grambling State (which every team gets one). But they also haven't done much right...none of their wins besides Arkansas and Pitt (depending on how the ACC shakes out) really impressed us. All to say, of course; Vanderbilt, in part, functioned as Alabama's "get right" game.
The foot was on the gas pedal for the Tide on Tuesday night. Brandon Miller, fresh off one of his lowest scoring outputs of the season, shot almost 50% from downtown...he sank SIX of THIRTEEN shots from three. But four others also registered double-figures for Alabama, in large part to dominating the three as well. They went 19-for-41 as a team from the three point line - that's almost 47%. Combine it with going 17-for-20 in two-point shots, and you've got a recipe for an air raid.
It's no secret there are high expectations for Nate Oats' Crimson Tide this year, and they've got lot to be excited about in Tuscaloosa this year. Every team faces its adversity, and looks like Alabama just proved they're cut out to wear it on the chin when they need to. Watch out for 'Bama in March (and April).