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Points In The Paint: ‘Bama to run with three-guard lineup?

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It’s almost that time again. Grab your hard hats!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Maryland at Alabama Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Among Nate Oats unconventional philosophy is playing the best you have on the floor, no matter the position. At Buffalo, his Bulls upset the Arizona Wildcats by using a lineup of three point guards.

This year, expect to see unconventional looks on the floor from the Crimson Tide, as Javon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford and J.D. Davison are working together on a three-guard personnel package, one enabled by Davison coming along quicker in practice than expected and his “surprising” coachability.

Three guards aren’t anything particularly new, no. But given Alabama’s wing depth, the lineup could be long, fast, and lethal at times. If its possible, I think we’ll see a Crimson Tide team playing at an even greater tempo and even more perimeter-oriented this season.

The bigs are coming along, though not perhaps to the extent of the backcourt. And there’s no way to really tell how this group will come together until they get thrown in the fire. But Oats seems very optimistic.

Josh Primo set another youthful record last night — the youngest NBA player to have played in college.

He only played a few minutes, but made his only shot attempt — a 26-footer from the perimeter.

Also joining Primo in his NBA debut was former SEC PoTY, Herb Jones. Herb didn’t fill the net, but he was active on the floor doing his usual Herb-things, and playing beside his Alabama teammate, Kira Lewis Jr.

You know who’s not happy about basketball season starting? Auburn and LSU — the NCAA has finally started making significant headway on their cases, with Auburn already having appeared before the Committee on Infractions. The NCAA expects to drop the hammer by the end of the calendar year.

As for LSU? Well, their exceptionally crooked program’s investigation was held up by just one thing: Whether the many violations of basketball should be tied into the many allegations against football. But, that question has been decided now, and an NoA will be winging its way to Baton Rouge very soon.

Grab your popcorn...

Is there a changing of the guard among the basketball powers? One very well could be evolving before our eyes. And while mainstays like Kentucky and Kansas are still in the Top 10, Alabama is trying to paint its way on to that canvas.

The practice report shows an Alabama team that is, as we’ve come to expect early, playing fast but perhaps not rebounding or holding on the ball the way Oats and staff would like:

“We’re excelling on playing fast, but we’ve gotta work on not turning it over when we’re playing fast,” Oats said. “But as a coach, if you want no turnovers to be your No. 1 thing, then don’t play fast. We’re going to play fast. We’re gonna have some sloppy turnovers this early in practice, maybe in a few games. You’ve gotta deal with it. We’ve gotta get it trimmed down, though. Turnovers are not where we want them to be.

“Our at-the-rim decisions, guys learning how to play it, attacking mindset. Do I try to score it? Do I spray it? Who do I spray it to? Do I drop it off to the big? We’ve gotta get better at making decisions at the rim. I think our rebounding has to improve. We’re on it, we’re coaching it. Coach Hodgson’s kind of our rebounding coach, he’s all over it. He’s doing a good job with it, but we’ve gotta get better. We’ve gotta get our guards rebounding better if we’re gonna play fast in transition. Defensive rebounds gotta get better.

Rebounding is an effort play. Defense is an effort play. I have little doubt the institutional Hard Hat mentality will catch on with this team of scorers...and, if not, Oats has shown little reticence in sitting guys until they buy-in.

Friday Night, the Hoops teams host their Tide Tip-Off Event. It’s one that I’m still remarkably salty about, but the damage is done.

All we can do now is head over to Foster Auditorium, and the surrounding pavilion, and support them...and then send Greg Byrne a nastygram so this ish doesn’t ever happen again.

For information, and to purchase tickets, pop by at Roll Tide dot com.

I’m hella’ excited, y’all. I’ve been geeked about this season since the sad waning moments of the UCLA loss. But, really, the Crimson Tide are working on building something special. And this year could be the launching point for so much more than we saw even last season.

Grab your hard hats, the season is just a week away.