Alabama wasted another opportunity for a big win at home with ice cold shooting, losing to Kentucky by a 66-55 margin. All you really need to know is that Alabama shot 28% overall, including an abominable 3/29 from three point range.
Things were actually looking good out of the gate as the Tide ran out to a hustling 9-1 start. Unfortunately they couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean for the rest of the half, as 14% from three and 50% from the line had them down six going into the break despite dominating the glass. The bright spot of the half was freshman center Charles Bediako, who had the best offensive half of his young college career. Angry Chuck tossed in 10 points on perfect shooting and held the nation’s leading rebounder, Oscar Tshiebwe, to only four boards while grabbing three of his own.
Bediako went to the bench with his third foul two minutes into the second half, and by the time he came back in five minutes later, Kentucky had opened up a ten point advantage. It was frustrating to watch, as the Tide competed hard but just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. If this wasn’t the worst shooting performance of the Nate Oats era, it was close. Other than Bediako in the first half, there wasn’t a single offensive performance of note. Of particular concern is JD Davison, who was scoreless for the second consecutive game before mercifully breaking Alabama’s cold streak from three with three minutes left.
As strange as it seems, there is a positive to take away from this one in that the game was absolutely winnable with just a little better shooting. Many of the 26 missed three pointers were wide open looks, and the Tide also missed eight foul shots along with a few layups. They did a reasonable job defensively against a Kentucky team that came in averaging more than 81 points a game. Hopefully Nate Oats can build on those positives and the shooting will turn around. It has to, right?
Hope for the best.