Alabama prepares to face Mississippi State for the second time
By WVUA23 Sports Reporter Jason Williams
The Alabama men’s basketball team is getting set to play the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the second time this season. Last time these two teams met up Alabama won 78 to 67.
Mississippi State missed plenty of free throws last time they played by shooting 18 for 36. They also went nine for 24 from the three point line. At Tuesday’s news conference Alabama head basketball coach Nate Oats said the team can’t count on them shooting that bad from the line again.
“We have to be a lot better than we were last time we played them. I don’t anticipate them handing us free possessions by missing free throws. I felt like their shooters missed some wide open three’s that we dodged bullets on. I do feel like we’re a much better defensive team today than we were when we played them the first time. But we’ve got to be a lot better than we were the first time,” Oats said.
Alabama was recently ranked as the number two team in the country which is the first time they’ve been ranked that high since 2002. Even though they are playing good Oats said his team has done a good job of fighting complacency.
“I think these groups have done a really good job fighting it on their own. We talk about not getting complacent. Maybe last year’s team did since we had some early non conference wins. But I think this group is pretty mature. I think the maturity, the professionalism, the depth of the team all of it helps,” Oats said.
Alabama returns back to Coleman after two games on the road defeating Vanderbilt 78 to 66 and beating Missouri 85 to 64.
Mississippi State enters this game on a four game losing streak with losses to Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, and most recently Florida.
Alabama is currently undefeated at home this season and has a 17-2 overall record while the Mississippi State Bulldogs are 1-3 on the road so far this season and have a 12-7 overall record.