Bama and Arkansas lock up for unfinished business

2/9/22 MBB Alabama vs Ole MIss Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly (13) Photo by Robert Sutton
Alabama basketball

By  WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant

The Arkansas Razorbacks are making a trip to Tuscaloosa for the chance to claim bragging rights after both teams got to embarrass the other on their home floor. Alabama will host Arkansas at Coleman Coliseum for a conference matchup where the intensity is bound to ramp up in the final stretch of the season.

Both teams have found themselves out of the good graces of the college rankings with both teams not being ranked for the bulk of the season. This game could serve as a step in the right direction for either team to bolster their season resume as March Madness approaches.

Alabama has hit a wall in their season losing three of the last five games. The Tide recently had one of the toughest stretches of opponents that college basketball has not seen a long while. They were faced with playing N0. 4 Baylor, N0.1 Auburn and No. 5 Kentucky within a span of two weeks. They managed to only win the game against Baylor with an ugly loss to the worst team  in the SEC to Georgia in the mix as well. Even with the recent struggles, the belief is that they can still compete with anyone once the March Tournament begins.

Arkansas will be riding high as they have a better standing in the conference right now, enjoying a 9-game win streak as of lately. Their latest win came against the powerhouse of this year’s basketball season, knocking off No.1 Auburn in overtime. The Razorbacks caught Auburn on shaky waters after they escaped with a slim 74-72 victory against Georgia.

The Razorbacks got the last laugh in 2021 with an upset win over the Tide who sat inside the Top-10 in the AP Top-25 rankings. If they want to continue that success this year, the key to win will have to come through their premier guard JD Notae. Notae is a player that can fill up the basket in bunches, and puts his opponents on alert anytime he guards them with 2.4 steals per game. He has put himself in the conversation of best player in the conference, rivaling top NBA prospect Jabari Smith.

The Tide will have their work cut out for them as they look to prevent the Razorback’s win streak from steamrolling into their home stadium. They will need the help of their backcourt if they want to control the tone of the game.  The star-studded duo of Jaden Shackleford and Jahvon Quinerly are not lockdown defenders, but will be called upon to hold their own and make everything difficult. On the other end Nate Oats is going to have to lean on his guards in a matchup, where many viewers saw the Auburn backcourt plummett against the Arkansas defense.

JD Davison will need to put together another great performance off the bench, after blazing the Ole Miss defense for 18 points and 8 assists. Davison has struggled with consistency this season, but his recent success suggests that he is primed to take that next step as a future NBA talent.

The matchup at Coleman Coliseum will be played on Feb. 12  with tip-off starting  at 11 a.m. The game will also be televised on the SEC Network.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Sports