Tide Hoops dominate in season opener
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Hunter De Siver
The Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball team destroyed Louisiana Tech 93-64 at Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday. However, this was more than just a game.
Fifteen minutes before tipoff, the University of Alabama and coach Nate Oats honored the late, great Luke “Fluff” Ratliff, with a seat dedicated to his name.
Ratliff was president of the Crimson Chaos, a group of basketball fans who show up for the Tide in a big way. Ratliff, wearing a plaid suit and sunglasses, would stand on his seat and lead thousands of fans in cheers every single game.
He died in early April from COVID-19 complications.
After Louisiana Tech players were announced it was time for the Tide.
Two pillars of smoke were set up by the Bama bench. When players were announced they ran through the smoky pillars and the crowd roared.
Some players announced were new to the team. This past season, Tide hoops proved that UA isn’t just a football school, but a basketball school as well.
After becoming SEC champs, some of the best high school recruits in the country turned their heads towards the Tide that are on the team this year and for years to come (J.D. Davison, Brandon Miller, Jaden Bradley).
The game was too close after the first ten minutes (20-16). Newest Alabama player, five-star recruit and internet sensation J.D. Davison had plans to change the pace of the game. After a steal by Keon Ellis, the guard found Davison for a ferocious dunk that had students putting their hands on the back of their heads in amazement.
After that play, the Tide went on a huge run. By halftime, Alabama was up 48-31. Jaden Shackelford led the team in scoring with 12 points.
The team in crimson did what they do best: shooting threes. They hit 44.4% of their shots from downtown by halftime.
The second half was even more dominant than the first. With two minutes left in the game, the Crimson Chaos wanted walk-on Tyler Barnes to play. Oats listened to the crowd and put him in.
Barnes was fouled and then hit two free throws, sending the crowd into as big of a frenzy as the Davison dunk. Barnes would then hit a layup at the buzzer.
Barnes lived the dream of every college student that night. It wouldn’t have been possible if the Tide weren’t already up by nearly 30, though.
Ellis was the leader in points with 18. Shackleford finished with 17. 6’8″ forward Noah Gurley finished the night with a double-double.
Alabama plays their next game at home against South Dakota State at 7 p.m. Wednesday