Alabama is sitting pretty at the peak of the SEC standings in something other than football, and this Gump couldn’t be happier. This afternoon they will put a 6-win streak and 5-0 SEC record on the line as they face a solid Arkansas squad in Tuscaloosa.
For the first time this season the Crimson Tide (10-3, 5-0) will be without starter Jordan Bruner, who maintains a significant role on the court. It remains to be seen if Herb Jones will receive the green-light after dislocating a finger Tuesday. Arkansas (10-3, 2-3) will put Alabama’s solid record to the test, and we will find out if the Tide can stay consistent without Bruner in the lineup.
Bruner (7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game) is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus and Jones (12.5 points, 6.1 rebounds) is described as day-to-day with a hand injury. Jahvon Quinerly has been able to participate in practice this week, so Oats is hopeful that he can contribute today.
“The training staff has been stretched this year with everything going on,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said after the win at Kentucky.
The good news is that even with those two players seeing only limited playing time, Alabama was able to roll over the blue-blooded Wildcats.
That pepped up Oats.
“Kentucky’s down this year but they’re still Kentucky,” Oats said. “Big win for our program.”
“Looking at the schedule to start the year, the first six games were probably the toughest six games in the league,” Oats said. “If (somebody said) we could be 5-0 heading into Arkansas, I certainly would have taken it.”
Alabama is led in scoring this year by Jaden Shackelford (13.5) and SEC Player of the Year candidate John Petty Jr. (13.3).
“It’s been a collective effort,” Petty said. “Everybody holding each other accountable, everybody responding to the adversity. The intensity and being locked in. That’s what’s holding us together.”
Arkansas is coming off of a 92-76 loss to LSU Wednesday, while Alabama demolished blue-blood Kentucky 85-65.
My Prediction: Alabama 76 Arkansas 62
Follow @DeutscheBammer and @TideTalkSports on Twitter for exclusive news & updates regarding ALL University of Alabama Athletics.