Monday, March 20, 2023

The 3-pointer: Three takeaways from Alabama’s 82-67 loss to UConn

Alabama’s hot start to the 2022-23 season ran cold against No. 20 UConn on Friday as the Huskies cruised to an 81-65 win.

The Crimson Tide suffered its first loss of the season and while it did outrebound the Huskies 34-32, it struggled to muster consistent offense as it did against Michigan State a day ago.

“It’s a tough loss to UConn,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “They’re obviously a really good team. … I thought we showed fight getting back and tying the game a couple of different times in the second half. But then we fouled too much and they went 17-for-18 from the free-throw line. Fouling just negated all of our hustle on the defensive end and when we needed a stop we couldn’t get them.

Here are three takeaways after Alabama’s 82-67 loss to UConn.


After committing less than 15 turnovers in its last two games, Alabama blew right past that mark in just the first half against UConn. In 15 minutes, the Crimson Tide committed 16 turnovers which resulted in 17 points off of turnovers for the Huskies.

Alabama’s carelessness with the basketball helped UConn to its longest-scoring run of the first half as the Huskies scored 14 points unanswered. Alabama was able to trim down the 14-point deficit to just five points as it turned the ball over just twice in the final two minutes of the half.

The Crimson Tide finished with 21 turnovers, its largest since its win against South Alabama win on Nov. 15.

“The turnovers killed us,” Oats said. “We have a lot of stuff that we have to get better at. We have to take care of the ball better. I don’t think we had a very good plan and it’s obviously hard with little to no practice time.”

Brandon Miller sparks offense

With Alabama struggling to hold onto the ball, the offense sputtered throughout most of the first half. Despite the struggles for most of the team, Brandon Miller was unaffected and it was just what the Crimson Tide needed to stay in the game. Miller finished with a team-high 18 points.

The true freshman accounted for 10 of the team’s 30 points in the first half on 3-of-7 shooting. Miller also tallied two of the team’s three 3-pointers in less than two minutes. Up until that point, Alabama didn’t attempt a 3-pointer as turnovers interrupted the team’s offensive flow.

“They took Brandon out of it,” Oats said. “They got pretty physical with him and didn’t let him have any easy catches. … Maybe we have to have Brandon handling the ball more in the pick-and-roll, but the coaches have got to figure that out.”

Light 3-point shooting night

The Crimson Tide really shied away from the 3-point line tallying going 6-for-16 against a Huskies team that allowed just 15 3-point attempts against Oregon on Thursday. So far this season, the Huskies sport a 25.9% opponent 3-point shooting percentage good for No. 30 in the nation.

Whether it was turnovers or a concerted effort by UConn to deny the longball, Alabama totaled its lowest 3-point attempts of the season and its fewest since the team’s win against Arkansas last season.

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