The men's basketball team looks to pick up second consecutive SEC win against Missouri

The+men%26%23039%3Bs+basketball+team+looks+to+pick+up+second+consecutive+SEC+win+against+Missouri

Avery Johnson wants the basketball team to be faster and more aggressive on offense. CW | Amellia Armstrong

Tyler Waldrep

On Saturday, Riley Norris is hoping his teammates can do something the team hasn’t been able to do since conference play started and win back-to-back games.

“Getting two wins like that and then we’ve got [No. 8 Texas] A&M next week That’d be really big as far as our confidence,” Norris said. “I think we’ve had a lot of up-and-down we win one, we lose one, lose a close game so winning two in a row would be really big for us.”

In the SEC preseason media poll, the Missouri Tigers (8-14, 1-8 SEC) were the only team picked to finish lower than the Crimson Tide (12-9, 3-6), and while the Crimson Tide currently appears to be exceeding expectations (depending on how other games shake out a win could have Alabama in a tie for seventh in the league), the Tigers are living up to preseason billing.

“Maybe three years from now, we can potentially overlook an opponent and get away with it, [but] not this year,” coach Avery Johnson said. “We gotta come out and play. We’re always underdogs no matter what the record is.”

Johnson said Alabama has to cut down on mistakes if the Crimson Tide is going to beat Missouri. Unforced errors let Mississippi State fight its way back into Alabama’s last game.

“When we build a lead, like a 10-point lead we’re still trying to figure out how to protect it,” Johnson said. “One of the things we got to work on [for Saturday] is transition defense, because they are awfully good in the open floor.”