Alabama prepares to face Ole Miss in SEC Tournament

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

Tyler Waldrep

Retin Obasohan is ready to leave the regular season behind him. Alabama fell to a No. 10 seed in the SEC Tournament after losing four of its last five games in a skid that caused Alabama to fall out of some if not most NCAA Tournament projections, but the team is focused on any of that this week.

“We talk about each game being a game of its own, well this is the perfect representation of that [compartmentalization], because if you lose you’re done,” Obasohan said. “It will be great to tell our guys if you focus on it, this is the only game we have promised. Don’t even worry about postseason or bids.”

Alabama (17-13, 8-10 SEC) will face Ole Miss (20-11, 10-8 SEC) on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee for the second time this season after the Crimson Tide lost to the Rebels in Oxford 74-66 to open SEC play on Jan. 7.

“This is an exciting time for us,” coach Avery Johnson said. “It feels like the playoffs. Hopefully we’re up for the challenge.”

Obasohan said turnovers were big problem for the team in the last game, and that minimizing those would be a priority. Of course the SEC’s No. 1 scorer, Stefan Moody (23.1 points per game), presents other problems Alabama has to deal with.

Obasohan said stopping Moody will require a team effort at Johnson changes up who is primarily responsible for the player that hung 43 points on Mississippi State by himself.

“I remember it [the last meeting with Ole Miss] like it was yesterday, probably because we watched it yesterday,” Obasohan said. “[Moody’s] a very explosive offensive player, a fast little rascal.”

Johnson said he is just focused on the upcoming game with the Rebels. The thought of containing Moody might keep him up the next few nights, but worrying about Kentucky (the team the winner of Thursday’s game will play the Wildcats Friday) or the NCAA Tournament selection process certainly won’t.

“Hopefully we’ll be confident loose and hopefully somebody will sign the bat after thursday’s game,” Johnson said.