Alabama Men's Basketball 2016 NIT Tournament Capsule

Alabama Crimson Tide
SEC (18-14, 8-10)
Alabama has been a very interesting team to follow this year. Within the first two weeks of the season, the Crimson Tide were an enigma. They lost at Dayton and against Xavier in their AdvoCare Invitational opener. There is no shame in either of those losses, but Alabama was absolutely crushed by both teams. A day after scoring 45 points against Xavier, the Crimson Tide beat Wichita State. Two days later they beat Notre Dame. A couple games after that they went to Clemson and won 51-50. The SEC slate has been just as unpredictable. After beating Texas A&M at home and Florida and LSU on the road, Alabama lost at home to Mississippi State and managed just 53 points in a loss to Kentucky.
Big Wins: 11/29 vs Notre Dame (74-73), 1/13 South Carolina (73-50), 2/10 Texas A&M (63-62)
Bad Losses: 1/19 at Auburn (77-83), 2/20 Mississippi State (61-67), 3/2 Arkansas (61-62)
Coach: Avery Johnson
Why They Can Surprise:
It is too late for consistency, but Alabama could get hot at the right time. In order for that to happen, Retin Obashan needs to score a lot of points and Jimmie Taylor and Donta Hall need to spearhead the defensive effort with their shot blocking ability. Obashan is easily the team’s leading scorer and the point guard has had some monster games, most notably his 35 point effort at LSU. But since the beginning of conference play, Obashan has been consistent, reaching the 20 point mark more often than not. Taylor and Hall are not scorers, but this team’s best asset is its defense and those two hanging out in the paint and swatting away shots is a big reason for that. Shannon Hale is the frontcourt player that garners more attention because of his ability to score and stretch the defense with his shooting. Hale has not quite lived up to the expectations heading into the year, but he is still second on the team in scoring.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The offense can be painful to watch at times. They do not share the ball well and the result is often poor shot selection. And this team cannot afford to take bad shots. They have a negative turnover margin and rebounding margin, which is rare for any postseason team, so they must take advantage of their shooting opportunities. And statistically speaking, they do not. Arthur Edwards has been pretty consistent from long range, connecting on 40.8 percent of his attempts and Riley Norris hits 37.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. However, Norris hits just 78.4 percent of his total shots. That is a pretty bad number even for a player who takes quite a few three’s, but it is a great number compared to Hale and sophomore guard Justin Coleman. However, as it has been all year, Alabama can beat anybody on any given day. They could also score 40 points and lose by 30.
Probable Starters:
Retin Obasohan, Senior, Guard, 17.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.88 rpg
Arthur Edwards, Senior, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 1.4 apg, 3.8 rpg
Riley Norris, Sophomore, Forward, 7.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Michael Kessens, Junior, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Jimmie Taylor, Junior, Forward, 5.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Justin Coleman, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 3.3 apg
Shannon Hale, Junior, Forward, 10.8 ppg
Donta Hall, Freshman, Forward, 2.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.6 (303rd in nation, 14th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.1 (62, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.4 (252, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.3 (40, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (106, 5)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.7 (219, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.8 (320, 12)
Rebound Margin:  -3.1 (280, 13)
Assists Per Game:  10.7 (327, 14)
Turnovers Per Game:  13.5 (249, 11)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NIT      First Round win over Illinois
2015    NIT      Second Round loss to Miami (FL)
2013    NIT      First Round win over Northeastern
2013    NIT      Second Round win over Stanford
2013    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Maryland
2012    NCAA Second Round loss to Creighton
2011    NIT      First Round win over Coastal Carolina
2011    NIT      Second Round win over New Mexico
2011    NIT      Quarterfinal win over Miami
2011    NIT      Semifinal win over Colorado
2011    NIT      Final loss to Wichita State
2007    NIT      First Round loss to Massachusetts
2006    NCAA Round of 64 win over Marquette
2006    NCAA Round of 32 loss to UCLA
2005    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Milwaukee
2004    NCAA Round of 64 win over Southern Illinois
2004    NCAA Round of 32 win over Stanford
2004    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Syracuse
2004    NCAA Regional Final loss to Connecticut
*all team stats through 3/6