Tide faces big test against Arkansas 

Here we are in the midst of the SEC season, and once again an Alabama team is failing to meet expectations. This time it is basketball, but the storyline is the same: the Tide seems to give up, whether it is the first half or the last.

Will that change today? Alabama owes Arkansas payback for the 88-61 thumping in Fayetteville. That road loss started the bleeding for Alabama, and Gottfried continues to look for a solution, according to the AP.

If Alabama is going to get even with the Hogs, then it could start in the paint. Arkansas spent the last couple of practice sessions working on getting physical in defensive rebounding. Against Ole Miss and South Carolina, Arkansas gave up lots of extra shot attempts.

For the most part Arkansas has done a good job in the paint, but has been very inconsistent in road losses. Can Alabama step its game up inside? It has the talent in place with Hendrix and Davidson.

Of course, Alabama has so many areas to improve in, especially defense. In the loss to Auburn on Tuesday, Alabama gave up 46 points after halftime. Alabama’s defensive play is so sloppy and bad at times that it is unwatchable.

But this is a home game. Alabama plays at a different level at home and Arkansas hasn’t beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa since 2001.

Of course, this is a must-win type game because Alabama has failed to inspire much confidence for the post-season. Cecil Hurt’s column from earlier in the week pointed out Alabama’s chances for a turnaround are diminishing with each game.

Alabama’s at home, but over the last three weeks this team has created more questions than answers. It required a 15-point rally to defeat Georgia at home–does anyone know what to expect when this Tide team takes the court?