Alabama's season could be on downward spiral - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama's season could be on downward spiral

Posted: Updated:
Coach Anthony Grant and the Crimson Tide are trying to reverse a recent downward spiral of lopsided defeats and continuing road woes. (abc3340.com) Coach Anthony Grant and the Crimson Tide are trying to reverse a recent downward spiral of lopsided defeats and continuing road woes. (abc3340.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's difficult season has taken a turn for the worse.

Coach Anthony Grant and the Crimson Tide are trying to reverse a recent downward spiral of lopsided defeats and continuing road woes.

Alabama (9-12, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) has lost four of its last five games by an average margin of 15 points going into Wednesday's visit to Arkansas (13-8, 2-6).

"Our vision is to build a program that can compete for championships, and we're not there yet," Grant said Tuesday. "But we're going to keep working. We're going to keep grinding every single day. I think the guys in the locker room will tell you the same thing.

"That's what we talk about every day. These guys want to win."

Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Tide, which has averaged 23 victories over the past three seasons. Alabama started the season competitive even in losses despite a schedule ranked the second-toughest in the country by ESPN.com.

Four of the seven nonconference defeats were by five points or less, and the most lopsided loss was 74-64 to No. 11 Duke. Alabama hasn't been nearly so competitive lately.

The Tide is coming off a 76-59 loss to Tennessee that followed a 74-55 thumping by Auburn, which had dropped 16 consecutive SEC games.

Alabama has been cold from the floor in the four losses, shooting a combined 35.9 percent (75 of 209) from the field and making just 20.6 percent (13 of 63) of its 3-pointers.

Grant said the team and coaching staff remain confident, but that now it needs to translate into victories.

"We've got to pull some games out. We've got to go win," said Grant, who has led the Tide to the NCAA tournament once in his first four seasons. "What I want to see is our team compete, play with that pride and energy for 40 minutes, put a full game together. Let's let the chips where they may after that.

"Obviously we're going to win some, we're going to lose some. If you lose, you're disappointed. You dust yourself off, you get up and you compete again. You win, you're excited about it and you hopefully let it go and get ready for the next one. That's just the nature of being a competitor, being an athlete, and especially this time of year."

Still, Alabama is in danger of its first losing season under Grant and the first sub-.500 mark in SEC play since his debut in 2009-10.

Turning things around in the short-term comes with an added challenge: Winning away from Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama is playing four of its next five games on the road, including Saturday's visit to No. 3 Florida. The Tide is 0-8 away from home this season and has lost 11 straight road or neutral-site games since beating Georgia on Feb. 12, 2013.

Guard Retin Obasohan said Alabama can't go into a hostile environment worrying about the past.

"It takes a different type of focus, but at the same time you have to flush all the things that have happened," Obasohan said. "It's a day-by-day thing."

Grant insists the Tide's play on the road isn't a big issue for the team.

"Honestly, I think that's something that you guys in the media focus on," he said. "We focus on one game. We've got to play at Arkansas. Arkansas's a very talented team.

"We're going to gameplan for Arkansas. We're not going to gameplan for every road game we play. We're going to focus on the task at hand. Our task right now is to go to Arkansas and try to get a win."

Follow John Zenor on Twitter @jzenor

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • ABI investigate shooting

    ABI investigate shooting

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:11:58 GMT
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
    Officers investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Sias Sports Grille. Helena and Pelham police were on the scene around 8:30 Saturday. More >>
  • Fairfield police: burned body dumped at house, crime committed elsewhere

    Fairfield police: burned body dumped at house, crime committed elsewhere

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:02:53 GMT
    The burned body found in a the backyard of a Fairfield house has not been identified. But police say it was a woman. They also believe there is another crime scene.More >>
    The burned body found in a the backyard of a Fairfield house has not been identified. But police say it was a woman. They also believe there is another crime scene.More >>
  • Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Local mom ready for Boston Marathon

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:57:02 GMT
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
    Birmingham - Runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon Monday. Despite last year's bombings, there was a surge in entries for this year's race. ABC 33/40 caught up with a mother of four leaving Sunday to fulfill her dream. The images we won't forget. "It was just complete shock and just sadness that someone would use that platform to be destructive." Lisa Booher will be running in this year's Boston Marathon hoping to carry on a message that so many others also want to share. Booher says...More >>
  • Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Police believe former student is behind threat at UNA

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:56:20 GMT
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old Brian Mitchell of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday. Police say Mitchell is behind a message posted on social media site, Yik Yak,More >>
    University of North Alabama police say that 22-year-old from of Madison, Alabama surrendered to police on Friday.More >>
  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:35 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    UNA social media threat suspect turns himself in

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:54:13 GMT
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
    One student turns himself into the University of North Alabama police after a threat on the social media app “yik yak”. Police say the online threat was aimed at the University.Brian Mitchell, 22, turned himself in and now faces terrorist threat charges. Police say Mitchell posted that he was going to "shoot up UNA". Police worked with "yik yak" to track Mitchell down, that's when he admitted that he posted the threat and stated he would turn himself in. Mitchell will now have to face the uni...More >>
  • Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Police shoot and wound a man outside a Helena restaurant

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:53:20 GMT
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
    Helena police shot and wounded a man last night in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille. Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a man brandishing a gun. Helena Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan says no one in the restaurant was in any danger. The incident apparently began as a domestic dispute and escalated when officers arrived. Pelham police also responded to assist. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. The investigation has been turned over to t...More >>
  • Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Burned Body Found In Fairfield

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:52:58 GMT
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>
    Police are conducting a death investigation after a burned body was found in the 500 block of 40th St. in Fairfield.Witnesses say the body was found in the backyard of a vacant home. There was a burned area in one spot of the grass behind the house and the back door was open. Police have yet to identify the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.More >>