Nate Oats responds to ‘Tennis match’ comment about Alabama’s crowd
ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jay Williams had some pointed words for the crowd at Tuesday’s Alabama men’s basketball game against Clemson. UA announced 10,725 attendees for the 85-77 loss to the Tigers.
“What’s the point of playing at home if it’s not going to have a home-court advantage?” Williams asked on the game broadcast. “Like, this doesn’t feel like a home-court advantage at all for Alabama. This place is not packed, the fans don’t seem to be engaged, it seems to be more like a tennis match, and by the way, Clemson has been taking the air out of the building.”
Afterward, Alabama head coach Nate Oats began his press conference by praising the student section at Coleman Coliseum. He was asked how he would respond to Williams’ characterization of the environment.
“At times I’m sure it did (sound like a tennis match),” Oats said. “They called the timeout, I heard the crowd was great at times. We gotta give them something to cheer about to be honest with you.”
The Crimson Tide’s defense struggled mightily in the second half of the game, allowing Clemson to jump in front. Alabama also had troubles shooting the ball throughout, making just 34% of its field goals.
According to Oats, if the Tide wants a louder environment, it needs to become a tougher team.
“When you give up multiple offensive rebounds in one possession, it’s deflating,” Oats said. “It’s deflating to the coaching staff, it’s deflating to the crowd. Crowd gets a little upset with a lack of effort, as they should. We gotta do a better job making those tough effort plays that the crowd appreciates around here and I think the crowd will get into it a little more.”
Alabama will be back in action Monday in Tuscaloosa against Arkansas State.