Why Alabama Basketball Had A Players-Only Meeting After Scrimmage Loss To TCU

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BIRMINGHAM — Alabama’s basketball scrimmage on Sunday left a lot to be desired.

The Crimson Tide lost 99-69 in a game against the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas. In the closed scrum, Alabama brought out a few players, including Charles Bediako and Nimari Burnett. Coach Nate Oats told the SEC Men’s Basketball Media Day on Wednesday that both had minor injuries and “everything will be fine.” So their participation would probably have helped the score.

Still, the performance isn’t up to the standard the Crimson Tide will need this season. A glaring statistic: 22 turnovers against 13 for TCU.

So, after the scrum, guard Javhon Quinerly came up with the idea that the players should meet the next morning.

Quinerly, who is still nursing a left knee injury after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament March 18 at the NCAA Tournament, wanted everyone there on time. Everyone was, says Bediako. Noah Gurley, Burnett and the other returnees led the meeting.

“It was a really good conversation,” Bediako said. “Everyone was in agreement about what happened and what we needed to work on.”

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The words “players only meeting” often have a negative connotation. This is not the case for this one. Last season, Bediako said Alabama didn’t have meetings like this until mid-season in a year that had a lot of ups and downs and ended with an outing at the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“By starting (meetings) early, I think we’re fixing our stuff that we need to fix now,” Bediako said.

There was no litigation. No shouting or yelling, Bediako said.

“Definitely just being real,” Bediako said. “No sugar coat.”

The meeting lasted about 15-20 minutes. They broke a whiteboard. Gurley led this part.

“He was like a teacher,” Bediako said.

The makeup of this year’s roster is almost entirely different from last year. Only four main contributors go to Gurley, Bediako, Darius Miles and Quinerly. Burnett was on the roster, but he’s been out all season with a torn ACL.

Still, this group wants to learn from the mistakes of 2021-22 and make the necessary changes. It starts with those player-only meetings.

“Last year,” Bediako said, “there was a bit of complacency that resulted in what happened. Really with me, especially even now, I still want to find something, if there’s to another level that I can reach.

He hopes the team can do the same.

Alabama will host a charity exhibition against Southern Illinois at 2 p.m. on October 29. Next, The Crimson Tide will open the season against Longwood at 7:30 p.m. on November 7.

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