Thoughts from Alabama’s win over Arkansas

Alabama guard Trevor Lacey (5) had 14 points and six rebounds. (AP photo by Vasha Hunt of Alabama Media Group)

Alabama guard Trevor Lacey (5) had 14 points and six rebounds. (AP photo by Vasha Hunt of Alabama Media Group)

Alabama beat Arkansas 59-56 at home Thursday night, giving the Tide four straight home wins by a combined 11 points. A few thoughts before heading out:

–Alabama isn’t a great team by any means, but the Tide has a chance to put together a pretty good first half of the season. The next two games are winnable even though they’re on the road — at Vanderbilt (8-11, 2-5 SEC) on Saturday and at Auburn (2-5, 8-12) on Wednesday.

The Crimson Tide (13-7, 5-2) is tied with Kentucky for third place in the league. The league might get as few as three bids to the NCAA tournament, so for Alabama to have any hope at all, it needs a good, long win streak in the conference.

–Alabama hasn’t scored more than 59 points in the last four games. It’s hard to imagine the Tide can keep winning with point totals like that, even though the players work hard on defense. If this team could score a little more, it could win a lot more. Of the seven losses, Alabama needed to score only 67 to win four of them.

Rodney Cooper played only 16 minutes and didn’t score. Alabama coach Anthony Grant said Cooper isn’t in trouble or hurt. Instead, Grant liked the lineup Alabama had on the court and Cooper didn’t play much because of “coach’s decision.”

–Alabama freshman forward Devonta Pollard (seven points, seven rebounds) contributed in his 18 minutes. Maybe Pollard could give the Tide more time on the court at the expense of Cooper.

Moussa Gueye, the 7-foot-0 junior, keeps improving inside. He finished with three points, seven rebounds and four blocks. He committed three fouls.

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