Notes: Down Tide to host LSU

TUSCALOOSA _ Although there’s obviously nothing good that came out of the University of Alabama men’s basketball loss to Auburn earlier this week, when the Crimson Tide scored just 37 points and saw a big first-half lead evaporate, at least senior guard Andrew Steele has some experience with trying to put a loss like that behind him.

Guard Andrew Steele has seen setbacks like this before, but this time it's with a younger team.

He and the rest of the team will try and have a short-term memory when Alabama hosts LSU on Saturday (7 p.m., ESPN2).

“Obviously losing hurts, no matter who it is, and when it’s against Auburn it hurts a little bit more,” Steele said. “The thing is the game is over with, we can’t go back and change it. What we can control is how we move forward. What we can’t do is let one loss turn into two or three.”

Regardless, Alabama’s offense woes have become a major concern as the Crimson Tide hasn’t scored 60 points against an opponent in nearly a month (75 at Mississippi State on Jan 16). Against the Tigers it scored just 14 in the second half, at one point had just one field over a 12-minute stretch (1-for-13, 0-for-7 from 3-point range and seven turnovers), and made just two 3s over the whole game.

It was exactly the kind of letdown that Alabama (14-8, 6-3 SEC) needed to avoid while chasing an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Consequently, its RPI ranking dropped to 69, and definitely on the outside looking in with nine league games remaining.

“As coach always says, you can’t really rush experience,” Steele said. “Some things you just have to learn by going through them.”

Although LSU (13-7) is 4-5 in league play, its won three straight including a 73-70 home victory over Missouri and one-point wins against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Led by sophomore guard Anthony Hickey (12.5), four LSU starters are averaging double digits, including junior guard Andre Stringer (10.9), who is third in SEC 3-point shooting and recently notched assist No. 200.

“Extremely dangerous from 3, has unlimited range,” Grant said. “They lead the league in steals. Between he and Hickey they do a good job just creating havoc from a defensive standpoint.”

Before the Auburn game, Alabama's previous scoring low this season was 50.

They said it …

“We have to play a lot better. We didn’t play well. Anytime you look at the offensive numbers that we put up, the defensive numbers that we gave up, it going to be tough to win in those situations when you don’t bring your best. We have to understand that.” – Grant.

“He’s a really good player. He impacts their team in a lot of ways. He’s one of those guys that you can’t necessarily shut him out, you hope to contain him and make it tough for him and limit his opportunities. He’s a good player and we just have to do a good against him and the rest of their team.” -- Steele on Stringer.

“Watching the film, I don’t think so. We never go in and try and designate the number of shots that each guy is going to get, the game kind of takes care of that. I think all these guys will tell you, the only thing we ask is to execute and take good shots. That’s what we try to do.” – Grant on if freshman forward Devonta Pollard is passing up shots.

Stoutland departure official

The Philadelphia Eagles announced the 20 coaches who will make up Chip Kelly’s staff, including former University of Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.

“Coach Stoutland did an excellent job with our offensive line along with each and every responsibility he had while he was here at the University of Alabama,” Nick Saban said in a statement. “We appreciate all that he did in terms of his time and his dedication in contributing to the success we’ve had over the last two years. He’s an outstanding coach and he will do a great job with the Eagles. We wish him and his family the best.”

Stoutland had a two-year contract with Alabama that was set to expire at the end of the month.

Crimson Caravan dates announced

The eight stop for this year’s Crimson Caravan were announced Friday:

April 25: The Terrace Club at Club Quarters Midtown New York, N.Y. 

April 30: The Wynfrey Hotel, Birmingham
May 2: Mobile Convention Center, Mobile
May 7: Von Braun Center, Huntsville
May 9: Wills Valley Recreation Center, Fort Payne
May 14: Harry Hinson Kiwanis Community Center, Andalusia
May 16: Turner Field, 755 Club Atlanta, Ga.
May 22: Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf, Orange Beach

Each event will begin at 6 p.m. local time. Special guests will join Saban at each stop, with the coaches’ trophy (otherwise known as the crystal football) from the BCS National Championship Game on display.

The 2013 Bowl Championship Series “Crystal Football” trophy will be displayed at each caravan stop.

Tickets may be purchased from the University of Alabama Athletics Ticket Office via rolltide.com or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 205-348-2262 (BAMA). Questions regarding tickets can be emailed to ticketoffice@ia.ua.edu.

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