Alabama basketball coach and coach Nate Oats are prepping to face Vandy on the road at 2:30 Saturday. Oats met the media Friday to preview that game. Here's a look:

Opening Statement

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"Looking forward to SEC play. I think the scheduling prepared us. We didn't have as many quality wins as we'd like to have.

"We've had some tough games at Vandy. They play us tough up there. I think Stackhouse is one of the best coaches in the league.

"If you make a mistake defensively they're going to expose it. Their backcourt is very good.

"We've got to do a better job guarding.  Since the Arizona game I think our guys have been locked in on defense."

On where improvements have come

"On the defensive end for sure. Can we guard without fouling? Can we rebound better? Those have been points of emphasis."

On the Memorial Gym 'Curse'

"Vanderbilt is a tough place to play the way the shooting background is. It's different than any arena in the league.

"I don't believe in curses. In the the three games we've had we've played well enough to win. We have had games there that should not have been as close as they were."

On Aaron Estrada

"Liberty was the bests game he's played. He's learning how to attack. He's figured a lot of things out. We've got to get him a triple double this year. He's playing his best basketball right now."

On Metrics

"Most websites that measure metrics have us in the top 10, but there's got to be a competitive edge about you. You're up 10 against Purdue, you've got to figure out a way to win.

"Our shooters are in the gym all the time. Our offense is the most efficient in the country, but when it's time to win the game, we don't compete enough.

"In four of the five of our losses, we've had a 6-point lead in the second half with a 75 per cent chance to win the game.

"We've got to do a better job coaching and get better leadership.

"Competitive edge is something some guys have more than others. Some of it can be coached.

"I haven't done as good a job getting this group to be competitive. I've got to do a better job making them tougher."

 

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