Things have not gone well for the Alabama men's basketball program over the last week. After a great start to SEC play knocking off Tennessee at home then Florida on the road, the Crimson Tide have lost back-to-back games, something they did not do all of last season.

With a road matchup against a Missouri team that had struggled all year and had multiple of its top players out, Alabama really should have dominated the Tigers in Columbia. Instead, the opposite happened, with the Tide playing probably its worst game of the season, trailing by 22 at one point in the second half and ultimately falling 92-86.

Coming back home to take on Auburn, a top-5 team in the nation, presented a fantastic opportunity to get back on track and gain some momentum going forward. But Alabama came up flat once again, letting the game slip away in the second half once again only to mount a too-little-too-late comeback attempt.

Something this team has struggled with all year is toughness and physicality, and James Rojas is someone who can bring exactly that. Rojas suffered his second ACL tear during practice last June has been rehabbing and recovering since. According to head coach Nate Oats, Rojas is close to working his way back into the lineup.

"Rojas is getting closer. He's been able to do some live stuff in the half-court in practice. ... Maybe looking possibly at LSU next week," Oats said Friday morning in his media availability to preview tomorrow's now virtually must win matchup on the road against Mississippi State.

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With things starting to slip a bit for Alabama, Oats and the entire team could sorely use a strong physical and leading presence like Rojas to try to help get things back on track.

Matchup wise, things are not going to get any easier for Alabama with numerous highly ranked opponents on the schedule over the next month. Tide fans should be hopeful that adding a presence such as Rojas could help to turn things around for this team before things start to spin out of control.

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