Like last year, the Alabama basketball lost to TCU in a closed scrimmage. The skirmish was held at an undisclosed Birmingham gym, but stats leaked out and here are some things that jumped off the page:

1. Alabama was not at full strength

Due to various ailments, Nate Oats' team was without the services of guard Mark Sears [groin], center Mohammed Wague (foot)  and Mouhammed Dioubate are coming along but still limited in what they can do full speed.

“Everybody is not going to be available for our closed scrimmage and our exhibition game,” Oats said last week at SEC Media Days. “We do think everybody should be available by Game one, though.”

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2. This year's loss was much closer

Last year in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs destroyed Bama in that closed scrimmage, 99-69. Sunday, TCU only won 85-81, and Bama led by four with four minutes left in the practice.

3. Freshman Sam Walters could be a major contributor

Walters is a 6-10 freshman Florida lefty and he led all scorers Sunday with 29 points. Though not projected yet as a starter, Walters showed Oats and staff that he is quite the shooter and even managed a few inside buckets to boot.  He went 7-for-12 behind the 3-point line. That's strong.

4. Aaron Estrada is the real deal

The Hofstra transfer scored 19 points, which is no surprise for a guard who was the two-time Colontial Athletic Association Player of the Year. Oats has told people privately that it would be no surprise if Estrada ended up as the 2023-24 Tide's leading scorer. He is said to be dangerous from all three levels: behind the arc, driving to the hoop and mid-range.

5. Grant Nelson will likely live up to the hype

Nelson is a 6-11 power forward who can literally play all four of the other positions. He just missed a double-double Sunday with 13 points and nine rebounds. He is considered an NBA first round draft probable.

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