Mark Sears awarded the Hard Hat in annihilation of Kentucky
In one of the season's most anticipated matchups, Alabama ran the unranked Kentucky Wildcats out of Coleman Coliseum. A huge reason why was Mark Sears.
In Alabama's 26-point win, Sears dropped 16 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 40% from the field. In addition to his crucial impact on scoring and the glass, Sears also racked up 6 steals, the most an Alabama player has recorded since Trevor Releford's 6 steal performance against Robert Morris in 2014. His role in disrupting the Wildcat offense was the main reason he won the coveted Hard Hat award.
According to Nate Oats in his postgame presser, he said Noah Clowney told Sears. "Now that they've seen it, they're going to expect this defensive performance every night". Oats also stated that Clowney was right.
The former Ohio Bobcat wasn't the only Tide player to give it their all against Kentucky, as even when Alabama was leading the Wildcats by nearly thirty, players were still diving for loose balls and battling on defense.
If Sears continues to wreak havoc on the defensive end, in addition to his elite offensive output, it will make the Tide an even better and more dominant team.
Sears and Alabama are scheduled to go take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville on January 11 on ESPN2 before they return home on the 14th to take on the LSU Tigers.