The Alabama Crimson Tide lost their first SEC game at home this season, to the Tennessee Volunteers. Nate Oats has emphasized Alabama's need for improved defense all season.

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Alabama's defense stepped up against Tennessee and Dalton Knecht, holding him to just 13 points after he dropped 39 against the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday. But when Alabama's defense rose to the occasion, their offense disappeared, scoring just 74 points, with three players in double figures.

Nate Oats talked on Monday about the upcoming matchup against the Florida Gators, provided an injury update on Latrell Wrightsell Jr., and talked about Alabama's players being in foul trouble.

Alabama is likely out of the SEC title race after the loss to Tennessee. The Volunteers need to win just one of their last two games to win the SEC regular season title, while Alabama would need to win out. Oats doesn't want that to change how his team competes, "If you're a high character competitor you compete no matter what's on the line."

Oats talked a little bit about the Florida game and not having Latrell Wrightsell Jr. the second time, "Florida outplayed us for 30 minutes in that (last) game. ... It took us overtime to get it ... I think that was our first game without Wrightsell, and we had to figure out what we were going to do without him. ... we know a little better now. Cosby is playing more now."

Oats also provided an update on Wrightsell's injury. Wrightsell was seen practicing ahead of Alabama's game against Tennessee, but missed his fourth straight game with an injury, "He's been doing some basketball skills. He's gotta get to a point where he can practice and then not have any type of headache the following day."

Alabama has relied heavily on Mark Sears and Aaron Estrada with Wrightsell missing. Sears has played 38 or more minutes in every game since Wrightsell was injured in practice.

Alabama has dealt with foul trouble due to a tighter rotation without Wrightsell. Nelson has fouled out the past two games for Alabama, although they may not have been legitimate fouls, "It would be great if he didn't have cheap fouls called on him. I thought those last couple were a little tough."

Alabama takes on the Florida Gators on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m. CT. The game will be carried on either Tide 100.9 or 95.3 The Bear, depending on Alabama Baseball schedule restrictions. 

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