Like the rest of Alabama Hoops Nation, Nate Oats had a tough time watching his team lose in Knoxville 91-71 to No. 6 Tennessee. Here's how Oats broke down the disaster in Knoxville:

Opening statement

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"They were tough. When you give up  40 points on turnovers and second chance points you're not going to win games. We weren't great on defense either.

"I told our guys we lost up here last  year and still won the league.

On effort of his team

"They played harder than we did. When the other team plays harder than you, effort's an issue. I've got to do a better job getting these guys ready to go.

"Bigger issue was toughness and learning to handle physicality."

On second chance points and turnovers

"You've got to box out better. We were making dumb fouls.

"As far as turnovers, we were averaging 12. Mark Sears is our primary ballhandler and he had seven. We cant have Rylan Griffen having five turnovers.

"We've got to be smarter and stronger with the ball."

On playing a physical team and preparing for it

"We tried to tell the guys what it was going to be like. You've got to experience it. You can't replicate it. You've got to show more toughness than we did."

How UT defended Mark Sears

"They got up into him and pressured him. They denied passing lanes. He struggled a little bit. We've got to help him with a better plan."

On Dalton Knecht's 25 points

"He was killing us coming off screens. He's been killing everybody. We didn't do a very good job on him. He killed us when it mattered."

On UT's defense vs. 3-pointers as Bama shot 4/21

"They didn't get beat off the dribble. They were right there on there. We didn't have kickouts like we usually do. They just fly at you. They play hard. They did a great job.

"Coach Rick Barnes had a great game plan. Best job anybody's done on us defensively."

 

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