The Emergence of Another Tide Hoops Freshman
Most of the attention of the 2022-2023 Alabama basketball team has been diverted to the freshman class. Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney and Jaden Bradley earned starting roles and have since received national recognition and NBA Draft consideration.
The odd-man out of Alabama's No. 3 ranked 2022 recruiting class that has not received as much recognition is Rylan Griffen.
Griffen was a highly ranked four-star recruit from Richardson, Texas whose shooting really captivated the attention of Nate Oats. Griffen and transfer Dom Welch were brought in to fill the shooting void left by the departures of Jaden Shackelford and Keon Ellis.
Griffen was electric off the bench to start the season. He averaged 15 points in his first two games. However, he was struggling to make his three point attempts making only four of his first 24 shots from beyond the arc.
The last month and a half of 2022 was a rough stretch for Griffen, The freshman only made six threes in nine games. He gradually fell behind the big shadow cast by Miller, Clowney and Bradley who were asserting themselves as starters.
Things started to turn around in January for Griffen as he began to not only take more shots but make more. He has played a significant role in Alabama achieving an undefeated 9-0 record in conference play as he has shot 40% or better from distance in half of the games.
Griffen was one of the only highlights in Alabama's 93-69 loss to Oklahoma. He tallied 15 points off the bench and made three from deep. He responded with another double-digit performance in Alabama's dominating win over Vanderbilt Tuesday.
The talk of Griffen's performance against the Commodores wasn't just his shooting but also his defensive effort. Nate Oats demanded better effort from the team after the embarrassing loss to Oklahoma, to which Griffen responded.