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SEC Basketball: 5 storylines to watch as 2023-24 league play gets going

SEC basketball already has it's own share of storylines as two teams already have 12 wins as the mid-season approaches. Take a look at five storylines to watch as league play heats up.

Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Lamont Paris
Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Lamont Paris / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama should use early losses as motivation

The Alabama Crimson Tide have already faced their fair share of adversity heading into league play this Saturday as last year's regular season and conference tournament champion. They'll have their work cut out for them in conference action but expect them to play with a big chip on their shoulder, given their high-scoring offense. They had a tough non-conference schedule which brought its fair share of challenges.

The Crimson Tide are one of the top offensive teams in college basketball, so far. They rank first in college basketball in scoring offense (92.8 points per game) despite their current 8-5 record. They hit a rough patch in the ranked portion of their non-conference schedule. They lost three straight games to Purdue, Creighton and Arizona before closing out the slate with two victories over Eastern Kentucky and Liberty.

Mark Sears is healthy and leading the charge in the backcourt with 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game while transfer Grant Nelson is starting to find his stride in the frontcourt. He's posted 14.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. Sam Walters is starting to find his way off the bench as well. He's shooting 51.6 percent from 3-point land while averaging 7.0 points per contest.

With three losses to ranked opponents and losses to Ohio State and Clemson, Alabama isn't in the worst shape, they'll just need to right the ship in conference play. As last year's regular season and conference tournament championship, they'll certainly get everyone's "best" game, but they have the pieces to compete.