Crimson Tide rolling the wrong way

Tony Mitchell and the Tide could use more help on the perimeter. AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo

Coming into this season, it was easy to find reasons why Alabama would improve in 2011-12. After all, the Crimson Tide went 12-4 in the SEC last year, they made it all the way to the NIT title game and Anthony Grant was bringing back his two biggest stars in JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell. What's not to like?

It's still early, of course, but to this point, Alabama's season has not gone entirely according to the script written by conventional wisdom. After last night's 62-54 win over Detroit in Tuscaloosa, Grant's team sits at 8-2. That's not disastrous, by any means, but in the past two weeks, the Tide lost a nail-biter at home to Georgetown and dropped a 12-point decision in their first true road game at Dayton. Those two losses coming so close together have many observers taking another look at Alabama. For our purposes, let's focus on the Tide's performance and isolate what will need to change if this team's going to make any noise at all come March.