In a standout performance, freshman Sam Walters stole the spotlight, scoring a career-high 16 points to propel No. 22 Alabama to a resounding 102-46 victory over South Alabama on Tuesday night.
Walters, demonstrating flawless accuracy, went 4-for-4 from the field, including three successful 3-pointers, in just 16 minutes of play. His 16-point contribution played a pivotal role in securing the Crimson Tide’s third consecutive win of the season. Walters should get plenty of playing time early on this season especially during blowout wins such as the one last night.
Those who know Sam or have seen him play know that he can shoot, which is great to see especially seeing some three pointers fall for him. Alabama has been working with Walters to guard on defense better. Walters attempted to guard for a good chunk of the previous game and fouled out in eight minutes. The freshman did a much better job this game of playing physical but not fouling out. That is something that Walters will want to continue to work on as the season progresses.
Walters’ performance was a significant factor in Alabama’s ability to bounce back after briefly trailing early in the game. South Alabama made three of its first six 3-point attempts, but the Crimson Tide’s defensive efforts limited the Jaguars to only 17% shooting from beyond the arc.
Alabama of course is led by guard Mark Spears, forward Grant Nelson and Guard Aaron Estrada. All three of those players are averaging over 17 points per game to start the season. Walters’ impressive display drew attention, with his 16 points coming in a mere 16 minutes, solidifying his status as a rising star for the Crimson Tide. We should see Walters continue to get opportunities. This is very similar to Tre Mann who started off with modest games before exploding his Freshman and Sophomore season with the Gators. Mann now plays for the Thunder in the NBA.
Alabama (3-0) continues its winning streak and looks ahead to hosting Mercer on Friday. That will conclude a four-game home stretch to start the season. We are excited to see the former Villages basketball star continuing to impress this year. There is much work to be done but Alabama looks primed for another run at a possible SEC championship this year.