Nate Oats: A few Alabama players broke down after the win, bottling up grief

Outside the locker room, it was enterprise as regular Tuesday night time in Nashville.

The No. 4 The Crimson Tide basketball workforce had simply received its seventh-straight recreation, 78-66 over Vanderbilt, and the visiting followers had been able to rejoice. An acapella Rammer Jammer serenaded the workforce after the closing buzzer and hometown favourite Brandon Miller’s 30-point night time obtained a curtain name.

Inside that dressing room, nevertheless, was a a lot completely different scene.

This was a workforce simply days faraway from seeing now-former teammate Darius Miles arrested for capital homicide for his alleged involvement in an early-morning taking pictures. Alabama coach Nate Oats stated he did not see a lot emotion from his workforce earlier than tipoff in Memorial Gymnasium.

“But, he stated, “I did see some guys break down postgame. I feel they had been bottling some stuff up. You know, we had a job to do. We needed to get to the recreation, bought to the recreation, took care of enterprise after which it is nearly like there is a large aid the recreation is over and we set free a sigh of aid.”

Miles was a veteran on this workforce however an harm and inflow of younger expertise meant much less taking part in time this season. After two weeks away to cope with a private matter, the junior from Washington DC was again on the bench for Saturday’s win over LSU. He celebrated with the workforce in the locker room however simply hours later, he was allegedly concerned in the taking pictures dying of 23-year-old Birmingham mom Jamea Jonae Harris.

Miles was taken to jail Sunday afternoon and the workforce started the grieving course of quickly after.

“We’re attempting to make use of it to deliver the workforce nearer collectively,” Oats stated Tuesday after the recreation. “It’s a tragic state of affairs and we really feel terrible for any a part of or anyone in our program needed to do with it however we’re attempting our greatest to be taught inside our group to make higher decisions and we’re praying for Jamea and her household, her son particularly. She left a 5-year-old right here. So, the complete state of affairs wants a variety of prayer.”

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For Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse, the complete state of affairs and timeline had been laborious to course of.

“I am unable to fathom how they’d even be capable to play on this recreation,” Stackhouse stated.. In my pregame speech, I even put a damper on for the guys as a result of I used to be like, we should always actually simply exit and honor the victims, honor this child that everyone knows and have competed towards whose life is modified perpetually. Just exit and be grateful. I imply, this recreation means nothing.”

Stackhouse then crumbled up the stat sheet on the desk in entrance of him.

“Nothing,” he continued. “I damage for his household, that younger woman’s household who’re dropping their family members tonight and we’re right here with a basketball recreation.”

Oats acknowledged everybody responds on a distinct timetable.

“Some of them most likely dealt with it a little bit bit higher,” Oats stated in his postgame interview on the SEC Network, “and a few of them appeared like perhaps they had been nonetheless in a fog tonight. But hopefully, by Saturday, we’ll have everyone again in a greater mind set.”

RELATED: Nate Oats talked to Ray Lewis about Darius Miles arrest: ‘He went by way of an analogous state of affairs’

Alabama (16-2, 6-0 SEC) will play on the highway once more Saturday, this time at Missouri.

The grieving and therapeutic course of will not finish with the emotional launch in the postgame locker room Tuesday.

“I feel the guys want a while … a variety of time,” Oat stated. “I imply, the guys have been utilizing the sources from the college with the counselors and I feel extra of them will see some counselors tomorrow. It’s a tough state of affairs pregame however I feel they bought themselves locked in and able to go.”

Alabama players took footage and signed autographs with the giant group of followers who caught round outdoors the locker room after the recreation.

This is a workforce on a historic run, maybe the most gifted workforce in the program’s fashionable period, though the celebration was considerably dulled on an odd Tuesday in Nashville throughout every week no one concerned can nonetheless totally comprehend.

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande okay Facebook.

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