We know backup post player Mo Wague will not play at Rupp Arena Saturday when No. 13 Alabama visits No. 17 Kentucky. We know Alabama needs the win to hang on to first place alone atop the SEC regular season standings. We know Alabama enters the game 19-7, 11-2 SEC coming off a home overtime win over Florida. We also know Kentucky comes in limping after a road upset at LSU and the Cats are now 18-8, 8-5. We know tip time is 3 PM CT.

What we don't know is how all that bodes for Bama. And we also don't quite know despite a positive hint on his Instagram Thursday whether guard Latrell Wrightsell will be availalbe.

Or do we? Nate Oats addressed that and more when he spoke to the media Friday morning. Here's a snapshot:

Opening Statement

Tuscaloosa Thread logo
Get our free mobile app

"Big road game. Kentucky may be he most talented team in the league going by NBA  draft boards.

"Up until that LSU that road win at Auburn was the best they'd looked all year.

"We're going to have to play well. We're going to get their best game.

"Coach Cal is trying to get his guys to guard a lot better as am I.

"Maybe the first team to 100 wins.

"They're guard play's great. They've got the talent to be a great defensive team.

On Wrightsell and Sam Walters

"Trelly's still being evaluated day to day. We will practice in Lexington tonight and see how today goes.

"We need Sam Walters to play well. Sam's capable of making shots. We need Sam to continue stepping up on defense.

"Even if Trelly can go, it'd still be huge if Sam can play well for us."

On Mo Wague's suspension

"I didn't see the play. I had no idea it happened until after the game. I did have a talk with him. That's not something we do. He apologized to the kid in the handshake line, but there's still consequences. If the SEC didn't suspend him, we would have suspended him."

On freshman Kris Parker

"He's coming along. We're still redshirting him. We don't want to ruin his eligibility, but  he could step into a game and help us now. His defense is good and his shooting is improving."

On guards rebounding

"You've seen Aaron Estrada push getting a triple double several times this year. I think Sears, Estrada, Wrightsell and Rylan Griffen are  all good rebounders.
"Sometimes your guards have to get defensive rebounds and we've been doing a better job of it."
On Kentucky's guards

"Kentucky's back courts is one of the best in the nation. Antonio Reeves is one of the best shooters in the SEC. DJ Wagner's very good. Rob Dillingham off the bench is the top rated American guard in the draft. That tells you how talented the back court is. Dillingham can score at a high level. Reed Shephard is a projected lottery pick who doesn't miss open shots.

"Kentucky has future pros on this roster."

Alabama Men's Basketball's Top Career Rebounders


More From Tuscaloosa Thread