Alabama isn’t panicking after a 24-point loss, Oats has been liking the mindset ever since

Relax, Nate Oats said Monday.

There’s no reason to overreact to his Alabama basketball team’s 24-point loss in Oklahoma on Saturday.

“There’s no need to panic,” he said a day before the Crimson Tide returned against Vanderbilt. “I mean, it’s basketball. There are 31 games.”

That means there’s a renovation going on after then-no. 2 Alabama (18-3, 8-0 SEC) saw its nine-game winning streak evaporate against an unranked opponent. Instead of taking Sunday off, they went live to practice for a while that evening to regain Norman’s missing lead.

Having Vanderbilt (10-11, 3-5 SEK) at the Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CT is more of a blessing of timing, Oats said. They’d rather get right back on the horse that kicked them three days earlier and left a 93-69 bruise from the Sooners.

The effort was the biggest concern as Oklahoma led by as much as 32, a stunning turn of events as Alabama was a heavy favorite on the road. The result was perhaps less surprising internally, as Oats said he saw that team have been absent for a number of weeks.

So was the non-conference what this team needed?

“I think we played poorly and got away from that,” Oats said. “Teams missed shots against us or sometimes missed free throws. This was a game that had Oklahoma locked in and they desperately needed a win.

TIED TOGETHER: The Alabama guard says Tide felt “untouchable” before Oklahoma slammed the No. 2 team

Alabama, on the other hand, had no fire in its stomach for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

“So yeah, if you don’t play with a sense of urgency and you don’t want to play hard, you have to lose the game,” Oats said. “That has to be clear, you can’t get away with that.”

Simpler: “We needed a wake-up call,” Oats concluded.

The effort looked very much like Alabama’s 100-90 loss to Gonzaga, which inspired the nine-game winning streak halted on Saturday. The reaction to the lackluster performance was obviously positive and Oats said he likes what he saw on Sunday and Monday.

Star freshman Brandon Miller said the coaches’ message about regaining the mental edge had been delivered.

“I feel like all of their messages are important,” he said. “I think everyone should listen to their coaches because they literally know everything.”

A teammate also broke an important message related to the Oklahoma loss. Jahvon Quinerly is the only remaining player from the 2020-21 team that won the SEC and made the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. That group, he told the locker room, also lost in Oklahoma in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge before going on a run. They finished the regular season and won seven of their last nine games before winning the SEC tournament for their first title in 30 years.

“The team of 21 made it possible,” said Oats. “We accepted this defeat and the boys regrouped, we had to play harder. Things don’t change unless you make them change.”

Vanderbilt has lost five of its last seven after winning three straight in late December and opening SEC play in January. Alabama handed the Commodores a 78-66 loss in the first game on Jan. 17 in Nashville, without top scorer and rebounder Liam Robbins, who is out with a sprained ankle.

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