Sunday, January 28, 2007

Crimson Tide in tailspin... lose at home to the Hogs

A generally miserable game that got interesting in the final 5 minutes. Regardless, a disappointing loss. Thanks to "T" for getting me some sweet center court seats... just wish the results would've been different.

Box score and recap from CBS sportsline

The good:
- Tubbs, Jemison, and Hendrix. Those three were the reason we didn't lose by 30. They sparked that late 2nd half run to make it a game. Tubbs and Jemison better see more PT.
- The Crimson Cabaret. The best part of the game. Entertaining and really easy on the eyes.
- The band. My 1 year old was digging them... which made watching the game a lot easier. Thanks to the band.
- Mark's Madness. The "Playing for Arkansas. So easy a caveman can do it" sign with Hill's photo was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Good stuff.
- We forced 19 turnovers... seemed like 13 of them were in the last 8 minutes.

The bad:
- Davidson, Steele, and Riley. Davidson with his lazy passes (I counted 3 that lead to turnovers) and playing 15 feet from the basket, Steele being tentative (again) with his shot, and Riley couldn't throw it in the ocean. Did I mention none of them played a lick of defense (Steele tried, but he just can't at 50%)?
- Not fighting through screens... again. Hill did an excellent job of getting Beverley open shots.
- 22 of 59 FG and 1 of 14 beyond the arc. We're not going to win many games shooting like that.

Commentary:
Davidson needs to ride the bench more as he's non-existent on the boards, playing like he's 6'2" instead of 6'10", getting owned on the defensive end, and just generally not looking like he in the game. Alabama made their run with him on the bench...

Steele played 33 minutes which is an improvement over 38 and 39, but it's still too much. He's been ineffective all month and shows no signs of getting better. He's also getting owned on the defensive side by every guard he's matched up against.

It's time to bench Riley. If we can't set screens for him he really doesn't need to be out there as much as he is. JD and RH should set screens for him, but I guess that's not in the playbook. Riley is also very weak on the defensive side... he might be worse than Steele.

Someone get Gee under control. He's trying to force the issue too much offensively. The effort is there, not the execution. Then again, as bad as the offense has looked I guess I really can't blame him...

In closing, this team is in free fall mode. We have the talent to bounce back, but will we? IMO nothing will change until the coaching staff makes the players responsible for their play (read- sit their asses down when they continuously look like hot garbage). As we saw yesterday the bench can play (and if Torrance and Coleman had a chance I'm sure they'd be OK) so use them more CMG. I said if this team doesn't win the SEC regular season, the SEC tournament, or make it to the Sweet Sixteen this is a failed season and someone's going to have to look long and hard at what Alabama basketball should be. I might be in the minority, but I expect more than simply an invitation the NCAA tournament and 1st or 2nd round exits. Now I know why NC State fans wanted Sendek gone last year... they were tired of just being in the top 64.


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