I got back from the game too late last night to post, but I agree that this generally was a sloppy game.
Perhaps the brightest spot was Bama's defense. Hendrix did a reasonably good job of keeping Davis in check. Davis is one of those marquee players whom my friend alcrtide suggests is protected by the officials. Like the Arkansas post men last week, Davis was allowed to shove Hendrix and Davidson out of positions underneath the basket and seemed to get almost every other rebound in the game. I was disappointed with Hendrix and Davidson's rebounding, but their numbers are not too bad given the way the game was played.
I believe the first-half Bama run was 18 to 2. I thought we were down 17 to 15 and scored 18 points before LSU got their second basket and began to cut into the lead.
The turnover numbers are not good, but LSU had more than we did until the last few minutes of the game. CMG teams seem to get rattled when they are pressured. My man Hollinger has trouble passing out of the double team and the players do not seem to recognize the press when it comes. They also sometimes look for the home run when they really just need to get the ball across midcourt. I am not sure where they should be spaced on the court in those situations, but the frequently do not look like they know what to do. I did see Riley run almost the full length of the court to give help on an inbouds play under the LSU basket, and even that inbound pass was almost intercepted. Bama needs some defensive packages like that.
While on the Hollinger subject, I think either Gee or Hendrix got credit for one of Brandon's rebounds. :-)
I thought our field goal percentage was lousy last night, perhaps due to the poor start (including Gee's going what seemed like 1 for 6 or 7 to start the game), but the numbers actually are pretty good - especially given the physical nature of the game and the fact that many of our layups and dunks were missed due to blocks (I can't belive LSU was credited with only three blocks!) and defensive pressure. We had trouble finishing on the fast break last night; LSU runs well and contested almost everything.
If Ron Steele is not going to be able to drive to the basket, we need to find a way to set screens to give him clean looks from outside the arc. I know CMG's offense can do that because we did it all the time for Earnest Shelton.
I wonder why we did not see Coleman or Torrence last night. I would have thought Yameen could have helped defend on Davis some. Tubbs played only one minute. I like Tubbs' defensive intensity and he will force opponents to defend him outside the arc which might open up some room for someone else.
All things considered, it was a good win. It probably looked as sloppy as it did primarily because LSU played good defense and the officials allowed all sorts of contact. I don't think the officials could hear me from my seat in the 29th row (I will be back in my regular seat next week), but I did not let their fairly even handed calling of the game keep me from complaining to them. They called a loose game, except for a few two minute spurts when they blew whistles for almost everything, but I wonder whether they do that from time to time just to keep things from getting out of hand. They also made one three-second call against each team. I had not seen a three second call in Coleman Coliseum that I could remember for about three years.
The crowd had a major impact in this game, especially the Marks Madness kids. Kudos to Marks Madness. I also like the fact that CMG is beginning to make situational substitutions. I might be stupid, but I don't think I've seen much of that out of him in previous seasons.
Let's hope Steele rests up and that we finally can get a win in Nashville. I like Vandy, but I am sick of losing to them. I hope CMG and the crew communicate that to the team.