The Belmont Bruins brought a veteran squad to Coleman Coliseum and left with a well deserved and hard earned win. Bama's younger players made a contest of it but the Bruin's experience prevailed in the end.
Being the "super" fan that I am, I did not know the game was on television and thought tip off was at 7:00. When I turned on my radio at about 6:50 the half time score was Belmont 50 - Bama 45. I did not jot down the halftime statistics but Belmont apparently shot between 50 and 75% from outside the arc in the first half. Here is a link to the final box score.
Bama did defend the perimeter much better in the second half, but they forgot to box out underneath the basket. If we are lucky this team will continue to take baby steps and improve as the season progresses. Tonight the differences in the game appeared to be Belmont's second chance points in the second half, Belmont's three point shots in the first half, and Bama's being stone cold outside the arc and from the free throw line.
All things considered, I am not discouraged by tonight's loss. I do not know what happened in the first half, but the offense seemed to bog down with either Hollinger and Torrance at the point. Pickett did not appear to make any more mistakes than the other two but he did seem to add some energy into the offense. They looked either fatigued or confused at a couple of points, but for the most part it seemed that the players moved pretty well without the ball. They hustled up both ends of the court and were beat back on defense only a few times. I liked the way they moved the ball around. The point guards frequently looked frustrated and tended to dribble toward the basket when the clock ran down, but they did not seem to have a feel for what to do with the ball when they were blocked off. Bama suffered several other turnovers trying to make inlet passes, but at least they made them at full speed.
The team still does not appear to be fundamentally sound and looks about as confused as a novice observer would expect them to be. But they were moving much better on both ends of the court than in years past and the four guys who were not dribbling the ball did not stand around waiting to get the rebound after the point guard missed a three point shot or driving lay up.
All things considered, this is about what I expected. I hope CMG continues to use lots of players and to involve the younger players into the game. I wonder why we never saw Coleman. I would think that we will need him to contribute several times this year, especially if Hendrix will continue to get gassed like he did toward the end of tonight's game.
I will drive to T-town Friday night so my report will be posted quite late. If you read this early, then I encourage you to check back on the blog before you go to bed tonight. One of the most knowledgeable Bama Basketball fans I know has agreed to contribute here on as regular a basis as he can. I'm hoping he posts something when he gets back to Birmingham after having attended tonight's game.