The game was over by halftime, with Bama leading 51-19. In all honesty, we did not play that much differently than we did against SeLA, but the shots were actually falling tonight. This is what the SeLA game should have looked like. The most important aspect of this game was the improved perimeter shooting. Riley, Gee, Hollinger, and Rico Pickett all made some shots from behind the arc. Nicholls State double and triple teamed Hendrix all day. With no other serious scoring threats from the post, we can expect to see a lot of that this year unless we can consistently shoot the 3 to keep defenses honest. Seeing the ball go through the net in a game situation like this should help our shooters get their confidence back.
I was disappointed that Tubbs did not get more playing time in this game. He played for 8 minutes, and did not attempt a shot from the field. This would have been a good chance to try to get his shot back on track, like we did with Riley, Hollinger, Rico, and Gee. I also do not understand why we put Hendrix and Gee back in the game with 8 minutes left and a 30 point lead. There is absolutely nothing good that could come out of that situation. I wish Knox would have got more than 8 minutes in this game.
We had more turnovers than I would have liked, but some of that was due to the walkons playing the final 3 minutes of the game. We played a 2-3 zone defensively for the better part of the game, and it was very effective. Given our advantage in both size and athleticism, I was somewhat surprised to see us run so much zone, but it proved to be a great move. Riley and Rico are both much better defenders in the zone than in the man, primarily because they are active and able to disrupt the passing lanes. I've never seen an offense like Nicholls State where their shortest player is also their center. They kept posting up a 5'9 guy in the paint, who would immediately pass the ball back out.
Hendrix only had 5 points, but he still played a good game. We dominated them on the boards, and Hendrix did a good job of finding the open man when he was double and triple teamed. If our guards so much as looked at Hendrix, the entire Nicholls State defense collapsed on him.
The crowd was a joke. They announced the attendance as over 8,000, but I would be willing to wager that there wasn't even 2,000 people actually there. I know a lot of Bama fans won't come out to support basketball if there is any football being played, but at noon on Saturday that was not the case. The students were still on campus, albeit many were probably preoccupied with studying for exams. Kids these days need to get their priorities in order, I would have never missed a basketball game to study! I did not even see the football recruits at the game. I would not be surprised if Coach Saban decided after the SeLA game, that taking them to a Bball game would not be a good recruiting tool, thanks to the dead atmosphere in Coleman these days. Come on people, if we are going to demand excellence out of this program, we can at least do our part by showing some support.
No more games until the Wofford Terriers come to town as part of the Las Vegas Invitational on December 17. Until then, good luck to all of our student-athletes on their final exams.