The 2010 version of the "Rocket 8" took care of business in the first real road game of the year. In the second half we got a little sloppy at times, giving up some easy baskets and turnovers. Toledo was able to cut our 23 point lead to 13, but everytime they made a run we would answer with a basket to keep the lead fairly comfortable. We forced a lot of turnovers, but I fear we will not be able to press as much against SEC competition with only 8 players. We need to get our guys back, and fast. Torrance had a much better game than he did against TSU. Knox and Green were too much to handle down low. Toledo is a bad team, but kudos to Coach Grant and the team for staying focused and handling the pressure of playing on the road. Walkon Justin Luquire contributed some minutes to give some rest to the 8 scholarship players. We did a much better job of defending the perimeter, which was the key to getting the win.
With that, the Tide finishes with a 10-4 non-conference record against the toughest non-conference schedule in the SEC. 3 of our 4 losses were to opponents who are currently ranked in the top 25. We have good wins against Providence, Baylor, and Michigan. In fact, we are the only team to beat Baylor to this point. I would say the first non conference schedule of the Coach Grant era was a huge success, and exceeded expectations. I still think making the NCAA tournament might be a bit of a stretch for this team, but we have a good resume to this point, and if we could get to 9-7 in the conference and win a game or two in Nashville, we will at least be in the bubble conversation.
Up next, a trip to Baton Rouge to take on the Bayou Bengals. Tip off is set for 4 pm CST and will be televised on FSN. Hopefully Alias and some other gulf coast area Bama fans will represent us in red stick. I'm not scheduled to get back to BHM from Cali until late Friday night, so I'm going to have to sit this one out. RTR!