Sunday, March 17, 2013

Florida Flusters Bama, 61-51



It took us over 3 minutes to get on the board, but thankfully we played good defense and Florida missed some open shots so we were still tied in the game.  It was an ugly, low scoring game, just what we wanted. We kept a hand in the face of their 3 point shooters and double teamed in the post throughout the first half to limit the cold shooting Gators and take a 3 point lead into the half.

The start of the second half was one of the key moments in the game.  While we stretched our lead out to 10 thanks to some turnovers and hot shooting, we were also called for 7 fouls in the first 5 minutes of the second half, including the 4th on Rodney Cooper.  (I thought the officiating was inconsistent, and Doug Shows in particular had a number of questionable calls.)  This left us too small at the 4 spot and necessitated a switch from the man to man defense that had been very effective to a zone.  We had an awful time trying to rebound out of the zone.  While Nick Jacobs had a good game offensively and kept us in the game, he did absolutely nothing to slow down the Gator's bigs on the other end of the court, which was disappointing after he had a great defensive game Friday against Tennessee.  Being in the bonus, Florida seemed to find their shooting stroke from the free throw line and that carried over to the field.  Shots that were not falling in the first half were suddenly finding the bottom of the net.

The Gators are a very talented team, and we seemed to get tight when they started making their run.  We had a couple of good shots, including a missed layup by Retin, that could have at least temporarily stopped the momentum.  Instead, this game was almost just like the one in Gainesville, we build a nice lead, go on a long scoring drought, can't get a single call from the officials, and lose by 10.

Another key play came with a little over 2 minutes remaining, we were down 6 and had just came up with a big stop, Levi had the rebound and we could have cut it to 4 or 3 that possession.  Instead, Levi was tackled from behind, lost the ball, no foul was called, Florida got an easy dunk to go up 8 and that pretty much ended any hopes of a comeback.

On the positive side, Trevor Lacey had a nice game, he went 3 for 6 from 3 point range including a couple of very difficult shots at the end of the shot clock.

This game was not nearly as well attended as the Tennessee game.  We had slightly more fans there than Florida, but all of the neutral observers were also pulling for the Tide, so we definitely had an advantage there.  The remaining Kentucky fans were pulling for us because they don't like Florida, and both the Vandy and Ole Miss fans were rooting for the Tide because they didn't want to play the Gators.

Up next, Selection Sunday this afternoon.  Jerry Palm still has us as his second team out, so technically you can make the argument that we are still on the bubble, but I don't think we have much chance of getting in, and frankly, I don't think we deserve to be in.  The NIT selection show is at 8pm tonight on ESPNU.  I expect us to be a 1 or 2 seed.


34 comments:

RAY said...

from a poster at al.com:

mbsob2

"Hey Don, I know you are defending Grant, but im sorry I have to do this...

Teams WE beat in 2010 NIT and where they are now..

Miami - Projected 2 Seed in NCAA tourny.
New Mexico - Projected 2 seed in NCAA tourny
Colorado - Projected 9 seed in NCAA tourny
Wichita State (lost to them in finals) - Projected 11 Seed in NCAA tourny.

What do all those schools have in common? They have all improved far greater than Alabama in the past 2 years. They also ALL have coaches who are paid less."

oh, and by the by, guess who picked the tournament champion???

"by the way, i'm picking OLE MISS to win the sec tourney. they are where you want your team right now. held on to beat bama at home. rolled into baton rouge and overcame a hot shooting lsu team to win on the road."

"happy's" head is exploding about right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFDa9efCQU

Rocky Mountain High Tide said...

It's strange to me that what Saban preaches over and over about overcoming adversity is what seems to be defining the Grant era, but in a bad way. I was watching the game today, and after Ole Miss went up 6, the Gators made their run and took the lead back. Unlike Bama, the Rebels didn't fold, went on their own run and are now dancing.


I agree with DJC when saying the turning point of the game were all those early fouls in the 2nd. It's almost like the refs decided at the half to call a tighter game. Everyone in the country knew the Gators would make a run. We should have been way more prepared. Grant waited way too long to call a TO. I was screaming for it when they scored 6 in a row. Our coach and players faced adversity dealing with a tighter called game and a Gator run and now we're going to the NIT. Florida was definitely beatable yesterday. They are better than us no doubt but that game was there for the taking.


Cecil Hurt had a great article today talking about how the program has reached a plateau and put the team on notice that a lot is expected next year. I think he summed up how the majority of the fan base feels and I'm glad he wrote the article in that manner. I really want to say CAG is a way better coach than CMG, but CMG took us dancing 5 straight years and to me that's the bottom line. Plus the SEC was one of the top conferences when we made that run. It's not now. All I know is CAG deserves next year but it better be one that ends with us in the NCAA.

crimsontider said...

CMG is twice the coach CAG is. Grant wont sniff the elite 8 ever, and he certainly will not go to 5 straight NCAAT.

bobbyjack said...

I'm hardly a Grant apologist, but xCMG was only as good as his asst coaches. When they left, he faltered. I don't think Grant has any reliable assistants he can lean on... which is his fault.

crimsontider said...

There both mediocre, but Grant won't touch Gottfried's success.

crimsontider said...

No, Finebammer how dare you expect any major improvement over a two year span. How dare you expect Anthony Grant to have any meaningful wins in March after 4 years. Just Give him about 8 or 9 more years and I promise we will start beating some relevant teams!

crimsontider said...

Alabama went 10-11 against winning teams this year, but yes I am suppose to see the improvement made by this clown after 4 years. Fire Anthony Grant!!!

crimsontider said...

Speaking of New Mexico, maybe Steve Alford is our man.

crimsontider said...

CAG does not want to go out and get good assistants, he wants to do it all by himself, for the same reason he will not let his players have any freedom, it is his way or the highway on every issue. He is in over his head, plain and simple.

Msmilie said...

Hmm, a valid argument, though I would like to know the percentage of players on those teams who were on those teams two years ago. Alabama has one player on the current roster (Releford) who played significant minutes two years ago (Steele was out with concussion symptoms and Engstrom didn't play much that season). I know for a fact the New Mexico and Miami rosters are chock full of players who played two years ago. Not sure about Colorado and Wichita. My point being that Alabama has gotten younger while those other teams have gotten older. Big difference.

Congratulations on your Ole Miss pick. Why would my head explode? Because you correctly picked a team to win the SEC Tournament? Okay.....brain exploding....ahhhh.....brain matter everywhere.......world ending.....dogs and cats living together.......ahhh....

I'm much more partial to this theme song, thank you very much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBcFjNUzFJ0

Msmilie said...

Oh stop it, you're being a bit dramatic at this point.

Msmilie said...

Dumbest comment you've made by far, and that's saying something.

Msmilie said...

Compare Grant's SEC record, road record to Gottfried through four seasons. Come on, man. I can dig you don't like Grant's style, but who can argue that Grant's teams don't defend and play with better effort than the teams we saw under Gottfried? The only thing Gottfried has on Grant at this point is that he recruited at a little higher level.

crimsontider said...

SEC record, and road record does not mean anything if you can't win anything meaningful in March. Alabama has talent Trevor Releford is one of the best PG's in the country, we had a top 5 recruiting class 2 years ago! The problem is coaching, and that has to change. At the very least Grant needs to make some staff changes, and prove that he does want to change, and is willing to put aside his ego to be successful at Alabama.

Msmilie said...

His ego? Are you a psychiatrist. I love guys like you and Finebammer. It's like you've discovered a door to Anthony Grant's psyche like Being John Malkovich. You've totally got him figured out. "He has an ego", "he isn't happy at Alabama", "he thinks he's better than me", "he was only hired and continues to have a job because he's black", "he sells military secrets to the Chinese", "he was born in Kenya", "he disfigures small children", etc. etc. etc.

crimsontider said...

When did I ever say, "He was only hired because he was black?" The point I was making was the same one I made in my reply to BobbyJack, Grant won't go out and hire good assistants for the same reason he refuses to let Trevor Releford run the offense, he is trying to do everything himself, he is in over his head.

Msmilie said...

Not you specifically, but I've seen Grant haters throwing that one around.

How do you know he is doing that? And who are you to say his assistants aren't good? What the hell do you know about coaching anyways? Dan Hipsher has been in the game a long time. He was the MAC coach of the year during his time at Akron. Brannen is the recruiting coordinator and has played a big role in recruiting the top 5 class you mentioned, and Pujols main role is in coaching the defensive assignments. You know, the defense that has been at or near the top of the SEC during the Grant tenure. It's a relatively young coaching staff outside of Hipsher in terms of experience, but that's really the only knock against them.

Rocky Mountain High Tide said...

I tend to agree with crimsontider here based on a few things I've seen up close over the years. But I would also say that CAG has begun to try new things and is learning, albeit too slowly for his salary. He is way improved over using his TOs. The game plans for UT and UF were great. I really hope someone like CM would sit down with CAG after the season and give him a few pointers. But CAG's success at UA may really come down to his ability to trust his assistants or at least bring in new ones.

crimsontider said...

Something has to change in terms of who coaches the offense, and just the entire offensive design and playbook in general.

Msmilie said...

I still don't understand the big hang-up about his salary. None of us are signing his checks. Why the hell do you care? And the criticism of him would still be ongoing whether he was making 2 mill, 1 mill or 500K. His salary is irrelevant to the debate.

crimsontider said...

He does not trust his assistants or his players, that is the problem. Big problem between him his players and his staff kept us out of the NCAAT this year, and that relates back to the head coach.

crimsontider said...

Because he is the 16th highest paid coach in the country, and is going to the NIT. Your salary reflects the expectations placed upon you, Grant came to Alabama with a lot of expectations, and has come up way short so far.

Msmilie said...

You can't be a good offensive team without balance. Last year, Alabama has a guy inside with Green who could score in the paint and open up the floor....but no one could make a damn perimeter shot. This year, the shooting has improved (Releford has really grown as a perimeter player, but I'm sure coaching had nothing to do with it) but there is no consistent post player to feed the ball to when shots aren't falling or the opposing defense limits the dribble drive. Grant will have inside/outside balance for the first time in his tenure next year. I guarantee the offense will be better.

Msmilie said...

If he was the 50th highest paid coach in the country, would you be happy with the NIT?

crimsontider said...

Another thing M, Where is that fast-paced offense Grant promised when he was hired? Is 4 years not enough to implement that offense?

crimsontider said...

No, but my blame would shift more to the athletic department than the coach.

Msmilie said...

Dude, it doesn't matter what logic I present you with, you're still going to hate Anthony Grant. This is pointless.

crimsontider said...

Fine I will address the balanced offense. I remember coming into the 2011 season we had a top 5 recruting class, and were suppose to be more balanced as our freshman were suppose to come in, and light the world on fire, but they didn't m, they didn't. I honestly think you have two much hope for our freshman next year, and I just fear we will hear similar excuses next year about how "young we are."

Msmilie said...

Dude, recruiting is not an exact science. Look at UK this year. Poythress, Goodwin and Cauley-Stein were expected to be can't-miss freshmen. Devonta Pollard was a 5 star McDonald's All-American. You can scout and scout and scout, but there really is no way to know how a freshman will perform until they're on campus practicing and playing in games. That's not to diminish a top 5 class. I truly believe that Lacey, Coop, Jacobs and Randolph will continue to improve over the course of the next two years.



I'll also share a belief with you. I don't know this for sure. I do not have a door that leads into the brain of Anthony Grant. But I believe his recruiting goal is to avoid players that are one-and-done. I believe he wants guys who he can develop for 2-3 years and then have guys ready to follow behind them. It's a mid-major way of doing things, except he's doing it with guys who are high major recruits. Easier said than done, but not a bad way to do it if he can pull it off.



I don't have too much hope in our freshmen next year, but they will serve a need in terms of depth. And talented guys like Hale and Taylor will really push Jacobs, Engstrom and Moussa to get better. It won't be perfect, but it sure beats the 2-man post rotation that we see right now. Plus, Grant is looking at several guards that could add further depth to a guard rotation that will already have plenty of experience next season.



Look, I've already gone on record that if Grant can't get it done with the roster it looks like he will have next year (assuming injuries and transfers don't come into play), I'll happily eat crow.

RAY said...

Happy, grant had players returning with game experience this year. Significant game experience. This whole "young" team thing is a cop out. If you want to use injuries as an excuse, I'll buy that. But then you have to deal with the unused schollies. Now all the state media from don kausler/b'ham news to Cecil Hurt/tusc. news is lobbying for grant getting another year. How's that working on the recruiting trail??

DJC said...

When did Grant ever promise a "fast paced offense?" I think people assume because he likes to press a lot, that he also likes to run, but that's not the case. He never ran an "up tempo offense" at VCU either.

Msmilie said...

No, it's not a cop out. Experience is more than just about playing games, it's about development of players. The freshmen and sophomores still have room to improve as players.

And the injuries are a pretty good excuse, in my opinion. Passink recently tweeted that if Engstrom doesn't go down, Bama is in the NCAA. He may have been reaching a little with that one, but I don't think it can be overlooked that the 1-5 stretch in December coincided with the injuries to Steele and Engstrom. One or both of those guys could have made a difference in home losses to Dayton, Tulane and Mercer. That 1-5 stretch is ultimately what cost Alabama a trip to the NCAA tournament.

They should be lobbying for him. The fact that there is even a remote chance of him being let go is ridiculous. I don't read enough Kausler to know, but Cecil Hurt hasn't exactly been a Grant apologist the last four years. If he's lobbying for the guy to get another year, I think that's telling.

crimsontider said...

Cecil's collumn was not lobbying for Grant.

crimsontider said...

What is ridiculous about it M? What makes you think that Grant will turn it around, and is the man for the job? I have made my points about why he is not the man for the job, and am curious why you think he is.