Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Short Handed Bama Beats Cocks

Bama overcame another slow start and a bunch of injuries to get the win.  Ricky Tarrant remains out with his foot injury, Mike Kessens was a late scratch for some type of injury, I can only assume it's his knee that has been bothering him at times throughout the year, and Shannon Hale hurt his foot early in the second half.  This left us incredibly short, but the remaining players made the necessary plays to win.

We started out in a 10-3 hole in yet another painful to watch first half.  The pace was slow and South Carolina was very physical on defense.  We ran into problems on numerous occasions late in the shot clock.  Thankfully, we actually shot well from the perimeter which allowed us to draw even at halftime, 22-22, and build a lead early in the second half.  

It looked like the game was going to take a turn for the worse when Jimmie Taylor picked up his 4th foul with 12 minutes to play in the game.  We had an 8 point lead at the time, but with Kessens already out with an injury this left us with no big men.  Predictably, USCe murdered us on the glass.  They outrebounded Alabama by 10, and 17-6 on the offensive glass.  With Jimmie on the bench, it seemed like the Cocks could pound the ball inside and score every possession.  

Thankfully, our guys had the answer.  We managed to keep it close until Taylor got back in the game late and provided us with some stops and rebounds.  Levi bounced back from his awful game against UGA and scored 17 points while playing 38 minutes.  I thought he made some key baskets for us down the stretch.  Retin had another solid game with 14 points and Coop also bounced back with 11 points, including a couple of dunks that awakened the small gathering of spectators and gave us some momentum.  

Another big improvement from the UGA game came at the charity stripe.  We made 9 of our last 10 free throws to put the game away in the final minutes.  

As an official, I really dislike Ted Valentine's antics on the court.  Good officials are the ones you never notice.  In dealing with coaches, you should recognize that it is a passionate game, give them some reasonable leeway to vent and complain, and answer questions and communicate in a professional manner.  Teddy goes out of his way to draw attention to himself every time he makes a call.  In the first half, Coach Grant apparently noticed the same thing that I did, and said something to the officials about Carolina's excessive hand-checking in their man-to-man defense.  Grant was not making a scene, nor asking for a response.  Teddy felt the need to delay putting the ball in play and approach Grant, yelling at him loudly enough that I could clearly hear him say repeatedly, "your guys are doing the same thing, you really don't want me to start calling that."  At another point, after he made a questionable call against us, and we were setting up the press at the other end of the court, he walked all the way down in front of our bench before taking his rightful spot in front of the SC bench to officiate the press.  

The crowd was pathetic.  I would estimate no more than 4,000 or so there, and they were generally not very passionate nor knowledgeable.  At one point I overheard someone who had moved down from the rafters sitting near us explain to his child why we got the ball on a back-court violation.  The problem is, the officials called a 10 second violation on that particular play.  The Stars Wars theme could not have been a bigger bust.  Between the small disinterested crowd and creepy people wandering around aimlessly dressed as Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers, it had the atmosphere of a minor league baseball game without the cheap beer.  And I say that as someone who loves minor league baseball, but it's not an ideal environment for a college basketball contest.  They simultaneously had a "wear blue for diabetes awareness" campaign that was announced less than 24 hrs before the contest and was basically a flop.  I'm all for supporting a good cause, but unless I knew it would magically make us play like Kentucky, I'm not wearing blue to a UA basketball game.  

Up next, another shot at revenge, as we travel to our house of horrors in Nashville to take on Vandy in Memorial gym.  The game will start at 3pm and will be televised on FSN.  

7 comments:

CTider said...

The star wars thing is just representative of what an embarrassment this basketball program is to the university. There is nothing positive about the current state of the program. Nothing. It's sad, because there was a time when basketball was respectable around here. Now it's a joke and is treated like one by our AD.


DJC, do you think Tarrant will play again this year?

DJC said...

I disagree about there being "nothing" positive. We have a group of players who represent our University with class and play their asses off every night. I appreciate the fact that they haven't quit, but other than that I agree with everything you said.


My gut feeling on Tarrant is no, but just to be clear, I don't know any more than anybody else. I also fear Hale's injury may be pretty bad. This is just based on the fact that he was taken to the locker room for X-rays, and he looked pretty bummed sitting on the bench afterwards.

CTider said...

Kudos to the players for staying out of trouble and maintaing a high graduation rate. I probably should have mentioned that. I stand by everything else though.

djcarr1 said...

Not to step on anyone's toes, but for the diabetes awareness and Star Wars night promo, you are wrong sir. First off, the Diabetes Awareness "blue-out" was announced more than 24 hours prior to the game. It was actually announced about 5 days prior to the game ( http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/021915aab.html ). The Star Wars night promo was not actually planned by UA Marketing. The Supe Store planned for them to be on campus. The characters were on campus taking pics and promoting the Bama Star Wars merchandise at the Supe Store. Since they were already on campus that day, UA Marketing made a last minute move the day before and placed them on the promo for the game. That is the reason why not many knew it was Star Wars night. I'm not sure if you all are making remarks based on your standing with this team, but please make sure that you know what's going on before you say things.

CTider said...

Ok, Bill

DJC said...

Fair enough. The diabetes thing may have been announced 5 days prior to the game, but I follow this team about as closely as anyone and I didn't hear about it until the day before. I don't think many people check rolltide.com on a daily basis. As for the Star Wars thing, it was poor decision by UA marketing to have them at the basketball game, and I'm sure they didn't agree to that extra appearance for free. I will concede that the marketing department likely did not come up with the idea given the Supe Store promo, but it wasn't a "last minute" decision, it was announced at the previous home game, unlike the Diabetes thing.

Drifter said...

lol