Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bama barely beats Bilikens, Bama 62 Stl 57

Disclaimer : I'm posting this from my tablet on my flight home, so please forgive any typos.
Obligatory strip at night pic

A win is a win, I suppose, but we are not a very good team right now.  Once again we struggled against the zone and couldn't finish near the basket.  This team misses more bunnies than Elmer Fudd.  An even bigger concern, to me,  is we are playing way below our potential defensively.  We aren't closing out on shooters and aren't communicating.  There is no way a team like Stl should be 40% from 3 point land against us.

St. Louis was in control for  nearly the entire game, but we made the plays and they fell apart down the stretch, as we closed the game on a 17-3 run to avert disaster.

On the bright side,  Braxton Key is emerging as a star player. He scored 16 points and may prove to be that "go to" guy we've been looking for.  Dazon had 10 pts but 5 turnovers is way too many, although a couple weren't really his fault as Hale wasn't paying attention and not expecting the ball.

I question some of Coach Johnson's decisions this game. I don't understand why we played so much zone. It led to the aforementioned 40% from outside and being out rebounded by an inferior team.  If we are going to go 12 deep, we need to take advantage of our numbers and press more.  I understand not pressing against teams like Dayton and Valpo with talented, experienced back courts, but we could and should have easily ran these guys out of the gym.

Also, the Chinese fire drills substitutions, particularly in the first half, has got to stop. We are hesitant and have no chemistry as guys aren't used to playing together.

I told Bobbyjack that Hale was going to struggle as soon as he was responsible for a turnover the first time the ball was passed in his direction. when things don't go his way early, it's usually going to be a long night. I would have taken some minutes from him, but to his credit he did make a huge 3 late in the game.  Also, Davis is going to have to stop jacking up bad shots when he is off .

Frankly,  Corban and AJ Jr are the only ones who played with any real intensity these games.
Obligatory Bellagio fountains pic

There were only about 1500 or so fans there, about half of which were for  Bama. Great turnout from our Nevada alumni.  Stl only had about 150 tops.  Still, it wasn't much of a"home court advantage" as it was a fairly boring game that we trailed for most of.   Outside of Cassandra Johnson, the arena was pretty quiet.

A few non basketball things,  I met  Mike Crawford (stl player's) family at the concession stand during halftime. His dad complimented me on my (world series champion!) Cubs hat.  I normally wear a Bama hat to the games, but since we played so poorly against Valpo I decided to switch it up.  Admittedly, I more so wanted to troll the St. Louis fans. Anyway, he said they were from Indiana and Cubs fans too, and mentioned that they vacation in gulf shores. They were very complimentary of our state,  and I wish them well.
Luxor

As for Vegas, this was my 7th or 8th trip there,  and I enjoy it, but after about 2 days I'm ready to come home.   If LA and New Orleans somehow got together and had a bastard child, it would be named Las Vegas.  There are parts about all of those cities that I love,  but I can only take them in small doses.  Also, I DO NOT recommend staying at the Tropicana.  For 45 bucks per night,  you get what you pay for.

Up next, Charleston Southern comes to Tuscaloosa for a 6pm tipoff Tuesday night. It's our last chance to work out some issues before challenging road games at Oregon and Texas.  The game will be televised on SEC network.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everybody,  and remember,  auburn sucks!

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