Sunday, February 26, 2017

Aggies Assault Alabama, Texas A&M 56 Bama 53

If you want to know what happened in this game, you can go back and read my recap to many of our other games this year.  We played great defense early but didn't take advantage, and couldn't make enough shots or limit turnovers efficiently enough to get the win.

We played a soft man which was effective in limiting their bigs inside.  The Aggies were shooting bricks and only scored 7 points in the first 15 minutes of the game, yet we only managed to build a 13-7 lead.  That is where this game was lost, in my opinion.  With just semi competent offense we would have had at least a 15 point lead at that point.

We allowed the Aggies to take a 21 to 19 lead into the locker room despite stinking it up for most of a first half that set the game of basketball back about 40 years.

As MSmilie correctly noted, "one 7-0 run for them and this game is pretty much over."  We briefly switched to a zone in the second half which resulted in the Aggies scoring on their third chance one possession and then making an open 3.  They were aggressive in getting the ball to the post and driving the lane in the second half, which resulted in frequent trips to the free throw line where they made 26 of 37.  Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out what the hell we were trying to accomplish on offense.

Somehow the team did what they always seem to do, and that's continue to scrap and claw and get back into the game.  Much like the Georgia game, they just couldn't get over the hump at the end.  We actually got 3 good looks at the basket at the end with a chance to tie it.  Again, I think our offense was really hurt by Dazon being in foul trouble and then fouling out.  Riley also fouled out after getting off to a good start and scoring 10 points.

Davis had another decent game scoring 11 points, and at least wasn't  afraid to take some chances, even if some of his shots were a bit ill advised.  Riley was the only other player in double digits, and we went 6 of 23 from 3 point range and only shot 33% from the field.

With 2 difficult games remaining, we are squarely on the NIT bubble.  I think we desperately need to find a way to at least split.

Reed Arena is a fairly nice facility, it's easy to get in and out of and has good sight lines and a configuration that makes sense.  Oddly, I noticed they had an entire section of the upper level roped off with crime scene tape.  I'll add some pics to this post later.  They only had about 7,000 or so fans show up, and there were hardly any other Alabama fans there.  We might have had 50 at most.  It wasn't particularly loud, despite their student sections being located close to the court behind both baskets.  The Aggie fans were all generally nice, but they are weird.  I've seen all the stuff they do at football games, but somehow seeing the yell leaders and the chants and rituals they all adhere to from a small crowd in a half empty arena was a bit creepy.  They all stand for their fight song as if it's the national anthem or something, then they do another thing where they all bend over slightly and grab their knees as if they are about to receive a spanking from the middle school principal.  This is followed by slapping their biceps and pumping their fists in a motion like they are about to vehemently flip someone off.  Not to mention the swaying with their arms around each other while singing something about sawing Texas horns off.  As for the town and campus, due to the game time and flight schedules I spent a lot more time here than I wanted to.  It's not that bad, definitely better than Starkville or auburn at least.  Thanks a lot to MSmilie for coming down early and hanging out pregame.  I've enjoyed watching 2 games in the state of Texas with him, but we need to work on our 0-2 record.

Up next, we return home for a Wednesday night game against Ole Miss.  It will tip off at 7:30 pm on the SEC Network.  Unfortunately, I will be out of town for work, so I'm hoping someone else can step up and give us the recap.

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