The University of Alabama's athletic dominance over schools from Baton Rouge, LA continued last night with a 20 point victory to defeat Southern on the hardwood. With Dazon out with an ankle injury, we started Kira, Petty, Herb, Galin, and Hall. Alabama had a significant size advantage at every position over Southern.
The Jaguars are not a very good or organized team. Early in the game, they had two players go to the locker room due to a uniform violation as they were wearing white T-shirts under their yellow jerseys. Later, they were accessed an administrative technical foul for putting a player into the game who was not recorded in the official score book. These types of mistakes are inexcusable above the Junior Varsity High School level, much less for a division 1 college team.
In any event, this was a good game to get Kira some experience in the starting lineup, and he did not disappoint. He's going to have his ups and downs against better competition, but he's playing better than I expected. He generally makes good decisions with the basketball, and finished with 6 points, 7 assists, and 3 turnovers.
I still do not like starting Galin and Hall. That's 40% of our unit who cannot score outside of the lane. I much prefer Alex starting over Galin. That being said, Galin had a solid game against the smaller Jags, scoring 10 points and pulling down 4 rebounds.
Dan Giddens returned but was the only big man who really struggled in this one. Though he did get 6 rebounds, he also had 4 fouls and 3 turnovers in just 7 minutes. In fairness to Dan, it was a poorly officiated game all the way around. Hopefully the refs were just a little rusty, and this isn't indicative of the way games will be called this year. I thought it was called way too tight, over 50 fouls making the game drag on well beyond the 2 hour mark. On one of Dan's fouls, the Southern guard literally fell into him while he was standing still and set on a dribble drive. AJ was later called for a flagrant foul on a blatant flop, but thankfully that was reversed on review.
We had good scoring balance with 4 guys in double figures. Hall led the way with 20, Petty had 17 making 5 of 8 from 3 point range, while Galin and Mack had 10 each. Mack was only 3 of 12 from the field and 1 of 7 from downtown, hopefully he's just knocking off some rust and his shooting will improve.
The team played great defense again, but turnovers continue to be a major issue. Twenty turnovers against a team like Southern is more than a little concerning. Tevin Mack had 5 of those, but it seems to be an issue up and down the lineup. I'm hoping this will improve if and when the substitution patterns and playing rotations are set.
There wasn't much of a crowd there on election night. I ended up giving away 3 tickets, and I would estimate no more than 4,000 were in attendance. The student section was at least reasonably full up to the portals, and they probably made up close to half of the total crowd. Traffic was once again horrendous in both directions to and from Birmingham.
Up next, Appalachian State comes to Coleman for the first game of the Charleston Classic Sunday evening. Tip-off is set for 6pm on the SEC Network.