Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Uninspired win over the Warhawks

Uninspired is being kind as the Crimson Tide pull away at the 10 minute mark to beat Louisiana Monroe 75-61. Mykal Riley and Alonzo Gee put up 22 points for the closer than expected win over a pretty bad Warhawks squad. Davidson had an AUful shooting night going 3-15 from the field.
Box Score

I tuned in late in the 1st half and figured Louisiana Monroe must've been shooting lights out to keep it close. I was wrong... they looked like crap as well.

The good:
Held the Warhawks to 34% from the field and 29% from beyond the arc.
Rebounded (47-28) and shot free throws well (19-24).
Hendrix was solid again with 18/12... another double double. Davidson and Gee also had double-doubles

The bad:
JD, Riley, and Gee played 35 minutes.
The Warhawks played like crap and we still struggled with them.
Guard play was anemic.

Overall, a crappy outing. Oh well, at least we won and our star players don't have mono.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Louisiana Monroe stats pack

They should be another sacrifical lamb. I'd like to see us play 14 again.
Warhawks stats pack

This is their 2nd SEC foe... LSU demolished them. Actually they've been steamrolled by no less than 28 on the road so far. From the stats they're bad from the field (39%), but good from the line (78%). The Warhawks like the 3 ball so we'll have to cover beyond the arc.

I'm not sure if this is right, but it looks like they start 3 guards so pound it inside with JD and RH. We should win going away. I say Alabama by 34..

Gametime is 8PM EST (7PM CST) on ACN. Usual yahoo link for audio webcast.

Who knew?

Side note- I'm watching Michigan-NC State... the Wolfpack might be better than I thought... or Michigan could be pretty bad.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Crimson Tide demolish Texas Southern 74-44

Box Score
Davidson had a monster game with 16 points, 10 boards, 8 rejections and 3 pick pockets. Hendrix added 15 points and 12 boards as Alabama played fans in the final 4 minutes (not really). Really, I believe everyone that suited up to play got some PT.

The good:
Dominated the boards (22-11 margin)
Free throw shooting (73%)
Riley was the only one to play 30+ minutes
Opponent FG and 3point shooting (29% each)

The bad:
FG and 3 point shooting (39% and 21%)
Turnovers (14)

It was a dominant performance in spite of our shooting woes. I figure with Steele in the lineup our turnovers are cut by 5.

Forgot to add this:
With LSU, North Carolina, Florida, Duke, and Wisconsin losing this week look for us to be in the top 5 (or 6th at worst).
Pitt should be 1 followed by UCLA, Ohio State, Florida, and then us. For giggles the rest of the top 10 IMO will be North Carolina, Butler, A&M, Kansas, and LSU.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Texas Southern stats pack

Everything points to this being a scrimmage where the fans gets to suit up in the last 5 minutes.
Stats pack

They've lost by double digits on the road to everyone... 2-4 overall. TSU is not good from the field (40%), from the line (67%), from beyond the arc (22%), and are turnover prone (119 in 6 games... roughly 20 per game).

I hope there's a nice crowd to welcome the team home after winning the Paradise Jam. This should be the 1st of 3 consecutive scrimmage games before the Tide goes to South Bend for their first road test.

The game is Saturday at 7PM EST on ACN (Crimson Tide Network). The yahoo audio link is here. Note this is a premium site... roughly $5/month to listen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

High School News

Just a touch on Alabama high school current events....

LeFlore (Mobile) is debuting in USAToday's Super 25 at #15 returning 5 starters with Jr F Nick Williams and G Joshua Wesley. Alias may want to go check these guys out to see if there is another Brandon Hollinger in-the-rough...

Also, the SportsMed Shoootout will be here in Huntsville featuring Bama signee Rico Pickett playing for Decatur. Also participating in this tourney is Erwin High School, featuring Sophomore phenom DeMarcus Cousins, rated as one of the top sophomores in the country. Defending 3A champ Madison Academy will be there along with defending Mississippi 5A champ Murrah, which is the school of ex-Bama great Mo Williams.

The bracket can be viewed here SportsMED Shootout

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tide beat Musketeers to win Paradise Jam

Led by double-doubles by Davidson and Riley the Tide pull away late to win 73-65.
Box Score

The turning point in the game IMO was CMG going to a 2-3 zone when Xavier got hot from the field. That shut down their outside shooting and helped the Tide come back from 6 down to take control of the game.

Riley provided a spark off the bench... his 3 point shooting was off, but overall he put up 13 points and 10 boards. Steele was off, but that's ok. Gee turned it on in the 2nd half, Hendrix owned the inside, and Davidson had another solid game (although I think he's too enamored with shooting the 15ft jumper).

The good:
Holding Xavier to 32% from the field and 23% from beyond the arc.
Shutting down Burrell.
Only 11 turnovers.

The bad:
Free throw shooting: 7-15.
Rebounding: we out rebounded them, but not by much. Xavier had 11 offensive boards.

Overall a good effort against a very good team. It's nice to have a tournament win under our belts.

Side note- the guy that did the postgame interview was AUful. It's been 11 years since I graduated with a film degree, yet I could've done better than that trainwreck. Oh well, I guess the guy was having fun.

BTW- thanks to Hville and steve dave for posting the channels for those "other" cable and satellite providers.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Xavier stats pack

The one thing that stuck out for me was they're a bad free throw shooting squad.
Xavier stats pack

The Musketeers (BTW- a cool team name) have had scares against VCU and of course Villanova. I expect this to be a back and forth game, but in the end we'll out "inside game" them and win by 5. When's the last time we won a tournament? I can't think of one off the top of my head under CMG.

The matchup of Steele and Burrell should be a good one tonight.

According to my directv guide the game is scheduled for 8:30PM EST on channel 631 (Fox Sports South).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Crimson Tide advance to finals of Paradise Jam

Led by Alonzo Gee we take care of Iowa in the 2nd half, pulling away and winning 72-60.
Box Score

It was nice to see many contribute... Davidson had a real nice overall game rebounding, scoring, and altering shots, Steele answered every Iowa mini-run with clutch 3s, Gee with his amazing dunks and overall energy, and Hendrix scoring at will in the paint and picking up some 'garbage' buckets.

It looks like we'll play 9 this year... which is awesome. We won't have tired players down the stretch (hopefully).

My only minor gripe... rebounding. Iowa got a lot of 2nd chance shots off long misses. The good news is we held Iowa to 38% from the field.

Iowa looks to be a team that might surprise in the Big 11. Smith doesn't play like a freshman and Haluska can't be as bad as he's been shooting in the tourney. They might finish 4th in the Big 11.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Iowa stats pack

Iowa is 2-0 with wins over The Citadel and Toledo (Paradise Jam).
Iowa stats so far

To be honest I haven't seen Iowa play yet so I can't break this one down. They seem turnover prone. I know they lost a lot from last year and this is supposed to be a rebuilding year for them.

Prediction- Alabama by 12 with JD, Alabama by 5 without.

Gametime is 6PM EST Sunday evening. According to my directv programming it's on Channel 631.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Paradise Jam Webcast/MTSU stats pack

Paradise Jam Webcast
Unfortunately I won't be able to watch as I'll be on the road working.

AS for MTSU... here's their "stats pack"
MTSU so far

They got demolished by the Vols, but evened their record against the great Cumberland U. All signs point to 'mudhole' tomorrow afternoon. Tide should win by 20. Some of the Mark's Madness students might get some PT tomorrow :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Preseason bracketology

Joe Lunardi has us in New Orleans as a 2 seed. That's the only way I'd ever go back to that city.

North Carolina is the projected 1 in the South. Kansas, Florida, and UCLA round out the other projected 1s. Arizona, LSU, and Pitt are the other projected 2s.

3 SEC teams projected in the top 8... who knew?

Jermareo Davidson in car crash

From what I read it happenned in Greensboro, GA. Brandy Murphy died in the 1 car crash. Davidson escaped without injury. Sad news.

tragic crash in GA

Davidson probably won't play in the Paradise Jam... which is more than understandable. Best wishes to the family of Brandy Murphy and JD.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Jackson State Thoughts

Sorry to be so late getting back, but I had to wait until I thought the football game was out of reach. Kudos to Coach Shula and the kids for a well planned and played game. Now to Jax State.

All the returning starters played up to my expectations and then some. Davidson has continued to improve ever since his arrival. Hendrix has lost his baby fat and will continue to improve under Coach Asbury's tutelage. One real high point of the game, with a 30 point lead in the first half both Hendrix and Davidson were on the floor chasing an errant rebound. The effort was evident from the beginning.

Steele was Steele. I believe he sat on the bench for about 3 consecutive minutes in the first half. I don't think that's happened since Jonus left. Great moves on both counts! (vbg)

Gee picked up where he left off last year except that he was on fire from outside the arc in the first few minutes of the game. He did continue his bad habit of picking up silly fouls, even in a loosely called game. Davidson, on the other hand did not. He was all focus all the time.

Finally Hollinger! What can I say about My Man Hollinger? Next to Steele I think Hollinger might be the most important component on this team. His effort, desire, heart, determination and consistency might well be what is pushing all the other perimeter players to perform consistently at a high level. If you are't playing all out on both ends of the court, we can put Hollinger in your place and not worry about a thing. I think the official stats confirm my counts that he had THREE REBOUNDS, a BLOCK and a steal. He also had several "saves" where he averted his teammates' sure turnovers by making heads up plays. Oh yeah, he was 1 for 1 from the field for three points, even though the Marks Madness kids begged him to shoot several times. His eagle eye pulled in defenders and that helped lead to his seven assists.

The most immeiately noticed new arrival was Riley, whom I suspect will be the first off the bench all year. (Yes, Hollinger stays in the starting lineup because he will not surrender it to anyone!) If Riley hits his first shot, he likely will hit 80-90% from the field. He also had some nice moves near the basket for a thin man and had a couple of very nice dishes, but I don't think either of those shots went in. His defense was sound and likely will improve with time.

I think Torrence was the next man off the bench. He only tried one three, using his low-launching shot. It was a dud, but almost everything else he did was pretty. I noticed in high school that Torrence lowers his shoulder, Michael Ansley style, when he wants to drive to the basket. Unlike Ansely, Torrence can drive, shoot and dish with either hand. He is relunctant to give up the ball on his drive (probably because he has confidence he can float it in with either hand - which he did last night), but he made several crisp passes using either hand last night. He is a keeper. He got lost a few times on defense. I expected that, but I'm not sure it was for lack of effort. I suspect he is being groomed to take Ron's place next year.

I think Jemison is the next most important new arrival because his body will allow him to help with banging near the basket and his shot looked sound. This was a very pleasant surprise for me.

Coleman looked more than passable in his backup role. I think he needs a lot of playing time so he can grow into JD's replacement last year. He has filled out and looked strong, but he does not look smooth like Davis and Davidson did their second years. Then again, Coleman is in his first playing year. I believe he will improve under coach Asbury's watchful eye as our other big men have. He will be good.

Tubbs looked good when he was in. The students were right about Cloyd. He has the tools but is not up to the same level of play as the other true freshmen. He is not our immediate answer, but he looks like he could be a real contributor.

This is a team that needs some work and they were not playing against a good team last night, but I was very pleased. Last night's team looked much better than the one I saw play against Spring Hill College last year or against ASU the year before that.

In short, nothing I saw last night has done anything to diminish my unbridled optimism about this year's team. I am even more excited now than I was before I saw them. What a wonderful difference that is!


Thoughts on Jackson State "scrimmage"

If someone would've told me CMG would play 14 in a game I'd make a call to Bryce and have them committed. 9 Players logged more than 10 minutes and our Ironman Steele only played 23 minutes. Awesome! BTW- we totally smacked around Jackson State 96-65

Box score of game

The only minor gripes I have are free throw shooting and rebounding. We were outrebounded, but that's partially due to them taking long shots and getting the long rebound and them shooting roughly 30% from the field. Free throws... well Coleman missed 5 of the 12 so that's not that big of a deal.

It's early, but we might've found another outside threat in Riley. That'll open up things for JD, RH, and AG if he keeps it up.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Recruiting news

Neat Story on Knox

I found a link to this story on another blog:


I guess our recruiting is over for the year now.

I will try to post a report Saturday after returning from tonight's game. I'm sure there will be plenty of other reports here before mine, but I am so excited about basketball finally starting that I won't be able to contain myself.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jackson State "stats pack"

Not really as it'll be their first regular season game. The best I can do is post last year's schedule and results.

Trey Johnson and some other guys
They bring back 6 from their 15-17 campaign a year ago, including the preseason SWAC player of the year Trey Johnson. Johnson is also named preseason mid-major player of the year according to

Looking at last year's stats, he's the guy to cover as he lead Jackson State in scoring in 28 of 32 games. I'm guessing Gee gets the nod guarding him this Friday.

Jackson State is the preseason favorite to win the SWAC.

Gametime is 8:30PM EST (7:30CST) on Friday Nov 10th.
Yahoo audio broadcast link is here.
Note- this is the Jackson State broadcast. I believe you can purchase the yahoo broadcast for Alabama on a monthly basis. In state fans (I'm not one of them) can probably find it on the radio.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Crimson Tide predictions for the season

It's not often I'm considered an optimist, but I believe this year is going to be special for Crimson Tide basketball fans. Wins and losses predicted below:

11/10 Jackson State 8:30 PM W
11/17 Middle Tennessee State W
11/18 Iowa W
11/19 Villanova/Xavier W
11/25 Texas Southern 7:00 PM W
11/28 Louisiana-Monroe 8:00 PM W
12/2 Tennessee State 3:30 PM W
12/7 at Notre Dame 9:00 PM W
12/9 Alabama State 7:00 PM W
12/16 at Southern Miss 8:30 PM W
12/20 at North Carolina State L
12/23 Coppin State 3:00 PM W
12/29 Lipscomb 8:00 PM W
01/1 Oklahoma 2:30 PM W
01/6 at Arkansas 2:05 PM L
01/9 No. 7 LSU 9:00 PM W
01/17 at Vanderbilt W
01/20 Georgia 1:30 PM W
01/23 at Auburn 9:00 PM W
01/27 Arkansas 3:00 PM W
01/31 at No. 7 LSU 9:00 PM W
02/3 South Carolina 3:00 PM W
02/7 Mississippi State 8:00 PM W
02/10 at Mississippi 5:00 PM W
02/14 at No. 1 Florida 8:00 PM L
02/17 No. 22 Kentucky 3:00 PM W
02/21 at No. 24 Tennessee 8:00 PM L
02/24 Auburn 5:00 PM W
02/28 Mississippi 8:00 PM W
03/4 at Mississippi State 2:00 PM W

That's 26-4... good enough for a top 2 seed. While I'd like to believe we'll go 30-0 I figure we'll slip up a few times on the road.

The Paradise Jam will test us early, but IMO we're much better than the rest of the field. Iowa will probably give us our toughest test there.

I picked a NCST upset... I figure we'll drop one on the road. I probably could've chosen Notre Dame as the upset. We'll win one of those.

As for SEC play... I penciled in 13-3 in conference. Flip-flop Tennesse and LSU on the road if you like... I say we win one of those and we finally get the Vandy curse off our backs.

I'll predict SEC and NCAA tournaments when they get closer. Tentatively, I say we make it to the SECT finals and the Final Four in Atlanta. I'll be there for both.

AP preseason poll released- Alabama #11

The Gators and Tar Heels are 1 and 2... LSU is 5. I think LSU is preseason overrated... ditto for UCLA (#6) and Arizona (#10).

The Gators were the runaway choice Monday in The Associated Press' preseason college basketball poll -- no surprise, since they have everyone back for a run at being the first repeat national champion since Duke in 1992.

Florida received 63 first-place votes and 1,788 points from the 72-member national media panel to easily outdistance North Carolina, which got the other nine No. 1 votes and 1,704 points.

"We appreciate and respect that people think this highly of our basketball team," Gators coach Billy Donovan said Monday. "That being said, this ranking has everything to do with what we were able to accomplish last year and nothing to do with this year. We're very honored to be the preseason No. 1, but at the same time, we fully realize we have a lot of work ahead of us."

Preseason AP poll

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Exhibition hoops- Bama 71-62 over Montevallo

I would've posted this yesterday if it wasn't for me watching the car wreck that is Alabama football. Thank goodness basketball season is right around the corner.

“Let me just open up and say that although Montevallo is a Division II basketball team, they are a very good basketball team. They are well-coached; extremely well-coached. And they’ve got two Division II All-Americans on their team. So when we scheduled Montevallo, we knew that we’d have our hands full,” said Alabama coach Mark Gottfried who played the game without his All-American, point guard Ronald Steele who sat out the game with tendonitis in his right knee. “Playing without Ron, in a way, was good for our team. It’s what we needed. So we learned we have a lot of areas where we’ve got to get better. I think was good for some of these young guys. People forget how young of a basketball team we are. It’s good for some of these young guys to get in those situations early, with the time and the score and how important a possession is at a certain point in the game. I feel like overall, there were some good things in the game tonight.”

Montevallo was able to keep the game fairly close during the first half, catching up and tying Alabama at 14-14 before the Tide went on a 13-0 run at the 11:33 mark to lead 27-14 before Montevallo broke the scoring streak. The Falcons ended their scoring drought after Montevallo’s Grant Urbanski hit a three point field goal at the 6:38 mark.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another Alabama preview...

Final Projection: If any of the wings can step up, Alabama can make a deep run in March…or April. Steele, Davidson and Hendrix are solid, but experienced depth will become an issue. Ten of the 14 players on the roster are underclassmen and two of those four upperclassmen haven’t played a game for Alabama. The talent is there for a surprise, but so is the inexperience and questions for a huge disappointment. The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between and that leaves us right around the top of the SEC West and a trip to the second weekend of the dance.

Click here to read the rest.

Nothing you haven't already read... I find this one to be tempering expectations.

If you want to read Tennessee's and Kentucky's preview from this site click here and look at #s 31 and 32.

Finally, if I get time I'll put up some "stats packs" of our opponent either the day before or the day of the game.