Thursday, December 07, 2006

Disappointment At The Dame

An uninspired Alabama team refused to play defense for most of the game and fell to a hot three-point shooting Notre Dame. I kept screaming at my television to try to out quick that team, but that was not what CMG had in mind. Gottfried finally put in the press with about three minutes to go, but our kids make way too many mental errors to win this game.

Bama seems to have fallen into a pattern. They play lights out offense for about 10 or 15 minutes, but then the fail to adjust when the defense adjusts to stop what they are doing. CMG needs to get this young team's attention. Davidson needs to assert his leadership (and stop shooting those long shots with time left on the clock) until Ron Steele can rehabilitate his knee.

The most consistent thing about Bama's defense this year has been its inconsistency. I never thought I would miss Jean Felix, but there were at least two guys we could have put him on tonight. Riley is expected to become a lock-down defender. He'd better adjust quickly because we are going to need him soon. Gee needs to learn not to make silly fouls and (silly dribbling turnovers). If he can, he can defend too.

One other person who has not been mentioned much is Torrence. He has the speed and tools to play defense. If he can be taught to play with his feet all the time, perhaps he can fill that void. Unfortunately, no one answered the defensive call tonight. I hope Torrence decides to be that player.

The zebras did not do us any favors in this game. I will be interested to hear what the Marks Madness kids who made the trip have to say about their on-site experience. The officiating was not the difference in the game, but they didn't help. With the game on the line and Bama down by only three points, Riley was mauled underneath the basket with no call. Much the same thing happened on our next possession.

On area where CMG and Coach Asbury need to continue to improve is to help our big men stay focused in physical games. They made great strides in that area last year, but our big men still don't exhibit the "feel" for the ebb and flow as the game officiating changes. I certainly don't know how to teach that. Heck, I usually am not even aware of it until the flow has moved back in the other direction. But the best teams seem to have this.

While I'm complaining, there is no way a good team gives up 99 points to Notre Dame. The kids in Crimson did not play defense and they paid a huge price. After being humiliated before a national television audience, we will see whether CMG can do what all good coaches do and turn this apparent negative into a positive.

There was no shame in losing to Notre Dame on their home court tonight. But losing by a dozen points or more and giving up 99 points should tell our kids that they need to dig really deep and to stay focused on defense if they are going to reach their goals for the year. I hope their goals are at least as high as my expectations for them. I am betting on CMG and our experienced leadership to help turn this around so we don't play so poorly on defense again this year. Hopefully by February we will be saying this was a "good" game to lose in December because our kids needed a wakeup call.

Time will tell.

Roll Tide!


bobbyjack said...

That was a late 2nd half asskicking plain and simple. JD decided he wanted to be a shooting guard instead of a center... that was great.
Riley and Gee were the only bright spots offensively and Hendrix cleaned up the boards, but as a blind man can see, giving up 99 points is disgusting.

I don't want to go as far as saying the team quit in the last 3 minutes, but it certainly looked like they were playing out the string. Oh well, no one expected us to be perfect and hopefully the team learns from this.

BTW- you don't need to link the website in your post.

Anonymous said...

Got excited when we cut it to 3, but then wham! I think it all starts with Steele. He's hurting and I think it costs us more on the D side. We've got plenty of scorers. Davidson's fancy with long range shooting needs to be put to bed. Outside of gainesville, and maybe knoxville, I doubt we'll see a more hostile environment this year.

The absolute lack of defense was stunning, but it'll be a good lesson. Unlike our ex-football coach, CMG will make adjustments.

Anonymous said...

First, I admit the cold medicine I've been shoving down my gullett has left my eyes droopy, so if someone did mention this and I missed it, my bad. But I thought that Bama's turnovers more than anything else led to the loss (or at least the wide margin.) We cut it to three with three minutes left and all of the sudden we can't hold onto the ball.

Still, no need to panic. ND is a hot team so more power to them. Hopefully we can get ot act together before the NCST trip.

Alias said...

Sorry, Jet. The blog link was put there automatically by the blog program. I wasn't sure what it was so I didn't want to remove it.

bobbyjack said...

No big deal... just delete it and click preview to be sure. Thanks for the detailed comments... mine would've been a manifesto on perimeter JD :)
When we pulled it to 3 with a little over 3 minutes left and stole the ball, we rushed the shot. We should've set the offense for a good look. After that and Notre Dame's 2 quick 3s the wheels fell off and what I saw was a team that was done.
One final thought and I think everyone can agree with this... Steele shouldn't play until Jan 1st.

Alias said...

I agree that Steele needs to sit, for his own benefit even more than for the team.

It would have been nice to have gone into our set offense down three after that steal, but the truth of the matter is that Riley got mugged underneath the basket. I seem to recall his having gotten pummeled twice on that one play. Enough of our kids finally gutted it up and started playing to win. The could have pulled within two if Riley hits both his free throws and we press them on the inbound play.

After reading what's been posted on a couple of other sites, I agree with my assessment with about two minutes left in the first half. Put in Hollinger and Torrence and press the hell out of ND! That would disrupt their game and could produce fatigue that could impact their three point shots later in the game. Also, Flash is correct that JD needs to sit his ass on the bench if he's going to keep shooting those outside shots. I disagree with Ron Steele's Moustache. If they all are dropping, then JD can keep shooting them. But if the first two miss, get your butt back underneath the basket or onto the bench. Coleman probably could have scored against those guys.

bobbyjack said...

Maybe we should hire Kines to run our D and move CMG over to the football side and run our red zone O. (g)

Hville said...

When Steele can't protect the ball from a 6'8" guy, the he is obviously not right. That may have something to do with why CMG stayed in the zone for so long. By going to man, Steele may have been more of a liability out there....