Monday, December 29, 2008

Bama Barely Beats Bulldogs II

Another unimpressive win against an inferior opponent, but I guess that is better than a loss. Alonzo Gee continues to play very good basketball, he carried us in the first half last night. We had much more size, depth, speed, and athleticism. We should have pressed the entire first half and put the game out of reach. Instead, we started out in a half court man to man and forced some turnovers that resulted in easy baskets. However, we then dropped back into a regular quarter-court man, and allowed Yale to control the tempo of the game and run their sets on offense. As usual, our halfcourt offense was atrocious. Yale was able to scrap back into the game, before we finally went to a full court press the last 3 minutes of the first half and stretched the lead out to 11 by halftime.

We got the lead up to 18, but we didn't put them away. We switched to a 2-3 zone and Yale scored on 3 straight possessions. Yale did a good job of switching defenses to keep us confused on offense. They went to a 1-3-1 halfcourt trap at one point in the second half, and we looked totally lost against it. It took 4 possessions before Gottfried finally called a timeout and made the adjustment to where Gee would get the ball in the corner instead of Knox.

It seemed like Yale scored out of every timeout. They ran the old picket fence play on an inbounds a few times, and the first time we were caught watching the paint dry. To give up an easy layup off of that play, against that team, out of a timeout, is ridiculous.

Yale did not run the motion offense as much as I expected. I assumed since the two Ivy league schools I have seen play in recent years, Princeton and Penn run it, that they all did, but apparently not. They ran it some, but they also incorporated a lot of pick and rolls, 1-4 high, and even the weave.

Stopping them was not the problem. For the most part, we played pretty good defense. 19 turnovers against a slow, awkward team is inexcusable. Ron Steele shot the ball pretty well, but his ball handling was uncharacteristically bad. At least twice he allowed one of Yale's slow, nerdy white boys to take the ball from him on the dribble.

The play of our bigs continues to be inconsistent. We should have dominated them inside, but rebounding was about even, and Knox was pretty much a non factor despite being on the floor nearly the entire game. Green managed to stay out of foul trouble for the most part, but he had to leave the game after being raped in every orifice and clocked upside the head, requiring 4 stitches. Amazingly, no foul was called on that play. We are a much better team with Green on the floor. Knox and Coleman do not consistently get into position to receive the ball in the post, and when they do, our guards can't get them the ball for some reason. Green seems to have better chemistry with our guards. Coleman played good defense, but his stone hands were back preventing him from scoring a lot of points. Given Green's injury along with Knox and Coleman's relative ineffectiveness, one would have expected Demetrius Jemison to see the court, but he appears to be in Coach Gottfried's doghouse for some reason.

The substitution patterns continue to boggle the mind. As mentioned above, 'Meat never saw the court. Torrance finally got some meaningful playing time and did a nice job. I really like his drive and dish game. Andrew Steele and Anthony Brock kept Demetrius company on the bench the whole game. I was told by somebody at the game that Anthony Brock is redshirting. Even though he has played, apparently he hasn't played enough to lose the redshirt. Andrew Steele's ankle had been bothering him in the previous game, so that may have still been an issue.

Senario Hillman played very good defense and yes, he scored a lot of points, but someone needs to talk to him about shot selection. I'll go ahead and say it, he is becoming somewhat of a ball hog. I like the way he plays on the open court, but he takes some horrible shots.

On the positive side, we did a much better job of game management in the final minute than we did against Texas A&M. With the exception of Knox and Coleman each missing the front end of a one and one, we actually got the ball to our good free throw shooters (who had been in the game and were warmed up), and they knocked them down. Overall, free throw shooting was much better in this game. Hillman had a bad foul on a 3 pt shooter, but we did finally learn to use those fouls to give and to let them shoot one and one with a few seconds remaining in a 3 point game. I did not like the fact that we had nobody on the man inbounding the basketball with a 3 point lead. My concern was that Yale would quickly pass the ball back to the inbounder who would be able to get off a 3 point shot before we were able to foul. Luckily, that was not the case. We should have put the game away much earlier, but at least we stepped up and did what was necessary to hold on at the end.

The crowd was much better than I expected for a Sunday night game against Yale. With school being out, there were hardly any students there, but I would estimate attendance to be around 2,000. It was a significantly larger crowd than we have had for the last few games. Yale brought a surprisingly decent number of fans with them.

Up Next, Quincy comes in tomorrow night at 7pm. I thought Quincy's was an out of business, bad steak house, but apparently they are a Division II school from Quincy, IL, located north of St. Louis on the Mississippi river. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how/why in the world we are playing them in basketball.


Anonymous said...

mmmm. big fat yeast rolls.

Alias said...

My wife and I were watching "Band of Brothers" last night. I didn't have the heart to listen to the game. I'm glad we won.

MSmilie said...

One of my first jobs was at Quincy's. I lasted a couple of weeks. I didn't have the greatest work ethic at 16. So it goes. The rolls were top notch though. The only regret I had leaving the job [I was actually fired because I couldn't get there on time] was the absence of those rolls in my life.

Regarding Bama Basketball: The funny thing is the SEC is so horrible this year, particularly in the West, that Alabama could still somehow win the West Division [For the record, I'm picking LSU to win the West division]. Regardless, it just feels like the end for Gottfried. Unfortunately, as fans, we have to sit through it until the end.

Roll Tide