Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tide Tests Tigers, Tempt Fate Too Many Times

Bama suffered an eight minute scoring drought and hit only one three in the second half but still played Clemson tough. After leading most of the first half and briefly in the second, Alabama lost to the Tigers by a mere seven points on Clemson's home court.

Bama quit against Clemson at home last year, but this year they pushed them to the wire. Gottfried probably coached his best game of the season. The bad calls were not all one sided, but the officials were about as predictable tonight as CMG's substitution "pattern." Given the Tide's lack of depth, the tight calls hurt them more during the brief stretches where the whistles got hot. Beyond that, Clemson did not benefit any more than a home team really should be expected to enjoy.

Alabama's defense was improved and they moved the ball around much better tonight too. Unfortunately they could not hit their open shots. They also handed the Clemson pressure pretty well, most of their turnovers coming in their half court offense.

Even in a loss this game should be a confidence builder for the team. The effort and focus were good the entire game. Everyone played pretty good defense and the defensive intensity did not diminish during the scoring dry spells. I feel better about the team's remaining chances after this game than I did after the Georgia Tech win.

Bama hosts LSU this Sunday. The students are back on campus. Let's hope they show up in droves. It also is a big football recruiting weekend.

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