Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bama upsets Michigan, 68-66.

This will be relatively short as I think Alias has already posted a solid recap. I don't think a lot of people realize how big this win is for us. Michigan was ranked #15 coming into this week. Obviously they won't be ranked as high after going 1-2 in Orlando, but nevertheless they are a border line top 25 type of team from a major conference, and to beat them on a neutral floor to take 3rd in the tournament is a great "resume building" win for us, not to mention the confidence it will give our young players in what Coach Grant is trying to accomplish.

The first half was not pretty. Once again, we fell down by 12 in the early goings. On the one hand, I love the poise, effort, and never give up attitude of this team. On the other hand, I would rather we not make a habit of digging ourselves a 10+ point hole in the first half. In the first half, we committed too many turnovers, gave up open shots, and generally played sloppy. Still, we were able to take advantage of some Michigan mistakes and make it a 5 point game by halftime.

I thought it was interesting that we started both halves in a 2-3 zone. In the second half it was more of a match-up zone, which was much more successful. While our 2-2-1 full court press did not force a lot of turnovers, I thought it was effective in forcing Michigan to rush things offensively and take some bad shots. After making some adjustments, I thought we did a good job on offense against their 1-3-1 halfcourt trap. Charves Davis made enough shots from the perimeter to keep them honest, and we were able to work the ball down to Green who had a huge day in the post. Green's play was especially critical considering Justin Knox's foul trouble. Torrance had a good day running point with 8 assists to 3 turnovers.

Again, this was a huge win for us. I believe John Beilein is one of the better coaches in the game, and Coach Grant out coached him today. We fell down 12 in the first half to a top 20 team, playing against a defensive system that we don't see very often, and we made the proper adjustments to come back and win. The crowd was split roughly 50/50, with a fair contingent of FSU people there who were supporting us for the most part. Our contingent of 250 or so was very vocal once myself and a couple of other guys encouraged everyone to get into it, and the team seemed to appreciate and feed off of the support. The arena was very small but also very nice, and everything was ran in a first class manner. Major Kudos to the folks at Disney for hosting a wonderful tournament.

Up next, North Florida comes to Tuscaloosa Wednesday night for a 7pm tipoff. For now, I hear Church Street calling. Roll Tide!


Anonymous said...

BIG win from strategic, psychological and momentum points of view.

Bama Old Skol said...

Kudos to the bench for keeping us in the game Charvez hitting the 3's keeps us in the game in the first half. Our match up zone 1-2-2 in the 2 nd half slowed down Harris. also we don't shoot FT in the first half and got aggressive in the second with drives and kick out. We shot 50% from field for the game, that ain't bad. Roll Tide