Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pugnacious Pachyderms Prevail Over Providence

BobbyJack already has given you the game essentials. What he did not take time to tell you was just how exciting this game was to watch.

I estimated the crowd to be between six and eight thousand. The announced crowd was closer to ten. Any of those numbers reflects a marked improvement over what we have seen for recent "preseason" games, even against named opponents.

The initial intent was to pound the ball inside. Green did score the games first five points before the Friars called time and established an effective defense. Bama then began trying to set up the three point shot. They earned several clean looks, the players set their feed and squared up to the basket. The shots did not fall. Enter plan C: the promised dribble-drive, half-court offense. This worked well enough to keep the Tide in the game.

Providence started out blazing from beyond the arc. They had two players with hot shooting hands and they used that to take the lead and hold it for the balance of the half.

As the second half started Bama fans saw something they've waited years to see, an effective perimeter defense. Providence hit only one of the ten threes it shot in the second half. Unfortunately guarding them so closely on the perimeter made it difficult for the Tide to defend against the Friar's dribble penetration. When that did not create open layups it freed their inside players for the unguarded dish. Providence seemed to score almost at will in the second half until Bama's guards began to harass the Friar forwards from behind.

Providence might not be the most talented team in the Big East, but Alabama is not among the SEC's premier programs this season either. This still was an important victory by a gritty, gutsy Alabama team. The game was exciting for forty full minutes. Both teams played with great energy and enthusiasm. The crowd responded too and encouraged the home team to dig deep as they approached crunch time.

Hillman's steal and dunk might have been the game's hi lite, but Torrence's offense and Knox' consistent shooting from the foul line (I believe he hit ten of his eleven free throws) while Green was on the bench, first with foul trouble and later with some sort of injury, are what kept Alabama in the game. Even with a shortage of post players this team could become a force to be reconned with if they could find one or two reliable three point shooters.

If you are a Bama Basketball fan I would encourage you to see this team play as often as you can. If they continue to perform like this, tickets might become a valuable commodity in a very short time. The new regime still is in its infancy and the players certainly could use your support. I don't regret any of the eleven hours I invested to see this game and post this meager entry. I hope to see you all in Coleman Coliseum soon.


bobbyjack said...

I am hoping to make it to one game this year. Probably the Hogs game.
My internet feed doesn't translate well into analysing the game. Thanks for picking up my slack.

Alias said...

Darn! That's the one game I know I cannot attend this year. It's a long story. Here's hoping DJC and his lovely girlfriend resurface in time to share his thought on Bama's tournament performance. ;-)

DJC said...

Very exciting game, I started to post a recap but I saw you guys already had it covered pretty well. Only thing I will add is that we went to a 2-3 zone at two different points in the game, and did not have much success with it. We need to work on our zone defense or scrap it all together.

This team is getting better, only 8 turnovers against a fairly aggressive defense is pretty good. Torrance will continue to see a lot of minutes with Brock out. Eblen is the only other pg we have, and he did not have his best game.

I'm looking forward to the tournament this weekend, it will give us a good idea of where the team stands. I'm watching the game Thursday at home, will be in auburn for the game Friday and hope to catch it somewhere on TV, but I will make it down to Orlando in time for the game Sunday.

Alias said...

If you do go to Orlando, you should try to track down alcrtide. I can message his phone number to you.

DJC said...

alcrtide is in Orlando? I was thinking he was in Cali for some reason...Anyway, I'm definitely there Sunday.

Alias said...

He lives in Maryland now but will be in Orlando for the tournament. I'll try to remember to text your phone numbers tonight.