Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bama Bungles Boilermaker Blowout!

Edit (bobbyjack)- added Box score

I'm not kidding myself. The better, deeper team won tonight. The home team wilted down the stretch. Purdue is the number 5 team in the nation and their performance tonight demonstrated why.

Alabama's pressure defense and hot shooting helped them build a 16 point lead while the Boilermaker's second leading scorer and rebounder sat on the bench after picking up his third foul with more than ten minutes to go in the first half. Purdue used its depth and constant pressure on Alabama's point men to keep Bama from scoring a single bucket in the last 8 1/2 minutes of the game. When the Tide defense did force missed shots in the second half, the Boilermakers always seemed to be in position to grab the rebound and make a put-back shot.

Two crucial calls took some wind out of Alabama's sails while Purdue was making its run. Green picked up a blocking foul on what looked like a clear charge. Perhaps Green was set up too close to the basket under the new rule, but he clearly was set for more than the required length of time. The second was a "no call" when defensive specialist Chris Kramer fouled Torrance on a steal. Instead of Torrance shooting free throws, Kramer's layup padded Purdue's then slim lead.

The officials did not make the difference in this game. Several other close calls went Alabama's way earlier in the game, and the Tide probably could not have scored toward the end if LeBron James had been on the court with them. Purdue's experience and depth were the difference and Alabama did well to have stayed in front of them for as long as they did. Still, the loss must be a bitter pill for the team to have to swallow.

I'd estimate the crowd to have been well in excess of 12,000, including perhaps 1,000 Purdue fans. The visitors, a mixture of both traveling students and adults, encouraged their team enthusiastically throughout the game. I applaud them for that and enjoyed chatting with several of them before the game started, including Chris Kramer's parents.

It was really good to see so large a crowd show up for this important game on a cold rainy night when when most of the students already had headed home to enjoy their Christmas break. I hope this means Coach Grant will continue to schedule big name teams and that the fans will continue to support his efforts.

I'd say Alabama's performance tonight was similar to what we saw api do on the football field late last month. They showed up strong, spirited and well prepared. They gave a valiant effort against a better team and came very close to winning the game. Superior depth and talent won out in the end. I'm sure Coach Grant will use this to help the team continue to improve, as they have done throughout the season.

Congratulations, Purdue. You earned it. I hope your team enjoys tremendous success this season and plays it's way to the Final Four.

Roll Tide!


will said...

Kramer is outstanding. I hope you told his parents that. He looks like a first rounder, at least last night.

Alias said...

I did not know who he was, but I spent at least 20 minutes speaking with his family and they sat just a few seats away. You can rest assured I was more than respectful.

bobbyjack said...

Nice report. We started falling apart when Hillman fouled out at the 7 minute mark. We missed his defensive presence. Give Purdue credit as they clamped down on D and we were never the same.

T-Mill said...

You guys have a quality team. I am sorry I didn't find you earlier this week. I didn't know you were out there until I got a rather pissy e-mail from Roll Bama Roll. Looking forward tot he return game next year.

Hammer & Rails

DJC said...

We had a great gameplan. After falling behind 9-1, we made some adjustments and built a 16 point lead against one of the best teams in the country. Purdue's weakness is outside shooting, and our 2-3 zone was able to force them to take a number of outside shots. Offensively, we had a lot of pick n' rolls and curls off of high screens to get open shots, which we were making.

Still, Purdue was not playing with their A game. They had a number of unforced mistakes, and they were in foul trouble. Justin Knox had a huge first half for us, but somewhat disappeared in the 2nd half. When a major contributing factor to our big lead was Justin Knox making outside shots, you had to know it wouldn't last. Torrance and Green both played very well to keep us in it, but Purdue stepped up their game in the second half and their depth took over. We missed too many free throws and gave up too many offensive rebounds down the stretch. There was a 3 minute period during their run when we were resting Tony Mitchell and Green, and they killed us on the glass during the span. We ended up having to burn a timeout to get them back into the game.

A very disappointing loss, but not a bad loss from an RPI perspective. I think a couple of good things will come out of this game: 1)We have the confidence to know we can play with anybody, and 2) We will learn that we need to have a killer instinct and finish strong when we are fortunate enough to have a 2nd half lead over a good team.

Up next, the Samford bulldogs come to Tuscaloosa Wednesday night for a 7pm tipoff.

finebammer said...

it looked to me as if they ran out of gas. torrance looked tired as the purdue rally started. i was disappointed they didn't have another run in them.

it's going to be interesting to see who grant recruits and watch them filter into his system. look at what's already going on with gottfried's players in grant's system.

again, all i want to see is effort and a plan. so far, so good.

Alias said...

My buddy in Maryland who posts as alcrtide on several sites sent me a text during the game. It read, "Grant can flat out coach - he sure did an excorcism of (his predecessor's) coaching." I could not agree more.

I also agree with Finebammer. I think our kids' tanks were empty. Our pressure defense also does not work nealy as effectively without Hillman on the court.

Purdue Matt said...

Impressed with your atmosphere. Good game.

Aitchdotjones said...

I will say this As a Purdue fan, Keep your head up Bama. Purdue was on the other side of scoreboard a couple of years ago in similar games like these. It comes with the growing pains. I'm impressed with Anthony Grant, you guys got yourself a legit coach. Keep on working hard... you will see the benefits of your hard work come SEC time

bobbyjack said...

Thanks for the kind words Purdue fans. The future looks bright here. As for you guys, comebacks like that will take you a long way come NCAA tournament time.

J Money said...

Let me add to the love-fest here.... I have to say, your kids (and coach) are a class act, ESPECIALLY when compared with the thugs in Knoxville (coach and players).

You guys represented the SEC very well and I agree with others here, Bama basketball will be a force very soon.

Alias said...

Thank you, Purdue fans, for all your kind words. If any of you know how to contact Kramer or his parents, would you please let them know I am trying to get in touch with them? Does the school have a student directory with assigned email accounts?

I seldom attend anything other than home games and have not been to a game at a school outside of the SEC other than South Alabama. My gold standard for basketball fans is the University of Kentucky. They always bring lots of fans who positively support their players and behave with class and distinction before and after the game whether they win or lose. The Purdue fans I met Saturday night definitely were up to that standard.

Good luck with the rest of the season.

DJC said...

It was a pleasure having the Purdue fans in Tuscaloosa and as visitors here. Hopefully the schedule will work out so that I can make it to the return game next year. I've drove through Lafayette many times but never stopped there. I would love to see a game on their campus.