Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Alabama wins exhibition opener

Alabama defeated Talladega College last night by a score of 96-60. Unfortunately, my internet feed of the game went out shortly after the start of the second half. If anyone saw the whole game or was actually there in person, please chime in with your thoughts and observations.

The first half wasn't particularly pretty, but that's to be expected after only a couple weeks of practice. Charvez Davis and Andrew Steele did not dress out for the game. Charvez is recovering from hernia surgery and Andrew was out due to "discomfort in his knee". Grant says his return is "unclear" (uh oh).

My own observations: The team started slowly, particularly on the defensive end. Talladega actually led early by six points due to rather poor perimeter defense by Alabama. The team also had double figure turnovers by halftime, finishing with 19 for the game. 3-point shooting was an issue as the team only made 2-11 shots. The team did force 24 turnovers and played much better in the second half according to comments made by Anthony Grant (again, if you saw the second half, please post your own observations). For the game Alabama shot 50% from the field, 18% from the 3-pt line and only 66% from the free throw line.

Trevor Releford led the team with 17 points and 7 assists with only one turnover. It's only one game against inferior competition, but I was impressed by what I saw from Releford. He looks like he will be a fun player to watch in the coming years. He has a terrific first step and used it several times to blow past his defender and get to the basket. I didn't see him attempt any jumpers (the box score lists only one 3-pt attempt), but he has the ability to finish off the dribble and he was a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line. Four other Tide players posted double figures in scoring - JaMychal scored 16 points, Senario scored 15 (he hit the only two 3-pointers of the evening), Tony Mitchell scored 12 (and led the team in rebounds with 8) and Kendall Durant finished with 10 points.


Anonymous said...

Due to sparse crowd, I was sitting courtside much of the game, so I was consumed with getting pictures. Thus, was looking through viewfinder and didn't see everything, but...

Releford was good, but this wasn't an SEC opponent. Eblen is microscopically better than last year. Hankerson has trouble driving the lane. Guard play needs to be much better than last night on both ends of the floor to win in SEC. We'll need Steele.

Engstrom is going to be serviceable after a year in the league. This year, he's going to be skool'd. As many 7-footers, never needed to jump in high school, so has to get used to that concept.(Talladega's center was actually an inch taller than Carl.)
Senario had a good offensive game.
Team Defense WAS poor in 1st half, Grant lit a fire at halftime.

Starters actually sat almost half the time, so overall it was a good practice game and valuable experience for the bench.

DJC said...

I was at the game and was going to post a recap, but you've summed it up pretty well, and I don't have much time, so I'll just add a few observations here:

The starting 5 of : 1. Releford, 2. Hillman, 3. Mitchell, 4. Green, 5. Hines looked great. When this unit was on the floor together, we dominated. We jumped out to a 10-2 lead, but fell behind by as much as 6 when we started playing the 2nd team. Charves Davis was cleared to play today, so getting him back, hopefully along with Steele soon, will help our depth in the back court.

Releford is going to be a very good point guard for us. In fact, he already is. He doesn't look to shoot many jump shots, but his driving and passing ability is unreal. He knows how to slice up a defense and makes everyone on the court with him a better player.

We are lacking in depth down low. We know what Green is capable of, and he played a very good game. Hines fulfills his role of defense and rebounding well with the occasional score. The 7 ft swede has some raw skills, but they are VERY raw. He has good size, not a bean pole by any means as I pictured him, runs the court well and has good quickness. He's somewhat clumsy with his hands, looks lost or confused at times, and doesn't have the best footwork in the post. Jason Carter appears to be having a difficult time adjusting to the speed of the college game.

Kendall Durant looks like he could be serviceable, although he had a couple of turnovers and bricks from 3 point land. He at least knocked down his free throws and played solid defense.

It's only one game, and I'm not going to give up on him, but to be brutally honest Charles Hankerson looked AUful. He was the only one on the court who did not appear to be hustling on defense at times. He left his man wide open on the perimeter at least twice in the first half giving up 3's. Offensively, he was a walking turnover, and he shot 3 of 7 from the free throw line, or actually from 7 inches behind the free throw line where in inexplicably lines up. Based on what I have seen so far, I would have the improved Ben Eblen ahead of Hankerson on the depth chart. Eblen at least seems to now appreciate his physical limitations and generally played smarter last night. Hopefully Charles will have better games ahead of him.

Overall, the team definitely played better as a group in the 2nd half. In the first half, we used a lot of unusual combinations that I don't think we will see too much when the games count. This team will be fun to watch most of the time, reasonably competitive, but also aggravating at times. My biggest concern right now is depth, especially in the front court.

bobbyjack said...

Thanks for the recap... all of you. I was too busy debating politics at a friend's house.

Don't like the news on Steele. Uh oh is right.