Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our best road effort so far. Still not enough. Cowboys 68 Tide 60

Box score

The 1st half set back college hoops 30 years. Both teams looked AUful with us out AUfuling OSU by scoring 20 points at the break. I swear I could've fielded a team from the Bama Rec Center that could've hung with OSU better.

The second half... well we SAW ADJUSTMENTS! Releford took the ball to the hoop more, Green was a presence inside (and shut down Moses), and Davis hit a couple of key shots to bring us close. We forced OSU into some bad shots, but every time we got within 5 points the Pokes would respond with either a wide open 3 or a relatively easy shot.

I'll be honest... I thought we were going to get run out of the building in the 2nd half in front of that sold out audience of about 2500. Instead, the team showed some heart... clawed their way back into the game, but in the end we don't have enough offense to complete the comeback. When Green fouled out it was mostly over... when Releford followed that was the end.

I don't like moral victories, but MAYBE we can learn something from this game going into SEC play on the road. Truth be told, the SEC West doesn't have a team as good as OSU and if we can hang with them we might could steal one @ the Barn or LSU.

I was scoreboard watching the SEC West today. This might collectively be the worst 6 teams in a half of a conference. We compare nicely to Big East football.


Alias said...

Thanks, Bobby Jack. I listened to the first half on the radio and am not sure I could have survived the video. ESPN did not broadcast the first half because the game televised before ours went over by about an hour. I did record the second half but could not stand to watch it live after the awful first half. DJC probably will post some thoughts. If I notice anything worth posting, I'll probably put it up tomorrow.

I still wonder how our players can manage to pick up so many cheap fouls. I have not seen them play much yet this season. Are they trying to do things with their hands that they have not been disciplined to do with their feet? Are they making up for reacting too late? Are there other problems?

Hopefully one of our real students of the game can answer some of these questions.

Anonymous said...

I have no opinion on the refs in this game, since I only saw the last 5 minutes, but generally speaking the most aggressive or dominant team in a game will get the majority of the calls. And that's with decent refereeing. When you have homers for refs, it gets way ugly.

As for our team, again, I only saw a little. What concerns me more is the total lack of energy in the coaching staff. With 1:31 to go, we lost our 2nd starter to fouls, but we were still in the game!
When the camera panned the bench, not one of our cadre of coaches had ANY hope written on his face!!
I don't care if we're playing the Celtics ( and we weren't), you never give up! You never stop coaching. Especially with a team that NEEDS coaching. We were down by 6 points and had 2 timeouts left.
If you can't coach the guys to play hard and TRY to win, get another job!!!!
I'm not saying we would have won the game, but at least TRY TO WIN THE GAME!!!
We ended the game with those same 2 Timeouts!!!

DJC said...

16 points in the first half was pathetic. Again, we can't shoot away from home. 2 for 12 from downtown will not beat anybody. That being said, there were a lot of positives from this game.

We played very good defense to keep us in the game. JaMychal Green did an excellent job on Moses in the paint. After the horrible first half, we started pressing and trapping more which allowed us to get in transition and get some easy scores. With the exception of Hines inexplicably jacking up a couple of 3's, we wisely abandoned the jumpshot and started attacking the rim. We got a couple of their star players in foul trouble and we were in the bonus for the final 14 minutes of the game. We got to the line and actually made our free throws.

I think Coach Grant is finally starting to figure out who can play and who can't. Releford played basically the whole game until he fouled out. Eblen was limited to 3 minutes. Carter only got into the game when Green got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out.

I disagree with the poster above regarding our use of timeouts, I thought we actually did a decent job in this area for a change. With only 2 remaining, you want to save those for the final minute of the game to set up a defense for a quick steal/foul after a made basket, or advance the ball after a rebound. Unfortunately with Green, Hillman, and Releford all out of the game, there wasn't much chance of that opportunity presenting itself.

This game was a perfect illustration of the dilemna we faced that I've been posting about all season. We are a horrible half court team, but we don't have the depth to run the full court, up tempo style we need to be successful.

Also, ESPN sucks. How do you schedule so poorly that we have to watch the entire first half in standard definition?

finebammer said...

and speaking of espn sucking, the two clowns calling that game were worse than eli. (and that's saying something)

they were talking over the game so much, many whistles just absolutely went unexplained.

heard the whistle blow. saw players react. refs (suck) make call. no explanation from the crew! the guys in the booth had to replay the late side court shot from osu's white kid THREE TIMES to get them to acknowledge the shot was late and shouldn't have counted. (of course, i saw it immediately)

as to the officiating, when osu needed a call to stave off an alabama charge, they got it everytime.

we came out in the second half, drove the ball at their big men and got the fourth foul on two of them. then, we quit. why we didn't at least try to get one of them boggles the mind.

imho, we played better. but this coaching staff needs as much work as the players.



MSmilie said...

Oh my god, I'm getting so sick of hearing about the f%$King timeouts (censored because we here at the Alabama Basketball Blog encourage a family-friendly site). Timeouts are the least of the problems this team faces.

They could have 25 timeouts and use every one of them, and it won't change the fact that the team is woefully thin and can't shoot the ball to save their ass (No worries, parents. Ass is a perfectly acceptable word. Why, it's even used in the Bible!). The real problem in the game on Saturday wasn't the fricken time outs; it was the foul trouble. When you can only trust 6 - maybe 7 - guys to give you any production whatsoever, you have to avoid foul trouble. Alabama didn't, Green and Mitchell sat a large portion of the first half, and couldn't quite climb out of the hole because of continued foul trouble late in the first half.

I would like to pose a question to the armchair coaches out there. You know, the ones who feel they know best since they've been watching Alabama basketball for fifty years. What would you do if you had this line-up? Don't say recruit better because that's already happening. Seriously, what would you do? I want to know. I love discussing basketball strategy. I think it's fascinating. Fire at will. I honestly want to know your opinion on this matter.

I agree with DJC. The staff may be figuring out a rotation with the conference slate beginning in a couple of weeks (man, this season is flying by). I don't like playing a true freshman 35-40 minutes a game, but the team is infinitely better with Releford in the game. And if he does have to sit, what do you really lose if you have Hillman or Hankerson bring the ball up the court instead of Eblen? I think you may actually gain something from it because Hillman or Hankerson are arguably better ball handlers and have more potential on the offensive end. I know we've been brutal on Eblen so far this year (and I really do hate to criticize any of these young men who bust their ass playing ball), but the coaching staff has to do what they can to put the team in the best position to win. Increasing Releford's minutes while decreasing Eblen's is a step in the right least for now. Let's just pray that Releford can stay healthy.

MSmilie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJC said...

I don't know what I would do with this lineup. The coaching staff has a tough dilemna. Either we only play 6 or 7 guys, but that means we have to slow down the tempo, thus run a more methodical half court offense, which is not our strong suit, or we run up and down and have issues with foul trouble and fatigue and end up having to play Eblen, Carter, and Engstrom at clutch time.

I guess I would do exactly what we did Saturday. Let Releford play nearly the whole game and hope he stays healthy. When Durant is healthy maybe he can spell him for 8-10 mins per game. I would urge the guys to get after it on defense every possession, generally speaking if you play good defense you can keep it close. Then, I would pick my spots, maybe for about 4 or 5 minutes each half to go to some sort of full court pressure or half court trapping defense to create some turnovers and make a run. I would have Charvez shooting at different local high school gyms to get him used to shooting with a different background in hopes of improving his 3 point % on the road. Until somebody starts making some perimeter shots outside of Coleman Coliseum, I try to get the ball into the post and use the guards to drive the lane, and let the chips fall where they may.

finebammer said...

i would have continued to work the ball down low to try and foul out ok's big men and i would have used the timeouts to MAKE SURE MY TEAM KNEW THAT!

there were several minutes left in the game when ok's big men picked up their fourth foul. at that point the effort to force those fouls stopped.

that was due either to a change in strategy (coaching) or the players forgot what their coaches told them.