We improved to 5-5 and remained undefeated at home with a convincing win over SE Louisiana. Alabama never trailed in the game, and it was never really in doubt.
The Lions came in averaging over 80 points per game on good perimeter shooting. We basically shut them down with a tight man to man defense, holding them to 4 of 18 from downtown. Releford and Hillman both did a very good job on defense against their top scorer.
It was interesting to me that we did not press in this game. Also, Jason Carter and Carl Engstrom did not enter the game until later in the 2nd half long after the outcome had been determined. I can think of two possible explanations for this: 1) Coach Grant realizes he does not have the depth to run the type of style of play that he would prefer, and is adapting and we will see mostly an 8 man rotation but a slower pace game or 2) with the scouting report on SELA being that they are a good 3 point shooting team, he did not want to go to the zone (you have no choice but to go zone when Engstrom is in) and did not want to give up open shots in transition. Time will tell if this was a shift in philosophies or a strategic move against this particular opponent.
Releford had another great game with 10 points as did JaMychal Green with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the post. Hankerson actually had a solid game, and Charvez made a couple of 3's. Jason Carter played well when he first came into the game, but then for some reason he decided to start jacking up 3's. Engstrom got a rebound and a couple of blocks. It was good to see Justin Luguire score, and Hunter Jeffery from the practice squad get some playing time.
The crowd may have been the smallest I have ever seen for a men's game. Several factors, including the students being on winter break, the cold rainy weather (and ice earlier in the day), and the inexplicably late start likely contributed to the poor turnout. I would be surprised if there were even 1,000 people there. I counted at least 4 sections that were completely empty.
Up next, we travel to Oklahoma City for a "neutral site" game against Travis Ford's Oklahoma State Cowboys. Tipoff is set for 5:30 pm Saturday, and it will be televised on ESPN2. I'm sitting this one out, but will be watching it on TV with the rest of you.