My apologies for the delay in posting a recap. I didn't make it to the game, but had a house full of drunk friends all day yesterday.
Obviously, this was a big win for us. Even though we were technically favored, I think this was a game most of us probably had pencilled in as an "L."
When they showed Renardo Sidney warming up before the game, I could tell by the man tits on that fat thug that he was not in shape to play an up tempo game. He ran his mouth and pounded his boobs like he did something after JaMychal Green walked a couple of times in the first half, but otherwise he spent the rest of the afternoon gasping for air and being JaMychal's bitch.
We built an early lead, but $tate was able to cut it to one at halftime, in large part because Releford had to go to the bench with foul trouble. We went on a run in the second half and maintained the lead throughout. Anthony Grant coached circles around $lick Rick yesterday. We were in foul trouble, but instead of attacking the basket $tate was content with trying to shoot their way back into the game. Rather than trying to chip away at the lead, they turned to a more up-tempo and perimeter oriented offense to try to quickly get back into the game, which just played into our hands.
Senario Hillman and Andrew Steele gave us nice sparks off the bench. All of our guards were effective in the drive and dish game. Charvez did not have a good night shooting the ball, but for the first time this year he showed us that there is more to his game. We have basically cut it down to a 7 man rotation, with Eblen getting some playing time due to Releford's foul trouble. Assuming we stick with this, I would assume it will limit the amount of full court press we see during SEC play. Hankerson and Carter were back, but only played sparingly in mop up duty.
While I am excited about the win, and it is always good to beat the hell out of $tate, especially at the dump, I would caution against getting too excited about this one. We all remember beating LSU convincingly on the road in the first SEC game last year. While this $tate team is certainly more talented than that LSU team, they are not a very good basketball team right now. They may get it together and win the west, or they may spiral and finish 5th, nothing would surprise me. Also, we still had some issues that have bothered us in away games this year. We didn't shoot well at all from 3 point range again, only 1 for 8. Also, JaMychal Green settled for a lot of 17 ft jump shots in the 2nd half, but thankfully he was making them. It's nice for him to be able to step out there and knock them down every now and then, but I don't want him to get into a habit of doing that.
Other games of note around the SEC, Georgia upset Kentucky in Athens. UGA always seems to play the Cats tough at home, but I think this UGA team could be one to watch. auburn tied an NCAA record for lowest points in a half since the beginning of the shot clock era. They trailed LSU 32-6 at halftime, at home, but scored 49 in the 2nd half and almost came back to win. I watched some of that game, and those are two pitiful basketball teams.
Up Next, South Carolina comes to Tuscaloosa Wednesday night for an 8pm tipoff. The game will be televised on CSS. South Carolina is the consensus last place pick in the East, but if they played in the West they would be in the conversation to win it. This is a huge game as we need to continue to protect our home court.