Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bama Bludgeons Bulldogs

(Photo From AL.COM)
Our freshmen were better than their freshman, or so goes the story of this game.  Nick Jacobs started but had to leave after about four minutes with early foul trouble.  Levi Randolph did not score many points but did an excellent job of denying Georgia freshman sensation Caldwell-Pope the ball and keeping his scoring under control - for a while.   Quite during most of the first half, Caldwell-Pope eventually came to life and lead all scorers with 22 points.  Alabama countered with Trevor Lacy, its own super freshman who scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half including shooting three out of four from outside the arc.  Also pivotal was returning junior Andrew Steele who came off the bench to add 9 points, 3 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and an immeasurable chunk of intangibles that helped keep the ball in play on Bama's end and his teammates focused. 

Georgia did not look like a very good team, but they still pecked away at the 15 point lead the Tide amassed in the first half, eventually trimming it to four before Alabama regained control of the game.  JaMychael Green came off the bench to replace Jacobs, suggesting he still might not be 100% recovered from his shoulder injury.  Georgia played a zone almost all game, intent on keeping Alabama from scoring underneath the basket.  Green had a hard time getting into his offensive flow and almost got rattled by some of the fouls called against him (as well as those not called against the players guarding him).  Green's frustration led him to commit 9 of Alabama's 17 turnovers.  He still had the presence of mind to dish the ball to his teammates when he was not sure he was open (including one ill-fated pass when he should have taken the open 12 foot jump shot Georgia's defense finally saw fit to give him), so he was credited with 5 of the team's 16 assists. 

The early game plan obviously was to give a green light to the shooters in an effort to bust up the Georgia zone.  Releford, Mitchell and Hankerson all hit threes in the first half.  The Bulldog zone remained in spite of Bama's outside success, and Coach Grant obviously instructed his team to work the ball underneath the basket for the entire second half.  Mitchell and Green both were unselfish all night, tossing the ball back outside for the open three or hitting cutting teammates like Steele for open drives to the basket.  Releford, well he was Releford and found several open lanes to the hoop all by himself.

Georgia might not be very good yet, but this still was a road win in the conference and I am grateful for it.  Here is a box score with links to even more information.  Hopefully DJC will provide some more insightful information along with pictures taken by his lovely better half. 

Bama will attempt to best the Bayou Bengals in Coleman Coliseum Wednesday night with an 8:00 tip off.  (These late starting times are killing me with my 3 1/2 hour drive each way!)  I hope to see you all there.

Roll Tide!


Anonymous said...

That is an Oklahoma State photo. I thought we played Georgia.

finebammer said...

"and hopefully will be highly motivated to avenge their football loss from two nights earlier"

I hear that!

Yes, UGA may not be that good but a SEC road win is what it is.

Like Coach Stallings used to say, if you think this wasn't a big game, lose it. You'll find out quickly how big it was.

(paraphrased, of course)

As you guys should know, I'm not a huge fan of Green. I just don't believe he has the mental toughness someone playing in his position should have. When's the last time you saw him take the ball to the hole with authority and dunk on someone??

With that said the return of Steele may be what this season turns on for us

Floor leadership. So important in road games.

I'll be pulling hard for the Tide from my skybox in the NE Alabama hills.

If our quarterback and kickers (specifically, our PUNTER) can play above their heads, we have a chance to win.

I keep telling folks LSU is NOT a big ten team. They are VERY good.

With that said, ROLL DAMN TIDE!