Friday, January 20, 2012

Commodores Curse Continues Crimson Tide Can't Come Back In Coleman Coliseum

Photo From Greenwich Times
MSmilie has already give you a recap from the eye of a real student of the game.  From a simple fan's perspective this game resembled the "mauling" Brent Musburger described toward the end of the BCS Championship Game.  Vandy mugged Alabama, literally and figuratively.

First give Vanderbilt credit.  They are a talented, well coached, veteran team with plenty of size.  Green and Mitchell seemed to get frustrated when their jump shots were blocked.  Green was even more frustrated when his dunk efforts were shoved back into his face.  Still the Crimson Tide looked like they had a chance when they forced 5 steals in the first 6 or 7 minutes of the game.  But the outside shots would not fall and the zebras were not friendly to the home team.  Here's a link to one ugly Box Score.

Even with all those troubles Bama stayed with Vandy until the fouls and injuries started adding up.  The Tide was whistled for 14 fouls in the first half, Vandy only 5.  (I hope these numbers are close.  I'm tired and it's been a long day.)  Bama was 0 for 1 from the foul line in the first half.  I think Vandy hit 9.  For the game the Commodores took 29 shots from the foul line to Bama's 10 and most of the Tide's attempts came long after the outcome had been decided.

Many of the whistles against Alabama appeared to be the result of their sluggish effort and playing defense with their hands instead of their feet, but some of the calls (and no calls) looked just awful from my 31st row, mid court seat.  Green almost had his eye put out.  No whistle.  Steele was elbowed to the floor and unable to return to the game.  No call.  I'm still not sure what happened to Jacobs, but he had to be helped back to the locker room.  Releford looked like he was hobbled before play started, but Vandy and the officials did not have anything to do with that.  Among the worst calls of the night were the Lacey layup that was waived off for an offensive foul called when the Vandy player was set inside the arc (or so it seemed to me), the shooting foul called on the next possession when Randolph did not even seem to touch the Vandy player who was still dribbling 10 or 12 feet from the basket, and a horrible foul called on Green when he was mugged trying to grab an offensive rebound.  I believe this was the call that provoked Coach Grant to incur the first technical I think I've seen him draw at a home game.  Green lay on the floor at  mid court for 15 or 20 seconds during the second half and none of the three officials noticed him to stop play.  Three minutes later play was stopped for an injured Commodore who then was allowed to stay on the court when play resumed. 

Perhaps the officials decisions will look less horrendous when I watch my recording of the game.  I will post an apology tomorrow or Saturday if that is the case. 

With Steele in the locker room, Green and Mitchell (Mitchell went scoreless for the only time I can recall ever having happened), Jacobs playing on a bad ankle, and Releford having a bad game, Hankerson, Gueye and the freshmen were not able to take up the slack.  The absence of any sort of consistent outside shot killed the Tide tonight; that and Vandy's smothering defense.

As disappointed as I was with the way the game was called, the Vandy veterans were able to adjust to Bama's defense and the officiating.  Bama was not.  The Commodores came to Coleman Coliseum and showed the young Tide how college basketball is supposed to be played.  Legendary NFL coach Tom Landry used to say that his teams always learned much more from a loss than they did from a win.  I hope our youngsters learn quite a few things from this "wood shedding."  Heaven knows they need to.

Congratulations to the Vanderbilt Commodores.  You have an excellent team, a classy program, and a chance to make a deep run into the Big Dance when March rolls around.  I sure hope you do.  Otherwise we'll likely see an even worse mauling in Lexington this Saturday.

Good night.  I really need some sleep after all of that.

Roll Tide!


Nick said...

It was great to see the fight and fire inside of the team in the last 5 minutes, but it was like where was that all game?

The call that I thought was horrendous was when Lacey drove and made a nifty shot that he was called for an offensive foul on. The guy literally jumped into him. Terrible call, and not one you usually see go against you at home.

Even with the officiating, we didn't deserve to win. It'd be easy to look at tonight's game and assume we'll get thumped by Kentucky. I bet our team is focused for that game and keeps it close.

After that, I expect us to rattle off a bunch of wins against the rest of the SEC. I still think we're a good team, just not as good as I thought going into the season.

39 Steps said...

We need to set picks and rebound. Leaders will emerge. (New leaders, if the old ones aren't willing.)

The players look lost, as if they are like me and don't have a clue what our offensive philosophy is.

On the replay tonight, Gary Harris said the team needs to figure out what their identity is, ie., fast break or half-court. If Gary thinks the team doesn't know, just maybe THE TEAM DOESN'T KNOW. I coached basketball for a decade, and I honestly couldn't tell you.

But, the thing that disturbs me the most is that our intensity on defense is lacking. What gives? This was the year we finally had the numbers to play flat out for 40 minutes. Puzzling.

All of the above can be addressed by the coaching staff. All of the above can be improved in practice. I'm sorry, being a 'players coach' only goes so far. Just ask Les Miles.

Just ask Mark Gottfried!

Hoot30 said...

The foul on Green that followed w/ the T on CAG was the right call. ESPN showed the replay and Green shoved the Vandy guy pretty hard. But, we were getting hosed all night by that crew. IMO, CAG was waiting for the next foul called on us by sTuart so he could tear into him. That so-called charge on Lacey where the goal was waived off was not called by sTuart, but the poor block call on Mitchell was.