Monday, November 12, 2012

Alabama Tames Tigers, 80-49

Alabama did what it should have done on Sunday, decisively beat a D-2 opponent. Trevor Lacey led the team in scoring with 23 points. Rodney Cooper and Trevor Releford also finished in double digits with 16 and 14 points. Releford once again did not start. Anthony Grant became annoyed when he was asked about Releford's status in the postgame press conference, claiming there is no issue behind his decision to not start him. To Releford's credit, he hasn't shown any signs of being affected by the change and has played well in the first two games.

It's tough to take too much away from a game like this. Due to the fact that these early season tournaments have trouble at times in filling their tournament field with D-1 schools, Alabama was essentially forced to play a team that they would never have scheduled outside of an exhibition type of affair. Due in part perhaps to the opponent, a small fan turnout (the attendance was listed as 10,443, but Alex Scarborough twitted there were only "dozens of fans"), and the general funk Tuscaloosa must have been in following the football loss, the team once again got off to a slow start before turning up the heat in the second half and pulling away.

The positives: Alabama shot 9-19 (47.4%) from the 3-pt line. Lacey himself went 5-5. Alabama's defense improved over the course of the game. They held West Alabama to 32% shooting for the game (19% from the 3-pt line), while also forcing a total of 24 turnovers.

Retin Obasohan played in his first game of the season after missing the first two games with an injured finger. It was a bit of a mixed bag as he logged 11 minutes in which time he had 2 rebounds and 2 assists, but also missed his only two shot attempts and had two turnovers before fouling out of the game.

The negatives: Alabama should not be out-rebounded by West Alabama....ever. In fact, the inside game as a whole was severely lacking in this game. Pollard had a solid game with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks, but Jacobs, Gueye and Engstrom only combined for 6 points and 5 rebounds. As Anthony Grant said in his postgame comments, that is unacceptable. No one is asking these guys to be double double machines, but they have to rebound the ball better and Jacobs has to provide some offensive presence in the paint. In Jacobs defense, he has been battling an ankle injury. Nevertheless, as the games get tougher, the guys in the middle are going to have play, ahem, bigger. 


Anonymous said...

Is Grant really that sensitive? Releford has only started every game in his career up to this season. He needs to grow some thicker skin and answer the question over feigning disgust. There is no real reason for Releford no to start. He is our only real point guard.

bobbyjack said...

I'll take the positive of hitting close to 50% 3s, but like we discussed I'm more than worried about our inside presence.

Also, Retin pulled a Reggie Rambo with 5 fouls in 11 minutes. HA!

DJC said...

Regardless of Coach Grant's reaction, I think it is clear that Releford is in the dog house. From what I have heard, it's a very minor issue and not "attitude" related at all, but I still wouldn't be surprised if him being withheld from the starting lineup does not continue for a few more games.

Retin did not have a good game at all. He certainly looked much better in the practices I saw. He was playing out of control and thus picked up a lot of bad fouls. He did not look comfortable to me at the 2 position when he was in with Releford.

While the offensive production wasn't there, and likely isn't going to be there, I thought the Swede played a decent game. Defense and rebounding is really all we can hope for out of our big right now, with Jacobs adding some scoring. I think Jacobs will be fine once he gets completely healthy.

Oregon State will be a tough test. They put 102 on the board against Niagara and won both of their games fairly easily.

MSmilie said...

Anonymous: I believe it was Don Kausler who asked the question, and it's been the same question he's asked since the Stillman game. Grant has said there is no issue, it's just a coach's decision, yet Kausler continues to ask the question which is what prompted Grant to get testy. Again, it has not affected Releford's play in the last two games so I don't think it's a big deal. We'll see how it develops going forward.

Releford is a great PG, but Lacey is more than capable of playing that position. I think that since Grant has so much guard depth to work with this year, he's trying out some different things. It wouldn't surprise me if Releford is eventually the starting PG again. Relax. We are two games into the season.

MSmilie said...

DJC: Yep, I watched Oregon State play New Mexico State last night and they looked pretty solid to me. They have good guard play and they have some size. That will be a test on Thursday.

LickCreek said...

I agree we are only 2 games in to the season Smilie, but Releford is far and away the best PG on the team and arguably the best in the SEC. Lacey can run the point, but from watching the games, he does all his scoring when Releford is in the game because Lacey is a natural shooting guard. I know we are only 2 games in, but to me you want your best unit on the floor so they can get used to playing together when it gets to stiffer competition. We could have easily lost that first game, and if i recall from a couple of years ago we were left out of the tournament because of early season losses.
Like we all thought our inside game is terrible right, and I assume the reason Jacobs is not getting much playing time is because he is injured. We are going to need him for at least 25 minutes a game against tougher competition.
On the bright side i think Lacey and Cooper are both playing well, and if they continue to do so we will be competitive.

Alex said...

I'm going to withhold opinion on the inside game until Jacobs is at least 90% with his ankle. According to CAG Jacobs was a no go for the first game but he ended up playing a little bit on strictly a game time decision. Those kind of injuries can tend to nag, but I hope he is healthy going into the game against Oregon State.
The sophomore guards have been impressive, as I expected. Engstrom needs to grow some fingers sometimes it looks like hes swatting around with two big bricks in place of hands, but I did not expect him to suddenly to become a rebound machine anyway.

Right now I'm thinking 11-2 or 10-3 heading into the first SEC game against Mizzou

Alex said...

Has anyone watched any Cincinnati games so far this year? I caught a little bit of their game vs Mississippi Valley and they looked like a top 10 team in my opinion. That game is looking like a sure loss, but it should be interesting to see if we at least keep it competitive. They are averaging 54 rebounds per game, 54!