Sunday, November 11, 2012

West Alabama info/link and thoughts on SD St and A&M football game

West Alabama
This is West Alabama's (formerly Livingston St for hose keeping score at home) 1st game of the season so there's not a lot out there about the team. They are preseason 4th in the Gulf South Conference with 1 first place vote in a conference of 8 teams. Steven Samuels is preseason 1st team.

Last year they finished 8-20, but are a very experienced team with 10 juniors or seniors on the roster. Other than that I don't know what to make of them other than what I read. Mike Newell is in his 2nd season there after spending 9 at Arkansas-Monticello. Here's a link to their homepage if you want to read more about the Tigers of West Alabama.

Gametime is 5PM EST (4PM CST). No TV that I know of so you either have to be there, watch on Tide TV, or listen to it on the radio/internet.

South Dakota St
DJC does a heck of a better job than I regarding memory of defense played and in-game nuances so I'm going to stick to a 50,000 ft view here.

1) Releford is obviously in the doghouse because he didn't start again. I have my suspicions why, but since it's personal opinion and for the most part tend to keep that off this board I'll say no more.

2) This team still can't shoot from outside. That's going on 4 years now.

3) Even though we were down as much as 14 the team never quit. We full court pressed and cut that lead to 2 at the half. Not sure why we didn't see much of the in the 2nd half.

4) Nate Wolters was on fire. 30 points on 5-6 3 pointers. Jordan Dykstra came on in the 2nd half to help him on the scoring end. We didn't do a good job of fighting through screens as many of their shots were open or with decent 'breathing' room. The rest of the JackRabbits... not so much.

5) Great shot by Lacey at the end to win it. I'm not sure if that's how it was drawn up, but it resulted in a GW basket so that's all that count.

6) Attendance was roughly 5K. IMO the University did a terrible job promoting this with a home game in the sport that matters to 95% of Alabama the next day.

7) I saw DJC in his prestigious seats and waved from my prestigious seats.I'll upload a picture or 2 when I figure out how to do it from my new phone.

8) Decent win, but I'm more worried about this team now than I was before the game. If we can't pound it inside against a bunch of Canadians (sarcasm) how are we going to do that against bigger/stronger competition? I realize Jacobs was in foul trouble most of the game, but we got just about nothing from Gueye/Engstrom. Both have a loooong way to go to be remotely useful offensively.

A&M Football Game
As I was driving back to ATL last night for whatever reason I wasn't overly upset about the outcome. Really, they dominated us yet we had a chance to win it at the end, but inexplicably threw the ball 3 times from 1st and goal at the 6. We ran into a buzzsaw in A&M... and I think they'd beat us 7/10 times. Johnny Manziel was on fire... and the last A&M scoring drive where he threw 2 perfect passes was a thing of beauty to everyone not rooting for Alabama last night. I have a few gripes... mostly about our offensive playcalling and the complete lack of a pass rush. Oh well... the goal has changed and the team has a SEC Championship to get.


MSmilie said...

To Releford's credit, he did play well when he came into the game. And I believe he finished with 29 minutes so he did play a good portion of the game. Whatever it is that has led to his benching at the start of the game, I hope it is resolved. The last thing this team needs is the discipline and lack of leadership that hurt it last season.

Speaking of leadership, kudos to Andrew Steele. He played well and appeared to be very vocal with his teammates. Here's hoping Andrew can avoid injuries and finish his final season in style.

The team has not shot well from the 3-pt line after two games, but I do think they will be a batter overall team from the perimeter this season. Lacey, Coop and even Randolph looked good shooting the ball.

We may not see five better players all season than Wolters. The only weakness the kid had shown on the offensive end was an inability to hit the outside shot and he went 5-6 from the 3-pt line. Questions about his ability to defend elite players may keep him out of the NBA, but that kid will play for a paycheck somewhere after college.

Not surprising about the struggles in the paint against SD State. Jacobs had a bum ankle (per Grant) and was in foul trouble while the match-up did not favor Engstrom or Gueye. I will say that I thought Engstrom did a few good things while he was in, but he's got to get tougher. There was one moment where he had an offensive board if he just goes up for it with both hands. Instead, he just swiped at it. Tony Pujol appeared to be livid with the play as he came off the bench very angrily in response.

I think what's interesting is the realization that Devonta Pollard is going to need some seasoning before he's ready to cut loose. He only played 14 minutes last night and didn't seem comfortable from the beginning. Plus, he's not quite as physical as I expected him to be. No doubt he will get better, but he's not the impact player that I and a lot of people thought he might be at this point in the season.

For better or worse, our guards are going to have to carry the water, at least early.

If attendance was sparse on Friday, I can't imagine what it will be for West Alabama, a day after the football team lost. The team will have to create its own energy, but they shouldn't need much in a game like this. Just go in ready to play, win the game, avoid injury, and get ready for the games at MSG.

Anonymous said...

Only 4 points from the Forward/Center players in the game is quite disturbing, in reference to the South Dakota State Game.

Offensively, Pollard made a respectful contribution in the second game, but not so much for the others.

Maybe in future games we can see more out of them, especially Jacobs, and hopefully Gueye and Engstrom as well.