Friday, January 31, 2014

Barn Blasts Bama, 74-55

This game was originally to be played on Wednesday night, but was postponed to Thursday due to hazardous road conditions.  As a result, the only way to see this game was to watch it on ESPN3 with auburn's announcers or attend in person, so I reluctantly made the trip down Highway 280.

I saw exactly what I expected, 2 bad basketball teams with the much more motivated team winning easily at home.  They jumped on us 12-0, we battled back and had it down to 5 early in the 2nd half, then auburn answered with a 3, Shannon Hale missed a dunk,  we had a few turnovers, the crowd got into it and they never looked back.

auburn only has 2 halfway decent players and they combined for 55 points.  It was auburn's first SEC win since they beat us last year.  auburn came up with nearly every loose ball.  Releford got into early foul trouble so he was on the bench much of the first half.  We were out-rebounded again and shot only 14 of 20 from the free throw line.  Retin didn't start but was able to play and had a solid game.  I thought Algie played well, he drove in and finished about 3 times in a row, but then we never came back to him.  Same with Nick Jacobs, when he finally started posting up on the left block where he needs to be, he scored on a couple of possessions in a row, then we stopped looking for him and took him out of the game.

I realize many of you probably weren't able to see the game and might have been hoping for a more comprehensive recap, but I apologize.  The losses are starting to take their toll, and I just don't feel like rehashing this one any more than necessary.  I'll be happy to answer any specific questions anyone might have.

The weather did not hinder attendance, as the small auburn arena was mostly full.  It only holds about 9,000 and there were around 8,500 or so there.  I would guess around 500 Bama fans in attendance, most of which were behind the basket to my right.  My only complaint is that the side display on the shot clock at the goal in front of us was not working.  Their crowd was loud as expected, but we didn't have any problems with anybody.

Up next, the Tennessee Vols come to Tuscaloosa for an 8pm tipoff Saturday night that will be televised on ESPN2.  It's a "white out" at Coleman, so wear white to symbolize the way we surrender at every road game this season, and hopefully we will show more fight at home.


crimsontider said...

One last thing: Aaron Suttles is saying that Bill Battle will be watching attendance closely, with regards to his decision on Grant, so I would advise people to stay away from Coleman. Watch the games on TV, still support your team, but stay away from Coleman, and don't give the University your money. That will go a long ways towards giving us the change we need and deserve.

Ronald Steele said...

Hey guys, first of all I want to say thanks for this blog. I was a former player at the University and I'm currently playing in Europe so its very hard to catch a lot of the games. I always check this site for an analysis of the games, as everyone here is pretty knowledgable of the game.

I know everyone is a bit frustrated with the Tide, and I think the players and coaches feel as strong or if not stronger about the way the season is playing out. I think its great everyone is passionate about seeing a great basketball program. I would like to ask everyone to keep in mind, to support the players in this moment. Remember these guys are just college athletes and not professional. They need confidence and having supportive fans in the bad times go a long way for players.

Thanks again for the site and I look forward to continuing to follow the site and support the Tide.

crimsontider said...

Anyone think this is actually Ronald Steele?

bobbyjack said...

Whoa... while I can't verify for sure, I did see traffic from Italy at the time of this posting so I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt.

First off, thanks for reading... hope Italy is treating you well.

Yeah, we are all frustrated right now and you are correct that in the end the players are the ones that feel the brunt of the negativity, but how else does a fan express their displeasure of the current product? If fans continue to show up our Athletic Department will read that as a sign of all is well. It's a tough spot for the players as it is out of their control (somewhat).

Whenever you want to roll with a Q and A let me (or DJC) know... I'm pretty sure we'd be stoked to get that going.

crimsontider said...

If this is actually Ronald Steele, good luck, hope all is well, and I am very happy too see you playing professional basketball. RTR.

DJC said...

Thanks for all the time and hard work you put in while playing for and representing our University. It's great to hear that you are playing professionally. Good luck, and please try to post more often and let us know how things are going.

You are 100% right about supporting the players. It's easy to be there when things are rolling, but they probably need the support now more than ever. We're lucky to have a good group of guys who play hard for us every night.

On the other hand, the coaches are getting paid a lot of money to win basketball games. I'm still hopeful that this team and staff can turn things around, but I can understand why some reasonable people believe that's not in the cards at this point. To them, the only way to effectuate change is to withdraw support. Logically, I don't have a problem with this where the coaches are concerned, as I said, they are being compensated handsomely, but it's unfair to the players who are doing everything asked of them.

Msmilie said...

If he's basing his decisions on attendance instead of the product on the floor, he's an idiot.

If I'm a season ticket holder who loves Bama basketball and wants to go to the games regardless of my feelings for the coach, I'm fricking going to the games. The players shouldn't have to play in an empty gym because people are frustrated with the coaches.

Msmilie said...

If this is truly Ron Steele, thank you for reading. If this is someone posing as Ron Steele, thank you for reading.

(Major fan geekout at the moment)

crimsontider said...

Money talks. This is not Alabama football, you know that as well as I do. Alabama deserves better, if you don't show up, then you will get better. That's the sad truth,

Msmilie said...

I hope no one ever has to count on you for support, CT. You have a right not to attend games based on your own feelings, but to implore other people not to attend games? You're a sad fella. That's like a parent refusing to go see their kid in a school play because they don't like the teacher.

And I'll repeat it: If Battle is more concerned with asses in seats instead of the team results on the floor, maybe he should be sent packing as well.

finebammer said...

product. on. the. floor.

really happy? product on the floor?

has it occurred to you that attendance has been poor BECAUSE of the "product" on the floor.

has it occurred to you that because of the "watching paint dry" offense Grant runs, fans who show up to see the wins, walk away feeling like we lost??

like it or not happy, this is a business. and if Coach Battle cares a whit about the basketball program, he has to look at the return on investment in Anthony Grant.

and one of the quickest and most reliable ways to gauge that return is to look up in the stands at tip off and see how many empty seats you have.

and that's DIRECTLY connected to the "product on the floor".

crimsontider said...

Very good points, Ron. The point I have always made about Grant's demeanor is not that he does not care, but that on the rare occasion that he exhibits a great deal of emotion, the players, and crowd seem to respond to it. I think if he displayed more on court emotion, it would really help the overall energy of the players, and the arena. Thanks for posting this as it was very insightful. Please post as often as you can, as I believe all of us would love to hear perspective on the game from a former player. RTR

crimsontider said...

"That's like a parent refusing to go to see their kid in a school play, because they don't like the teacher" I am an Alabama basketball fan, M. The program is my kid, not these players. If Grant is allowed to stay, the program will suffer for it, long after these players are gone. The best thing for our program, is a coaching change. And the best thing I can do as a fan, for my program is not go to the games.

DJC said...

I would love to hear your thoughts and what we can do strategically to improve the offense, if you have the time to share your thoughts. I agree the system isn't the problem, it's the same thing Florida runs, but with no consistent outside shooting threat and no scoring presence in the post, I'm not sure any system would light up the score board.

I hate to deal in rumors, but I think what you said about the lack of aggressiveness lends some credibility to this: I was told that a former player (before your time) advised a current player to take more shots. The current player responded by saying that he can't, because Coach Grant would get upset and bench him if he misses. The former player basically said that shouldn't matter and he needs to shoot regardless. Now, the former player is one who was certainly not shy about putting up shots, and the current player is one that I have criticized here for passing on too many open looks. I say all of this because if players on this team are afraid of losing playing time for missing open shots, Coach Grant needs to "loosen the reigns" as you say, because what we are doing is not working.

Msmilie said...

Going to the games to support the players has nothing to do with the business aspect, it's just the thing to do if you call yourself a fan. I'll again use the analogy of a parent going to their kid's school play. The play isn't going to be of high quality and you won't always find yourself entertained, but it's the right thing to do in order to support your kid. As fans, we can be upset with the direction of the season and the program in general, but we should never stop supporting the players. And the best way to support them is to go to the games and pull for them to be successful.

If people show up, but Bama still struggles to reach .500, Battle isn't going to just accept that. While butts in the seats matter from the business standpoint, so do wins and losses. If people could be bothered to still attend football games during the worse part of Dubose and Shula's tenure, why can't people continue to support the team through this rough stretch? This has nothing to do with Grant, it has everything to do with supporting the players who have chosen to come play for the university.

crimsontider said...

I have watched every minute of this team play this year, I even payed money to watch the West Georgia preseason debacle, so I think that qualifies me as a true fan, rather or not I decide to give my money to go support something to where I know the outcome. These are not children, these are scholarshiped players that are 18-22 years old. These are grown men, that can do everything, that you, I, and everybody else can do. Also, I would argue that going to the games is unfair to the players that will be hear a few years from now. These players are being failed, and I have stopped attending games to help them as much as anybody.

finebammer said...

to the point that Grant did not aspire to be a "high major" basketball coach.

actions speak louder than words, bud. the fact is after Alabama offered Grant the job, Grant made Coach Moore wait a week while he watched to see if Donovan was going to leave Florida as (amazingly now that we have five years of Grant's coaching to observe) Grant was thought of as the top choice to replace him.

the fact also is that Grant beat Duke at VCU, and high tailed that wave out of Virginia. now there's nothing wrong with ambition and trying to better yourself by changing jobs. i've done it many times. but don't act as if Grant is an ambition-less saint. had Florida offered him the job, he wouldn't be in tuscaloosa. putting loyalty aside, i wouldn't have blamed him, Florida's is a better program.

had Grant made a few tournaments with Alabama and made some noise, he likely would be already gone. he set that precedent by leaving VCU where he as under contract.

so let's not act as if Grant doesn't have his own self-interest at heart. he's already proven he does.

(refresh my memory, Ron. what were your knee problems originally diagnosed as in nov./dec. of '06?? what were you told was the best thing for that diagnosis? how many times were your knees scoped after that diagnosis??)

Ronald Steele said...

Points well taken for sure.

I really didn't have a firm diagnosis that I can remember. Just was told inflammation/ tendonitis. After the season I went to Birmingham to see the doctors and they decided to scope it to get a better look at the problem.

After they were able to go in and see the damage, I had essentially worn all the cartilage out of my knee and my knee was bone on bone. I had a micro fracture surgery after that, and 2 other scopes after for other damaged cartilage.

finebammer said...

yes, now i remember. tendonitis. media reports were that the best thing for you to do was play. also recall watching you suffer to play.

i recall a game against vandy (i think) where you drug your self up and down the court before taking yourself out of the game right before halftime. subs came in in second half and almost won the game.