Sunday, January 12, 2014

UGAly loss to Dogs, 66-58

The Tide remains winless away from Tuscaloosa after a bad loss at Georgia.  It was pretty much the same thing we've seen all year, no half court offense, no rebounding, no free throw shooting results in close loss.  At the time of this writing, the folks at are apparently still in denial, as they list this game as a win.  

I was surprised Georgia played as much man to man defense as they did.  I suppose coach Fox figured we have seen so much zone, and since we actually had a little bit of success against Vandy's zone, he would give us a different look.  It proved to be a good move, as for much of the game we seemed content to settle for jump shots from the perimeter instead of attacking the basket.

I think we get too conservative on defense away from home.  We didn't press until about midway through the 2nd half.  We ran a lot of the half-court trap which was mostly effective, but UGA did a nice job of moving the ball and finding Kenny Gaines open on the perimeter.  He and Charles Mann torched us for 22 points each.

Shannon Hale kept us in the game in the first half.  He ended up with 14 points, but he was the only one making shots and playing aggressively on offense in the first half.  Releford did not even score until the final minute of the first half.   We trailed 34-23 at halftime, and the Dogs would stretch the lead to 13 before we started to chip away.  Releford started driving to the basket and was much more productive in the second half, finishing with 17 points before fouling out.  We cut the lead to 3 but couldn't get any closer, despite Georgia making only 4 FGs in the second half.

I did not like the way the game was officiated.  It seemed like Bruce Benedict would call every foul on the defense when the offensive player created the slightest amount of contact. Georgia seemed to realize this much sooner than we did, and took advantage by getting to the line against our press, while we settled for jump shots for much of the game before finally starting to drive the lane in the final 8 minutes or so.

Cooper played fairly well in the second half.  I thought he played well defensively and his aggressiveness on offense helped us get back into the game.  Unfortunately, he couldn't get the shots to fall when we needed them late.  Cooper, Hale, and Relly all had good looks from the perimeter in the final 3 minutes that could have changed the outcome of the game.

Once again, we were out-rebounded.  Our bigs brought absolutely nothing to the table.  Carl played for 12 minutes and didn't score but had a couple of turnovers.  I don't understand how someone who played HANDball his entirely life can have such awful hands.  The slow and seemingly disinterested version of Nick Jacobs showed up again, and managed to get one whole rebound in 11 minutes of playing time.  Jimmie Taylor blocked a couple of shots but didn't get any rebounds or points.  At this point, even though all 3 are bad right now, I would give Jimmie Taylor the bulk of the playing time.  While he's not any better, he at least has more upside, and it's time to start playing for next year.

Retin had one of his worst games of the season, fouling out with only 4 points.  This team just can't seem to get all on the same page, and you never know what you are going to get from any individual player from game to game.

I've criticized the UGA fans in the past for being almost auburn-ish in their "football only" mentality, but I'll give credit to the Dog fans for coming out and supporting their team coming off their upset win at Mizzou.  Stegeman Coliseum only seats about 10,000, but I would guess there was around 7,500 there.  It was a good atmosphere as they give students some good seats along the sideline as well as behind one of the goals.  One thing I really liked is that they show live updates from other basketball games (and the NFL football games) on the TV screen during timeouts.  It was nice to see several hundred Bama fans in the house, though obviously we didn't have much to cheer about for most of the game.  It was a pleasure watching the game with our fearless leader (Bobbyjack) and his son.

Up next, the hated mi$$i$$ippi $tate bulldogs will visit Coleman Coliseum for a 7pm tipoff Wednesday night.  The game will be televised on the SEC network.  This isn't the $tate program of old, but they are coming off a win over rival Ole Miss.  This is a must win for our NIT bid aspirations.


bobbyjack said...

Ditto seeing you and your g/f again. At least the pre game meal was good.

A couple of things I noticed:
- As you pointed out, Grant tried to get the team to press after a made basket (I counted 2 occasions), but no one saw it.
- Releford and Grant hardly converse which is strange. I've noticed this for more than a few games I have attended over the last year.
- We have the softest big men in DI (at the very least the SEC)
- Stagnant O as usual with only big men setting screens.
- We take too many 3s for a team that sucks at it

My apathy has hit Hobbs levels. While we both think Grant gets another year I'm starting to think if things continue on as they are, we can't afford to let this go on.

Watching us play is now a chore instead of something I look forward to.

crimsontider said...

After the $tate game, our upcoming 7 games are @Mizzou, Florida, LSU, @Auburn, UT, @Arky and @Florida. I can't see us going better than 2-5 in those 7 games. Looking at the schedule, I don't know how we finish with a winning record. If Grant finishes the season with a losing record, do you see anyway he is back?

RichTide said...

After 30 years of following Bama basketeball I have stopped looking at the TV schedule to see when they are playing. Going to games when we lived in AL was a 15 hr/wk commitment. Watching on tv is only 4hr/wk but the family has enjoyed getting my time back more than I have wanted to watch this team. Can't believe I went to MSG last year to watch this team. After those two wins, thought Grant had turned the corner. The Oregon St, Purdue and Villanova fans all picked apart Grant's coaching and schemes. Thought they were just hating because we won the tourney. When I went to the VCU game, those fans weren't disprespectful of him but they were glad he was gone. They were always frustrated with his lack of offensive schemes. They had good 3 point shooters so it masked Grant's big weaknesses on the offensive side. When they got Shaka Smart they noticed the difference more. But they were surprised Grant hadn't been more successful at Bama. After they beat us they said if Bama didn't make the NCAA, Bama should let him go. Four years was enough in basketball to see if a coach had what it took. I agree. He's had five. The fan base resoundingly wanting him to be wildly successful. Class act. Solid recriuiter. But NOT an ambassador of Bama basketball and not the right guy to lead us forward. I think this team goes 5-13, 6-12 in SEC play. Not sure how he survives another year. If Battle keeps him, there will be a lot of fans looking like seats in Coleman next year.

crimsontider said...

Calm down, have you seen our recruiting class? It's only year 5. You have to give him at least 7 or 8 years.

RichTide said...

:) Better's only basketball. Who cares?!

crimsontider said...

The Battle plan