Wednesday, February 26, 2014

@ Ole Miss thread

The day job got the best of me this week... I'll try to get a preview up for the next game tomorrow.

Anyways, we are 0fer on the road. Despite the good showing on Saturday I don't feel good about this one.

Link to previous preview.

Again... let Eminem score... stop Summers... hope for Randolph/Cooper to support Releford on the scoreboard.

Updated season stats

ESPN3 is the only ticket to this one I believe at 8PM EST (7PM CST)... which is in about 10 minutes.

Ole Miss preview


crimsontider said...

Ole Miss guard Derek Millinghaus is suspended for tonights game.

Murray NA said...

Half time...too much man defense....won't work.

crimsontider said...

Somebody should wake Anthony up, and tell him that.

crimsontider said...

I think we should all just ignore what we spent the last two hours of our life watching. CM Newton says Grant is a great coach. It's only year five. I guarantee by year 10 that the greatness of Anthony Grant will shine through. Maybe, he'll even win a road game by then.

crimsontider said...

@jonsol: Alabama's 17 losses in basketball are its most since 14-17 season of 1987-88. And it's not even March yet.

Msmilie said...

Do you have to sabotage every single post with this drivel?

crimsontider said...

Sorry for criticizing CAG's coaching. He's obviously done a great job here.

Msmilie said...

CT: You're such an expert. Why not enlighten us all what the coaching staff could have done to win the game tonight? They made a great adjustment in the 2nd half with the press to get them back into the game and completely took Marshall Henderson out of the game after he burned them early, but I don't suppose you want to talk about that.....

The team looked tired. Releford in particular looked exhausted. He showed some real toughness in the 2nd half in helping the team get within six. Shannon was outstanding. If he continues to buy in and keeps working on his game, he's going to be a star. Levi also had a solid offensive game, though it would have been nice if he had been more active early.

Say what you want about the coaching, but there's not much you can do when you have a group of guys that can't stay in front of the opposing ball handler, grab rebounds or loose balls. Ole Miss had 18 more rebounds! 18! This team just doesn't have a post presence. Taylor is going to be really good, but he's simply not strong enough right now. A season of S&C for Taylor and Kessens becoming eligible is going to do wonders for Alabama on the boards next season.

Msmilie said...

If you're going to criticize, at least provide some commentary on what could be done better. Otherwise, you're just bitching and moaning.

crimsontider said...

Kessens was not even a great player at Longwood. He's no better than Jacobs, or any of our other big men, except for maybe Engstrom. He's not a savior, we will still struggle mightily on the boards this year.
Read some of my posts last year, and early this year. I have given advice to Coach Grant on how to improve the team. He has not used any of them. Repeating them is a hopeless process. I,like the vast majority of the rest of the fan base have conceded that Grant will never be able to win here, or have the success that we all hoped for. I have nothing against the man personally, like you imply. I think he is a great man, and a class act, but the fit is poor, and he is not getting the job done.
You can say that this team has no talent, but that is simply not true. We have six players that were ranked in the top 100 in recruiting rankings. Almost none of those players have improved throughout there career. This team was widely projected to be a tournament team, or at least very close to it. Instead, we are having our worst season in 45 years. Is this our least talented team in 45 years? Don't think so, but hey he's a nice guy, so let's give him one more year.
Just like Mike Shula.

Msmilie said...

Uh, he averaged 14 points, 9 rebounds for Longwood. Those are pretty good numbers. Yes, he wasn't playing the toughest competition, but the word on him is he has the potential to really surprise next season. He has length, he can pick and pop, he showed good ball-handling skills at Longwood. If he even plays with a little bit of a motor, he'll be better than Nick.

No one is calling Kessens a savior, but he will help fill a need. This team doesn't need saviors, they need guys who can fill roles. Right now, they don't have a post presence, multiple ball handlers, consistent shooters or guys who can adequately defend the man with the ball. It's not so much a lack of talent as it is they just don't have a group of guys who together can form one solid unit. There's too many holes in the dam from a player standpoint.

Admittedly, some of that is on Coach Grant and his staff. They couldn't land some guys they needed, got hit by transfers, didn't do a great job recruiting in 2012 when all they signed was Pollard. Everybody thinks I give Grant and the staff a free pass on everything, but I'm willing to concede that recruiting has been uneven.

Player rankings mean nothing. Nick Jacobs may have been ranked in the top 100, but he simply hasn't given the effort to improve. You talk about coaches developing players. There's only so much a coach can do with a player in practice. Players have to take the responsibility to improve. Admittedly, I don't know what kind of work the guys put in this past summer, but Releford is where he is now as a player because he improved aspects of his game (shooting, strength, conditioning) over the last two seasons. If a player isn't improving year by year, it's not always on the coaching staff. Grant and his staff have struggled somewhat in scouting recruits, and therefore have ended up with some guys who don't live up to those player rankings. If Grant remains in Tuscaloosa, they've gotta shore up their recruiting. It's not about quantity, it's about quality.

I don't remember these pieces of advice you offered Anthony Grant. Give me three examples of what he could do better as a coach. I'm honestly interested in your opinion.

How close is this team to not having the worst record in 45 years? There have been a few blowouts this season, but plenty of games could have gone Bama's win with a loose ball here, a rebound there. I'm just really disappointed in some Bama fans. You're letting an anomalous season overcome your sense of objectivity. This season has not been indicative of the direction of the program the
last 4 years. All I've been trying to say to you guys is calm down and consider the character of the leadership. That kind of character doesn't grow on trees in the coaching profession.
There are standards to be met,but more is at stake than wins/losses. My belief is that if we jump ship on Grant now, we could regret it later. If you truly think he's a class act, why so resistant to giving him one more year when he will have a more balanced team. One more year isn't going to cost Alabama the chance to hire an established basketball coach, but it may cost them a coach on the cusp of really turning the corner.

I love Nick Saban and what he's done for the university and the state. But I don't think it's crazy to think that if Shula had been given another year that he may have started to turn a corner. Don't forget, many of the stars on that 2009 team were Shula recruits. He wouldn't have achieved what Saban has, but it's very possible that he would have turned things around enough that he might even still be around. Mike Shula was not as bad of a coach as Alabama fans want to remember him as. He took over the program at a very terrible time due to the NCAA penalties and was probably not quite ready for a job the magnitude of Alabama football, but he wasn't this incompetent twit that some Bama fans remember him as.

Rocky Mountain High Tide said...

I can't wait to read crimsontider's response to this. You are without a doubt the most optimistic Bama fan in the world. And while I disagree about Grant I always respect the other opinion. That was until I read the comments about Shula. Wow. Shula was an underrated recruiter and did set the stage for the big turnaround under Saban so I will give him that. But as far as coaching and running a program he certainly was every bit of an incompetent twit and we most certainly were not about to turn a corner. He was the worst Bama coach since Ears. Yes, worse than Dubose. Do you not remember trailing Duke, the really bad Duke, at home at halftime? Not being to score 1st and goal at the 1 against an FAU team with 4,000 players suspended? How about all the 1st down and 5 yds and we punted? Talk to people around the program and especially the former players. Hell, bobbyjack said day 1 Shula was a terrible hire and he was proven correct.

I do agree that one of the standards of having a good program is doing it with some class. But that appears to be Grant's only good quality. In basketball making the NCAA is the ultimate goal for a power program. It's not happening. I posted this last night but I'll say it again. If Grant can only successful with a great D, do you really think his D can again reach top tier status with the new rules/games being called tighter? If yes, then what do you see on the court that gives you that confidence?

Msmilie said...

Optimism doesn't kill you, Rocky. In fact, you're more likely to live longer if you invite a little optimism into your life.

I'm not going to get into a football debate, because I'll be the first to admit I don't follow it or care about it the way I do basketball. The only good thing about football to me is that it means we're that much closer to basketball season. I did make the point that Shula would not have been able to match what Saban has done. However, I do think you have to consider the state of the program when he was hired. It was in pretty bad shape. But, again, I'm not a football guy so I'm willing to yield the floor for that argument.

Sure, the D can get better. The rules were already in place, they're just now being enforced. Good defense has always been the defender's ability to guard with their feet, not their hands. Many teams have struggled with that this season and I suspect it will improve next season.

And I do think the hand-checking call has been called too close. Watching a fair share of college basketball, it seems a lot of players are willing to give up the drive in fear of being called for hand-checking. The result is good shot at the basket or a foul call. I've heard some puffing their chests out about higher scoring in the game, but scoring is bound to go up when there are more free throw attempts and the rules favor the offense more. The big debate in college football right now

I think officials have to loosen up on making that hand-checking call. Players are so fast and strong these days, it's asking a lot of players not to make contact with their hands when a guy drives the ball. I think there should be some contact allowed if only to allow a defender to gain their balance against the guy with the ball in order to have a chance of successfully defending the drive. If someone is coming at you with the ball, it's a natural response to put your hands up to balance yourself against the force coming at you. If a player is holding or pushing back with his hands, blow the whistle. Otherwise, let them play.

crimsontider said...

I have, in the past on this site, and others recommended that CAG hire an offensive coach.I don't think he has the best staff around him that he could possibly have. It would also be nice if he recruited a big man, and gave the players a green light on a consistent basis. He's had time, he's had good recruiting classes. Giving him one more good recruiting class,and one more year is not going to change anything, and will only put the program in a bigger hole. Don't you think the program would be better off right now, if they had fired CMG a year before they did? Ditto with Hobbs.
Unfortunately, I have heard from a few third party sources, that the university will likely not make a change this year, so you will probably get what you want.
As for Shula,i've heard some unflattering stories about his time at UA, so we will just have to agree to disagree on that.

Msmilie said...

Eh, the offense they run is fine. Open shots are generated with the ball movement, but you either have guys too tentative to take open shots or can't make open shots on a consistent basis. They also don't have a post presence to take pressure off the perimeter players. Anyway, look at the stats, offense is not the issue this season. It hasn't been great, but it's been good enough to win games if the defense was better.

No, I don't think the program would be better off. Everybody wants to fire the coach as a first resort when things go wrong. Exercise some goddamn patience. The program has been solid the last three years. I don't recall anyone expecting a 11-win season when the predictions were made for this season. To me, this season is an anomaly. The program will not be shy of talent next year so even if Grant fails to move the needle in a sixth season and is fired, the next coach is going to inherit some nice pieces.

Gottfried was here 11 years, went to 5 straight tournaments, but could never build off his successes. He was given every chance to take the program to the next level. Hobbs just couldn't recruit talent and the program went downhill once he lost the Wimp holdovers. Again, he was given every opportunity. In my opinion, Grant deserves a chance to turn the corner with what will arguably be his best overall collection of talent.

Regarding your sources: I hope I get what I want, but nothing is in the bag for Grant at this point. For example, if they are swept by Auburn....well, that could definitely be a bad thing for him. There's still a lot to coach for, in my opinion.

crimsontider said...

I definitely think if he got swept by Auburn that would change things. My prediction on Grant basically stems from what I have heard, and just my overall feel for the situation.