Bama took advantage of poor LSU defense to build a sizable early lead and cruised to an easy victory.
Riley made 4 of 6 early 3 pointers and Davis added a few more as Bama built a 16 point lead in the first 12 minutes of the game. It never felt like LSU had a chance after that.
LSU is a bad team, but they shouldn't be THIS bad. Johnny Jones has got to go, and frankly he should have been fired after missing the tournament with a very talented squad last year. Not to take anything away from our guys, but how do you give up 90 points to us!? There have been times this year that it didn't look like we could score 90 in regulation against air. We probably could have hung 100 on them if we didn't call off the dogs in the second half. LSU's defensive effort was one of the worst I've ever seen at the D1 level. They were simply going through the motions. I feel sorry for Blakeney, he has no help and seems to be the only guy on that team who still gives a damn.
All of that being said, I like the fact that we were able to play well while speeding up the tempo a bit from our normal comfort zone to take advantage of their deficiencies. We ended up 10 of 25 from 3 point range and had 5 guys score in double digits. Riley set the tone with his early 3s and finished with 17. Davis had 15 off the bench and played a great all around game. Jimmie and Key each had 11. Donta had a nice game with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Bola was the player of the game putting up a double-double with 16 (!) rebounds and 11 points. For years we've been talking about how we need someone to play the "Chris Hines" role. Bola doesn't do that exactly, but he fills a lot of those needs.
Crowd favorite Lawson Schaffer got into the game late and got a couple of assists. Speaking of the law firm, I would like to know Coach's thought process behind putting him in for Riley with 3 seconds left in the first half with LSU having the ball. To say Riley is a better defender is an understatement, in fact Lawson would probably be the last guy I would ever put it for a strictly defensive possession. The only thing I can figure is he didn't want Riley getting a cheap foul and wasn't concerned with Lawson giving up a basket since we had a 15 point lead, but Riley only had one foul at that point. It was a real head scratcher, but thankfully LSU missed the shot.
The crowd was announced as a sellout, but there were lots of empty seats, particularly in the Tide Pride and student sections. I would say actual attendance was probably closer to 11,000.
This was a nice, uneventful, confidence building win we needed going into the crucial final four games of the regular season. Each one of these are "50/50" games at best, and on the outside chance we could run the table, we could potentially get into the bubble conversation.
Up next, a rematch with a solid Georgia team that just took Kentucky to the wire. Tip off is set for 6pm at Coleman Coliseum, and the game will be televised on ESPN2. If you can, take off work a little early and get to Tuscaloosa for the game. We need all hands on deck from here out.