I attended the annual BBQ and open practice for Tide Pride and Tuscaloosa Tip-Off Club members last night. There's not a whole lot to report that is new or different from my observations from the Tide Tip-off scrimmage last week.
This year they switched from Full Moon BBQ to Hoos-Q, which was a slight improvement in my opinion. The team was already practicing when fans were allowed in to get the food at 4:30 p.m., so we only got to see the last 30 minutes or so of the practice. They did more offensive and defensive zone work than in the previous scrimmage, and also worked a fair amount on the 2-2-1 press. They ran some rebounding to transition drills, and concluded the practice with a special situation of a tie game, side-out, with 10 seconds remaining coming out of a timeout.
Last year when they did that same situational work, the plays were more ISO types with Collin, and trying to get him to be patient enough to wait till under 4 seconds to make his first move so we get the last shot. This year, there was much more off the ball picks and movement, with 3 or 4 guys touching the ball.
I will note that Riley Norris had a much better practice than he did in the scrimmage last week. He made a couple of 3s, including one from the corner at the buzzer in the aforementioned end-of-game drill. Petty also shot the ball well and looked to drive in more.
Coach Pelfrey took a much more active role in coaching during the practice as opposed to the practices I saw last year when it seemed like Coach Johnson was doing the lion's share of the instructing.
Coach Johnson spoke briefly at the end and answered a few questions. The whole thing seemed a bit rushed as he mentioned he had to catch a plane. We later learned he was going to Texas to recruit Drew Timme. I thought it was funny he mentioned our loss to the "eventual world champion Villanova in the tournament." The Golden State Warriors might have an issue with that.
He discussed a couple of rule changes that I was not previously aware of. A defender who "hook and holds" in the post can now be called for a flagrant foul after review. The same is also true on a closing-out defender who under cuts a 3-point shooter. I understand they are trying to protect the players' safety, but I don't like either of these rules. It's easy to get arms tanlged in the post or accidentally bump a shooter, and I think a flagrant is too punitive. Dazon in particular is bad about bumping the 3-point shooters, and this could lead to 5 point plays and a loss of a possession.
The team will face the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a scrimmage on Saturday at Coleman Coliseum. It's closed to the public, but if I can somehow find out what time it starts I might try to show up until they kick me out.