I wanted to turn this game off after the first four minutes. We were down by double digits without a single basket and Tom Lopes was the head official. I honestly expected to lose the game as soon as I heard that Lopes was the referee, but that is no excuse for Bama's poor performance. Besides, I promised Bobby I would post something after the game.
Bama played flat footed for about one-third of the game. Our TI Buddy Flash probably already has posted that Bama failed to demonstrate the mental toughness they needed to have a shot in this game, much less keep a game they could not win close. Flash would be right.
The Tide did not defend well and did not shoot well against one of its primary SEC opponents (M$U and LSU being the other two). Bama got out hustled, out coached and out "athleted." All of that, IMO, is due to lack of concentration and the failure of Davidson and Steele to provide the on-court leadership our younger players so desperately need if they are to succeed.
In Bama's defense, however, Lopes and Co. took them out of their game several times. In the beginning of the game they allowed Arkansas to get away with murder all over the court. Bama not only did not shoot uncontested shots. They did not shoot any unmolested shots. Admittedly the officials seemed to allow Bama similar indiscretions underneath the hoop, but Bama does not have the bodies required to play that sort of game for 40 minutes.
Every time Bama seemed poised to make a run, or at least to break get Arkansas out of their rhythm, the zebras called a fatuous charge against one of Bama's interior players. I am disgusted with the SEC officiating, but I am even more disappointed that Davidson, Riley and Gee did not play better or smarter.
Maybe Bobby will delete this post after he returns from his weekend trip. Right now, however, I am too disgusted to think of anything else good to say.
Let's hope CMG uses this as another educational tool. We still have several big SEC games on the road, and Florida will eat us alive on national television if our kids play like this. Steele needs to get well. Davidson, Riley, Gee and Tubbs need to learn how to make their shots (even when they are being bumped while shooting without the benefit of a whistle). All of our kids need to learn to play mentally tough, especially in a hostile environment with unfriendly officials. If they are going to lose, they at least need to play harder while losing.
Please show up Tuesday if you have a ticket. Our kids could stand to enjoy a friendly crowd against a big LSU team.
Now please excuse me. I think I'm going to get sick a few more times.