Saturday, February 28, 2009

Welcome back, Mr. Outside Shot

Edit- added box score (bobbyjack)

It is amazing what hitting outside shots can do for a team that does not have an all SEC caliber point guard. Brock's bombs seemed to open things up for Gee & Co. to move around with the ball to either hit chip shots or allow their teammates to get put back points. Bama shot very well from the foul line, Ole Miss went cold outside the arc until the game was virtually over, and the officials did not give the home team any edge at all. In fact the last 14 minutes of the game looked more like an Ali-Frazier fight than a college basketball game, but I'll take the W and be glad to have it.

Ole Miss is not the best team in the conference, but Bama has had trouble winning there for as long as I can remember. I would rather have broken the conference road losing streak in Starkville, Nashville or api, but again a road win is a road win.

Congratulations to Coach Pearson. He does not seem to suffer from his mentor's insistence that the starting five players average 38 1/2 minutes per game. He stayed with the hot players and their teammates were more than happy to feed them the ball. Congratulations also to the team. They have continued to improve both their effort and their execution. It's fun to see bodies flying around and rolling on the floor chasing loose balls.

Work will keep me from attending Senior Night. I hope everyone who can will show up to help our team beat that west Georgia team known as api. Maybe Greg Cage can score a dunk against them like Jason Reese did a few years ago.

Roll Tide!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ole Miss stats pack II

Ole Miss stats

Ole Miss is currently 6-7 in conference... a true testament to Andy Kennedy's coaching as a good # of their team is injured. Watch Terico White and David Huertas... that is where the vast majority of their scoring comes from.

The stats
- 43% FG
- 34% 3PT FG
- 74% FT
- +1.1 rebound margin
- 13.1 turnovers per game

Prediction: They've won their last 4 homes games... the last 3 by at least 15 points so thinking we can steal one there IMO is crazy talk. Ole Miss is also playing for a post season berth so they'll be motivated... and wins this one by 12.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pearson's Posse Pounds Pigs

88-67 and the game wasn't as close as the score indicated. We led by 30 for much of the 2nd half. This should give us some confidence going into our last 3 games, two of which are on the road. Arkansas is not as bad as we made them look or their record indicates. They won some big non conference games, but their only SEC win was against us. However, they have lost several close games at the buzzer. The only negative from the night was Demetrius Jemison turning his ankle. Hopefully it is not too bad. Alonzo Gee was the SEC player of the week last week, and he is well on his way to winning it in back to back weeks with his performance tonight. Greg Cage even got in the game and scored a basket. Obviously, we aren't going to shoot better than 50% from 3 point range every night, but let's hope this is a sign of things to come.

Up next, we go to Oxford, MS seeking our first road win against the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Central time. The game will be broadcast on Raycom television, so at least I'll actually get to watch it.

49-23 Bama at halftime

Alonzo Gee started out 5 for 5 from 3 point range. Sounds like Coleman is having a great game. We need to continue to play solid defense and not let them back into the game, but this is by far the best we've played all year. Arkansas has a horrible record, but they have not been getting blown out like this. Perhaps the win over $tate will be a turning point in the season.

Razorbacks stats pack II

Here you go.

Sorry to be short and sweet, but I'm pressed for time today. Anyways, Arkansas sucks worse than we do. They can't shoot from outside, suck inside, and play matador defense. What they are good at is in transition. Put them in a half court game and they make us look like North Carolina.

Prediction: Is 2 in a row possible? Hells Yeah! Bama by 8.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week 7 SEC Hoops Poll and bubble watch

SEC Power Poll

Posted on Ghost of Chucky
Anyone think the SEC will be represented in the NCAA tournament in week 2? I don't.

Bubble Watch- my biased opinions as of today:

ACC
Maryland- In
Va Tech- out
Boston College- out

Big East
Syracuse- In
Providence- In
West Virginia- In
Cincinatti- out
Notre Dame- out

Big 12
Kansas St- out
Texas- In

Big 10
Penn State- In
Minnesota- out
Wisconsin- out

MWC
BYU- In
UNLV- out
SDSU- In

PAC 10
Arizona- In (reputation)
USC- out

SEC
South Carolina- In
Kentucky- In
Tennessee- out
Florida- out
Miss St- out

Sunday, February 22, 2009

$tate....sucks, $tate sucks!

A great win for us yesterday, which should considerably help our chances of making a post season tournament, and just as importantly, seriously hurt the cheaters' chances of making the NCAA tournament.

We still didn't play our best game. We had way too many careless turnovers. Our guards must do a better job of taking care of the basketball. Green and Knox's foul trouble meant we had to play Jemison and Yamene at the same time more than I would have liked. Speaking of Jemison, he stepped up big time.

We allowed the fighting $tansfields to built a 9 point lead by sitting back in a zone and letting them light us up from beyond the arc. Our defense was much better when we switched to a man to man, and this allowed us to come back and take a 5 point lead.

Free throw shooting was much better, but still not clutch. We had a chance to put it away in regulation but could not do so. Gee had an outstanding game, as did Hillman. Hillman still took a few ill advised shots, but much fewer than he has in recent games.

Apparently the refs thought that since the players wearing maroon were being paid, the NBA rules applied. I cannot recall ever seeing so many missed travelling calls in an SEC game. I think they called travelling once, and both teams got away with it at least 4 or 5 times.

The size of the crowd was not very good, I would say probably around 7,000. Of course, a good number of $tate fans made their annual trip east. They were generally not as vocal as they have been in the past, but I was fortunate not to be sitting anywhere near them this time. I did notice a couple of $tate fans getting tossed out of the student section. I can only assume they were acting like typical $tate fans. Our small crowd was actually very enthusiastic and into the game. I can only recall being able to hear the $tate fans, "maroon, white" chant once. Hopefully we will have a bigger student turnout for the Arkansas game since it is during the week.

Up next, the struggling Razorbacks come in Wednesday night for a 7pm Central time tipoff. Let's make it 2 in a row and get some momentum going. Once again, there is no TV, and I'll be back out on the West Coast so I'll be relying upon Chris Stewart to keep me up to speed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Monster game by Gee lead Tide to victory over MSU

Box score

A double OT thriller as we win 87-85 over the hated Bulldogs from Starkville. It's about time something good happenned to this team.

The good:
- held State to 34% FG
- 80% FTs... huge today!
- Jemison off the bench... what an effort!
- Gee and Hillman played under control.

The bad:
- 18 TOs... too much
- Knox and Green fouling out... they got to be smarter about their fouls

All in all, a very good win over a decent MSU squad. Hopefully this is a deathblow to their NCAA chances.

Side note- did I miss something regarding Hollinger? He didn't log a single minute... not that I think he should be playing a lot, but it's odd he wore out the bench chair.

Miss St stats pack II

Stats

State comes in at 7-4 in the conference and really need this game if they are to entertain any real hopes of playing in the big dance. Our mission... to beat them and make their reality the Not Invited Tournament. We played them tough in Starkville and I believe this team is due for a win.

Prediction: Alabama by 4. I have to believe this team has one upset left in them and this is the game. If they can't get up for their biggest basketball rival then this season is truly lost. Gee puts up 20, Green contains Varnado, Torrance dishes out 7 assists, and Hillman seals the game with an in your face dunk!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Side note- we CANNOT allow MSU to sweep us two years in a row and extend their winning streak on us to 6 games.

Game time is 3PM EST (2PM CST). Again, no TV for this one so you either have to be there or listen to it on the radio or online. It's a sad statement that both our games with MSU have not been on TV. We have fallen completely off the radar.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gators 83 Bama 74

The Gators led the whole way, stretching the lead to 16 on a couple of occasions. We cut it back to 5 and 7 a couple of times but couldn't get any closer. Sounded like we made some bone headed decisions down the stretch, didn't guard the perimeter, and couldn't make a free throw.

Up next, Mi$$ $tate comes to Tuscaloosa for a 2pm tipoff Saturday. I'm flying home for the weekend so at least I'll get to taunt $tansfield again this season. Honestly, there's not much left to play for at this point, but it's always good to beat those a-holes from $tarkville. With there being 4 post season tournaments now, we might still have an outside shot at one of them, but we're going to have to start winning some games.

Gators drown Tide

Box score

I'm going to keep this short and sweet... I don't know why we didn't go inside until the 2nd half. Yes I know we shot over 50% in the 1st half, but we also allowed 50% in the 1st half. I really believe if we made a real attempt to push the ball inside the 1st half could've been different.

Offensively we played alright. Green had another double-double, Torrance played ok at the point, Hillman was a beast in the 1st half, and Gee had a pretty balanced game.

Sometimes stats don't tell you the story of the game... if you look at tonight's stats without looking at the score you'd think we won going away.

FT shooting continues to be a sore spot, but at this point it's not going to change so accept it. Next up is Miss St on Saturday. I'd really like to win this one just to make sure they have no chance at the big dance.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Florida stats pack

Coming off a humiliating loss to previously defeated UGA, the Gators look to smack someone around to get back on track. Unfortunately, we're next for them.

Stats

- 49% FG
- 37% 3PT FG
- +.9 rebound margin
- 79.1 PPG

Guarding the perimeter... got to watch Calathes, Walker, and Hodge. Inside we match up well with them... actually I think we can win the game there. We need Green (if available), Knox, and Jemison to step up inside.

Prediction: Here's the problem... UF is undefeated at home and we're perfect on the road. Will the recent tough loss to South Carolina be the final nail in the deathbed for our team? Or is it a rallying point? I'm going with the latter and thinking this might be a LSU type road beatdown. Florida by 16.

Side note- tickets remain for this game in Gainesville so if you're crazy enough to drive down or live nearby you can go. The rest of the season is sold out however.

Game time is 7PM EST (6CST). No live TV for this one so it's either drive to Gainesville, turn on the radio, or find a streaming broadcast to listen to on the web.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cocks Screw Bama

We started a very unusual starting lineup thanks to Hillman feeling under the weather and JaMychael Green still being a little banged up. Kudos to Anthony Brock and Demetrius Jemison for stepping up and playing well in the early goings. We were able to slow down Downey for the first 15 minutes or so of the game, and when Green and Hillman came in off the bench, we stretched the lead to 15. During this stretch we were limiting the Gamecocks to just one shot per possession, and we were immediately attacking the basket on offense, even after made baskets by the gamecocks. We still had a 10 point lead going into halftime.

The second half was a complete disaster. The Gamecocks switched to a full court press which slowed down our offense. Normally, you think of using a press to speed things up, but it required our guards to take more time getting the ball up the court. We never attack a press, we merely look to break it. We made some poor passes in transition, our big men did a poor job of handling the ball in the post, and we continue to have difficulty getting the ball in bounds. All of these problems led to nearly 20 turnovers, which was a key in South Carolina getting back into the game.

I'm proud of Hillman for playing so hard when he clearly was not feeling well. During every timeout he was visiting with the trainers, who were basically forcing him to drink liquids. His chest was congested, and he was obviously having a hard time breathing on the sideline, using an inhaler at one point. I would have liked to have seen us switch up on defense and put him on Downey some down the stretch. Hillman's shot selection, however, continues to drive me nuts.

The crowd was absolutely pathetic. I understand it was Valentine's Day. Apparently, we have a lot of kitty whipped guys in our fan base. There were a lot of students still on campus, we saw them out eating and at the park before and after the game, most just did not even know there was a basketball game being played. Again, poor marketing. The crowd that was there, was eerily dead. With a tie game and less than 2 minutes remaining, with South Carolina having the ball, it sounded like an opera house. The place should have been rocking at that point. If I were a prospective coach watching on TV, Tuscaloosa did not look like a very desirable destination.

As for the final play, the official failed to call the offensive basket interference when it happened. Unfortunately, that aspect of the play is not reviewable. They could only review as to whether or not the tip in came before or after the buzzer. So, technically, they got it right on review, but they blew the call live, and the part that they blew could not be overturned. I was hoping they would even things out and get it wrong on review so that the end result would be what should have occured...overtime. Actually, we should have had less than 1 second and the ball so we could attempt our obligatory Jemison to Green with Gee on the wing for the shot at the buzzer play.

Up next, a trip to Gainesville for a 6 pm tipoff against the Gators Wednesday night. Florida is a very talented young team. Frankly, I expected them to be a little better than they have been this year, but I will still be surprised if we can hang with them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Controversal call clips Crimson

South Carolina wins it 75-73 on a last second tip in. Another heartbreaking loss for the team... I wonder if this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Box score

Like I said in comments... I only saw part of the 1st half, so I can't comment much about the game.

What I can comment on is the pathetic crowd for the game. Being that most of the tickets have been sold, it's downright embarrassing to see a sparce crowd out to see us play against a pretty good Gamecock squad. Yes, I realize the season is about in the tank, but we had quite a few football seasons in the recent past (2000, 2003, 2006) yet people filled up the stands anyways. I get it... we're a football school, but a pathetic fan showing like this isn't going to win us a top name coach.

That rant was geared to the season ticket holders that for the most part bought tickets for the primary reason of upgrading their football tickets. This program is the abortion known as Tide Totals. This "program" is geared to raise more $$ for athletics which is fine, but what it does for actual fan support is almost criminal. Of course most of us know where the vast majority of this money is going.

Student support... let's leave it as many of them rather drive back to where ever home is every weekend in the winter than stick around Tuscaloosa. It was that way when I was in school and it hasn't changed.

Maybe xCMG saw the writing on the wall before any of us did. It still doesn't excuse his effort the past 2 years, but maybe it was on his mind.

I remember the last couple years under Hobbs and IMO we are in a far worse spot than that.

South Carolina stats pack

The mighty Cocks come into Tuscaloosa looking to improve on their already surprising season. The Cocks come in 18-5... about 5 games better than I thought they'd be at this point coming into the season. They have road wins at Baylor, Kentucky, and UGA.

Stats

Guard the arc is the only way to beat them. South Carolina as a team is shooting almost 40% from 3 point range. Obviously we need to contain Downey, but look out for Archie and Holmes inside and on the boards. Fredrick chucks up a lot of shots and I say let him as he's 40% from the field... just watch him behind the arc.

More stats:
- 46% FG
- 62% FT
- 80.4 PPG

Prediction: We match up well with the Cocks with the exception of Downey. We have no one that can limit his shots or guard him with any confidence. He'll be the difference maker as we drop our second home game in conference play. South Carolina by 7.

Game time is 3PM EST on Raycom. Note that is split telecast so if you're like me you'll be getting Tennessee/Vandy on your TV instead of Bama/South Carolina. Here's a free video link to watch online. If you have the ESPN Full Court package you should be alright regardless of where you live.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alabama stats thru 2-8-09

From statsheet.com (click the different tabs to explore more)

Things that stuck out:

- 31% 3PT FG... no suprise there, but that's pathetic
- 69.7% FT... a bunch of FT masons
- 10.8 Assists per game... AUful and last in the conference.
- 13.6 Offense rebounds per game... makes sense since we put up so many bad shots. 11th BTW in conference.
- 4.7 Blocks... no one fears taking it inside against us. Again, 11th best in the SEC.

Digest that.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Good first 10 minutes... horrific rest of the game

76-62 is the final... LSU was up by as much as 24 I believe.

The good:
- first 10 minutes of the game
- Jemison taking advantage of PT due to Green's injury

The bad:
- Hillman, Torrance, and Gee couldn't find the basket
- horrific defending the 3
- horrific in transition

This is one of those games you forget about. I thought we made some serious progress in the last 3 games... and took 5 steps back after this one.

I like what Pearson is doing with the bench, but NEVER should Brock and Hollinger be on the court AT THE SAME TIME. I can't remember the last time I saw 2 under 6 foot gurds on the court at the same time, but I want to make sure I don't see that again in a game played by my beloved school.

This got buried in comments, but should get some pub

Izzo interested?

I have no way to verify if this is pie in the sky dreaming or if it has legs to it. My guess it's a dream piece. Just thought I'd pass this along.

BTW- Game time for LSU is 1PM EST.

Friday, February 06, 2009

LSU stats pack... the road edition and SEC Power Poll week 5

Unbelievable that we're the only one to beat LSU in conference this season. Unfortunately for us, they're playing a little bit better than the last time we met.

LSU stats

- 46% FG
- 38% 3PT FG
- 72% FT
- 8.2 steals
- 12.2 turnovers per game

You know their team by now... Thornton, Temple, Chris Johnson, and Mitchell give them plenty of offensive options... some of them we just don't have the bodies to cover. LSU as of now is the best in the SEC.

Prediction: we hang with them for 35 minutes then Thornton breaks our hearts with a three and Chris Johnson does his Shaq impression on the defensive end. LSU by 8.

SEC Power Poll

Week 5 edition (hosted by the Ghost of Chucky Blog). I had them ranked exactly like the final poll. I guess I am DA MAN!

Funny excerpt from the blog:

As a disclaimer for the week, our friends at the Georgia Sports Blog have a few words for SEC basketball fans:

"The Georgia Sports Blog hasn't been able to participate in the Poll so far this year due to not fielding an SEC Basketball Team. In the event that our status as a member of the league were to be re-instated with the hiring of a competent coach (or a traveling gypsy carnival maintenance man who believes in offense fundamentals), we will participate in future versions of the poll.

BTW -- Can I put Clemson in my SEC Power Poll? They looked liked the greatest team in the history of basketball last night....partially due to Duke's reflected suck and viewed through my own tainted lens of having just watched my own team play earlier in the evening.All praise Dancing Half-Time Girls in hot pants who soothe the tortured hoop fans' soul."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Great 1st half, but Vandy trip up Alabama 79-74

This was ours for the taking, but Vandy made an early second half run and we played catchup the rest of the way. Overall, I was happy with how we played.

Box Score

The was the best 1st half of basketball on the road I've seen from Alabama in 3 years. The second half... not so good, but I was pleased to see the team didn't quit when they fell down by 11 points.

Hack a Ogilvy worked... he was terrible at the line and we took advantage of it.

The good:
- Brock's hot shooting in the 2nd half brought us back in the game.
- Overall we did a good job on Ogilvy inside.
- Guard play was outstanding... until the last 2 minutes.
- FT shooting... Torrance especially.

The bad:
- Shot selection.. terrible by a couple of players.
- Defensvive breakdowns in the 2nd half.
- Rebounding late... Vandy crashed the boards and we didn't block out.

I really like what Pearson is doing with this squad... everyone is getting PT. You can see how much better the team is playing as a whole.

My gripe is Hillman's shot selection. Time after time he takes some of the silliest shots you can think of. He plays out of control most of the time... and while he is an exciting player in the open court, he's not so good in a half court set. Someone needs to sit his ass on the bench when he does this... and our next HC probably will. For all his positives, he has more negatives to his game IMO. He can't shoot but continues to do so, has issues handling the ball while being guarded, and his decision making has a lot to be desired. I'm really getting tired of seeing this from him game after game. It's frustrating!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Vanderbilt stats pack


A trip to Nashville... you know what that means for the basketball team. If you don't... keep reading.

Stats

We are going to have our hands full inside as I don't see any one player on our roster that can guard Ogilvy inside. I believe we should invoke the hack a Shaq rule and get Coleman some valuable Reggie Rambo... uh playing time. On the perimeter we need to be watching Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsley. Jeffery Taylor has struggled with his shot beyond the arc this year. Let him shoot it.

The stats:
- 45% FG
- 33% 3PT FG
- 69.6 PPG
- Rebound margin +5.1
- 14.8 turnovers a game
- 72% FT

I can't remember the last time we won at Vanderbilt... I don't think xCMG ever did and don't remember Hobbs winning there the last few years of his head coaching career. It's got to be the weird looking court.

Vandy is as beatable as they've been in a while there. They are coming off back to back blowout losses at home to UT and UF... the problem is we're not in either team's league.

Prediction: more pain. If it's a half court contest we lose big. If the shot clock isn't an issue then we have a chance to win. My guess is it's a half court game and we lose by 16.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Knight worth a discussion in Tuscaloosa- Finebaum article

Last Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Gottfried was gone, according to someone who talked directly with Knight, the now ESPN commentator began investigating the Alabama job. Big-time.

He looked at tapes of games. He studied the roster. He looked at who had signed with the Tide for next year and who might still be available.

"He would like the job," said the friend of Knight's. The man, who asked for anonymity, said Knight was serious and had strong interest in the Alabama job. The person said if Mal Moore picked up the phone and called, he would seriously entertain an offer — probably even accept. It's not about the money. He is wealthy (he gave back a year's salary at Texas Tech while he was there and made serious donations to the school library). It's about one last chance to finish his career on a high note, to be productive and useful. And perhaps, for one of the game's most iconic figures, leaving on a grand stage as opposed to the middle of a season.

Interestingly, Knight apparently has sent similar signals to people in Georgia as well, according to a recent report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But something tells me he sees the Alabama job as a more promising place. And for good reason
.

Read the rest here.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I'd be thrilled if he was our next head coach. Fan interest would be at an all-time high and most importantly lots of tickets would be sold for next season. Heck, I'd even entertain buying season tickets even though I live 190 miles away.

Monday, February 02, 2009

ESPN Poll released... still no sight of an SEC team

Kentucky dropped a couple and Florida got drilled by Tennessee this weekend. Our nextest bestest bet is South Carolina making an appearance. We're so bad we shouldn't have an automatic berth this year.

Link to latest polls

SEC RPI Ranking
- Tennessee: 19
- Florida: 35
- South Carolina: 46
- LSU: 55
- Ole Miss: 65
- Kentucky: 68
- Arkansas: 82
- Miss St: 106
- Vanderbilt: 108
- Auburn: 112
- Alabama: 129
- Georgia: 222