We won this game at the free throw line. Much like the game in auburn, it's a good thing they cannot shoot free throws.
I did not get to see the senior day activities for JaMychal Green, for reasons I will get to in a moment, but I am curious as to what kind of reception he got from the crowd. He didn't have his best game, but still put up a double-double and was the leading scorer. He made some nice passes from the post and was big on the boards for us. I thought he tried to do a little too much, especially in the first half. I think we all wish he would have developed into more of a leader, but despite the occasional attitude and off the court problems, I never felt like he wasn't playing hard on the court. I will miss watching his post moves, defense, clutch free throws, and mid range jumper.
Ben Eblen ran the point down the stretch and did a good job for us, even making one free throw, somehow. I very much agree with Alias below regarding running out the clock at the end of the game. Our time management was AUful last night. Once again, we failed to use our "use it or lose it" timeout at the end of the first half when auburn was on a run cutting our lead to 2. We had momentum, the ball, and a 4 point with 2:30 to play in the game, and went to a 4 corners offense. When you are clearly the better team, you generally want more possessions in the game. We allowed auburn to control the pace all night and I thought we were playing into their hands by trying to milk the last 3 minutes off the clock. Thankfully, we played great defense and JaMychal got the tip in and free throws, so it worked out, but I didn't agree with the strategy.
Once again, despite the crowd being a "sellout" there were plenty of empty seats in the student section. There were lots of people sitting around us who had not been to a game all year, and were less than enthusiastic about the basketball game. In fairness, the team didn't exactly give us a whole lot to be excited about most of the night. Hopefully we will have a good March and bring some energy back to Coleman next year.
This is somewhat unrelated, but allow me to vent. Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like Charlie Brown being followed around by the storm cloud. I didn't get to leave work when I would have liked, it seemed like everywhere I went I got behind the most slow, idiotic drivers, etc. As a result of all of this, by the time I get to Tuscaloosa and grab a bite to eat before the game, we arrive about 12 minutes before tipoff. I was denied access to the parking lot, to which I PAID $50 FOR A PASS, because it was "full." If you are going to charge $50 for a season parking pass, you better be damn sure you don't sell more passes than the number of spaces. I am in the "B" lot, and I am curious if the "A" lot was full. My guess is there were hundreds of available spaces that went unused. I had to park illegally at Foster Auditorium and walk briskly through the rain to barely make tipoff. Yet another in a long line of screw-ups by the incompetent dolts that occupy our athletic and ticket office.
Up next, we go to the Tad Pad, which may be the worst venue in the SEC, to take on the Ole Miss Rebels at 3pm Saturday afternoon. We never play well over there, and they gave us all we could handle in Tuscaloosa. This is a rare weekend road game that I will be watching on TV on the SEC network. The SEC standings are a mess, with Florida and Vandy tied at 10-5, while Bama and Tennessee are 9-6. I will try to study the schedules and tie breakers at some point and post what scenarios we need to get the 4 seed and thus first round bye in the SEC tournament.