I did not have a way to watch this game tonight so I'm going off of the Gametracker numbers. I'm sure one of our esteemed writers attended the game and will provide a full recap.
First and foremost: Alabama wins the game, 76-68. By all accounts, Alabama played very poorly in the first half, had a solid second half run, but then stunk it up again towards the end. Nick Jacobs was the leading scorer with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Devonta Pollard had a solid first outing, stats wise, finishing with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Obviously the competition will step up in the coming days, but nonetheless a nice first game for the freshman. Lacey and Moussa Gueye also posted double digits with 13 and 14 points.
Engstrom, Steele, and, surprisingly, Obasohan did not play tonight. Engstrom and Steele was expected as Grant announced they were dealing with injuries in his last press conference. Grant mentioned in the postgame that Obasohan did not play due to a finger injury that required stitches. The time table for his return is unknown.
Trevor Releford had a very poor start to his junior season. He finished with 8 points on 2-9 shooting. It also appears he did not start the game. Instead, Lacey started the game at point. Rodney Cooper also struggled a bit, finishing with 6 points on 3-7 shooting.
They say stats don't lie. If that's the case, shooting remains a problem. It's only one game, but it's difficult to feel confident when you look at a stat line of 1-8 3-pt shooting and 15-23 FT shooting. Stillman only posted a 60% FT number or this game could have been closer in the last minute. Alabama also turned the ball over 17 times! (say that in your Ed Rooney voice) Again, it's early and there is plenty of time to improve, but Bama must make some major improvements on offense before South Dakota State visits on Friday or they're looking at an 0-1 start.
The defensive numbers look good, as expected. Stillman only shot a little over 37% (25% 3-pt), but did hold their own with Bama on the boards, only losing the rebounding battle by 7. Bama did force 17 turnovers, but their own 17 turnovers washes that out.
Final thoughts: We say it every year, but Bama has to improve their three-point shooting. Period. Moussa Gueye dropping 14 points is encouraging, but can he do it against legitimate competition? If he does, the front court play should be fine along with Jacobs and Pollard. Dakota Slaughter played eight minutes and shot the ball five times, making one. Keon Blackledge also logged one minute of game time, but did not score.