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That was a great game to watch and you can definitely see the improvement in the team. Alabama got better as the season went on and had a solid year. Anyone expecting more, should take a long, hard look at the roster.
Alabama has some nice players, but there's not a ton of high- end talent on the roster. Always ask yourself one question: How many NBA players are on a team? How many does this roster have? I would say none, and I don't mean that comment to slight these guys, just being real about where Alabama basketball stands right now.
You win these games with talent and kids that can take over games down the stretch. Alabama isn't there. Overall, solid season and I think Grant, who I have been a big critic, took several steps forward this year. Anyone wanting a change is nuts. Alabama can't do better right now and Grant is improving/developing -- there is measurable progress.
One negative note ... player development has to improve. Fundamentals have to improve.
Take Lacey's final shot as an example. He gets a great, great look with an instinct shot fake then he takes a jacked-up fade away with his feet not right -- no momentum toward the basket. Everything about that shot was wrong from a fundamental standpoint, and he is potentially the team's best perimeter shooter.
I've been telling my 14 year old all year to watch Lacey shoot the ball and how inconsistent he is because of his "sloppy" fundamentals. The thing about shooting a basketball, it will always come back to bite you when it matters most.
My question is ... where is Lacey next year with these type of deficiencies? Do they craft a plan that helps him work on areas that are keeping him from developing? And this isn't about Lacey -- referring to all the players.
I don't know, but Alabama's last possession was a microcosm of the entire season. Coming up short when it mattered most. But, there is a reason why!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Lucky 16 months ago
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Great commentary, Lucky...
and yes, it is ironic how Lacey's last shot was the whole season encapsulated. Well done.
1960 Les Paul
Agree with all but great game to watch. That was as sloppy as it gets on both sides. There was a blowout to be had if one team or the other took care of the ball.
Agree with you for the most part. I think if we're being honest, we'd swap rosters with MD any day of the week.
Side Note: Pollard didn't play much, and I understand, but did you notice how well he denied the entry to Len in the 2nd half? He was going to keep him from getting it on the block or die trying. I like that in a freshman.
Are you in the camp that thinks Alabama can succeed under Grant? I know you support a 5th season, as do I. But do you think Grant is the right coach to lead Alabama back to being a perennial NCAA tourney team with the occasional deep run?
Also agree on Lacey. He's the one player who honestly has not improved one iota since arriving. He shows flashes of raw talent, but he screws up so many plays that hurt our team. Unfortunately we didn't have anyone to send out there in his place. Hopefully Obasohan can swap minute totals with him next year. Also need Randolph to continue his emergence as a points contributor. Adding Shannon Hale should help on offense. Kid has been lighting it up the last 6-8 months.
Lucky, you are correct on much of your post but you did not mention one area of major concern - off-ball activity. The lack of effort and desire on both ends of the court has absolutely nothing to do with talent. Our sloppy fundamentals are not just in the area of shooting.
We played with tremendous effort and intensity in the last 3 minutes. We guarded hard off the ball, we attacked the glass, we looked for the open man. I didn't see much of that until it looked like we were going to lose.
Best post on this board in months...critical and to the point without all the emotion...
"You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve"
*** I am in the camp that Grant 100% deserves another year. I believe that the verdict is still out on whether he's the guy, but him coming back should be an absolute. Is Grant the right coach for the future? There is no answer at this time.
*** I've watched and been around a lot of great shooters. Lacey could be a very good perimeter player. However, his fundamentals in shooting a basketball are awful. These kids watch guys like Lebron James shoot fade aways and shots with their feet in none fundamental positions and think they can pull it off. No chance. Lebron James is one of the greatest athletes on the planet. His feet don't matter. Lacey (and others) are not. For him to be a consistent shooter, he has to work on doing everything proper at this stage. He and Randolph should and can improve significantly this upcoming year. But they need to and Alabama will only be as good as they develop.
We need a competent big man. Period. Maryland backed us down all night and we had no answer.
*** I agree 100% percent with you. If I was going to dig into the problems offensively, that would have been my first comment. The lack of off ball movement is a killer in my opinion. An offense based ***soley*** on a high ball screen action isn't going to work, especially when the player setting the high ball screen is not much of a threat offensively away from the basket or on the move.
Not being a smarta@# but how can you say that the one negative is player development/fundamentals have to improve and then say Grant is on the right track? Isn't that the first thing a good coach should be able to do when he inherits a program? Saban did....
You can tell you've been around Don Meyer..."lucky" and I'm not referring to your name!
That's pretty much what I've meant all along about Grant needing to tweak his offense. Got to be a lot of movement and the screener has to be a threat as well.
Great great points on fundamentals...the best fundamental superstar in the NBA is Kobe IMO...he shoots plenty of jump back fading shots but he is almost always square to the basket with his shoulders and feet.
Two things that scare me under Grant. It's year 4, and our players still aren't in the physical shape you would expect and findamentals (not only shooting but screening, cutting, etc) then it's hard to see that changing when it hasn't in four years.
I have honestly never seen a worse offense against a 3-1-1 D. And the most disheartening part is it happened all year and we never adjusted. I know we were ridiculously weak inside but the lack of pick/rolls and backdoor attempts on the baseline was troubling. I want to believe in Grant but either he has a lack of offensive knowledge or he just doesn't believe it will work and would just rather have a basic swing offense against the zone.
As in football, the same things win that always won.
Coach meyer was an unbelievable teacher of shooting fundamentals. Ill never forget when he flew in larry bird for a clinic at Lipscomb.
Kyle Macy came in for my camp there. Meyer was a fundamental freak. That was over 30 years ago for me and I still use his stuff.
Absolutely we played one of are best games against a better team and still had a chance to win it.Fundamentals have to improve in many areas.Without a solid inside game we have to be fundamentally sound...RTR
first, great post. by far the best you've made on hoops, IMO. critical, hard hitting, but mature and professional. much appreciated.
IMO, one thing CAG needs to improve upon himself, is making QUICKER in game changes. I think he's got a good grasp of the game, but it seems it comes too slowly at times. For those critics that bash him at tims for standing/sitting silently on the sideline, I think this is the underlying frustration - he allows poor play to go on too long. He needs to either use time outs, or loud immediate corrective action to occur, be it yelling corrections, or benching a player(s) and instructing them.
Prime example tonight- Turgeon's soft press worked perfectly in the first half. We are slow to get into our sets at times as it is when we are out of sync, and the soft press, not trying to create turnovers, just slow play and eat shot clock.
We played right into their hands, content to walk it up with multiple lob passes back and forth across the court with the two primary ball handlers. We'd "beat" the press, but by the time we got into our set, there was only 20-25 seconds left in the clock. We had repeated possessions where we settled for a late forced 3.
Grant let this go on for 10+ minutes in the first half - the period of time where Maryland built a lead and established tempo.
Now Grant corrected it at half - we came out ATTACKING the soft press, found gaps, and got a few easy baskets, but at the very least were getting the ball across quickly and starting our sets with 25-30 seconds left.
Why did Grant let this go on for an entire half? seeing it once, maybe twice should've been enough to lead to change by the coach.
This same issue can be applied to any other sorts of lingering issues - another example being our lazy lob passes against their zone (I hate Jimmy Dykes but he was dead on tonight).
Grant and his staff cannot afford to let such things go on for extended periods. A good (not even great) sees poor play by his team and IMMEDIATELY corrects it.
I don't care for that feature of this offense too much, but you are exactly right that a talented big man makes it much more functional. A guy like J Green (and possibly shannon Hale next year) makes the defense respect the big man to either roll or pop off the screen.
As it stands, we have clumsy big men who are absolutely no threat to roll and receive a pass, much less pop and hit a mid to long range jumper.
Guys, I know you've heard me say this so many times but when Lucky says it more people seem to listen and I'm glad that some realize this now. The biggest problem that we have in basketball is a lack of big men. I have no problem with Releford, Cooper, or Randolph. We all know that I have been the most critical of Jacobs all year. Yes, I think he's an overall below average bball player on both offense and defense. Yes, I think Lacey keeps getting a free pass and I for the life of me don't understand why. Like I said all year, he's our best perimeter shooter and above average defender. He should never have the ball running the point… Ever! He's barely athletic enough to run a simple curl off a screen and get open. Lucky, I'm fighting back words to try and understand what you mean by player development and recruiting as a problem, yet I'm not getting the feeling you think it's CAG fault. In fact it sounds like you're praising him for the season we had for what he's had to endure. Accountability is the word of the hour and all should rest on him. Now I say this and still believe he's gonna do good things here. I still think this because like I said when he recruited two years ago that I was not in favor of some of the guys we got. Even though they were high stars and all, it just didn't make sense to do what he did with a few players. And for a long time I've been extremely vocal about the head scratching international experiment with our centers. I don't know how many times I've complained about it. I understand and appreciate your post in trying to calm some of the masses out there.
One more note: I just got back from this game and I still cannot believe we drew up a play for the coldest shooter on the team tonight. So what if he hit one game-winner earlier this year back in like December. He played his worst game tonight (Stanford game too) and I would have loved to see Levi or TR get a play instead of the coldest guy in the gym.
As a whole I agree with Lucky when he said Grant has done a decent job for what he has to work with. I agree totally with this, but what he has to work with is his own doing. I'm not smart enough to know if he's the right man here, I just don't want to lose him because I think he can accomplish good things here but I have to be reasonable and not talk out of both sides of my mouth and keep reiterating the word accountability. He's gonna have to be held accountable for this season and the way it looked. He sort of deserves another chance but another sloppy season like this and I just don't know. So far, he's basically put a sloppy product on the court that plays a hectic yet effective style of defense.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
I'd really like to have a guy like Len on our team. I mean he's huge, which is always a plus, but he gets in there and just works to get to the basket. He's a very physical big man and I think that's something this team desperately needs.
Moose was open 4-5 times on the roll tonight in the second half alone, WIDE open. But what good does it do when the opposing team is leaving him wide open by design? Haha. As a fan u can only sit there and shake ur head cause we know they can't pass it to him
If I were coaching the Moose would practice catching the ball and finishing strong off the pick and roll all summer long.
Uh fundamentals, offense, ball movement, player development, recruitng needs. Grant is being paid almost 2 million ! When and where does the buck stop? Call it like it is guys its his 4th year. Grant can't coach at least not 1.8 million worth, maybe d2, Juco, high school. If you can't teach fundamentals then you can't coach.
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