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Great game and couple quick thoughts ...

  • I think an area to improve is on unforced turnovers. And that's for everyone on the team. Seemed tonight wed be inching back into the game (when we couldn't cut it under 4 for a period) and we'd sloppily turn it over.

    I look forward to the team next year under Grant's tutelage.

  • Lucky

    Great post. 100% agree.

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  • I wonder why the word "Conditioning" is seldom mentioned as an area of needed improvement. To me it is the biggest problem with this team. They get tired too easily. IF the team would adopt a new attitude toward being able to run all day then the cold spells, scoring droughts and collapses would greatly diminish and we would win these tight games. I also believe that the team isnt big enough for the two Trevors. Not trying to read minds or start rumors but those two do not seem to like each other. I think their icey relationship is divisive and part of the team follows one guy and half the team follows the other guy. Our chemistry is lacking big time.

  • Brian Henry

    Look at our guys, compare them to other big time rosters and compare their body builds. Why are our guys so soft (body wise)? It's like comparing Shula era athletes to Saban era athletes in terms of muscle definition. Is this on purpose?

  • Sadly, I agree and thought the same thing. There were times this year when I openly wondered if a coach specifically told his players in their scout to not even guard Moose? (I'm talking beyond the area between the blocks.)

    He really needs to develop his footwork and fundamentals in the offseason. It's almost like we're playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end when he's in the game, because not only is he no threat to score, he's no threat to position himself to grab an offensive rebound. Literally every rebound he gets comes from balls that land directly in his hands. And even some of those manage to get away from him.

    I really think if he doesn't improve significantly his minutes will go way down in favor of Carl and perhaps the new signees. Carl, while not a very good rebounder in his own right, seemed to be developing some touch and post moves late last year.

    IMO this is the biggest area where we miss Jamychal Green. His 14-18 foot jumpshot was money by the end of his career, both on the baseline and at the top of the key. He could pick and roll or pick and pop and people actually had to guard him. He was also a legit threat off the dribble for a guy his size as far as catching the ball in the lane and creating a shot.

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  • Moussa is awful. Literally the worst set of hands on a basketball player, at this level, I've ever seen. If someone sends a pass his way, little to no chance he catches it and makes a basketball move with it. He's a shot blocker/alterer and that's it. He gets horrible position defensively and has no idea how to use his body except when a shot goes up. Raw is an understatement for him and goes to Lucky's overall point of player development.

    Pollard is just as frustrating and although he's young, I'm still not sure what kind of player he could develop in to. He has potential on D because of his length but needs to introduce himself to the gym and anything else to add weight to him. Has little offense game we've seen so far. Watching him shoot a basketball looks like someone playing gets close without going in or seeming to have a chance. His handle is poor as well and no real offensive move except to dunk or pick up garbage on a tip or shot

    Randolph and Retin have really improved as the year went on and Releford's overall game seemed to improve...I think next year's team has a chance to improve and maybe the few extra games helped their confidence.

  • It's hard to fully judge Pollard yet, he played out of position all year. Pollard is a SF, not a PF or sometimes C like we played him this year. If Pollard really works on his 3 point shot and hits the weights so that he doesn't get knocked off his shot or route so easily next year I think Pollard will have a nice year for us provided he gets to play SF.

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  • With Traylor coming in, and Carl coming back, if Moussa gets to play more than 10 minutes a game next year I'm going to be serverly disapointed and we likely aren't going to be a NCAA team again if we have to count on Moussa for major minutes. He's got to many holes in his game that could possible be corrected by next season.

    If he could just learn to catch a pass when on the move before next season that would be useful improvement for him. One offseason is not going to be enough time for him to learn enough post moves (since he has none currently) to be any good at C.

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  • Brian Henry

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  • In no other industry in the world do you need four years to continue to wonder if you've hired the right guy. Even Presidents of the United States don't get that kind of leeway.

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  • Lucky

    I agree with you, but some of my comment revolves around the fact that I don't think Alabama could get better right now. IMO, Grant is showing improvement and next season is his hot seat year. Produce and give him another couple to measure. If you don't produce, it's probably time to go in another direction. And by producing, I don't think that means a NCAA bid. Production should be measured by what the team with its current talent should yield. Next year's talent should be top 32 or 16 at the very best.

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  • This is easily the best basketball thread that's ever transpired on this board. Great opinion in a variety of directions...applause to board.

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    "You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve"

  • In my opinion, there's enough talent on the roster to make the Dance. I don't think it's out of the question to have expected a tourney bid from this year's team. A couple of bad games and several bad stretches within games cost the team a bid.

    I agree with your comments about player development and fundamentals. Whether or not the offensive sets work or not is "mute" because of execution. One example from last night: plenty of screens were set and the pick man rolled open...but no one even looks at the guy.

  • Great write up Lucky,
    Hopefully we will see improvement again next year.

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  • To me production should never be measured independent of recruiting and player development. I understand that's how the "coach of the year" awards are typically allocated though I have never agreed with that methodology. In college athletics, as you well know, that’s just a huge part of any coach’s job description. I do think that special considerations injuries, suspensions, etc. (particular in low roster sports like basketball) should be given some consideration but not having any NBA players isn’t just bad luck.

    However, in terms of Alabama potentially not doing better, I don't really disagree. We could take another swing at up and coming guy but look around the conference at programs who have done something similar (UGA, LSU, AU, Arkansas, etc.) and Grant looks pretty good then.

    This post was edited by manbearpig7 16 months ago

  • I agree Lucky that he should get next year to be fully evaluated. That being said, we cannot look away from disturbing trends. The team here has mostly played together for a full two seasons now, yet we have decreased again in all offensive categories other than 3pt %, which was helped a ton by Rele. What's even scarier is that statistically we actually got worse offensively as the season progressed and not better. We finished the season w/o a win against any top 50 RPI teams in the regular season, and honestly I have only gone back 7 years so far, and we are the first team to do that in the past 7 years, and that includes Gottfried's worst seasons.

    This post was edited by IvoryTusk 16 months ago

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  • Lucky

    I agree. Talent level and year of tenure of the staff should have equaled a NCAA tournament bid. Alabama improved but not enough to make up for some no excuse losses. But, I don't think the talent level is anything greater than "bid level." Just my opinion.

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  • Lucky

    I don't know the staff well and honestly do not follow it that closely.

    From the few games I have watched over the past couple years, Alabama is not progressing from an offensive standpoint. Basic fundamentals a team needs to execute to be good offensively are not happening with this program. Ask yourself these questions, and the answer is "yes" to a few, but "no" for too many.

    -- Does the team have a point guard that can consistently penetrate and breakdown a defense and setup scorers first and score secondly?

    -- Does the offense have an inside/outside approach?

    -- Does the team have a proven low post offensive threat?

    -- How many "automatic" perimeter shooters (if any) does the team have?

    -- Does the team screen well (onball and away from the ball)?

    -- How many players can effectively feed the post?

    -- Does the team have a wing that can get a bucket late in the shot clock?

    -- Is the team a good passing team?

    -- How many players on the floor at a given time are proven offensive weapons? Less than 2 and teams are going to struggle -- even with just 3 of 5.

    -- How easy is the team to scout? What happens when you take away the first and second options?

    -- How athletic is the team? This plays a huge role in late in the close offense and especially offensive rebounds and second shot points.

    My point in this diatribe is that I just don't think Grant has near the talent that the average Alabama fan thinks he as. Now I am not shirking blame -- this is almost solely his fault/responsibility in my opinion. But we have to remember that the talent level across college basketball is lower than previous years.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by cory 16 months ago

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  • Lucky, just counterpoints,

    1. Rele was one of the top PG's in the nation, he actually was better as a distributor in his first year, and has gotten worse every year under Grant.

    2. We don't have a inside/outside approach because we run a ton of high ball screens and when we do past to the post we have had decent results, but we also have little movement to open up shooters once we do pass inside the post, and once its passed their it becomes the black hole.

    3. Proven low post threat, Jacobs is decent. Moussa is not, but also yesterday as a point, Moussa got the ball in the 1st half in the post and sealed Len easily and made a easy jump hook. Guess how many post touches he got after that play----ZERO. You can't establish a post presence when your coach doesn't call the plays for it.

    4. Lacey, Copper, Randolph were all good shooters in HS. Releford was good this year. Do we have a Scott Wood type, no but a lot of teams don't either. We have better shooters who play lots of minutes than Maryland. Difference is at times our kids are very scared to pull the trigger

    5. You're correct we don't screen well at all. Actually I am even trying to think of one time where we tried to slip a screen with a big and make a dash for the goal.

    6. We have two highly rated wings, one in Pollard who is scared to death of shooting, and the other won't pull the trigger at times because of the coach. Cooper is just as good as a shooter as Layman was for Maryland.

    7. We have lots of players who can feed the post, problem is that this is a very easy skill to teach if emphasized. Instead we emphasize dribble drives, and high ball screens, and rarely look at the post.

    8. We have proven offensive weapons however when they get here they get coached and suddenly lose the skill. Problem is we are primarily a one on one team, and when that breaks down we go to hell.

    9. We are horrible at rebounding, especially offensive. This is recruiting but primarily coaching. Colorado St. is tenacious rebounding team and the best in the country. Do they have any athletes, nope none. However they are coached on how to box out properly and how to fight for rebounds and positioning. They destroyed a bigger, more athletic Missouri team on the boards in the NCAA tourney, and Missouri was one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Why? Effort, plus technique and coaching.

    I disagree with you on talent level. I think we have enough talent level to win, however other than our defense we are poorly coached in almost every other area on the floor. We all want Grant to achieve greatness, but to me the biggest problem isn't the roster, it's the coaching. We have a ton of correctable mistakes.

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  • Maryland is a solid team. I think they should have been in the Big Dance quite frankly. Beating Duke twice in a month's span is quite impressive.