Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Gusta Basketbol de Alabama

Well done by Anthony Grant's crew in Puerto Rico. What was a disaster a year ago, turned out this time to be a good trip to Puerto Rico. I'm obviously excited about this team, as I have always been a bit fair-weathered on Alabama's football team - I have always been a Bama basketball fan. Which is why I disliked Gottfried so much.

Here's what I like and don't like about the team:

Like #1) As Doug Gottlieb gushed over throughout Sunday's broadcast, this team is full of athletes that are playing hard. It's a big deal if you can get that to happen. It's a bit of a mid-major (VCU-ish?) method - you may not have the best basketball players, but you make up for talent deficiencies with superior effort.

Good news for Alabama - they've actually got some good players, too. Good players, that are athletes, that play hard is a good combination.

Like #2) Trevor Lacey. At least so far. I think it's fair to say that he is the best of the three freshmen (Cooper, Levi, and Lacey), but he doesn't start. If Anthony Grant has done what I think he's done, then this really will be a tough team.

I believe that Grant has communicated to Lacey that he likes him as a player, and that he probably is the best of the three freshmen. But he needs Lacey's minutes to come and help him with Releford. Lacey can bring the ball up, and while there will be times when it's Releford at the 1 with Lacey at the 2, Bama needs some quality minutes when Releford's on the bench - something that our boy Eblin just can't do.

He appears to have accepted this role - which is important for such a young team.

Like #3) As mentioned, we can all look forward to less Ben Eblin on the floor. That is a good thing for everyone.

Like #4) Levi Randolph. Kid does not play like a freshman. Brings the ball up, hasn't made many mistakes, and plays his butt off on defense. Really with he and Rodney Cooper - when either one is in the game or has the ball, does it seem like either is a freshman? They just both play with a lot of confidence.

And for better or worse, with this, it appears that Charles Hankerson is quickly making his way out of the rotation. Nice knowing you, Hank!

The Swede doesn't do it for me.
Dislike #1) The Swede is no good. Gets pushed around, and comes across as having zero basketball IQ. It's a shame that so many 7-footers just don't understand the game or lack that aggression that would make them great. But I guess not everyone can be Patrick Ewing.

Among Engstrom's issues, are that he just gets flat-out outplayed by anyone that is around him. Players 4 to 6 inches shorter than he just put him to the side and take him out of what should be good rebounding opportunities. If Swede's in the game for five minutes, he'll cost Bama 3-4 second chance possessions (offense and defense).

I was hoping that he could give Bama 8 to 10 minutes a game. Doesn't look like that's going to be possible. That leaves Bama with a low post presence of only JaMychal Green and (I guess) Nick Jacobs. That's it - check out the roster, you'll see.

And when JaMychal gets in foul trouble in an SEC game - it's going to be a problem.

Dislike #2) This is a nitpick. Tony Mitchell needs to tone it down. I've just got a feeling that he could be spending the year trying out for the NBA. He's crazy streaky, and I'm just concerned that when he's on a cold streak he'll try to push through it and possibly put Bama into a bad spot. Really just depends on where his head's going to be once more people start to take notice of him.

It's all good now, but challenges await with VCU, Georgetown, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State all in December. (Who would have thought Bama could actually schedule some games? Mark Gottfried told us all that no one would play them...)

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