South Alabama Can’t Handle Crimson Tide’s Size, Fall 65-55

The Mitchell Center was buzzing.  More than 7,600 were ready to watch the hometown South Alabama Jaguars take on the home state favorite, the 18th ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

But as they lined up for the Opening Tip, everyone could see it was going to be a daunting task.

In addition to 7’0” center Kevin Samuel and 6’6” shooting forward Owen White, the Jaguars go with a three guard line up.  6’1” Isaiah Moore, 6’2” Turbo Jones and 6’4” Greg Parham II.  I don’t think you have to be Red Auerbach to figure out what’s going to happen vs Brandon Miller 6’9”, Noah Clowney 6’10” & 7’0” Charles Bediako.

The Tide grabbed the game’s first 9 rebounds and then went on to out rebound the Jaguars 63-40 for the game.  Alabama missed 46 shots, but grabbed 25 offensive rebounds.  I’m not sure Alabama ‘cruised’ to a 65-55 victory Tuesday night in Mobile, but they weren’t challenged much either.

South Alabama had a chance to make a it four-point game late in the 1st Half, but missed an open 3.  The Tide pushed the lead to double digits.  In the 2nd Half, the Jaguars pulled within 9, but the Crimson Tide followed with a 14-3 run that basically put the game away.  The Jaguars wouldn’t go quietly into that goodnight, once down by 20, lost the game by just 10.

I’m guessing in the Sun Belt, the Jaguars won’t face many teams with the size of Alabama, nonetheless, their rebounding efforts should cause some concern.

As for the Crimson Tide, they converted just 10-35 3FG.  I am very well aware that is their offense and I love seeing teams shoot from deep.  But there is no excuse for shooting so many 3’s when they have such a clear size advantage.

The best player on the floor last night was Isaiah Moore, listed at 6’1” (maybe).  He finished with a game high 20 points.  While he did attempt two three-pointers, the remaining 19 of his 21 shots were no further that five from the basket.  That means he’s beating his one-on-one defender and the much bigger help defender.

If Moore can make the layups inside against a much bigger team, why doesn’t Alabama take advantage of their size and dominate down low? 

Alabama is a very athletic and talented team and appear to have the pieces to make a deep run in March. (Javhon Quinerly returned last night).  But if they are too stubborn to make what appear to be easy adjustments, once again, they’ll make an early exit from the post-season. If they don’t make those adjustments, they’ll be able to say “They Did It Their Way”.