Sunday, February 19, 2012
'Bama squeezes Big Orange
Behind a four guard line up and a suffocating, trapping full court pressure defense, Alabama protected home court and defeated Tennessee on Saturday. Anthony Grant's full court pressure produced 17 turnovers, 15 of which came off steals, leading to transition baskets and fast break opportunities in desperate need of easy baskets.
In the process, 'Bama has given itself another week of meaningful basketball and probably will secure an NCAA berth if they can just win their last two home games vs floundering Mississippi State and Auburn. Throw in a win at Arkansas or Ole Miss, then the Tide will be unquestionably be dancing come March.
Saturday saw the reemergence of Trevor Lacey, the Mr. Basketball phenom who has struggled much of the season, came out attacking the basket, getting to the free throw line and providing an offensive spark.
As for Alabama's MIA stars in Tony Mitchell and Jaymicahel Green, Coach Grant will be meeting with them this week to discuss their futures. 'Bama suddenly is tied for 4th in the SEC, which could give them a first round bye in the SEC Tournament. This ship could still get righted for a long run in March. It could still limp into New Orleans in three weeks and not even make March Madness. The truth is it will probably land somewhere in between, but the possibility of the extreme good or bad is still alive here in late February.