UA 77 KSU 64: Tide wins in tuneup before schedule ramps up

Oct 21, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson speaks with the media during SEC Tipoff held at Ballantyne Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Crimson head coach Avery Johnson speaks with the media during SEC Tipoff held at Ballantyne Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-

By Staff
Nov. 13,

got scoring from nine different and significant minutes from 10 as the Crimson took control early and took a comfortable, if not dominating, 77-64 home against in the regular season debut of coach Avery Johnson.

What did we learn today?: The has enough talent to do good things, but not enough to coast in low gear. shot slightly better than 50 percent from the field, but it was well over that mark before a 2-for-10 dry spell midway through the second half. In fairness, Avery was playing mix and match with his lineups while resting top scorer Retin Obasohan. Still, was noticeably less aggressive on offense in the second half, as the shot clock reached single digits on multiple possessions. The Crimson outscored KSU only 34-32 after halftime and sent the Owls to the line for 26 free throw attempts.

What was the best part of the game?: Point guard play. Freshman got the start in a mild surprise and responded brilliantly, shooting 8-for-11 from the field for 16 points and adding six rebounds and four assists against just one turnover. But Justin Coleman, who had started ’s exhibition game, had a -high five assists versus two turnovers and chipped in six points, including a 3-pointer. More importantly, he looked comfortable on the floor after a shaky freshman season. The only sore spot was a combined inability to slow down KSU’s Yonel Brown (34 points).

What were the biggest concerns?: The only thing that makes ’s 15-for-27 showing at the foul line bearable is knowing it could have been far worse. The missed 10 of its first 14 free throws and could have had an early blowout with a better touch at the line. A problem with a less obvious fix is the frontcourt play. did not have a field goal until deep in the second half and seemed to disappear in Johnson’s quick-shot offense. He did have 10 rebounds, but the Owls edged out on the glass 39-38 despite not having a player taller than 6-foot-8.

Who was the star?: Obasohan scored 18 points and added three steals, but earned this as much in his absence as when he was on the floor. While he was resting for an extended stretch in the second half, KSU cut a 17-point lead down to seven. The senior guard did much of his damage driving to the basket, finishing 6-for-10 from the field, including 5-for-6 from inside the arc.

What’s next?: visits NCAA tournament participant Dayton (1-0) for a noon Central tipoff Tuesday on ESPN.

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