After watching its shooting percentage dip down as low as 19 percent in the first half and taking a six-point deficit into the locker room, Alabama finally started coaxing the ball into the bucket while keeping Coastal Carolina locked down in a season-opening 70-53 win at Coleman Coliseum.
What did we learn today?: A lot of familiar problems didn’t all get magically solved in a single offseason. Bama needs a lot of shots to generate a modest number of points. It doesn’t rebound well even when it has a clear size advantage. For the Crimson Tide to win games it has to rely on superior defense and timely 3-point shooting. That came through in the second half Friday but it will take far better effort if Alabama wants to surprise better teams again in the non-conference schedule.
What was the best part?: After falling behind 33-27 at intermission, Alabama took control in the opening minutes of the second half, outscoring the Chanticleers 15-5. After seeing a spark when Morehead State transfer Corban Collins took over point guard duties late in the first half, coach Avery Johnson alternated having him and Dazon Ingram run the point while paired together to begin the second. That seemed to shake the Crimson Tide out of its lethargy and once it got the lead back it never gave it up again.
Who was the star?: Collins started at shooting guard but was largely invisible on offense over the first 15 minutes or so. But as the night wore on he began to heat up and finished with a team-high 15 points despite not taking a 2-point shot. Equally encouraging was his 6-for-6 showing at the foul line, especially since the rest of the team shot a meager 60 percent from the stripe. He will have an important role not only spelling Ingram at the point but combining with him on the floor to stretch out defenses.
What were the biggest concerns?: Aside from Collins, the other newcomers had a mixed debut at best. Bola Olaniyan provided a spark off the bench (and displaced Shannon Hale in the second half lineup) with six points and four rebounds, but also picked up four fouls in just 13 minutes. Braxton Key (six points, three assists) did most of his damage late after the game was in hand, while Ar’Mond Davis was a brutal 1-for-8 from the field, Avery Johnson Jr. had two turnovers and no assists and Nick King didn’t even got a shot off in four minutes.
Comment now using your Facebook login!
Powered by Facebook Comments