What did we learn today?: The upper limits of what Alabama’s offense can do against the barest of resistance. The Bulldogs finished 350th out of 351 teams in RPI last season and may somehow be even worse this time around. Alabama A&M had too little size, too little talent and too little interest in defense.
The Tide made an absurd 40 field goals while shooting 63.5 percent from the floor. All 11 players attempted at least one shot for Bama and eight of them were 50 percent or better from the field. Rebounding was similarly lopsided, with the Tide holding a 47-23 edge. It was good to see so many players get in a rhythm, but just be aware that these were the emptiest calories on the schedule by far. As Division II UAH proved in a hard-fought exhibition game, the Bulldogs aren’t even the best college team in Madison County.
What was the best part of the game?: Collin Sexton’s polished game. The all-world freshman very nearly averaged a point a minute and could have had more than 25 if he wasn’t deferring to the white-hot Petty. As is, Sexton went 11-for-16 from the floor, added five assists and four rebounds and didn’t have a turnover.
The most resistance he faced all night came from the exercise bike behind the bench after he took a hard knock while picking up his second foul in the game’s opening minutes. But he shook that off and never got whistled for a third foul. His intelligence on the floor nicely complements his physical gifts
Who was the star?: Petty never tried a shot from 2-point range, and why would he? Against his hometown school, he was an otherworldly 10-for-13 from behind the arc, and like Sexton he only logged 26 minutes. Friday’s effort may single-handedly save Bama from a winter’s worth of maddening 2-3 zone defenses.
What were the biggest concerns?: AAMU was dead in the water on offense until Bama emptied the bench with 13 minutes remaining. The reserves couldn’t keep up the defensive intensity, and even after the starters returned the Bulldogs matched the Tide nearly shot for shot for quite a while. AAMU went 8-for-15 from behind the arc and shot 43.1 percent overall. Alabama got a bit sloppy with turnovers (15) and at the foul line (8-for-15). Daniel Giddens started again at center but only managed two free throws and a rebound in 15 minutes before fouling out.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris