|Final - 12.1.2011||1||2||Total|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||16||39||55|
"Neither player involved defended it the way they were supposed to," Grant said. "In a lot of ways, we’re a young team. Trying to get them to understand what’s coming. We prefer to learn through winning. This was a tough lesson. Maybe the message will get through. … "We’ve just got to understand when you’re playing a quality team like Georgetown, we can’t afford those breakdowns."
The biggest reason a Georgetown team projected ninth or 10th in the Big East is exceeding expectations is because its veteran leaders have thrived taking on more responsibility. Clark has emerged as a big-time scorer in the absence of former backcourt mates Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, Thompson is tapping into his enticing potential and Henry Sims is enjoying a rare breakout senior season in the low post. Against Alabama, however, it was Georgetown's smothering defense — specifically a two-three zone — that made the difference. The length of the Hoyas' defenders caused Alabama to miss every three-pointer it took until midway through the second half, forcing the Tide to score most of its points in transition because it was so ineffective in the half court.
"Obviously we dug a hole for ourselves in the first half without any ability to execute and make shots. In the first half when your score 16 points in the half, if you had told me that Georgetown averaged 82 points coming into the game and we hold them to 23, I would have thought we would be in pretty good shape in the first half. The zone really bothered us. We’ve got to obviously do a better job in terms of our preparation and making sure that we’re doing what we need to do when we see zones. Obviously tonight is an indication we’ll probably be seeing a lot of it."
"Give Georgetown credit," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "I thought they played extremely well. Obviously there were some timely shots at the end there. A big shot at the end won the game."
"(Jeremy) Clark came off a ball screen on the top of the key and we switched that, then he dribbled to the corner and handed it off to Thompson and we didn't defend it the way we were supposed to," UA coach Anthony Grant said. "We were supposed to switch and we didn't," Green said. Thompson took advantage, hitting the game-winner. UA's Levi Randolph hit the rim with a halfcourt shot at the buzzer, but it bounced away to cap Alabama's first home court loss since February 2010. "For us there were too many breakdowns in the first half from the offensive standpoint and in the seconds half from the defensive standpoint," Grant said. "Don't get me wrong, they earned the win. But we've got to learn that against a quality team like Georgetown, you can't afford those breakdowns."
Green seldom got the ball inside against Georgetown's zone and scored six of his 13 points over the final five minutes. Releford had nine points and six assists. "It just got us out of whack, and we weren't aggressive against the zone," Green said. "There's just a lot of things we could have done differently. Just getting the ball in the middle. Once you get the ball in the middle, it beats the zone and we really didn't do that."
"We’ve had a few tests here, a few battles," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson III, whose team also beat then-No. 8 Memphis in overtime, 91-88, in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 23. "But to come in here and win against a team that’s so well-coached on their home court where they don’t lose, it’s a big, big victory for our group."
We’ve spent a lot of time talking lately about how underrated that Oklahoma State defense is, so we’ll be watching this one for the data as much as for the drama. The drama is particularly interesting since so much may or may not be on the line. Two weeks after stumbling in overtime in an emotionally tough situation on the road, where are the Cowboys’ heads at? Will they feel the pressure of a chance for a Bedlam victory to vault them into the BCS? Have they been distracted by the talk of an LSU-Alabama title game that might leave them on the outside looking in? Oklahoma has flopped in big games too, but they’ve owned the series against Oklahoma State -– eight straight victories, only three of which were decided by less than three scores. This is as good a Cowboys team as there has been, and Oklahoma State has been special on both sides of the ball in its best games this year. Last year's game gave us a 47-41 shootout with a wild fourth quarter. With two top-15 F/+ defenses, we won’t be surprised with a more modest final score this time around.
100 Years between consecutive losing seasons for Tennessee. The Volunteers finished 5-7 in 2011 after going 6-7 last year, giving them their first back-to-back losing records since 1910 and 1911, when Tennessee was 3-5-1 and 3-4-2, respectively.
I love Mike and I obviously can’t wait to see his offense back in action, but I was skeptical of the "fit" between Mike and some of the other schools whose name he was connected to. Big Ten schools tend to either like their coaches a certain way — a way not typical for Leach — or probably couldn’t afford him; SEC schools could afford him but the culture shock on both sides would be larger than I think people realized; and while Leach said he’d basically take any job, I don’t think he sat out for two years to coach a non-BCS conference school. Washington State, on the other hand, is, in my mind, perfect. It’s not perfect in the sense that the team has been struggling in recent years, but they’ve had winners there, and if Leach can get them to a bowl game in the next couple of years the perception will be that he’s been successful. Contrast this with, say, Ole Miss, where a bad game in week five and a couple of questionable calls (and trust me, there would be many calls that diehard SEC fans would not understand) and the pressure would be of an entirely different order.