|Final - 11.17.2011||1||2||Total|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||36||26||62|
When JaMychal Green went to the bench with two quick fouls, Tony Mitchell stepped up for No. 16 Alabama. Mitchell scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Crimson Tide to a 62-42 win over Maryland on Thursday night in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Mitchell was 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and Trevor Releford scored 10 points for the Crimson Tide (3-0), who grabbed a double-digit lead early in the first half that they would not relinquish. "My mindset was to go out and get my team a win, anything I can do to win," Mitchell said.
The No. 16/15 University of Alabama men's basketball team blew by Maryland, 62-42, in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip Off Thursday evening. With the win, the Crimson Tide opens the season 3-0 for the first time under third-year head coach Anthony Grant. Junior forward Tony Mitchell led the way for Alabama with a 17-point, 11-rebound performance including 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc for his second double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Trevor Releford added 10 points and four rebounds, while sophomore guard Charles Hankerson, Jr. logged eight points and five rebounds off the bench. Freshman guard Rodney Cooper was able to contribute seven points and six rebounds as well. "The defensive effort for us tonight really tells the story and Tony gave us a great performance," Grant said. "What he was able to provide on the offensive end in the first half allowed us to build a lead. I thought everybody tonight understood the focus we needed."
The No. 16 Crimson Tide stifled the Maryland Terrapins 62-42 in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, holding the Terrapins to just 26.5 percent shooting (13 of 49). The win came despite JaMychal Green seeing just 13 minutes of action, only three in the second half. "It felt terrible to have to come out of the game," Green said. "But my teammates did a great job. They were making shots, rebounding, defending. They really stepped up." Mitchell paced Alabama with 17 points, including 15 in the first half. "We're a better team with JaMychal on the floor," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "But the defensive effort for us tells the story. I was proud of our guys tonight."
It might have been 85 degrees in San Juan, but Maryland guards — pressed full-court early by the 16th-ranked Crimson Tide — were icy cold in the first of their three games at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. "Their size and length and speed really gave us fits," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "With that said, we missed a lot of wide-open shots that we normally make and kind of got our heads down."
It was the Terps’ lack of discipline and teamwork on offense that aggravated first-year Coach Mark Turgeon most, having extolled the virtues of making the extra pass to find the open man from Day One of practice. "We’re way too selfish to be any good offensively," said Turgeon, who worked as hard on the sideline as his players did on court, exhorting his players to move the ball, rebound and get back on defense. "Our guys think that they have to get it going [individually], instead of as a team get it going."
STAT OF THE WEEK: An Alabama victory would set a school record for most wins in four seasons with 46, breaking the mark set from 1991-94. The SEC record for most victories in four seasons is 48, set by Florida from 2006-09.
Monken isn't sure if older Alabama fans will appreciate seeing the option run again at Bryant-Denny Stadium, especially by an opposing team. He just hopes his team runs it well. "I think it's a very exciting offense, particularly for people who have an appreciation and affinity for it like our fans do," he said. "It's a fun offense to watch. "I really don't know what to expect. I know there's going to be a lot of people and I know most of them will be cheering for the team in red. If there are some people who appreciate the option, I hope we are able to run it and make it look like the option for them, because Alabama has the kind of defense that can make any offense look bad."
As the Alabama Crimson Tide prepares for its last home game of the season, head coach Nick Saban is not allowing his team to overlook the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Eagles bring in a 9-1 record and a confusing triple option attack Alabama hasn’t seen this season. "They do a really, really good job at what they do," Saban said. "They do what they do extremely well. Play hard, play tough, but they execute very, very well, and that’s why they have so much success. So it’s big that in this game that we play to our standards."
Mark Barron was named a finalist Thursday for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation's top defensive player as selected by the Football Writers Association of America. The winner will be announced Dec. 12 and presented the trophy at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. The other finalists include LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, Illinois end Whitney Mercilus and Penn State tackle Devon Still.
On how to play the players: Saban said there's a meeting each week to decide how many carries each player will get, in terms of running backs. Until Eddie Lacy got hurt against Arkansas one player would get five or six plays, then switch to the next running back. Lacy will only carry the ball eight to 12 times. Saban also said Jalston Fowler should be getting more runs to help alleviate some of the load from Trent Richardson's shoulders.
Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones and receiver Darius Hanks are "very questionable" for Saturday's game against Georgia Southern. Jones and Hanks are recovering from ankle injuries. Jones missed last week's 24-7 win at Mississippi State, the same game in which Hanks suffered his injury.
Where Andrew goes following his days at Ozen isn't certain. He'd love to follow his brother to A&M. But he said [Texas A&M starting tailback] Christine [Michael] has other visions for his future. "I want to go to A&M," Andrew said. "It would be cool but he wants me to be in a better place than him. Like he wants me to be at LSU or something like that."