First off, I would just like to mention how refreshing it is to not have to write about a one point loss, a 30 point loss, or a loss at all when it comes to the Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball Team.
Tonight, I get to write about a win as the Crimson Tide defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks this afternoon 73-68.
It was a win that most didn’t see coming. It was a win that I hope will be the first of many. It was a win that was of the utmost importance to the Tide for several reasons.
There was no doubt that the confidence in this team was falling and had been for some time. From the players to the coaches, it was evident the disappointing losses to teams such as Vandy, Florida, Tennessee, and most definitely Ole Miss were taking a toll on Alabama and what they set out to accomplish.
The will to win was slipping. Old mentalities from former coaches were slipping through. Faith in this new coach was starting to fade.
It seemed that after loss after loss after loss, and at Coach Grant’s own confession that he didn’t really have answers either, that this team might just need time. Or they might need a new plan.
A new play book was exactly what they got.
Throughout this season, we have seen the Tide start out strong, leading by as much as 23 points at the half, only to end up losing a game in the last ten minutes of the second half.
In today’s game against the Razorbacks, the Tide was down at the half by nine. With eleven turnovers, just one attempted three pointer, and Arkansas scoring the second most points against Alabama in the first half with 38, it seemed that the Tide was going to have a heck of a time defeating the Razorbacks.
Then came the second half, which proved to be the yang of this yin and yang team. With a 49% performance from the field (second highest in SEC play this season), putting up a 70-point game for only the second time in the season (the first was against Tennessee State), coming back from a loss, and finally keeping a lead—this team had improved.
Rather, Coach Grant realized that his team could get by in the first half. Just keep it close enough to be able to come back, and then come out on fire the second half. He realized he had talent, but he had no depth and these guys couldn’t play a 40 minute game the way it needed to be played. He stopped making excuses, and figured out a new plan. He overcame defeat, as did the players.
This team won 73-68 against the leader in the Western Division.
At asking several people what sports has taught them throughout life, Leroy Watson Jr . said, “Sometimes, you have to get that first victory, that first triumph, that first reason to feel good about yourself—and then, the sky is the limit.”
Alabama Basketball received that light in my opinion tonight with this win. For themselves, for the 13,151 fans in Coleman Coliseum, and for everyone else that dares to notice.
Now, it’s what they do with this new found light against Georgia next week in Athens that will determine if it’s an actual light, or just the glow from the arrow Cupid stuck the team with this afternoon, to get them to win for my Valentine’s Day present since I don't have a man to get me anything. :)
Happy Valentine’s Day Bleacher Creatures and Roll Tide!