If you happened upon the live telecast of the Vandy-Bama basketball game on Thursday, you most likely saw Bama coach Anthony Grant prolifically shouting at referees, staring them down at every call not benefitting the Tahd.
He's got the "I'm really disappointed and wish I could smack you" stare down. We're all familiar with this as fathers across the South have been giving it for years at the dinner table upon use of the words "sucks," "nothing" and "pissed off."
Grant plans to employ his staring ability Saturday, though the Tahd will need more than its coach's perilous pupils to bring down Ole Miss.
The Crimson Tide are on short rest from an 81-77 loss to Vandy where poor officiating doomed a late Bama surge.
So far this season, SEC teams playing Thursday-Saturday matches are 2-5 on Saturdays, and the Rebels are on a three game conference winning streak.
Tuscaloosa is a godless town. Let's get that out of the way.
Other than the gleaming athletic facilities, there's really not much going for the area. Although the Red Box company, you know, the $1 DVD rental outlets?, ranked T-town #3 most romantic city recently. I think this just means all the fat, white women who live there are renting The Notebook and Titanic a lot though.
Municipality hatred aside, Bama stands the best chance to represent the SEC West in the NCAA tourney this season outside of Ole Miss. The Rebels and Tahd both still need to rack up wins down the stretch to improve its chances, and a win Saturday would go a long way for both teams as Ole Miss and Bama both rank in the top 100 in RPI.
Tony Mitchell, a soph. F out of Georgia, leads Bama in scoring and rebounds this season. The 6'6'' do-everything player has caused match-up problems in SEC play as most teams do not have a 6'5'' guard or 6'7'' forward with the athletic ability to stay with Mitchell.
It is likely Terrence Henry will be tasked with sticking with Mitchell though Zach Graham would also offer our best match-up here.
The biggest disadvantage for the Tahd Saturday though will be finding a solution for Chris Warren. Andrew Steele and Trevor Releford are most likely the best options and while Steele gives height to that match-up, Warren is still likely to get his 17 or 18 points through the Rebels' weave and screen attacks.
I see Bama and Ole Miss as very much equals on the court. There's some senior leadership, young talent and relatively inexperienced coaching on both ends. Both teams own home victories over Kentucky but also have some non-conference losses seriously hurting their RPIs. Alabama is one of the best defensive teams in the country, however, while the Rebels are much more suited to offensive, up tempo basketball.
Bama players reportedly did not get into Tuscaloosa until 1 a.m. Friday and some players admitting not getting to sleep until 3 a.m. that night. Then there's morning classes and a Friday practice before a 3 p.m. tip-off Saturday against Ole Miss.
In what will likely be a tight match, the weariness of Bama's team will be something to watch, especially with coach Andy Kennedy always seeming to find a way to play his teams close on the road.
- Trevor Gaskins scores more than 10 points
- Reggie Buckner goes his second consecutive game with less than 2 blocks.
- Chris Warren misses a free throw.
Ole Miss 72