February 3, 2008

Report card: Alabama 81, LSU 72

Perimeter Offense
The Crimson Tide guards showed a good mix of penetration and outside shooting, getting to the basket for a few layups and converting 9 of 21 from 3-point range. Alonzo Gee typified that effort, scoring 15 with effectiveness both inside and outside. Brandon Hollinger played a steady game with six assists and just one turnover. Five UA guards committed just seven turnovers between them.

Interior Offense
UA's Richard Hendrix had his way inside despite playing against a strong rotation of LSU big men. He finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Six of his rebounds were offensive. Demetrius Jemison scored just four points but chipped in six rebounds and completed a 3-point play that put Alabama ahead for good. Yamene Coleman played two token minutes off the bench.

Perimeter Defense
LSU was effective from the 3-point line (9 of 22), but got very few points off dribble penetration. The Crimson Tide continues to be late with defensive rotations, especially on passes to the baseline corner. Senario Hillman came up with four steals off the bench and did an admirable job guarding the league's top scorer, Marcus Thornton. Thornton scored 22 but missed 12 shots and had to work for most of his production.

Interior Defense
LSU's bigs did some damage in the paint, but that was to be expected given that Alabama is short of depth in the post. LSU's Anthony Randolph posted a double-double (13-12) but also made some freshman mistakes. Jemison gave the Crimson Tide some toughness inside in committing four fouls in 18 minutes. Hendrix had four steals and three blocks for Alabama.

Bench play
Senario Hillman's missed circus dunk was the lone blight on an otherwise strong effort off the bench. His defense continues to impress (game-high four steals in 25 minutes), and he connected on his second 3-pointer of the season. Rico Pickett struggled and saw just 11 minutes, while Mikhail Torrance handed out three assists in nine minutes. Justin Tubbs played just three minutes but hit a critical second-half 3-pointer, his only shot of the day.

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