Just got back from the game...

the first one I have seen in person this year. I picked a great one to go to!!!

I was overall impressed with the team, to put it mildly. Obviously, we have nights where we just don’t show up, but that night wasn’t tonight.

Free throw shooting was outstanding, three point shooting appeared to be outstanding as well (haven’t looked at the box score yet).

What gave me the most hope was the play of the bigs in getting and making (a lot of the time) those 8 to 10 foot shots.

Again, consider me impressed.

12 of 29, even with Dusty going 1 for 6.

I just got back from the game too. My daughter called me last night and said she and my granddaughter wanted to go so we made last minute plans. Sure glad we decided to go. I was at the Vandy game too (ugh) and the two Hog teams were night and day different.

First, kudos to the crowd - the best crowd at BWA that I’ve seen since Portis left for the NBA. The crowd fed off the team and then the team fed off the crowd on a couple of those patented runs.

Obviously Macon was terrific and shooting lights out. Perhaps, more important than his shooting were the couple of really nice finishes at the rim, which he had been struggling with. Early in the season, Macon was a good finisher at the rim, but not so in the last 8-10 games. I believe he had changed his strategy and had started seeking contact when he went to the rim, and he just doesn’t have the body to do that successfully. Tonight, he was twisting and turning and avoiding contact and did a great job of finishing at the rim. He needs to leave the seeking contact to Barford, who’s got the body for it.

Trey Thompson was terrific tonight. That’s exactly what we’ve needed from him to take that next step as a team. He and Moses controlled the boards when they were on the court together.

Great total team effort for the 2nd game in a row now. This is a perfect time for a team with 8 newcomers to be peaking, if that’s what they are doing. Play with this kind of effort from now through the SEC and NCAA tournaments and with a few good bounces, this team could do some damage.

If the keep shooting above 40% and play defense and rebound they can play with any team in the country.

Have Kingsley and Thompson play like the last two games and Macon, Barford, Hannahs, and Beard come on with consitency at the three and drives to the bucket, with Manny doing what Manny does and Thomas getting better at rebounding and add in some good role playing minutes with Cook and Baily and this team could run right on through the SEC Tourney!!! The trick is keep playing with that energy on defense and rebounding and sharing the ball!!! They are a GREAT team if they do and gel together! They can play with anyone if they keep it up! Can you imagine all the guards or even just 2 of them at a time with the hot hand, The bigs playing in top form and folks you could make a run in March! GOT TO KEEP THE INTENSITY in each and every game!!! WPS!!!

I think the change from trapping and double teaming to a lot of match up zone has been the key. I see people talking about the JUCO guys are gelling and that is the reason, but I disagree and point to a change in Defense. The change to more Zone has fostered a style of Fundamental basketball- the bigs stay at the basket, the bigs are in a position to block and contest, the bigs are in a position to rebound or clear out for others to rebound, the players are not fussing with each other about trapping fails, and the guards are less frustrated and more confident now. Our guards were out of position on rotations and reacting and fouling too much when they are trapping poorly.

For those of us who might remember, when Nolan’s teams first started rolling they would feed off of the home crowd which would shake the rafters of Barnhill. They struggled to find themselves on the road. When they began conquering the road trips they were off and running.

MA has solved the road problems that plagued his team early in his time at UA. Almost building this thing backwards, from a crowd perspective, it would seem.

I had the good fortune of attending last night and it was the most electric I’ve been a part of in a long time. As others have noted, the fans are begging for this. If MA can script it out this well for the rest of this season he’ll have won back the fans and send the program forward with a bit of buzz.

Most impressive to me were the movement with the ball (passing, looking for the open scorer) and the energy out of the zone on defense. MA might be finding the formula. I give him props for exploring - too many of us (me included) wrote him off as unable to adapt. This was a massive departure from where the team was a few weeks ago. I give MA all the credit.