Alabama’s season hasn’t exactly gotten off to an ideal start, as the Crimson Tide needed overtime to dispatch of Division II West Georgia in an exhibition game on Monday night.
Trevor Releford, who finished the game with 27 points but just a single assist, hit two free throws with a couple of seconds left on the clock to force the extra period. Alabama pulled away down the stretch, as the 65-64 final score was the result of an inconsequential, buzzer-beating three.
“To be honest with you, I feel like we had a lot of guys play out of character today,” coach Anthony Grant said. “First game in front of a crowd for some of our guys, we didn’t handle it well. We had some veterans that didn’t play like veterans today.
“Like I said, I think we’re better than that. We’ve got to look in the mirror to what we did and what we didn’t do. We just have to be better. With Oklahoma coming up on Friday, we can’t expect to have a chance to win if we go out and play like we played today.”
The Tide got pounded on the glass, giving up 22 offensive rebounds to a team that was outrebounded by Jacksonville State in an exhibition game earlier this month.
Exhibition games are really not all that big of a deal, as it’s the first chance that these teams are getting to play in real game situations. Playing in front of a sparse crowd in a game that doesn’t matter against a team you’ve never heard of isn’t exactly going to get these athletes fired up, either. Add in the fact that the coaching staff works through kinks and tries out different sets and different defenses to see what actually works, and there are times where you get results like this.
Alabama isn’t exactly considered a lock for the NCAA tournament this season, but make sure to always take results like this with a grain of salt.