While it’s not surprising that a team that ranks 221st in scoring wants to slow things down against a Kentucky team that is cleary more skilled, the tempo for the Tide is more than just a desire. It’s a desperate need. Alabama currently tops the SEC in points per game allowed with only 56.8, thanks to a physical mentality and aggressive mindset on defense designed to offset their offensive inefficiencies. For the most part, it’s paid off too, as the Tide has held nine opponents to 50 or fewer points nine times this season and Anthony Grant’s team has fared 10-2 in games where they’ve allowed fewer than 66 points. They’re 0-5 when allowing more.
It’s a number that served as a benchmark for the Tide, but it also has an interesting connotation for the Cats. Kentucky’s lowest output this season is 67 in a loss to Connecticut. The Cats have shot the ball well and found transition points fairly easily for the most part this season, but Coach Cal remains concerned about the defensive mentality that Alabama presents because of the one team they didn’t do so hot against.
“(They are) really good defensively, really tough. Their inside guys remind me of the Georgia players. Very physical, get you near the basket, and if you’re playing half speed you’re going to get killed. Very active in the zone, they trap, they do good things and they run their stuff. They run good stuff. I’m trying to find a tape to build my confidence up and I haven’t found one yet because I start watching — and then I watched our game we played with them last year. The games we played with them last year, they were right (there), they had chances to beat us both games.”
Yep, I’m thinking it too. It’s Jorts time.