Just got back to the hotel and saw the score. Looks like a night on the town was a better call than staying and watching the game. Had a bad feeling about tonight. Oats seems to really struggle against coaches reputable for being good game managers, which BW is. He's still figuring out how his style can work in the top P5 league. Pearl went to Auburn with huge street cred and it still took a while to get them in the FF and #1 ranking. Haven’t read the blog yet but I can presume the game went something like this: close game first half, we made dumb passes, missed shots, but played decent defense and had the close lead…but probably wasted the last possession with JQ dribbling for 20 seconds then dribbled into traffic, got mauled, no call, or threw it away; second half, A&M came out guns blazing, hit shots they haven’t hit all season, refs swallowed their whistles when we went to the rim, we played no defense, made more stupid passes, and the deficit got so big, the team quit. That’s what happens to a team with no alpha leader, who can will a team to a big comeback or multiple close wins. No way this team has 11 losses with Sexton on it. He and 2 others almost came back and beat Minnesota 3 on 5 the last 11 min of the game.
Not upset about the game, losing by 1 or by 19 is a loss either way, but the margin - at home - elicits concern with both the players and coaches, not good heading March Madness. This may (hopefully) be a UCLA situation. Expect a loss to LSU on Sat. Might land us as the 7-9 seed in the SECT and another loss to LSU, Miss St, or A&M. Heading into NCCAT with 4 game losing streak and likely 8-9 seed. UCLA had play-in game as an 11 but we have an historically strong SOS. This team could catch lightning in a bottle like the Bruins did, or lose in the first round. We don’t have the skilled big men they did so likely the latter outcome. Not being an eyeore, this team has some issues that can‘t be ignored and staff has gotten outcoached by inferior teams. We may not live up to our top 10 pre-season hype but the program is still in great shape. Back to back tourneys for the first time in a long time. A top 5 recruiting class coming in. Some ’personalities’ moving on. Oats will have a chance to re-evaluate his schemes and approach, like Saban has done many times. Three years in, there are some negative trends that have to be addressed. Coach has said as much, now it’s up to him to make the necessary changes. I trust he will. Roll Tide!