Tag Archives: Creighton

Take a look behind scenes of Alabama’s NCAA experience

Now, for the 700th video in Daily Bama Blog history, we present a look at the pregame and postgame scene in Greensboro yesterday. Alabama, you might remember, lost to Creighton 58-57 in the NCAA tournament second round.

 


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Starting lineups announced for NCAA game

Here it is. More to come.

Alabama lineup: F JaMychal Green, 6-8, Sr., 14.0 ppg., 7.4 rpg.; G Trevor Releford, 6-0, So., 11.9 ppg., 2.7 assists; F Nick Jacobs, 6-8, Fr., 6.2 ppg., 3.6 rpg.; G Levi Randolph, 6-5, Fr., 6.5 ppg., 3.9 rpg.; G Andrew Steele, 6-4, Jr., 6.7 ppg., 2.8 assists.

Creighton lineup: C Gregory Echenique, 6-9, Jr., 9.8 ppg., 7.4 rpg.; F Doug McDermott, 6-7, So., 23.3 ppg., 8.2 rpg.; G Grant Gibbs, 6-4, Jr., 7.1 ppg., 5.1 assists; G Jahenns Manigat, 6-1, So., 6.6 ppg., 2.2 rpg.; G Antoine Young, 6-0, Sr., 12.5 ppg., 4.5 assists.

Noteworthy: Neither team has NCAA tournament experience since Alabama last played in 2006. Creighton hasn’t been since 2007. … The two programs have never met. … The Bluejays haven’t played in 12 days after winning the Missouri Valley Conference title on March 4. Alabama’s layoff was just six days… Only 13 of Alabama’s 32 opponents have scored 60 points while Creighton’s only dipped below that total once this season. Creighton is one of eight schools to make the postseason in each of the last 15 seasons. … Bluejay assistant coach Steve Merfeld was the head coach in one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history. His No. 15th-seeded Hampton team beat No. 2 seed Iowa State in 2001. Today is the 11th anniversary of that game. … Six different Alabama players led the team in scoring in 16 SEC games … The winner advances to play either North Carolina or Vermont.


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Welcome inside Greensboro Coliseum (a panoramic view)

Click to enlarge.

We’re about two hours from tip-off in Greensboro, N.C. and the arena is growing a personality. A cleaning crew just sprayed down and cleaned the glass backboards.

So we must be getting closer.

The teams haven’t yet arrived, though Jim Nantz just strolled to his court-side seat to prepare for the TBS broadcast.

This could be an interesting afternoon in the cool, old coliseum. Keep it here for all the multimedia coverage your browser can handle. Feel free to post a score prediction in the comments.


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The new unofficial Alabama-Creighton movie trailer

Take a look at my second effort at movie production with the assist from the iMovie app on the iPhone. Watch it all the way past the credits. That’s the best part.

 


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Photo gallery from NCAA tournament in Greensboro

Alabama coach Anthony Grant guards Levi Randolph.

I’m far from a professional, but why not pass along a few photos from the practice day at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Enjoy the view from North Carolina as you get ready for the 12:40 p.m. tipoff between Alabama and Creighton. Full online coverage can be expected if you keep it tuned right here.

Alabama vs. Creighton


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Video of Alabama practicing on eve of NCAA

Take a look at Anthony Grant coaching up the Crimson Tide a day before facing Creighton in the NCAA tournament opener for both. More video to come.

 


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Green: Alabama offense ‘finally getting it together’

It’s NCAA eve in Greensboro and the action heats up today. Check back for updates from the arena at this afternoon’s open practice. Until then, read today’s print story.

TUSCALOOSA—When you have the 240th-ranked scoring offense in the country, progress isn’t easily identified.

Points haven’t come in bunches for Alabama this season, but its defense filled the gaps and powered the Crimson Tide into its first NCAA Tournament in six years. Keeping pace with one of the nation’s best offenses Friday’s round game creates a new challenge for coach Anthony Grant’s group.

Creighton (28-5) scores 80 points a game while Alabama’s managing 64.9 a night. In the past five games, that number dipped to 59.5. Still, the Tide’s leading scorer feels better about the offense now that he did a few weeks ago.

“I think we’re finally getting it together,” senior JaMychal Green said. “Coach Grant just put in a couple new plays that fits us and it’s a better fit for our offense. I think the freshmen, they have confidence in themselves shooting the ball, and once they knock down a couple shots, it will be a good game. I think we’ll be hard to guard.”

Alabama (21-11) actually saw its shooting numbers improve as scoring production dropped. It shot above the season average of 45.2 percent in four of last six games and was more than eight percentage points better in the SEC quarterfinal loss to Florida.

Attempting fewer 3-pointers helped the success rate. One of the nation’s worst perimeter shooting teams, Alabama makes 28.5 percent of its 3s compared to Creighton’s 42.5 3-point percentage. The Tide made 32.1 percent of its 3s in the past five games while attempting an average of three fewer than it has all season.

Freshman Trevor Lacey hit a big 3-pointer in the closing minute of Alabama’s SEC first-round win over South Carolina. And Levi Randolph beat the first-half buzzer against Florida from behind the arc.

So Green knows it’s possible for Alabama to catch a heater in Greensboro.

Click here for the complete story.


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What makes Creighton unlike any team Alabama’s seen

Doug McDermott (AP photo)

If you know anything about Creighton basketball, it’s obvious the McDermott-McDermott combo is the story. This is what I wrote for today’s print-edition story …

TUSCALOOSA — An almost-familiar sight appeared when the Coleman Coliseum interview room door swung open Tuesday afternoon.

AP photo

No, that’s not Anthony Grant. Close, though. The Alabama basketball coach sent in his teen-aged son A.J. — a dead-ringer for his father — to lighten the mood in the days leading up to Alabama’s NCAA Tournament opener with Creighton.

Another father-son combo will be waiting for the Crimson Tide in the 12:40 p.m. Friday game in Greensboro. This one is all business.

The McDermotts of Creighton have the Bluejays in position for something special. Father Greg McDermott, in his second season as head coach, has a dynamic threat with the same last name. His son Doug McDermott is a first-team All-American and the nation’s third-leading scorer who started every Creighton game in two seasons.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one quite like this one,” Grant said. “You’ve got a great team whose best player happens to be the coach’s son. I think it’s a unique situation.”

And Doug McDermott is a rare talent.

Click here to read the full story from today’s paper.

Click here to read the Sports Illustrated story about the McDermott family.


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JaMychal Green ‘ready for the challenge’ of guarding Creighton’s All-American

 

(Video of McDermott scoring 44 points at Bradley)

There’s nothing mid-major about Creighton’s Doug McDermott. The 6-7 sophomore is a first-team All-American and the nation’s third-leading scorer averaging 23.3 points a game.

Doug McDermott (AP photo)

He can shoot from the perimeter and bang in the paint. So the coaches’ son is pretty much a match-up nightmare.

Alabama forward JaMychal Green will draw that assignment, he said, when he’s in the game. Green is  “ready for the challenge,” the team’s only senior said Tuesday afternoon.

And how does he plan on doing that?

“Just play smart,” Green said. “He likes to pump fake and try to draw fouls. So I’m just going to have to not try to block shots and just stay on the floor and play smart.”

Read much more on McDermott and his father Greg McDermott in tomorrow’s newspaper.


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Comparing Alabama-Creighton differences in chart form

Take a look at a statistical comparison between Alabama and Creighton with season averages and national rankings (in parentheses).

Category …… Alabama defense …… Creighton offense
Scoring …………58.1 (9) …………………….80.0 (7)
FG pct. … ………38.8 (17) ………….. …….50.9 (1)
3-point pct. ……..28.3 (6) …………………42.5 (3)

Category …… Alabama offense …… Creighton defense
Scoring …………64. 9 (240) ……………69.5(239)
FG pct. ………….42.5 (97) ……………..43.8 (212)
3-point pct. ……..28.5 (n/a*) ……………35.6 (236)

* Only averaged 4.0 per game and NCAA stats require making five for listing.
Source: NCAA.com


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The startling differences between Alabama and Creighton

We touched on this in Monday’s paper, but take a deeper look into the differences between the two teams who’ll meet at 12:40 p.m. Monday in Greensboro, N.C.

TUSCALOOSA — Smiles faded fast in Omaha on Sunday evening.

Creighton's Gregory Echenique (AP photo)

A reported crowd of 1,700 first cheered when Creighton’s name was called in the NCAA Tournament selection show. Then it realized the Missouri Valley Conference champions with a 28-5 record somehow slipped to a No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region.

Drawing Alabama was like Jack Lemmon moving in with Walter Matthau. The NCAA’s odd couple will create a number of matchup issues both sides with two completely different styles clashing at 12:40 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott was surprised his team was assigned such a challenge after winning seven straight games and beating two ranked opponents on the road this year.

Either way, his Bluejays will see a Tide team that looks nothing like the view in the mirror.

Simply put, Creighton is a sharp-shooting team with a porous defense while Alabama hasn’t found the touch all season, but defended its way to the tournament.

Led by first-team All-American Doug McDermott, the coaches’ son, the Bluejays lead the nation shooting 50.9 percent from the field. Their 3-point percentage (42.5) is only slightly behind Alabama’s overall shooting accuracy rate of 45.2 percent. The Tide hasn’t even made enough 3s to make the official NCAA statistical rankings, but if it had, the 28.5 shooting percentage would be fourth-worst in the 282 qualifying teams in Division I.

Alabama will counter the third-ranked 3-point offense with the nation’s No. 6 perimeter defense that allows just 28.3 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Click here for the subscription-free rest of the story.


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Who does Vegas like? Alabama or Creighton?

In light of certain federal investigations involving betting lines and basketball, this might not be the kind of story some people are looking to read.

But it’s March and the NCAA tournament is on everyone’s mind. Who wins the Alabama-Creighton game is of particular interest around here.

So, in case you wondered, Alabama is a slight favorite to beat Creighton on Friday in Greensboro, N.C. The Crimson Tide is a 1.5-point favorite according to nearly every Las Vegas sports book.

Creighton opened as the slight favorite, though, as you can see in the history of the line.

Click here if you want to know how accurately Las Vegas predicted Alabama games this season on VegasInsider.com.


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Scouting Creighton: Break down game film of the Bluejays

Part of the fun of the NCAA tournament is playing a mystery team on short notice. After a few months of seeing nothing but familiar SEC teams, Creighton creates quite a change of pace.

You can read much more about the contrasting styles of the Tide and Bluejays in tomorrow’s newspaper. But you can make your own inferences by watching tape of Creighton’s offense from its 83-79 MVC tournament championship win over Illinois State. The ‘Jays appear to like to find cutters breaking to the basket and the occasional 3-pointer.

Post your observations in the comment section below if you’d like. Enjoy.

 

Will Alabama beat Creighton? Vote on the poll on the right side of the page.


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Creighton coach: Zone defense ‘not our cup of tea’

Alabama’s inability to shoot the 3-point jumper is no secret to anyone with a television and basic cable. Creighton coach Doug McDermott said he picked up on that when watching Alabama game film last night.

So, that means the Bluejays will play some zone defense when meeting the Crimson Tide in the 12:40 Friday afternoon NCAA opener?

“That isn’t exactly our cup of tea,” he said. “It’s not what we like to do, but it’s obvious that the key to being successful against Alabama is making sure you don’t turn the ball over and give them easy baskets in that regard and also keep them out of the paint. They’re very explosive going to the basket.”

Creighton has the No. 239 ranked scoring defense in the nation allowing 69.6 points per game.

From the limited amount of game film Alabama coach Anthony Grant’s seen of Creighton, he didn’t see much zone defense. That didn’t seem to make much of a difference, though.

“It’s a game, so we have to prepare for whatever we face,” Grant said. “They are a very good team. Like I said before, we have great respect for them and we’ll prepare for anything and everything that we need to be prepared for.”


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Creighton coach not that happy with No. 8 seed

Creighton won its conference title and its last seven games. The Blue Jays have a 28-5 record and history of tournament success.

So its coach, Greg McDermott wasn’t quite sure how the seeding process left his team No. 8 facing No. 9 Alabama in Greensboro.

“It’s really hard to figure,” he told reporters in Omaha after the brackets were revealed Sunday evening. “There weren’t a lot of differences on paper on what could have been a 5-seed and a possible 8-seed. You really split hairs to try to figure it out.

“I know there’s certainly some geography that goes into it, you have to keep teams away from teams that played already or conference games, in the first two rounds. Sometimes that allows a team to move up one or you drop one. I guess that’s what happened to us.”

Alabama coach Anthony Grant offered no resistance to his No. 9 seed after the Tide finished 21-11 in the regular season.

See more of McDermott’s comments by clicking here.


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