Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Grant’s Tide not the most exciting team to watch
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Jan 18, 2014 | 2220 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama coach Anthony Grant talks with guard Retin Obasohan (32) during a loss against Wichita State. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)
Alabama coach Anthony Grant talks with guard Retin Obasohan (32) during a loss against Wichita State. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)
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Anthony Grant has built a decent basketball program at Alabama, but with only one NCAA tournament appearance in four full seasons, the Tide’s fan base is restless.

And who can blame them?

No, I’m not talking about how Grant’s teams don’t win enough. Lots of coaches have that problem.

Grant’s teams simply are boring to watch. Apparently, they’re boring to play for, too. Why else would a bright star such as Trevor Lacey transfer to North Carolina State, where he is having to sit out a year before he can play?

Bottom line, Alabama struggles to score points, and that just isn’t interesting or entertaining for most folks. Defensive battles are fine, especially as long as there is the possibility of seeing a shootout. At Alabama, low-scoring and low-interest is the name of the game 9 out of 10 times.

Lots of folks have trouble scoring. Last season, Division I teams averaged 67.5 points a game, which is the lowest since 1951-52. The NCAA even adjusted the rules this season to help scoring, not allowing defenders as much contact with their forearms and hands on offensive players.

Maybe that has helped Alabama some, as its scoring has gone up from about 63 points a game last year to about 70 this year.

But the Crimson Tide is now in SEC play, and the scoring figures will go down steadily. Alabama has put up more than 68 points against an SEC opponent only once this season. After Saturday’s eye-rolling 68-47 loss to Missouri, the Tide ranks ninth in the league in scoring. In Grant’s first four years, Alabama ranked 11th, 10th, ninth and 11th in scoring.

Grant has a contract that runs until 2019, and Alabama isn’t quite ready to get rid of somebody who has so many years left. Maybe the Crimson Tide should think of it this way – it can miss the NCAA tournament with Grant’s bore-ball, or it can miss the NCAA tournament while ranking first or second in the league in scoring.

Which would draw more interest?

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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