The Alabama Crimson Tide struggled against the Duke Blue Devils in the 74-64 loss. They missed eight layups in the first half and had nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Alabama had multiple opportunities to take control of the game, but their 11 point deficit in the first half was too much to overcome. The loss to Duke showed how deeply that the Crimson Tide depends on Trevor Releford.
In the first half of the game with Duke, Releford had zero points due to foul trouble. Two of the fouls were clearly not fouls, as the defender was moving his feet when Releford allegedly committed the fouls. However, poor calls by the referee are no excuse for a player of Releford’s talent level. Referee’s make bad calls; Releford cannot put himself in those positions.
Alabama’s complete collapse in the first half without Releford on the court just goes to show that the Crimson Tide are dependent on him for success. Alabama has a lot of difficult opponents on their schedule and will not succeed unless the rest of the team handles the ball better without him on the court.
Trevor Lacy’s absence since transferring to North Carolina State is obvious in Alabama’s losses so far; Nick Jacobs, Rodney Cooper and Levi Randolph must step up. Jacobs scored 18 points against Duke, but it still wasn’t enough. The Crimson Tide cannot make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament by relying solely on Releford. Head coach Anthony Grant needs to do something, fast, or Alabama may find themselves in the NIT Tournament instead of the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season once again.