As you can see, the Alabama State band is rather athletic, perhaps as athletic as many of the players on the court (not true). That was the view I was treated to for much of the game, an enthusiastic, interested band with cymbal players who were very impressive with their dancing. But what of the game?
Well, it started off as a fairly tight competition. Both squads were big on running, and this led to a lot of errant passes and turnovers in the first ten minutes or so. On top of that, there were a lot of open looks from behind the arc, and seemingly every one of those shots went down. In fact, for unheralded Jamarr Sanders, every shot DID go down. He went 8-8 on the night.
Things changed for the Hornets when Chief Kickingstallionsims checked into the game. He had a big dunk that got the crowd into the game about 5 minutes in, and with the crowd behind ASU, Jackson State picked up two technical fouls and began their descent. The first was for jawing with the referee, the second for hanging on the rim after a fastbreak dunk.
In the second half, it was more of the same. Sloppy fastbreaks and frustration from Jackson State. Defense was totally ignored in this game, which was possibly for the best, because players on both teams tended to be a little handsy on defense. The officiating was pretty much the opposite of what was seen in Monroe. With that rough synopsis, here are a few quick thoughts on things.
– Alabama State simply had more horses to run in this game. Only one player for Jackson State, Grant Maxey, ever really grabbed my attention, while there were several that played well for Alabama State. In fact, the bench outscored JSU’s 67-12. If Jackson State was in the top half of the conference, I can see why, or rather how, the Hornets were able to nab the regular season title.
– That being said, Alabama State has a lot of problems. Their biggest is their porous defense. They never figured out how to defend against set plays or back door passes. It’s pretty late in the season to figure that out, so I think thy are in trouble come tournament time.
– Chief Kickingstallionsims was definitely the player to watch on the court. He’s 7’1 for one thing, has long dreadlocks and is very emotional. He would start celebrating mid play after a big block, for example. Being seen, I can tell you a couple of things about his game. He was the most athletic big man out there, and had decent footwork. Now, to get the ball to him… Yeah, that was the problem. Just poor hands. I guess thats why it’s Kickingstallionsims and not Handlingtheballinthelowpoststallionsims.
– Whenever a jumper was made, the announcer would say “siiiiilky.” Those bandies nearby couldn’t stop saying that.
– When a Jackson Tiger fouled out, the ASU faithful started doing the “left, right, left, right” thing, and the player picked up on it, and did a little jig in front of the bench before sitting down. I was thoroughly amused.
– At the end of the game, the student section started jangling their keys as the announcer asked if anyone had seen the keys to the Jackson State bus. I can only assume the fans stole the keys. And the the Jackson State bus had a lot of keys.
– The band played Freaky Gurl by Gucci Mane. I think the newest song I heard the band play when I was at Purdue was Thriller.
Below are the pictures I took while I was there.Thats the ticket to the game. And my leg.
A picture of the outside of the Joe L. Reed Acadome, which, apparently also has classrooms somewhere. It’s named, of course, after Joe L. Reed.
Center court soon after the game begins.
Instead of a jumbotron, the Acadome has a set of speakers. You should be paying attention to the game on the court anyways, right?
And lastly, the report wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Big Chief. Here he is, ready to score his 21st point on the night.
All in all, it was a good time. Now its a 7 month wait before we figure out where I’m shuffling off to next year. Now, for the next couple weeks… baseball previews! (with a little more college basketball mixed in after the tournament brackets come out.)