The Musketeers have a date with the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night. luckily for us, this one is happening on the hardwood. We got the chance to talk to Parker Simmons over at Roll Bama Roll, who was gracious enough to answer our questions. So let's do this.
1.) Six games in and yall are 5-1 on the season! What's led to the hot start?
Honestly, this team has totally stunned most of our fan base with the way they have played. I really want to say that the biggest thing is that this team has a new mindset. More tangibly speaking, the offense has been humming in a way that Alabama fans haven't seen in years. Ricky Tarrant, the transfer from Tulane, has been very good offensively, Levi Randolph has finally lived up to (and exceeded) the hype he had coming out of high school, Rodney Cooper's highs and lows have both been a bit higher, Shannon Hale has become a more consistent scorer, Jimmie Taylor has actually made an impact offensively, and the freshmen Justin Coleman and Riley Norris are going to be very good players for quite a few years.
Bigger than all of those individual improvements though, is how much better our team runs an offense. Hell, them running an offense at all is an upgrade over last season. Ball movement and off-ball player movement has improved so much, that I don't think I can accurately portray the improvement with words alone. Backdoor cuts! Multiple, quick passes! Running in transition! Actually rolling to the basket on a pick and roll! Basketball! It's just been really refreshing to watch.
Our defense has actually regressed a decent bit, but Bama Hoops fans have been starved on offense for so long, that we are willing to overlook it.
2.) If we made this a backcourt 3-on-3, who would win? Levi Randolph, Ricky Terrant, and Rodney Cooper, or Remy Abell, Dee Davis, and Myles Davis?
That would be a very good match-up, but I think I'm going with Bama's three. Randolph has been a monster this season, and Tarrant is a very good point guard. The key would have to be how well Cooper plays, but his length would really help on the boards. No disrespect to any of y'all's fine players (your frontcourt is what scares me).
3.) Have you ever had Cincinnati style chili? If so, do you love it, or do you LOVE it?
I'm embarrassed to say that I have not had Cincy-styled chili, nor have I heard of its magnificence. As a bit of a food junkie, I must ask of you to point me in the right direction.
4.) With the SEC championship game earlier in the day on Saturday, how much attention will Tuscaloosa be paying to this game?
To be honest, not much. In the SEC, basketball fans make up a small minority of each fan base (Kentucky being the obvious exception). Even most of the people who do care won't REALLY start to pay attention until conference play begins. I honestly think that's one of the biggest problems with SEC basketball, as the teams seem to mirror the fans in this regard. It's amazing how poorly and listless some SEC teams play in non-conference play, only to turn on the jets and ruin fellow SEC bubble teams' seasons. See also: 2014 Georgia.
Alabama has actually played a quality non-conference opponent in basketball on every SEC Football Championship Gameday for the last three years. Always on the road, of course. Bama Hoops fans will absolutely be watching, but I'd estimate that's about 5-10% of the fan base.
5.) I love Bojangles. If I was visiting, where would you take me that's even better then Bojangles?
This question actually hits home to me as I have had this discussion with quite a few Clemson fans (I have strong connections there as well). They LOVE their Bojangles. But to me, Popeye's destroys Bojangles. I love that chicken from Popeye's. You also, of course, have Chick-fil-a too. Zaxby's and Raising Cane's are also fantastic. They are probably tied for best chicken finger/sauce combo.
So to recap:
Best Chicken and Biscuit place: Popeye's
Best Chicken and Fries place: Zaxbys/Raising Cane's.
6.) Right now the series between us is at 3-3. Who is going to take the lead with this game and what's going to happen?
Wow, this is a tough question. Alabama has not played well away from home under Anthony Grant, but this team really does feel different. I'll give the edge to the home team, led by that beastly frontcourt. Something like 83-78 Xavier.
Thanks again to Parker for his generosity and southern kindness. I have actually never been to a Zaxbys, so the next time I am down South I will be sure to go there.