Time: 7pm CST TV: none Place: Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL
So does anybody really give a damn about this game tonight? I mean, seriously, after the crushing loss to Auburn on Saturday, Bama basketball has gone down the tubes.
Now, the good thing is that it will put Gottfried back in the role he's most comfortable with -- the underdog. Nobody expects this team to get up off the mat after being beaten down. They've lost 4 of 5. Nobody gives them a shot. They're playing the two teams tied for first in the SEC West. They'll never make the tourney.
Remember a team that was 7-7 to start out last season? Just lost Chuck Davis. Didn't have a prayer.
Well, now we have a team that's 6-8 to start the conference season. Just lost Ronald Steele. Doesn't have a prayer.
Of course, this year's team is a little bit different that last year's, but the pieces are still there. Hopefully the team hasn't quit. Tonight's game will make or break this season. Another loss at home and they're history. A win and there's renewed hope. I refuse to make a prediction. Sorry fellas.
¶ 4:43 PM0 commentslinks to this post
So we'll go ahead and do the daily countdown, etc, before I do anything else today. The preview of the Ole Miss game will be up later.
Days 'til Selection Sunday: 11 Days 'til Spring Practice: 24 Today's RPI: 46 Bracketology: Not even one of the 8 bubble teams. Wow. Sportsline: Still has us in the tourney.
Sportsline.com's Gary Parrish's reasoning for keeping Alabama in his projected bracket this week after the loss to Florida. " I know Alabama doesn't belong in the field. But neither does a bad Illinois team or a flaky Georgia Tech team. Truth is, I'd drop the field to 60 teams if I could, because there aren't 65 NCAA Tournament-worthy schools."
Did anybody else see Tennessee just anally rape Florida? Talk about disgusting.
They just wrapped up a bid to the tourney.
So, as of right now, we're projected as a #1 seed in the NIT. Bracket Project has us playing against Utah State in the first round. We would then play the winner of UMass / Missouri. Dear God, I hope we don't have to play Missouri. They would kill us.
We are also projected as a #1 seed in the NIT by The Backboard. We would play Bucknell in the first round, followed by the winner of Michigan / Missouri.
NITology has us as a 1 seed facing either Akron, Kent St, or St. Louis.
Days 'til Selection Sunday: 12 Days 'til Spring Practice: 25 Today's RPI: 47 Projected Tourney Seed: NOT INVITED
Out of 25 projected brackets that were updated yesterday, we were only in four of them. Now, all of this can change with a win at home over Ole Miss and a win on the road at Mississippi State. Then you've gotta grab a couple in the SEC tourney. Of course, all of that seems nearly impossible if you've watched what has happened to this team in the past few games. They've lost four of their last 5. Granted, three of those were down to the last minute on the road to Ole Miss (leading the West), Florida (leading the East), and Tennessee in OT (hasn't lost at home this season). But there's no excuse for the Auburn loss....at home. How could you possibly explain that to the selection committee? "Oh...umm...we just didn't show up to play." Yeah...that'll work.
Torrance has proven to be a very capable point guard. I, like everyone else, and insanely upset that he didn't get any minutes until this late in the season, but I'm sure that everyone thought Steele would be healthy by now. Now it's looking like he may sit the rest of the year.
Gee has no confidence right now. Riley is playing WAY better off the bench. Something has happened to Hollinger, and I don't know what it is, but he's not playing the same as he did early on. Tubbs doesn't look as comfortable. Basically the entire team just doesn't give a damn when it comes to playing defense. Hollinger said it best a few weeks ago when he said "you don't have to learn to play defense - it's just effort."
And...again...how many times can I say it...the SEC is insane. Paul Gattis confirms the possibility of a 4-way tie at the top of the SEC West. Crappy, but fun, I guess.
Argh. Only 25 days 'til spring football starts.
And, speaking of football...The New Orleans Times-Picayune has a good article about LSU and Gary Crowton, the new offensive coordinator. Scout.com talks about Jonathan Owens, the 6'5" 300lbs offensive lineman that Alabama is looking at for next year's class.
Days 'til Selection Sunday: 13 (does it really matter anymore?) Days 'til Spring Practice: 26 Today's RPI: 47 Latest Projection average: NOT INVITED TOURNAMENT
So I'm still a little in shock that we were handled at home by Auburn. The chances of another trip to the dance look very very slim (which might be better, because I won't have a biased opinion of anything going into the office pools). We'll have to win against Ole Miss and at Mississippi State, and then win probably at least two, and maybe three in the conference tournament (which will be next to impossible).
You've got to wonder how stressed out Mark Gottfried is right now. Even when he's had teams that have under achieved, they've never been this bad.
And what's worse is that, even though we suck, we can still win out and have a bye in the conference tournament. So one has to ask the question...
Does the SEC suck this year?
Honestly, this could be the worst year for SEC basketball in a LONG long time. Or, you could say that it's better because everyone is more even. There's no clear cut "better" team, other than Florida, who has fallen as of late (and this is NOT a good time to forget how to play together).
For Alabama fans, the future does look a little bit bright. Because our starters are putting forth no effort, CMG has been forced to play a ton of freshmen who are still getting used to conference ball. Yeah, we'll have four of the starters back next year, but the people behind them may fight for their spots. Which is something that this team needs. They NEED to fight for something. Anything. Seriously. I haven't seen the original starting lineup play hard all year.
And for the love of God, why can we not figure out the press? It's ridiculous.
How a team, with its back agains the wall, can lose at home to Auburn is beyond me.
And Gottfried is right. I can't remember a team of his that just "didn't get it." I don't give a damn is Steele was out. It's still Auburn. It's still at home. If Steele doesn't play, that means you give the ball to Hendrix and Davidson in the post. But that can't happen if nobody moves around on offense. That can't happen if nobody creates anything on defense.
This team's inability to defend anybody is absolutely disgusting. You don't have to learn how to play defense. You just have to try. And nobody on this team is trying. They act like they don't even care.
So for those expecting one of those entertaining rants like I usually do after a loss against a team we should've beaten, I'm sorry. No ranting. Just quiet disappointment. The goal now is no longer to get to the NCAA tournament. The goal is to figure out what the hell is wrong and fix it before next year takes the same turn that this year did. This was probably Alabama's most talented team ever under Gottfried, but they were also his most uninspired.
The last two games should be fun, but be ready for two straight losses and a quick exit from the conference tournament.
NIT. For this team? Wow.
Oh well. At least there's some football news. Geoff Collins, formerly the director of player personnel at Georgia Tech, has taken the same position on Coach Saban's staff. He brings lots of experience, which is a good thing. I'm really liking the people that Saban is bringing in. Not big names, but coaches that will work together. Coaches that know who the boss is. No fighting for power, etc. I dig it.
¶ 8:55 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I'm not going to do a full preview of the Alabama - Auburn game today at 4pm because it seems like whenever I do a preview of a game, it always ends up going a way we don't want it to - ending in a loss for the Tide.
So today I'll just tell you that Auburn has, lately, reverted back to form and they seem more like the Auburn team of old - losing regularly. So the odds of Bama beating a +100 ranked team in Coleman looks pretty good. But I don't bank on anything with this team anymore.
So other than that, there's not much coming out of T-Town today. I'm actually updating this from JT Studios in Memphis, TN where we're recording our new demo, so if something happens, I probably won't get to it until tonight. If you hear anything new, just e-mail me. Booyah.
¶ 9:32 AM2 commentslinks to this post
Yeah buddy. This week was actually longer than it should have been. I guess that's what work does to ya.
Days 'til Selection Sunday: 16 Days 'til Spring Practice: 29 Today's RPI: 27 Latest Projected Brackets: 10 Seed
Yup. Some days there's just not much going on.
The Birmingham News discusses how the SEC WEST is still up for grabs despite only having three games left in conference play. There's still a lot of basketball to be played. Saturday's key games include the following:
Ole Miss @ South Carolina Mississippi State @ Georgia Alabama vs Auburn
If Alabama beats Auburn, and both Mississippi schools lose on the road, then we have another three way tie for first place at 7-7. Alabama plays Ole Miss at home on Wednesday night, followed by playing Miss St in Starkville.
This is the remaining schedule, along with league records, for the West teams still in the hunt:
Ole Miss (7-6) Feb. 24th: @ South Carolina Feb. 28th: @ Alabama Mar. 3rd : Auburn
Mississippi St (7-6) Feb. 24th: @ Georgia Feb. 28th: @ Arkansas Mar. 4th : Alabama
Alabama (6-7) Feb. 24th: Auburn Feb. 28th: Ole Miss Mar. 4th : @ Mississippi St
Arkansas (5-8) Feb. 24th: Tennessee Feb. 28th: Mississippi St Mar. 3rd : @ Vanderbilt
Auburn (5-8) Feb. 24th: @ Alabama Feb. 28th: LSU Mar. 3rd : @ Ole Miss
There are still SOOO many things that could happen. Could you imagine if Alabama and Mississippi State lose the next two games, and Auburn and Ole Miss win their next two, the meeting between Ole Miss and Auburn in Oxford on March 3rd would be for the SEC West title. HAHAHA.
To anyone that read any of the information that was up there - dismiss it. I didn't realize some of those things were meant to be left behind closed doors. I apologize for making a bad decision to post all of that.
I posted some pictures of the tour and posted some information that I did not realize was confidential to the University, and I apologize to my friends in the athletic department for that.
To everyone that did not get to see it, it really is a beautiful thing. The stadium, the football complex, and everything over there is awesome, and the people inside the athletic administration are wonderful and are a pleasure to keep company with.
Again, I apologize to everyone over at the University of Alabama. I'll know better in the future. Thanks again for giving us the tour and being so kind to us.
¶ 10:45 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Last night was ridiculous. But that's ok. Win the next two and you're set for a showdown at Mississippi State. I think we actually have good depth now (I'm sure we had it earlier as well). We have to win the next three to have a winning conference record. I'll settle for 8-8. Anything less is pathetic.
I hate Lofton. And Bruce Pearl. And to Brad, who likes to write in and poke a little fun, I hate you too. Haha.
Seriously though, what has happened to the game of basketball? Do the officials feel it is their obligation to call games accordingly to make them more evenly matched?
I know...I know...they started calling them in the 2nd half. But by that point we should have been up by 10 instead of struggling to stay even. Bottom line, we should have hit our free throws in overtime. But it still doesn't let anybody else off the hook.
I would love to know what happened to Ronald Steele. He looked 10 times healthier against Kentucky, but then didn't play almost the entire 2nd half tonight. Freshmen aren't supposed to be able to make the kind of plays to keep us in the ball game like they did tonight.
The starters should be ashamed of themselves. The 2nd team outhustled them ridiculously tonight, and it wasn't even close.
I'm guessing tonight was Gottfried trying to prove a point. Of course, if the starters had played better, he could have tried to prove this point against Auburn on Saturday. If you don't play hard, you can't win. Period. So to Alonzo Gee, Ronald Steele, Davidson, Hendrix, and, for tonight, even Hollinger - STOP BEING STUPID.
I'm getting ready to stop watching SEC basketball because it's so damn unfair. The officiating is embarrassing. This isn't another bitch and moan screaming about how the officials are going to cost us the game. I've gotten used to it. It's just a shame that they'll allow a team to do that.
And Bruce Pearl's shit eating grin is reeeeallly getting on my nerves.
If I'm Gottfried, I come out of the locker room and tell the officials - "Look, either you stop it or we will." I wouldn't put up with this hack/slap/foul on every fucking play. Richard Hendrix may end up knocking somebody's teeth out. I hope it's Lofton's. Or Pearl's. Or that goofy ass white kid playing down low that's reaching in on every pass into the post.
Time: 7pm CST TV: Lincoln Financial Sports Place: Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN
So Alabama is trying for their 8th straight over Tennessee. The biggest mismatch of the night will be Richard Hendrix and Jermareo Davidson manning up against whichever 6'6" kids they wanna throw at them. Alabama has had some trouble with teams that play a four guard set, and Tennessee is no different. They're fast and they pressure you a lot.
The key to the game will be how smart Ronald Steele and Brandon Hollinger are with the basketball. We've not been very good this year against the press, and that's all this team does. However, last year, in this same situation, we handled it easily. Regardless of what anyone thinks, Alabama likes to run. The only person that may not be able to stay on pace is Richard Hendrix, but I'm pretty sure he'll be ok. The rest of the guys like to have the game flow quickly.
I would imagine that, with Chris Lofton on the other team, and a few other kids that like to shoot the three ball, that we'll be playing a lot more man to man tonight. Look for Tubbs and Hollinger to not even give Lofton room to breathe. Gotta remember though, he's going to get his. Like I said the other day, the key is to not let him BEAT you. If he's the only one scoring, that's fine. Just don't let him beat you with assists, steals, and threes.
I really think that Tennessee needs this one as bad as we do. After being drilled by South Carolina the other night, they'll be out to prove something. With the home court advantage, I'm going to have to go with Tennessee in this game. Sucks.
¶ 9:23 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Apparently that lethargic home win over a struggling Kentucky team really helped us out with the bracketeers. It REALLY helped out the RPI because we jumped 9 spots after the win. Imagine if we can get a road win over the #15 rpi ranked team this Wednesday. Against a team that hasn't lost a home game all year. Yes, the Kentucky game is over, so we can start thinking about that one.
But, for right now, we'll talk about the Kentucky game since I was not able to on gameday.
The Tide looked like they should have looked all year. Played well early. Held off a run by a good team, and took over in the clutch. That's what this team was supposed to do all year. Even last year they never really BEAT anybody. Every win was close. It always came down to the wire. We did what we were supposed to - beat an overmatched basketball team. Tubbs is really becoming the spark, and seeing him and Hollinger in the lineup at the same time seems to be giving teams fits. It caught Florida off, and it beat Kentucky. Steele is looking MUCH healthier. He was able to drive and man-up against Bradley and Jasper a few times. His defense is much better, and he's not being as careless with the basketball. Currently, this team is playing good basketball...not great, but good. It's the perfect time for them to start gelling together. Coach Gottfried is figuring out the right combinations to put on the floor and is actually working with a pretty deep rotation right now (9 men). I am almost as comfortable with Jemison and Coleman on the floor as I am with Davidson and Hendrix. Gee and Riley can switch out the three while Tubbs, Hollinger, and Steele rotate the one and two. It's a good rotation and will keep everyone fresh without completely losing production. If you want to go ahead and start thinking about next year, we'll have back 8 of the 9 in the rotation (minus Davidson, who's a senior). That's assuming Riley isn't a senior...I can't remember that at the moment. I think he's only a junior.
Anyway, Saturday was a good win and it makes me believe that we can pull off the last two at home (Auburn and Ole Miss), and steal either Tennessee or Mississippi St on the road. That would be a pretty decent run to enter March. A win over Tennessee on Wednesday will all but solidify our spot in the tournament, so it is a VERY important game - along with the fact that we've got a seven game winning streak over them currently. Be prepared to see Hollinger and Tubbs all over Chris Lofton like white on rice. He'll get his points, but the key is to make sure he doesn't beat you. We'll see LOTS of man in this game, so I'm thinking we'll have an incredibly high scoring game.
Out of 26 brackets, we are considered IN THE FIELD in 20 of them. We average out to be an 11 seed. I don't remember us being an 11 seed. Even when we went 17-12 for a few years, we were still a 10 seed. I'll take an 11. George Mason was an 11 last year. Ha.
Anyway, enough about basketball - back to everything else now.
Coach Saban finished out his staff by hiring Curt Cignetti - the Tight Ends and QBs coach and Recruiting Coordinator for North Carolina State. Pretty good article about him here. Seems like a good hire to me.
Larry Templeton was forced out as AD at Mississippi State on Wednesday, at the request of the school president. He will stay on through 2008. It appears that Sly's days could be numbered out there. Sad to see.
It appears that Miss St will open the 2007 season with another lopsided loss to LSU. They will be playing the Tigers in Starkville on the Thursday night to open the season. Not exactly how I would want to start the year.
Auburn's schedule looks to be pretty tough, I guess. Opener against Kansas St on Sept. 1st. Then South Florida comes in, and they're not exactly a push over (just ask our boy Rod up in WV). They've also got New Mexico State coming in. They'll throw for a billion yards on the Tigers and get beat by 70. Normal Hal Mumme style.
Scarbinsky thinks that Joe Dean Jr. is a natural for the Mississippi State AD job. He is currently the AD for Birmingham Southern, and moonlights as a color analyst for Lincoln Financial SEC basketball games.
Speaking of basketball, Cecil Hurt wrote a great article about using the Florida game as a building block rather than looking at it as an accomplishment. The team has turned a corner...now we just need to turn one more. We can win these next two and they'll all but guarantee a slot in the tournament.
According to the Arkansas Times, either today or tomorrow, Frank Broyles will retire as athletic director at Arkansas. This coming from pressure from many boosters and higher ups within the university. This goes on top of everything else, including "e-mail gate" as reported by the Northwest Arkansas Times. You can also check out Wally Hall's latest article about the whole mess. Fayetteville has lots of bad rumblings going on right now. It'll be interesting to see how this football season pans out.
¶ 8:58 AM1 commentslinks to this post
John Pruett's column today included a brief Q & A with Tom Luginbill from ESPNU regarding Alabama and Auburn recruting. He said Saban "rattled enough cages and got into enough people's minds that they made an impact on the 2008 class. That was a big part of the plan."
The NCAA has proposed some rule changes that would go into effect this coming year. All of the time saving procedures from last year will be gone, being replaced by shorter timeouts, kickoffs from the 30 instead of the 35, among others. Sounds like a much better plan to me.
We only have 37 days left until spring practice starts. Workouts started a short time ago. Strength and Conditioning is going to be a BIG part of Saban's process.
Ray Melick's column on Monday discussed how difficult it is to be an assistant coach for Coach Saban. He is a hard ass that expects everyone to conform to his way or the high way. There were only 2 assistant coaches that stayed the entire tenure with him at Michigan State. Sounds good to me. This is probably why Alabama hired him. He doesn't take crap.
So, Davidson and Hendrix really are just as good as Noah and Horford.
Noah jumping on top of Gee with about 3 or 4 minutes left in the game and them calling a tie-up was a crime. It went like that for most of the game. When Florida got really physical and ran that press in the 2nd half, we fell apart. I guess there's only so much hot shooting you can have in a game. They proved why they're the number one team, I suppose, but with a game like that you have to wonder why Alabama can't beat some of these other teams. If we can get the Kentucky game and then steal one at Tennessee, we'll be right back up in the tops of the RPI.
Alabama travels to Gainesville tonight to play against the Florida Gators. After last year's game, I would say that we match up well against this team, other than the fact that they have a guy shooting 70% from long range this year.
This game could make or break the Tide's season. If you remember the year of the Elite 8 run, we stole a game at #4 Mississippi State that propelled us to the NCAA tournament. Last night I watched Virginia Tech go into Chapel Hill and beat North Carolina in the Dean Dome, so to those that think this game is impossible - boo to you.
Now, at the same time, I have seen NOTHING that shows me that this team can handle an atmosphere like they'll see in Florida tonight. They almost always start out slow, which would be a killer in this case, and they always have a very very very bad stretch with lots of bad decisions and bad ball handling (especially Steele and Riley as of late).
I see little hope for this one, but I am a conspiracy theorist, and the only way I see Alabama making the tournament is by getting a big time road win. This would classify. Of course, I'm also a realist. It shows in my prediction.
I mean, seriously, I only have a few minutes in the mornings now...it's about to kill me.
We have something new that we're going to start posting. Every single morning, we're going to have Alabama's daily RPI ranking (because they do change daily), the latest updated projected brackets, and the countdown until Selection Sunday. The four basketball fans that read this will be ecstatic. :-)
Days 'til Selection Sunday: 26 Today's RPI ranking: 31
Just felt the need to put on here that I'm PRAYING that we do enough to get into the tournament, get to play a weak major, and then get to play one of these overrated pac-10 teams in the 2nd round. haha.
Let's just say we're a 10 seed. We get to play 7th seeded Virginia or Virginia Tech or Georgetown or something. Play well enough to win there, then get to play 3rd seeded Oregon or Washington St.
This time next week I should have an update from Tuscaloosa. I get to tour the entire football complex on Sunday afternoon, so hopefully I'll have a lot of pictures, etc. to show to you cats.
I spent the weekend working on my car and watching the basketball game. Transmission went out, something is wrong with the axle, and my air conditioner isn't working - makes for a long weekend with very little updating.
And, as soon as I got into work this morning, I was given a project to work on, so the recruiting review will have to wait.
I was pretty harsh on Andy Kennedy. I apologize for that. It is pretty ridiculous though, but I guess that's what the less talented teams have to do to win. Just look at Tennessee last year.
Oh well. A win at Florida on Wednesday night will cure all of that. Did you know that we're the last SEC team that beat Florida? That's right...sho nuff.
We played stupid. We played dumb. We didn't do what we should have, but we still should have won this game.
You're telling me Clarence Sanders can play 12 minutes without picking up that 5th foul? You're telling me Jeremy Parnell can hack and slap and bump without picking up that 5th foul? You're telling me that you're going to swallow your whistle with 10 minutes left? You're going to seriously let them beat us up until the game is over? And since when did they take "illegal screens" and "moving picks" out of the rule book?
Dear Andy Kennedy, You have the dirtiest, nastiest basketball team in the Southeastern Conference. You sending in your "hitmen" to beat on our kids until they're just ridiculously tired at the end of the game is a joke. I hope all of your players come down with life threatening illnesses, so you can't blame it on anything but karma, you dirty bald fuck. I thought I was going to like playing against your basketball teams because I had always heard they worked very hard. But today I saw a Bob Huggins coached basketball team that basically fouled on every possession until the refs got tired of blowing the whistle.
You don't deserve to be called "coach," so fuck you, Andy. We'll see you in Tuscaloosa, asshole.
Les Miles has officially declared war on Alabama. If you wanna fight, then we can do that. Coach Hat, welcome to hell, my friend. I mean, it's one thing to be pissy, but to be a hypoctite as well? To call out other schools for using negative recruiting when you did it with Joe McKnight regarding USC? I mean, seriously...Don't be bitter. Or if you're going to be, don't be so obvious. Calling out Alabama? That's not something you want to start doing, my friend. You have to come to our house this year. You're not coaching against Mike Shula anymore, buddy.
Anyway, as I said yesterday, on to the recruiting class. I'll go through four kids per day until we've gotten through all of them. Tomorrow, the basketball team is playing in Oxford. I haven't decided if I'm going or not. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Next weekend I will be in Tuscaloosa on Sunday, Feb. 18th and Feb. 19th, so if anybody wants to meet up for whatever reason, contact me.
Josh Chapman - 6'1" 280 lbs DT from Hoover, AL
An original Auburn commit, coach Saban was able to persuade him to come to Tuscaloosa to be an important part of our defensive line. He's not quite big enough to play DT in the SEC right now, but give him some time in the weight room and he'll be a hoss. He's got good technique and has oodles of potential. Look for him to possibly be a redshirt this year and then be a huge factor in two years as a sophomore. Click here to see rivals.com's highlight video.
Patrick Crump - 6'3" 285 lbs OG from Hoover, AL
Another Hoover kid that had offers from Michigan, Louisville, and Purdue among others. He's a big kid that's got a lot of work to do in strength and conditioning. He's not strong enough yet to be a major contributor on the offensive line, but that's fine because we have a lot of kids coming back on OL anyway. This is another possible redshirt.
Luther Davis - 6'4" 254 lbs DT from West Monroe, LA
This kid may end up being my favorite of the whole bunch. He is a talker, but at least he speaks the truth. He doesn't say anything stupid...just speaks the truth. He'll have to learn to control his lips though, because things that he says can easily be taken as bulletin board material. Anyway, he's got to put on some weight if he wants to play Defensive Tackle. He's incredibly strong and pretty quick. He may end up being a defensive end...we'll just have to see what he does in the weight room. He was great in high school and I expect him to be great here. Click here for one of his highlight videos.
Jeremy Elder - 6'3" 270 lbs DE from College Park, GA
Jeremy chose Alabama over offers from Clemson, Georgia, and Arkansas among others. He's a beast on the outside. He's a lot quicker than his 4.9 40 would indicate. Sometimes speed isn't always north and south. He's quick off the snap and can easily get around offensive linemen. Look for him to stay about the same size. He has the potential to be another Mark Anderson, but he may be a bit too big for that.
Everyone is saying that Saban runs a 3-4 defense, but that's only about halfway correct. It's more like a 3-3 with a DE/LB hybrid type of player that can both drop back in coverage, play the run like a linebacker, drop off the line, or blitz with both ears pinned back. I'm still looking to see exactly which of these players will be that guy. I'll have more of the recruiting class tomorrow.
That makes three in a row. Win Saturday and you've got a full on four game winning streak heading into Gainesville for next Wednesday night. But don't start thinking ahead...Ole Miss can beat us. Big time.
Yay for Ronald Steele. I didn't get to see the play, so if you can find a video of it, please send it to me. Did he really drive the lane? I thought he was hurt? Hmmm....
Yay for Hendrix. Boo for Gee. Yay for Riley. Boo for....well...boo for being down by 5 to Miss St at home with under a minute and a half left.
Onward to recruiting.
Don't pay attention to the rankings. Just know that we got some good kids that Saban can turn into big time football players. Some of them won't pan out. Some of them will. Three stars can become five stars very quickly. You never really know (look at DeMeco and Mark Anderson - both three stars out of high school).
Either way, we'll take a few recruits at a time, in alphabetical order, and go through what they are and what they aren't. I'll start sometime this afternoon.
¶ 8:46 AM0 commentslinks to this post
We got Gibson and Maze today. I will put up my opinions of each player tomorrow in my recruiting run down.
Overall, I feel this was a damn good class. Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me and filled me in while I rerouted our new MRI machine today at work. Hopefully it won't give me any more trouble after today...haha.
Time: 7pm CST TV: None (radio) Place: Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL
I remember a few years ago, we absolutely destroyed Mississippi State when they came to our court. This wasn't like how Vandy and Arkansas and Auburn beat us this year...it was 98 to 49. This was a killing. A slaughter.
But, a lot has changed since then. We don't have an Earnest Shelton that's gonna drop 34 on them. We don't have a Kennedy Winston.
So, I guess, it is what it is. We're .500 in conference play, they're not.
We don't have anyone that can matchup with Gordon, they don't have anyone that can matchup with Hendrix and Davidson (if he plays down low).
Well, Fairley went to Auburn. Booooo. Kourtnei Brown delayed his decision. Rivals.com is saying he will announce at 11am. Looking more and more like Clemson, but he is waivering a bit.
As of 10:35am CST, the following have signed:
Josh Chapman Patrick Crump Luther Davis Jeremy Elder Tarence Farmer Nick Gentry Jeramie Griffin Darius Hanks Jennings Hester Kareem Jackson Rolando McClain Alfred McCullough Kerry Murphy Jamar Taylor Chris Underwood William Vlachos Alex Watkins Chavis Williams
These are the commits we're waiting to sign:
Nick Fanuzzi Demetrius Goode Chris Lett Elliott McGaskin
And I believe that Maze and Gibson will sign with us. We'll have to wait on McKnight at 11am. Rumor right now is strong lean to USC. I sure hope not.
¶ 10:29 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Thanks to Andy over at the TideSports.com forums, here are the announcement times for these kids. If you have any others, please e-mail them to me and I will post them, or you can post them at TideSports.com. These are all CST.
Kourtnei Brown - 7 AM Rolando Melancon, Jeramie Griffin - 8 AM Dwight Jones - 9 AM Nick Fairley - 9:30 AM Joe McKnight, Marvin Austin, Brandon Gibson - 11 AM Chad Jones - 2 PM Marquis Maze - 2:30 PM
¶ 4:40 PM0 commentslinks to this post
So, some idiot columnist wrote an article bashing coach Saban for allegedly talking badly about other schools in the SEC. And then that columnist realized that his source was a made up news story on a message board. The Mobile Register caught on, and the Daily World has removed the article and declared it inaccurate. People are such morons. At least we know where that jackass stands.
If you would like to read it, here is a copy of the entire article, as it has since been taken down. Thanks to Stuart for this.
Heads or Tails: Saban has burned his bridges By Tom Dodge
He isn’t Saint Nick any longer.
Nick Saban didn’t like his assistant coaches to talk to the media while he was at LSU or with the Miami Dolphins.
After his words over the past couple of weeks, Saban should put the gag order on himself.
We all remember when he said he is not going to be the head coach at Alabama and then he jumped at the wads of cash the Crimson Tide threw his way.
Then in an effort to woo the tough Tuscaloosa crowd, he went on state-wide radio and took potshots at the other SEC schools.
According to a story in the Birminham News, Saban chatted with Paul Finebaum and joked that Mississippi State was “still funding scholarships by collecting pop bottles and aluminum cans along the highways.
Saban took aim at Auburn by saying: “Auburn, our motto - ‘Where most coaches are fired’ is still in effect.”
Saban must have forgotten the Crimson Tide fired Mike Shula, Mike Price and Mike Dubose and had Dennis Franchione bolt for Texas A &M - all in the time frame that Tommy Tuberville has been at Auburn.
But the biggest slap was in the face of his former LSU team.
Saban took all the credit for the resurgence of the Tiger football program.
“LSU was nothing before I arrived. Academically, athletically physical plant, nothing,” Saban said on the radio show.
“Their current success is soley due my recruits,” he went on.
Then came the kick in the gut for every Tiger supporter.
“Coach Miles, though a fine man, does not fill my shoes, fit my desk or cast a taller shadow.”
Saban promised Alabama will be the premier team in every aspect over LSU. “Our coaching staff is superior to anything in Baton Rouge. We will go into Louisiana and take each and every player we want. LSU will not, nor can not stop me. Mark my words.”
Talk about spitting into the well and burning all his bridges with any LSU people. “As the talent I recruited graduates from LSU, they will return to the lower depths of this league.”
That means LSU will be the same class as who? Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Ole Miss were the only three SEC teams not in a bowl game this past season. He gave credit for one aspect of Tiger football when he talked about the pregame festivities.
“LSU fans focus on the pre-game party aspect. Winning the party is paramount there. Seven-win football and winning baseball will keep them happy.”
I’m sure Les Miles would disagree, as some LSU faithful are upset with him even after back-to-back 1o wins seasons - something Nick couldn’t do in Baton Rouge. But the ultimate insult was released on the internet this week.
Saban used the term “coonass” when talking to three members of the Miami media on Jan. 4., the day he was introduced in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide’s head football coach.
To some, it is the a supreme ethnic slur, meaning “ignorant backwards Cajun.”
At that time, he relayed a story from an LSU Board of Trustee member about how his decision to take the Alabama job upset LSU fans.
He told the reporters before starting that his comments were “off the record” and could not be used for attribution.
The reporter that released the taped comments shouldn’t have, but Saban should have been smart enough to bite his toungue and not tell the joke.
Then on top of that he used vulgarity in telling the joke with the punch line “going to Alabama is like your best friend sleeping with your wife.”
So after dropping the F-bomb and the ethic slur, how did Saban respond to the latest controversy?
"I think it must be noted," Saban said, "that those comments were made 'off the record' and the words merely reflected an anecdote that was told to me using that language."
I think it should be noted, that he should have never repeated the joke. I hear jokes and stories as I go around covering sporting events, most of them I would never repeat.
Some people are saying this latest episode has been blown up bigger than it should have - may be should think a little longer before he speaks.
Nick needs to polish up his act before he can ever return to sainthood.
Word is that Coach Gottfried is working on a home and home over the next two years with Texas A&M, Maryland, and maybe Gonzaga. That, along with a game at BJCC with Georgetown, and the Maui Invitational, means we'll have a top 10 schedule next year. Plus, the only player we're losing is Davidson. We should be experienced...again. Basketball's in good shape for next year.
Josh Chapman has apparently switched his commitment from the Barn to Alabama.
Corley committed to LSU. 'The Hat' guaranteed him playing time (10-12 snaps a game) and no redshirt.
We picked up a commitment from Jeremy Elder, a 6'3", 276 lbs DE that, in my opinion, may be the best pickup of this class. He's got perfect size and great speed.
I can see where Luther Davis is going to be a fan favorite. Sucks Saban won't be letting him talk to the media until after his freshman year. Here's what he had to say about Corley going to LSU --
"From my understanding Sidell (Corley) committed to LSU," Davis said. "I think it is a bad move for him. That is just my opinion. It is a bad move. Here I am de-committing from there because of the depth chart, and they are telling him he has a chance to come in and play 10-12 snaps a game.
"They are going to redshirt him. It is a fact. He would have been better to come to Alabama. LSU is so deep at defensive end."
"I wish him the best. I tried to call him, but he didn't answer. I guess he knew what I had to say about everything. There is nothing I can do. That is his decision and something him and his father came up with. I wish him the best of luck. I believe in the eighth week we (Alabama) play them."
Even when you play bad. I just don't understand how they can look so good one game, and then come out and play flat the next game. Alonzo Gee cannot play defense...period. It's almost pathetic how many times he let that kid shoot open threes yesterday. But, he's also insanely explosive, so there's good with the bad, I suppose.
Riley showed that he is, indeed, only a first year player in the SEC. He ruined two fast break opportunities back to back, but hit lights out from long range, so he corrected a few of his mistakes. He needs to get better for us to be better.
So with the win yesterday, and with Ole Miss winning at Auburn and Kentucky winning at Arkansas, Alabama sits at #1 in the SEC Western Division BY THEMSELVES. We're not tied with anyone...we're just first in the west. Which is disgusting, if you think about it.
Joe McKnight, according to sources, WAS IN TUSCALOOSA ON SATURDAY. He was spotted on campus near the football complex. Good news for us, I suppose.
This week will mark a very important recruiting class for Alabama football. We here at Memphis Tider believe that McKnight, Gibson, Corley, and Lazear will all be signing with Alabama on Wednesday. We may be wrong...but that's what we're hearing.
Alabama plays Mississippi State in basketball on Wednesday night. And man do they ever need to win this one. They've put themselves into a "must win" for most of the remaining games. I can understand dropping one to Florida on the road, but every other game is insanely winnable, even the road games. Pick it up guys.
You did great on Wednesday night in Baton Rouge because you played in the POST. Don't fuck up by sitting at the top of the key again. What the hell are you doing taking a three pointer at the end of the first half instead of working under the basket?
Time: 2pm CST TV: LF Sports (or sign up and watch it on the Yahoo broacast online) Place: Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL
Alabama hosts the SEC's last place team, South Carolina, at Coleman today. After a big win at LSU on Wednesday, Alabama needs to hold serve at home to make sure they can begin a streak towards March. South Carolina just lost to Auburn at home (Columbia, SC), but have proven they can handle SEC West teams (just ask Arkansas and Mississippi St).
The Gamecocks lost a key 6'11" reserve this week, so the Tide can outman them in the post. They have a few guards that can really shoot the ball if you allow them the chance to get hot. Their post players are not good. Ronaldo Balkman is no longer there - and he single handedly beat us last year. I believe he had 28 points and 14 rebounds in their win last season against us.
The biggest key to this game will be whether or not Jermareo continues his play DOWN LOW. He's been incredibly inconsistent this year, due to his play on the perimeter rather than in the paint. He easily took control of the paint against LSU, who had the post players to matchup with him, unlike South Carolina. As long as he continues to do what he does best, I think we'll be ok.
Look for Steele to play only about 30 minutes, which will allow more time for Hollinger and Tubbs to play a man to man defense. Also look for Hollinger to run a lot at the point, allowing Bama to switch up freely between man and a 2-3 zone, keeping the Gamecocks on their toes. Running man with Steele covering the 2 is a lot more effective, as we saw Wednesday night.
National Signing Day is next Wednesday, so this weekend is incredibly important.
Hush hush - the word around campus is that Joe McKnight IS taking a visit to Alabama with his high school coach, but doesn't want to talk about it. If Saban lands this kid...well...jeez. It will be absolutely huge. Very big things here.
According to Rivals.com, Jeramie Griffin appears to be Tide bound. Now, let's just see if he can make the grades to actually get in school. If he can, he'll be a hoss. He's a beast on the field.
Warrin Perrin was on Finebaum talking about how offended he was by Saban's comment, etc. Paul ripped him a new asshole...haha. It was great. Listen here.
Strength and Conditioning has been going on for the players for the past few weeks. Saban has issued a mandatory workout schedule for everyone, from what I understand. When asked about the discipline problems on the team, he laughed and said "That won't be an issue this year." Gotta love this guy. :-)
¶ 9:28 AM0 commentslinks to this post
We got one inch of snow and the world just stops around here. All the schools are closed, my office called and said nobody's coming in today, etc.
Which is cool...I like being off work...but I still think it's stupid. I mean, seriously...one inch of snow? It's like the white death hit us or something.
Anyway. Creer announced he's headed to Tennessee (he's a jackass), while we picked up Terance Farmer: a 3 star db, 6'1" 190lbs with 4.41 speed from Houston, TX. To see the most up to date commitment list, check out Rivals.com.
Seriously, everyone can lay off the "coonass" remark. ESPN even has a poll up asking if Coach Saban should be punished for his use of a, and I quote, "racial slur." This just goes to show how uneducated the world really is. One of my friends that's in grad school at Penn St called me and said, "Saban may as well just wear a shirt that says 'I hate black people.'" And I said - "you don't even know what a coonass is, do you?" Which is apparently pretty common. Sadly, this guy went to Ole Miss for four years, his parents are LSU fans, and he still didn't know what it is...but he assumed it was derogatory for black people, which is about as far from the truth as you can get.
Is there any question that Alabama football is king...especially in Tuscaloosa, AL. And yet, the USA triathlon wants Bama to push the A-Day game back a couple of hours, so as to not interfere with the race. This has to be some kind of joke. There's going to be about 80,000 people on campus for the spring game, and about 800 for the triathlon. Tell me which one is more important.
Saturday we get to host South Carolina in basketball, who just lost at home to Auburn. Hopefully we can make it two in a row and help our seeding out a little bit.
¶ 7:38 AM0 commentslinks to this post