However, minus Green and Mitchell, the Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last Saturday defeated Tennessee, 62-50, with reserve 7-footers Moussa Geye and Carl Engstrom contributing significantly while guard Trevor Lacey scored a career high 18 points while Releford scored 13 and Steele 10, with a career high seven assists. "We obviously are three or four games since that happened," Grant said. "And I think our guys have moved on and prepared to play the opponents in front of us."
Mitchell was averaging 17.2 points after five games and was named the MVP of the Puerto Rico Classic after leading the Tide to convincing victories over Maryland, Wichita State and Purdue. His NBA stock was considered high, but his season began to turn the next game when he turned an ankle and scored only two points in eight minutes of a rout of Alabama A&M. The dynamic dunker scored only 25 points combined during a four-game losing streak, bottoming out against Vanderbilt. He played 31 minutes in a 69-59 loss at home but was held scoreless for the first time in 85 career games.
Alabama has split its four games without Mitchell, beating Auburn and Tennessee and losing to LSU and Florida. For the Tide to feel secure about its NCAA tournament hopes before the SEC tournament, they may need to win three of their final four games, which will be no easy task considering their upcoming schedule. Up first is a visit to Arkansas, which had been undefeated at home before falling to Florida on Saturday. Then comes home games against Mississippi State and Auburn before a road finale at Ole Miss. Getting two or three wins out of that stretch would have been easier with Mitchell, but credit Grant for taking a stand at such a crucial time. Now it will be up to Mitchell's teammates to see if they can rally without him.
Only one team has a perfect record this season in women's intercollegiate gymnastics, but that team isn't ranked No. 1. The undefeated and untied Alabama Crimson Tide is tied for No. 3 with Georgia in the latest rankings that were released today. Florida is ranked No. 1, and Oklahoma is No. 2. Alabama defeated Georgia in its season-opening meet and later defeated Florida. The Crimson Tide will pay a March 2 visit to Oklahoma.
The No. 2 ranked Alabama softball team (7-0) will wrap up its road trip to start the season with a midweek contest against instate foe UAB (5-5). The Crimson Tide will meet the Blazers on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m., at the UAB Softball Field.
Importantly, the SEC's revenue from television rose about three percent year-over-year. That's not a huge amount, but it does show that the league's current deals don't guarantee static payments every year. Of course, the real action will come when Slive and the lawyers sit down at the negotiating table to expand the deals with CBS and ESPN in light of conference expansion. I don't know how much extra the league will have to get in order for most everyone to agree that bringing in TAMU and Mizzou was "worth it", but it would be a disappointment if it's not in the neighborhood of the Pac-12's monster deal.
It's been almost two months since LSU was embarrassed by Alabama in the BCS National Championship game and now the ridicule has even seeped into Mardi Gras. (MardiGrasParadeSchedule.com)A group called "Le Krewe d'Etat" put together a float mocking the Tigers' national championship efforts with everything from LSU's inability to get past midfield to quarterback Jarrett Lee's rotting away on the bench to Bobby Herbert's tirade in the postgame press conference. It also has a caricature of Nick Saban holding up the crystal football wearing a Superman (perhaps it's Sabanman) outfit. Nothing was off limits and the resulting float should have made LSU fans turn their heads away in shame.