In retrospect, the Tide peaked far too soon, defeating Maryland, Wichita State and Purdue in November to win the Puerto Rico Classic. Alabama rose as high as No. 12 in the major polls and went 5-1 in nonconference games against teams that reached the NCAA tournament, losing only to Georgetown. "I see a young team that grew up," Steele said. "A lot of it was new to them. Our young guys grew up really well. Our veterans gave us leadership. "We're going to miss JaMychal. That's somebody you can't replace. Everybody will have to step up and take on different roles. Hopefully we can remember this experience and try to do everything we can not to feel it anymore."
Before the managers for the University of Alabama men's basketball team even had the Crimson Tide's gear packed for its exit from Greensboro, N.C., and the 2012 season, Anthony Grant had set the bar for the 2013 season. Asked if making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years was going to lead to a return of Alabama as a fixture in the field of 68, Grant had a ready response. "That's the goal," he said.
But there’s more reason for Alabama fans that actually care about the basketball program to take heart. It comes from an ex-Tider who knows something about heart. It comes from a guy who became the face of the program’s highest point in recent memory. It comes from a guy still with the program as director of operations — a guy who saw where things stood, sees where things stand and saw just about everything in between. Yes, Antoine Pettway likes what he sees at Alabama after year three under current head coach Anthony Grant. It looks familiar and in a good way. "This was a step in the right direction," Pettway said after Alabama’s first NCAA Tournament game in six years, a 58-57 loss to Creighton. "Guys played their hearts out and played to the last minute of the game."
I like to think that I'm a pretty laid-back guy. Like anyone else, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, catching new movies and relaxing. I also love getting to the bowling alley. I'm no slouch at the lanes and I find that bowling is a good way to take my mind off of football for a little bit.
If the Jets sign a veteran safety in free agency -- Reggie Nelson? -- it will give them more flexibility in the draft. The No. 1 item on their wish list is pass rusher. Rex Ryan has told friends he absolutely wants to add a blue-chip rusher to his defense, sources said. They really like Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) and Andre Branch (Clemson). This is a must-get for the Jets, who have ignored the pass rush for too long.
The Rams have had a running back who's had a better career than Adrian Peterson ever since the end of the Marshall Faulk era—and they've still managed to have one of the worst offenses in football over that time period. You can do the same thing with wide receivers, but that's the point: running backs simply aren't the focal point of an offense that old-school football minds and fantasy football players believe them to be.
While he has another season to play, the guard-turned-tackle-turned-center has quietly put together the kind of resume that would make any coach more than proud. "I can't say enough about what he's accomplished since he's been here and what he might be able to accomplish in the future," Nick Saban said. The thing about Crimson Tide lore, though, is that once someone starts being compared to the all-time greats it sticks with him forever. "I’m not sure that Barrett will be with the likes of the best who ever played here, but he’ll certainly be in the ranks of the most versatile of those who played here," longtime Alabama broadcaster Tom Roberts said. "He’s going to get out of here as one of the most smartest guys to ever be a part of the football program. The other thing about him is that he’s such a great kid who’s willing to help: Haiti after the earthquake, Tuscaloosa after the tornado."
In a high scoring affair the top-ranked Alabama softball team downed Mississippi, 10-7, Saturday night in front of a national television audience at Rhoads Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide stay perfect with a 24-0 overall record and a 5-0 Southeastern Conference mark. Senior Amanda Locke earned her first win in the circle since April 24, 2010, and provided the punch at the plate with four RBI.
The [Philadelphia Eagles have] announced that guard Evan Mathis agreed to terms on a five-year deal. A source with knowledge of the contract tells PFT it’s worth $25.5 million, with $7 million guaranteed. Incentives and escalators can push it to $31.25 million. Mathis, who spent seven NFL seasons with the Panthers, Dolphins, and Bengals, found a home in Philly via a one-year deal signed in 2011. He started 15 games for the revamped offensive line.