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Jumbo Package: Tuesday 7 April 2015

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A'shawn carted off the practice field? He sounds OK but hold your breath anyway...

Get well, big fella. We need you.
Get well, big fella. We need you.
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Sources: Alabama star DT A'Shawn Robinson suffers ankle injury | AL.com

Alabama star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson suffered an ankle injury during practice Monday, according to sources.  However, the injury is not believed to be serious, according to sources.

Might as well open with the news everyone is looking for. Nothing confirmed, but following reports that Robinson was carted off the practice field, it sounds like he and the team may have dodged a bullet.

It's official: Avery Johnson is new Alabama basketball coach in 6-year deal | AL.com

"I am confident that Avery will provide our student-athletes with the best qualities of leadership: commitment, hard work, enthusiasm, poise, confidence, and pride. I am very excited about having Avery join the Crimson Tide family. Not only do I believe that he will be an excellent head coach, but I am also convinced that he will be a tremendous example to our student-athletes in all areas on and off the court."

The deal is reportedly for just shy of $3 million per season. But, apparently...

First Take duo differ on Avery Johnson going to Alabama

"I'm a bit saddened because I think when you have the credentials that Avery Johnson has and you're relegated to accepting a college coaching job at a program that first of all is a football school," Smith said. "It will always be a football school. Secondly, they've never won a national championship. They've never even gone to a Final Four in the program's history. And you would take a job there speaks profoundly to the plight that some African-American coaches out there have been lamenting."

So, Stephen A. Smith believes that Alabama basketball is some sort of purgatory for coaches who can't get better jobs due to their race. Brilliant. He also goes on to suggest that Shaka Smart would have received higher pay from Texas - higher than top 10 money - had he been white. What a tool.

Mr. Basketball Dazon Ingram says Alabama's new coach, Avery Johnson, ' could help me get to where I want to go,' but keeps options open | AL.com

"I think it's a good hire," said Ingram, also named the Class 7A Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. "I think he is a good coach. He was a good player. I would think he could help me get to where I want to go, and that is the NBA."

Ingram signed a financial aid agreement with Alabama during the early signing period, but never signed a NLI and decommited when Grant was termed. Getting him back in the fold will be important.

Nick Saban offers unprompted praise for Alabama quarterback Jake Coker | AL.com

"I think the biggest thing is he's more comfortable in the system," coach Nick Saban said of the senior quarterback Friday. "He's playing with more confidence. I just think that the system that we're playing now is better suited for him in terms of what we're putting on him to do. Actually playing him in the [shotgun] a little bit more, which is probably more suited for him. ...

Coker and Morris have been working in one group while everyone else has been working in another. Early indications are that this year's race won't be nearly as closely contested as last year's. If anyone other than Coker starts against Wisconsin I will be very surprised. Also interesting to hear Saban talking about Kiffin figuring out what Coker does best and tailoring the game plan to it. The man has his warts, but he knows how to get performance out of a QB.

Alabama Crimson Tide - ESPN

Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin may not have a proven all-world player like Cooper to lean on, but he's got a nice mix of options. He can go big with 6-foot-4 wideouts Derek Kief and Raheem Falkins. He can go with a mix of size and speed in Robert Foster, who's 6-foot-2 and runs like a gazelle. Or he turn to ArDarius Stewart, who's likely the most explosive of the bunch having averaged more than 12 yards per catch last year. That's not to mention running back Kenyan Drake, whom Black said reminds him of Reggie Bush in his ability to play some receiver, or tight end O.J. Howard, who runs as fast as many receivers despite his 6-foot-6, 242-pound frame.

Lots of talent here and some great quotes from Chris Black, who seems to be looking to take a leadership role.

Baseball Heads to Samford for Midweek Contest - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Alabama takes to the road for a midweek game with Samford in Birmingham at Joe Lee Griffin Stadium. The Tide and Bulldogs are scheduled for a 6 p.m. start. The two teams will meet for the second time this season, with the first game ending in Alabama's favor, 8-6, on March 17.

Alabama plays a road game in a stadium that's about the same distance from Tuscaloosa as the home stadium.

Duke vs. Wisconsin, 2015 NCAA basketball championship final score: Duke wins national championship, 68-63 over Wisconsin - SBNation.com

Mike Krzyzewski has now won five national championships in 35 seasons at Duke, winning each of his last four appearances in the title game. It's Duke's first title since Gordon Hayward's halfcourt shot clanged off the rim and Duke edged Butler in 2010.

Congrats to Duke and Coach K on their national title.