Happy Hump Day, everyone. The baseball team eked out a close one over Troy last night. Meanwhile, the hoops team faces an absolute must win at home tonight against Arkansas. Unfortunately they got some bad news on the recruiting front:
Five-star product Terrance Ferguson's high school coach on Tuesday told Scout.com he was reopening his recruitment. Fergusuon committed to Alabama last year but did not sign in the early signing period. His coach, Ray Forsette, told Scout he's still interested in Alabama. The death of his grandmother last month impacted his decision. Ferguson was in Tuscaloosa this past weekend on a visit for the win over Auburn.
First off, condolences to the Ferguson family over the death of his grandmother. By all accounts she was an important and beloved figure in Terrance's life, and the loss of a loved one can certainly be shaking.
That said, I'm not buying the story that her passing is impacting this decision. Something clearly kept Ferguson from signing on the dotted line during the early signing period. I'm sure that he has gotten plenty of pressure to stay closer to home ever since he committed. He is saying that he is still very interested in Alabama, and as the crown jewel of the 2016 recruiting class, losing him altogether would be a massive blow. Hope for the best.
"Best decision of my life coming here," Edwards said. "I definitely feel redeemed. I definitely feel like I proved myself a little bit. My numbers have been way up from last year, and I definitely showed people I can play at the SEC level. I just wish I was here for a couple more years. It’s been great since I’ve been here."
With Edwards, Johnson looked behind the stats and focused more on Edwards’ shooting ability and how he played defense, among other attributes.
"It’s been a win-win with Arthur since day one," Johnson said.
"Arthur keeps the group loose, Retin keeps em focused," Johnson said. "Retin does a lot more talking in timeouts. Arthur leads by example so yeah I like the way those guys offset each other’s personality." Both players will be honored at 7:30 p.m.during the team’s senior night on Wednesday. Johnson only had a year to get to know both players, but he said their differing styles of leadership have been huge for the team’s success.
You can't say enough about these two. They bought in to Avery Johnson's program and led the team to a far better season than anyone expected. The development in Retin Obasohan has been obvious to Alabama fans, but what Johnson has done with Arthur Edwards is just as impressive. Edwards went from averaging 12 minutes a game on a sub-.500 MWC team to playing well in a starting role on a SEC team that is contending for a NCAA bid. College basketball is all about the coaching.
Earlier Saturday, Crystal Edwards was released from a Washington D.C.-area hospital after roughly three weeks of being laid up with tubes protruding from both her throat and nose while recovering from multiple stomach surgeries. During that time, Edwards’ mother wasn’t allowed to digest any food or liquids, leaving the IV drip in her arm her only source of nutrition, causing her to lose about 20 pounds.
"He’d FaceTime me and see the tube down my nose and my throat, and that bothered him," Crystal said of her son, who transferred to Alabama last summer as a graduate transfer from New Mexico. "We’re very, very close."
Added Edwards: "Moms aren’t going to tell you everything because she wanted me to stay focused, and so she didn’t tell me (at first), and that had my mind going."
Wow. It's amazing that Arthur was able to maintain focus knowing that his mother was in that condition. We certainly wish her the best as she recovers.
Spring is just around the corner:
Here’s the thing about Cornwell: he’s really a contender. But he’s sometimes the forgotten runner in a three-man race because of his disappearing act from last season’s battle. The Oklahoma native will look to reclaim his spot in the pecking order this spring. And he has all the tools to do just that. At 6-foot-5, 221 pounds, he gives offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the prototypical size for the position as well as a more-than adequate arm to deliver the ball to Alabama’s myriad of receivers down the field.
"If Bo wants to do it, I think Bo has a chance to be like Derrick Henry, and that's winning the Heisman and everything," tight end O.J. Howard told BamaOnline.com‘s Charlie Potter in December. "And I think Bo will. I think Bo will figure it out."
Already built like an NFL back, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Scarbrough has the ability to plow through defenders or use his surprising speed to race around them. An iffy right knee (he tore an ACL last spring) is perhaps the only potential roadblock.
Harris, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound sophomore, will provide the primary competition in spring camp.
Spring football is about a month away, so pace yourselves. That said, this is the first time in the Saban era that both positions are up in the air going into a season. Alabama has done it without a great QB before, but the running game has always been stout. Of course, Kiffin seems to be itching to run a full-on West Coast offense that is almsot fully driven by the QB, and has shown the ability to squeeze performance out of anyone he chooses. Which position battle to you find to be more important to the Tide this season? Answer the poll and give us your thoughts.
That's about it for today, folks. Look for Roger's baseball recap and more basketball coverage later today.