Happy Monday, everyone. It was a fabulous weekend for the baseball team as they swept Arkansas on the road and effectively punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament after a one-year hiatus. Roger will have more on that later. Unfortunately the ladies didn't fare so well in the SEC Tournament, losing in the second round to eventual champion Auburn. Thanks to a strong regular season in by far the best conference in the country, the early exit didn't keep them from prime position in the NCAAs:
NCAA softball tournament bracket revealed, Alabama among top seeds | AL.com
The Crimson Tide (46-12) earned the No. 6 overall seed on the ESPNU selection show. The means Alabama would host both the regional and then the super regional should it advance. It is the 18th straight NCAA appearance and 12th consecutive year as a national seed.
Alabama opens regional play at 4 p.m. CT Friday against Samford. California and Texas State also play in the Tuscaloosa Regional at 1:30 p.m. CT Friday.
The men's basketball team got some welcome news yesterday as well:
Alabama basketball adds former Ohio State center Giddens - TimesDaily: Alabama Football
During his lone season with the Buckeyes in 2015-16, Giddens averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He shot 46.4 percent from the field, but just 43.9 from the free throw line. Giddens, a native of Marietta, Ga., was ranked as the No. 8 center and the No. 49 overall recruit in the nation in the 2015 class, per the 247Sports Composite.
Needless to say, Coach Avery will need to do some work on that free throw percentage while Giddens sits out this season. By all accounts, he is ready to be a college big man on the defensive end but thus far has been limited offensively. He had perhaps his best game in the Buckeyes' season ending NIT loss to Florida, tallying 11 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. Coming out of high school he had offers from the likes of Kansas and Louisville, so there is clearly some talent there. Hopefully Avery can maximize it.
Nick Saban 'resents' wear and tear perception of Tide players entering NFL | AL.com
"When you talk to NFL teams, none of them ever say that to me, so I don't know where that came from," Saban said. "(Green Bay's) Eddie Lacy comes out of here and is rookie of the year, and he's a running back. Where's the wear and tear? We had 45 guys on NFL rosters last year, which is more than any other college team, so where's the wear and tear? I don't see it. Dr. (Lyle) Cain and Dr. (James) Andrews are our team doctors who deal with a lot of NFL players. They monitor what we do with players.
"I don't think this is factual at all. I actually resent the fact that anybody in the NFL — with the access we give them, the things we do to try to help them, because I coached in the NFL for eight years — that anyone would make a statement like that and hurt our program, if it were true. I don't get it. I have heard people in the media say that before, but I haven't heard anybody in the NFL actually say that."
Wait, you mean there are sportswriters who would push narratives that have no basis in reality? Say it ain't so, Coach!
USC Football Mailbag: How To Beat Alabama And How To Be Alabama
It should be remembered that the Alabama that USC will play is not the one that beat Clemson in the title game. Alabama lost Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, starting QB Jacob Coker, most of their offensive line, several key members of their defensive line, and defensive leader Reggie Ragland in the middle.
Of course, Alabama simply reloads (as does USC), but they are vulnerable in opening games.
If by "vulnerable" you mean "has never lost an opener under Saban" then vulnerable it is, I guess.
Dick Vitale tells of Nick Saban's largesse
"Last year, Alabama football coach Nick Saban was so moved that he wrote a $50,000 check and a handwritten letter about what the night meant to him," wrote the AP.
For Saban, it’s not the first time he has provided a helping hand for others.The "Nick’s Kids Foundation," a non-profit organization established by Saban and his wife, Terry, has been an active part of the coach’s life since it began in 1998 while he was coach at Michigan State. The foundation’s official page says its purpose is to raise "awareness and resources for deserving organizations throughout the state of Alabama and Southeast."
Alabama DB qualifies for 110 hurdle finals in SEC track meet | AL.com
An Alabama football player set a personal best in the SEC track meet on the same day a teammate repeated as league champion. Tony Brown, a defensive back on the Crimson Tide football team, qualified seventh in the 110-meter hurdles Friday afternoon with a time of 13.78.
In the words of Da'shawn Hand, "That boy fast."
That's about it for today as the offseason trudges along. Have a great week, everyone.