Happy Monday, everyone. It was a rough weekend on the diamond as both the men and women dropped two of three. The #6 Gym Tide performed just above their season average, but were also edged by #1 Oklahoma. Of course, the bulk of the news from the weekend comes from the men’s NCAA tournament, where Alabama suffered a rough exit at the hands of the offensive machine that is Villanova. The players seem optimistic about the future, though.
Johnson said there is a lot to learn from this loss as he continues to work toward building Alabama basketball into a championship contender.
“In my introductory speech to the team in my first two years, I haven’t had an opportunity to show on video what we’ve done in the NCAA Tournament,” Johnson said. “I have such a wealth of resources now because of this two-game experience.”
Added Alabama forward Braxton Key, “I think we’re just cracking the surface.”
“We got 20 wins, and … if you get a 20-win season, you consider it a success right there,” Schaffer said. “You look at it, we had no off-court troubles, everybody has great grades. We made the NCAA Tournament and won a game — made history right there — we haven’t done that since 2006, so we look at it from a standpoint (that the season) was a huge success.
“Coach (Avery Johnson) turned some boys — we had a bunch of freshmen — and turned them into men, and we’re going to be back next year.”
Lawson has it right. There were certainly some frustrating moments, but you can’t complain about the end result against the third toughest schedule in the country. The players seem to be bought into what Coach Johnson is selling, and that is the key to success.
Speaking of Lawson Schaffer, let’s take a moment to appreciate his One Shining Moment, shall we?
FORGET THE SCORE LAWSON SCHAFFER JUST DID THIS pic.twitter.com/UVEXT8rcxY— Barstool Bama (@BarstoolAlabama) March 17, 2018
What a dish.
Hey, Auburn was destroyed by Clemson last night and strength coach Lou DeNeen’s wife posted this little ditty.
Just put my husband on a flight to San Diego so he can stand in the Clemson handshake line.— Tina DeNeen (@TinaKay511) March 19, 2018
In case you forgot, Bruce Pearl bumped into Lou after Alabama stomped them in the SEC tournament. This was a quality tweet.
Jay Wright is a fantastic basketball coach, obviously, and by all accounts is a class act as well.
“When they made the change at halftime, you can tell if a guy is faking it or if he really gets the fact that he’s part of something bigger than himself,” Wright said. “And when a guy that talented and has had that much success, he’s been a championship quarterback, can genuinely root for his back-up to win the game, then that’s a real program, you know, that has great players.
”Not just -- sometimes the walk-ons can be proud of being something bigger than themselves, but when the best players do that, that’s a sign of a true selfless program, and that was the analogy I used for that game.
Wright has Villanova playing better than the sum of its parts. By the way, check this out:
In 2002, Wright was able to secure one of the top rated recruiting classes in the country, led by McDonald’s All-American center Jason Fraser. However the Wildcats had a mediocre 2002–2003 season, which was marred by a phone card abuse scandal that eventually resulted in suspensions to over half the roster, though penalties from the NCAA were avoided. The Wildcats again made the NIT but did not advance far. The 2003–2004 season saw more playing time for the talented young players from the previous recruiting class, but it also resulted in a mediocre season and another NIT appearance.
Wright had a rough go of it when he started out with Villanova, but was in the Sweet Sixteen in year four and Elite Eight in year five. With the returning talent on this roster, such things are possible.
There isn’t much in the way of football news other than a couple of spring previews.
Joseph Bulovas seemed to be the favorite to win the kicking job entering last year’s fall camp but struggled and was beaten out by Andy Pappanastos. Now, after redshirting, Bulovas will have another chance to win the kicking job.
He will compete with Temple graduate transfer Austin Jones. However, Jones not arriving until the summer means that Bulovas will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself throughout the spring.
This defensive line has potential with a good mix of verbenas (Davis, Buggs and Dwight) along with young talent (Ray, Williams, Mathis). The pass rush of this group could be upgraded over last season, especially if Davis continues to progress at the rate he has through his first two seasons. He has the potential to be one of the best defensive linemen in the conference this season. Ray and Williams and their development will be key to this unit’s potential.
The redshirt freshman will be the only kicker in spring camp. That should be instructive.
Hey, look how Jerry Jeudy spent his spring break:
While y’all boys on the beach trying to get at these girls during #SpringBreak, my man @jerryjeudy is out there puttin in work! ✊ pic.twitter.com/wINpO5xsap— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) March 16, 2018
Young man wants to be great, and something tells me he will be.
Lane Kiffin is at it again. He just couldn’t help himself when Clay Travis asked if a top team has ever been as boring as the Virginia basketball team.
I rescind my criticism of Auburn-Charleston. UVa-UMBC is brutal. Can y’all remember the top team in a sport that was this boring to watch?— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 17, 2018
Hmmmm https://t.co/Q5WdHJ3wWh— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) March 17, 2018
Oh, Lane. We loved you, man. Why must you troll?
Our other men’s basketball team won a national title.
The University of Alabama men’s wheelchair basketball team overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to defeat Wisconsin-Whitewater 69-65 on Saturday and capture its second national championship.
Michael Auprince led the comeback, finishing with 31 points in being named game MVP. DeQuel Robinson had 21 points and Ryan Morich added 13.
The Adaptive Athletics program continues to be a powerhouse.
Last but not least, take a few minutes and watch one of the best rants you will ever see from a college coach:
If you want to yell then become a coach, explains Frank Martin
Frank Martin discusses the sad reality of parents attempting to coach their kids from the stands. Read more in the story linked below.Posted by The State Newspaper on Saturday, March 17, 2018
This is fantastic. Helicopter parents do far more to hinder their childrens’ development than support it.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.