After two weeks of speculation, Alabama All-American point guard Collin Sexton has finally made his professional decision. Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. he and his coaches will hold a press conference to announce his plans.
This seemed to be a genuinely tough decision for Sexton...just professionally.
First, there’s no guarantee that he will be an NBA Lottery protected pick. Under the NBA draft rules, only non-playoff teams have a guaranteed shot of the top three spots. The 14 teams missing the playoffs are given proportional odds in a random draw, with the worst team having the best chances to receive the top pick — though it is a crooked system, and David Stern absolutely rigged Patrick Ewing to the New York Knicks.
Second, with the fantastic class entering this year’s draft, Sexton is projected to go no higher than 6th — and some mocks have him going as low as 14th (with many settling for the 9th pick in New York.) Once a player falls outside the big money of the first five picks (and especially the true lottery selections) rookie salary drops precipitously — almost $1.8 million per draft selection. Next year’s class is much weaker. Sexton and his counterpart in Lexington, Kevin Knox, could easily earn another $8 to $11 million dollars by just timing their entry better. We break down the pros and cons of his decision here, and why Sexton may actually be better off in Tuscaloosa — and not even for reasons of our gumping homerism.
Big, big day tomorrow, in other words.
ED: Matt Zenitz from Al.com just reported that sources indicate Collin Sexton is likely to enter the draft. Who knows? Sources have been wrong before, but it wouldn’t be a shocker either. We’ve always known our time with Sexton was borrowed time.
Any day with a Crazy Tony feature is a great day. In this story behind the excellent series of Tony Brown playoff videos, we get some amazing quotes:
“Tony is an animal,” said fellow-Alabama defensive back Anthony Averett. “He’s a dog. I’d go to war with him any time. Tony is that dude who is going to bring it every day. In practice, he just brings energy to the defense. He’s a guy who is going to communicate on the field.”
This is a super cool piece on the linebackers against whom Alabama’s lethal running attack will have to contend. Reier breaks down five names to watch this season, many of which may be unfamiliar. He also throws in highlight clips of each player.
Here’s an excerpt (and I chose completely non-randomly) for the guy that I suspect is going to blow up this year under a competent defensive coordinator).
2.] Tyrel Dodson (Jr.), Texas A&M, Sept. 22, Tuscaloosa.
2017 season: Loaded up the stat sheet, ranking fifth in the SEC in total tackles with 105 stops. Also got in on 11 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, eight pass breakups, four quarterback hurries and three interceptions (including one he returned for a touchdown).
Area where Alabama will need to be effective: Outside of a 75-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris early in last year’s meeting with Alabama, the A&M defense turned in a respectable performance in College Station. In that game, Dodson recorded career-highs in tackles (16); tackles for loss (2.5) and quarterback hurries (two). He’ll team with Otaro Alaka (78 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss in 2017) to give the Aggies one of the top linebacker duos in the SEC for the upcoming season.
One player ‘Bama hoops will have back is 9th-year senior Riley Norris. Norris, the do-everything wing player signed in the Nixon administration, has been granted a medical redshirt. That is good news for an Alabama team that was inconsistent on the glass at times and lacked another true perimeter option. He may initially struggle getting acclimated to the game as played in the shot clock era, but this is a net win for the Crimson Tide and certainly for the senior from Albertville.
We jest, of course. Norris is just one of those guys that seems to have been around for a decade.
Rainer breaks down the job that Tosh Lupoi is doing in his first year as a defensive coordinator.
I especially liked the contrast in previous DC’s experience coaching secondaries versus Tosh’s experience along the front seven. That was one of the reasons I though new DB coordinator Pete Golding might get tabbed as the Co-DC: He knows the complicated secondary scheme, is a great developer of that talent on the back end, and he already has experience calling the defense. But, it’s beginning to look like there’s just a lot of homework for all the defensive coaches this offseason.
The Crimson Tide, which was in nickel and dime 85 percent of the time in 2016, often creates its leverage from the back end.
But Lupoi’s experience resides in generating pressure from the front. He’s spent his career working with outside linebackers and defensive linemen.
“Tosh has never coached the secondary, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand it or doesn’t know it,” Saban said.
CBS looks at the position battles this spring most likely to result in an all-star emerging. While Barton Simmons highlights the wide receiver battle at ‘Bama, and tabs Henry Ruggs III, I’d like to propose a candidate a bit more off the beaten path: safety Deionte Thompson. He’s going to be a star.
FIGHT ME, BARTON.
The legendary Gene Stallings appeared on The Show to talk about which SEC coach was the most difficult one for him to prepare against (I’m going out on a limb and saying Steve Spurrier.)
Right now, dozens of train cars carrying 10 million pounds of poop are stranded in a rural Alabama rail yard. Technically it’s biowaste, but to the 982 residents in the small town of Parrish, that’s just semantics.
They want it gone. The load has been there for almost two months, and it’s making the whole place smell like a rotting animal carcass.
To add insult to injury, it isn’t even their poop.
That sounds horrible for the people of Parrish. Let’s hope they get that out of there before the weather gets incredibly hot and humid — that’s an ecological and public health disaster waiting to happen.