How can Alabama basketball lose an All-SEC PG and 1st round NBA pick, but still get better? The maturity of the rest of the roster, more consistency, and the great class CAJ is bringing to Tuscaloosa is how. Here’s what Kira Lewis’ commitment does for the Tide.
Perhaps lost in Friday’s news is Jared Butler. The No. 97 player in this incoming signing class is also a point guard. In today’s game, you can’t have too many guards on the floor and traditional positional roles can be blurred.
There’s also a sense of mystery added to this team. Mack is also an experienced scorer who will be new to the SEC circuit. John Petty, the No. 33 player in the 2017, also figures to be a little more consistent shooting the ball in his second Alabama season.
Despite early reports of Josh Jacobs’ limitations in practice, last week Nick Saban declared him to be at 100%. Yesterday, Jacobs spoke, and updated his health and his depth chart fortunes:
After undergoing ankle surgery following the Crimson Tide’s 2017 season and recovering in the spring, the junior has rejoined his teammates in drills. Despite appearing limited in the media viewing periods of preseason practice and not putting a percent on his health, Jacobs said he feels “great” after the first full week and first scrimmage of Alabama’s fall camp.
“Definitely making progress, getting back and getting my body right,” Jacobs said. “I couldn’t really put a percentage on it because I feel like every day I’m trying to get better. That’s my focus right now. I’ve been practicing every day, taking every rep since camp started.
“… I’m just ready to get back in the mix.”
But, the Depth Chart Gods giveth, and then the Depth Chart Gods taketh away, this time with Alabama’s stellar sophomores, Najee Harris and Brian Robinson. Per AL.com’s practice report:
Here are some notes from the media viewing period:
-- Sophomore running back Najee Harris wasn’t present during the viewing period. Word is that Harris suffered an injury during the Crimson Tide’s scrimmage on Saturday, though we’re not sure yet of the specifics of the injury. Coach Nick Saban didn’t mention Harris while discussing injuries after the scrimmage, which could mean that the injury isn’t serious. At latest, we’ll have an update on Thursday when Saban has his next press conference.
-- Harris wasn’t the only running back not participating in drills. Neither was Brian Robinson, at least for part of the media viewing period. While he was in uniform and on the practice field, Robinson stood off to the side as the other running backs went through drills during the part of running back drills I watched.
Ugh. Let’s hope this is just a few nicks and dings and don’t result in long-term absences or season-long lingering injuries. Nick Saban’s Thursday press conference will be highly anticipated, to say the least. Hold your breath.
More preseason honors are on tap for Alabama’s two returning defensive ends: Both were named to the Ted Hendricks watch list yesterday.
Ted Hendricks and the Ted Hendricks Foundation announced on Monday the names of 36 players that landed on the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award preseason watch list. Alabama was one of four schools with two players named to the list in Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis.
The Ted Hendricks Award honors the top defensive end in college football, and the Crimson Tide has had one player win the award in Jonathan Allen, who took home the honor in 2016.
Haylie McCleney is still doing Haylie McCleney things. This time, all she did was bat .500, plated runs in 9-of-10 games, notched a base hit in 8-of-10 games, and almost hit for the cycle as part of a four-RBI game. She undoubtedly was the MVP for Team USA and led squad into the 2020 Olympic Games. Roll Tide. Roll America.
Former Alabama star Haylie McCleney led the USA Women’s National Team to its second-straight World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship, securing a bid for the 2020 Olympics in the process.
As Team USA’s starting center fielder, McCleney led the offense at 13-for-26 (.500) over its run of 10 undefeated games. She scored a run in all but one game and earned a hit in eight of the 10. She drove in four RBIs as part of a 3-for-4 day with two runs against the Philippines on Aug. 6, finishing a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. She also had multi-hit performances against the Netherlands (Aug. 4), South Africa (Aug. 7) and in the championship game against Japan (Aug. 12).
New DB coach Karl Scott, part of Alabama’s sideline youth movement, is already paying dividends on the recruiting trail, particularly establishing immediate rapport with the recently committed Malachi Moore:
...His commitment wasn’t just about getting recruiting out of the way, though. It’s a culmination of several things, including his relationship with the Alabama staff, especially the aforementioned defensive backs coach Karl Scott.
“He’s a very laid-back person,” Moore said. “He relates to the players well. Everything music-wise, what we do, what we say … everything. It was a lot of comfort there. I felt like I could just talk to him like I was talking to one of my boys.”
What does Malachi Moore offer the Tide? A true lockdown corner...and he’s just a junior:
What makes Moore, who had 36 tackles and one interception last season as a sophomore, so special?
”He can disguise any coverage, so he can play outside and still make plays inside, or play inside position and still make plays on the outside,” Tyson said. “Really, he can cover any route from any position. What gives me trouble is when he’s mixing it up and changing on me.”
Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark. Not only did Ole Miss’ cheating cost them millions, some wins on the record book, a few bowl appearances, its best coach in two decades, it has also resulted in a talent drain from North Mississippi. This it, it is rising WR Van Jefferson, who is able to play for another SEC opponent. And, yesterday, the NCAA granted a waiver to let Jefferson become immediately eligible...for Dan Mullen. It’s a different school, to be sure. But Mullen is still living rent-free in noggins across Oxford
The SEC granted a waiver to the former Ole Miss Rebel Monday, and he will be eligible to play in 2018. This comes two weeks after the NCAA granted its waiver to Jefferson (and fellow undergraduate Trevon Grimes).
Another divisional foe also received bad news from the NCAA. The bizarre case of LSU’s Kristian Fulton may be coming to a close, and his exceptionally lengthy suspension is going to stand:
The NCAA has denied an appeal to overturn a two-year suspension of LSU football player Kristian Fulton, who got caught and admitted to cheating on a drug test. “We will pursue a waiver to get him on the field. That starts tomorrow. That is still a possibility. Candidly, this is extremely disappointing. They made the wrong decision,” Fulton’ attorney Don Jackson said.
I fully expect this one to wind up in court. But, you know, don’t cheat...then cheat to get around being caught for cheating.
This is a fairly ambitious article by ESPN’s Alex Scarbrough, ostensibly written to cover everything you need to know before the Alabama football season begins. Godspeed with that, Alex.
Of course you have the Alabama quarterback battle and the quest for the Heisman. But what about the new coaches ready to lead their teams this fall?
Who will hoist the SEC championship trophy? That all will be decided soon enough, but until then here’s a preview of the most intriguing games of the season, along with Heisman candidates and playoff dark horses around the SEC.
The mothership takes aim at the marketing machine that tries to disguise the hypocrisy of the Big Ten, long the self-anointed guarding of morality and virtue — all that is good and aspirational virtuous in college sports. Well, except for that whole run of degeneracy, sexual licentiousness, and stomach-churning criminality.
College sports generates a lot of scandals — real ones, in which people really get hurt as powerful leaders chase wins at any cost and those around them don’t or can’t speak up — as well as manufactured scandals over players getting paid or coaches recruiting incorrectly. Big Ten schools have had roles in some of the worst.
This Spring, we did our salute to the Seniors. One person we did not forget was one who never played a snap for Alabama, Elisha Shaw. Shaw suffered a life-threatening, career-ending neck injury. But, Alabama still honored his scholarship. It was a great, unpublicized moment of doing the right thing.
These are the stories we don’t hear enough of: the myriad ways in which collegiate athletics and the mentoring of coaching staffs changes lives. College sports are not just a cynical cash grab; not every person on scholarship is roster fodder in a developmental league. There dozens of these stories every year, at at every school, where the institution gives young adults the skills to be a positive force in their community, to have a chance at a better life.
BOL did a check in on Shaw yesterday, and has an excellent feature on this young man.
Receiving a medical exemption scholarship, Shaw pursued a degree in human environmental science at Alabama. Once on campus, Shaw was around the team as a mentor to players both on and off the field and provided a walking example of life after football, he said.
And on Saturday, Aug. 4, he walked across the stage as a graduate.
“Man, it was beautiful,” Shaw said. “I graduated with one player, and it was my boy, DT (Deionte Thompson). And to be the first in my family to walk across a university stage, it was a blessing. Just to walk across that stage with Alabama’s support behind me, knowing that I had made my family proud. I took my family name to another level. I’m motivating my little sisters and nieces. I’m resetting standards for my family. Just to do that, it was all God. I felt so blessed.
Finally, are we gonna’ talk about Tony or nah? He (it?) is now officially the goofiest mascot in the SEC, taking Big Al and the creepy Commodore off the hook. Thanks, Rebels!
That’s it for now, barring some sort of breaking news. Make sure to vote for the Haiku winner and check out the rest of today’s dank #content. RTR
How worried are you about the Tide’s spate of preseason injuries?
This poll is closed
Panicked. DEFCON 1 — the missiles are in the air.
Somewhat worried, leaning towards skurred. I remember the end of the 2016 season.
Guardedly optimistic. I remember how Alabama overcame injuries during the 2017 season.
Not at all worried. WE GOT TEH FRESHMANS. RTR!