Happy Friday, everyone. The SEC gymnastics championships are this weekend, and Alabama comes in as the five seed out of eight teams. Hope for the best there. Baseball has a tough matchup as they welcome #9 Arkansas to town, and the currently 31-0 softball team has a great chance to keep its streak going in College Station against a rather hapless Texas A&M squad. The ladies are only four wins away from tying the all-time NCAA record for consecutive wins to start a season. All six of the previous teams who won 31 or more consecutively were from the Pac 12, and all six made the WCWS. Four of them won it.
Of course, the biggest news of the day is Avery Johnson’s pending departure.
Byrne was there Wednesday night. He saw what Whitley dared to say out loud. He saw a much smaller Spartan team beat Alabama on the backboards. He saw the careless turnovers committed, the double-digit second-half lead squandered. He saw that against an opponent that, in all fairness, was not SEC caliber.
How loudly did that speak? What faith did that inspire that another season was going to be different when Alabama couldn’t even set aside its apparent apathy for 40 minutes?
The worst part of all this is that alum and current Iowa State coach Steve Prohm is justifiably the most prominent name mentioned by fans to replace Johnson, and all indications were that he interviewed four years ago and wanted the job. Alas, Bill Battle hired Avery instead and Prohm went up to Iowa State to win 61% of his games and make three NCAA tournaments in four years, including one sweet sixteen and this season’s Big 12 tournament title.
Now that he’s found success in Ames, there is no guarantee that Mama calling would be enough to bring him home, though if Alabama is able to offer something in the $3.5M range it may be tough for the Cyclones to match.
In spring practice news, Dylan Moses is embracing his role as the leader of the defense.
Moses smiled talking about that increased responsibility. He called it his natural position he’s been playing since youth league straight through high school.
“So, it just gave me free range to run from sideline to sideline, and pretty much all I have to do is make the calls,” Moses said. “Playing the position here, all you’re doing is covering a running back when you’re dropping in coverage, if it’s not a zone coverage. For me, there’s less to think about. All I have to do is make the calls and then run wherever I’ve got to run. Like I said, I’m really excited. I’m happy. I’m overjoyed to be playing the position again.”
Both Wilson and Moses struggled a bit at times with misdirection, but Dylan was in his first year as a starter. Hopefully he will be able to make a Reuben Foster leap into superstardom this year. His measurables are off the charts.
Kirby says he loves Saban, y’all.
”I don’t have any issue or any problem with any relationship with Nick. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s done anything but grown for more respect since we’ve played them twice. Every time I see Coach Saban, we have a great relationship. We’re not texting and calling each other buddy, buddy, but I’m not doing that with anybody. So that’s not to be of mention. I got a lot of respect for him. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, and there’s no problem with our relationship.
We should be able to take this at face value, since Kirby has never been accused of lying to anyone.
Last, in case you heard the unconfirmed rumors that Saban chartered a helicopter late last night and headed east, we now know the extent of the emergency.
OH NO! Not the Little Debbie snacks! Luckily, the driver is OK. https://t.co/fpY3GJ60yn— WBTV News (@WBTV_News) March 22, 2019
The driver is fine but, sadly, some of those precious pies didn’t make it. The scene inside the trailer was reportedly as gruesome as you’d imagine. Boxes, just mangled. Oatmeal creme pies torn from their security wrappers and flung, smashed and mutilated.
Please keep Nick in your thoughts during this difficult time.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.