Happy Friday, everyone. As Christopher Walsh notes, the energy around the basketball program since Nate Oats arrived on campus is palpable.
“Their work ethic has been really good,” Oats said about his new team. “You see guys want to get better.”
It’s nothing against his predecessors, but Oats has been nothing short of a breath of fresh air for Crimson Tide basketball. There’s a buzz around the program in June. The roster is completely full, which is something Alabama has struggled with for years, and even though everyone hasn’t arrived on campus yet the team is already being hailed as top-25 quality.
Nate Oats: “Beetle got here this past weekend. He was held out of the first workout just as they were getting some stuff from West Virginia stating he had graduated and all that stuff. And then our trainer, he’s actually coming off some injuries at West Virginia, so he’s held him out of some of the live stuff just to ease him back into everything. But shoot, he doesn’t miss much. In all the shooting drills, he’s immediately one of the best shooters on the team, which that’s the biggest reason we brought in because we needed shooting. So, he’s going to definitely provide shooting. He’s also a leader. He’s our only senior on the team, and he’s vocal. Even when he’s not in the drills, he’s been pretty vocal. His freshman and sophomore years, they won a lot of games at West Virginia, so he knows how to win. Hopefully, we can get him healthy, he can bring us some shooting and some leadership and help us win a lot of games next year.”
The team is being hailed as top 25 quality because it is, and it was last year. The fact that they failed to reach that potential is the reason that Oats is here. All indications are that he has ramped things up in practice and is determined to play at the fast pace many of us have begged for. One thing Avery Johnson was able to do was recruit long athletes. Hopefully Oats can get a little more out of them.
BamaOnline is doing their annual countdown of “most important players” for 2019, and the most recent installment is Henry Ruggs.
He will have the same role in 2019, only with more experience. And Ruggs will look to continue to use his impressive speed to his advantage on the field this fall. The now-junior wide receiver reportedly ran in the 4.25-second range in the 40-yard dash at the Crimson Tide’s junior pro day back in March. For comparison, the fastest time at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine was 4.30.
Henry may break the Combine next season.
Speaking of breaking things, Murf Baldwin would like to see Najee Harris do more of that.
This is an excellent breakdown of Najee’s strengths and weaknesses. Watching this makes it evident why Najee is able to break so many explosive runs at his size, and also why Josh Jacobs got the bulk of the short yardage work. Not sure I agree with Murf’s assessment that Najee should be RB3, but if he is then Trey Sanders is the real deal. Brian Robinson definitely runs angry and could well be a breakout star in his own right.
CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee went over/under on projected win totals, and he’s bullish on Alabama running the regular season table.
11 wins: The Crimson Tide have run the table in the regular season four times under coach Nick Saban (2008, 2009, 2016, 2018), and will have to do it again in order for the over to hit. One loss earning a push is at least a little bit of insurance compared to the 11.5 number the Tide carried last season. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a star-studded group of skill position weapons will force opponents to go score for score with them, and nobody on the schedule has that kind of ability. An unblemished regular season is much more likely than a 10-2 campaign. Over-130 , Under +110
Let it be written.
Vandy won the national baseball title, and their ace hurler made a quotable.
And like other national champions, according to the freshman pitcher Kumar Rocker, the Commodores have top-notch coaching.
Rocker, the son of former Auburn star Tracy Rocker, compared Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin to another national championship-caliber coach.
“I said it earlier in an interview, he’s the GOAT,” Rocker said. “He’s like Saban. He’s got it.”
Obligatory: Yeah, he’s got it, if by “it” you mean a bunch of extra scholarships.
Wisconsin held punt return practice for the linemen, and it was spectacular.
The linemen had a punt return contest in practice and it was amazing (via Wisconsin Football)Posted by FOX Sports Wisconsin on Monday, June 24, 2019
Some great candidates for the primary return job there. Has to be a tough decision.
Your #HotSportsTaek of the week goes to Wally Hall at something called Whole Hog Sports.
Over the past 10 seasons, Alabama has won five national championships (Saban won one at LSU, too) and played for the title two other times.
So fans don’t care if his players have to go through a secretary to speak to him.
They don’t care that Dan Enos preferred to disappear from Tuscaloosa rather than take another earful from a guy who is an animated expert at telling coaches they aren’t doing a good job.
It almost seems a certainty now that Alabama will win either the SEC or national championship, and sometimes both.
Someone is angry that Arkansas will never again beat Alabama.
Last, SEC Shorts gave us a little offseason surprise and it does not disappoint.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.