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Jumbo Package: Basketball, softball futures are bright

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Texas Tech vs Buffalo Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. As you already know, the softball team’s season ended in the national semifinals, which is always a great season. What they accomplished this weekend was nothing short of remarkable. On Saturday they handed nemesis Florida its worst loss of the season before beating a western team in a game that started at nearly 10pm local time, then somehow followed that up by beating the #1 seed and defending national champions who had rested on Saturday. What an incredible run by the ladies who shouldn’t have had such a difficult path. It’s pretty clear that Oklahoma, UCLA, and Alabama are the top three teams in the country as their yearlong performances would suggest, and the seeding in this tournament put a stain on it. Still, these are good times for the program with nearly everybody returning, ace Montana Fouts only a freshman, and potential ace Lexi Kilfoyl coming in next season.

You’ve also heard that Nate Oats pulled off a major coup in getting a pledge from Villanova transfer and former five-star Jahvon Quinerly. Quinerly is a smaller point guard with top shelf speed, quickness, and ballhandling ability. His issues at Villanova came down to mental errors in Jay Wright’s sophisticated defense and scheme fit on offense, where Wright prefers to slow it down a bit and get into his half court motion sets. Quinerly’s skills should be showcased as Oats encourages him to push the ball up the court. Hank South put together a collection of social media reactions on the Quinerly news. If he is able to reach his potential next to Kira Lewis, this team is going to be dangerous.

Toss in the constant that is Alabama football and the improvement shown by Brad Bohannon’s baseball team, and things are looking up across the board. I’ve heard track and field is doing well also, but will let PiperTJ fill you in there.

There really isn’t much going on football-wise, but here are a few more links for you:

Mark Inabinett examines what might have been if Joe Namath had chosen baseball instead of football

Yesterday would have been Bear Bryant’s 74th wedding anniversary

Derrick Henry hopes to use his late season success as a springboard for this season

Calvin Ridley is looking to fly high with the Falcons

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.