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Jumbo Package: John Calipari used Nick Saban speech before Alabama game

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 11 SEC Tournament - Kentucky v Alabama Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone.

The weekend started out a bit rough as the Gym Tide lost in Baton Rouge, though they did post a solid 197.600 in the process, and men’s basketball took their customary loss at Rupp.

The rest of the weekend went swimmingly:

I know you’ll love to hear that Kentucky coach John Calipari, down a couple of starters, used Saban’s viral clip speaking about young players not being ready for prime time against us.

After the game, John Calipari told the media that he used a speech from Alabama head football coach Nick Saban to motivate the Cats leading up to the game.

Calipari said the tape was Saban “talking about being ready for opportunity” and with their two leading guards out, it was an opportunity for others to step up.

That is exactly what the team did as Jacob Toppin, Kellan Grady, Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks, and Oscar Tshiebwe all played at least 36 minutes to power the Cats to the 90-81 victory.

Damn you, Cal. Damn you.

Speaking of Cal, imagine being able to do this and not get a technical, after seeing Nate Oats get tossed in the preceding game.

Must be nice.

If only that was the worst example of aggressive behavior from a college basketball coach this weekend.

WXYZ Detroit sports anchor Jeanna Trotman has decent audio of the conversation that took place before the swing. Howard was angry about Wisconsin coach Greg Gard calling timeout to help his bench players deal with Michigan’s full court press. Howard chose to press their walk-ons with his first team players, down 14 points with 15 seconds left. Why wouldn’t Gard call a timeout to coach them through it?

It is utterly inexcusable for a man paid millions to lead and develop college aged athletes to be the one starting a brawl. You expect 19 year olds to lose their cool occasionally, and the coach is supposed to be the one intervening. Seeing Michigan’s players having to stand between the coaches in effort to deescalate is pathetic. A suspension for the swing is inevitable.

It’s the lack of contrition that should get Howard fired, however. It’s one thing to lose your cool and then immediately acknowledge your mistake. Howard seems to believe that his behavior was justified. It says here that he has to go, but we’ll soon see what Michigan’s administration thinks.

Last, there isn’t much football talk going on right now but Brad Crawford at 247 joins the chorus expecting huge things from Alabama in 2022.

SEC West projection: First

Final record prediction: 12-0, 8-0

Betting over 11.5 wins is always dangerous given how difficult it is to go unscathed in the SEC, but Alabama should be at least a touchdown favorite in every game next fall and faces a schedule without too many dangerous areas for the defending league champs. If the Crimson Tide stay healthy and the Bryce Young-Will Anderson once again obliterates the competition, Nick Saban’s team should be able to write their ticket to the playoff no matter what happens in Atlanta. A Week 2 showdown at Texas is one to watch in the non-conference.

That’s about it for today.

Have a great week.

Roll Tide.