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Jumbo Package: Gym Tide roll on to nationals, additional spring scrimmage notes

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Your latest crimson Tide news and notes.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Gymnastics Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. The Gym Tide put up a phenomenal performance in the regional finals, posting the highest postseason score in school history at 198.175. As you might imagine, such a feat required a full team effort:

The Crimson Tide’s balance beam total of 49.625 is its fourth-best in school history while its floor score of 49.650 is the sixth highest for UA

Kaylee Quinn posted a season-best 9.950, matching her career-best score on the vault

Lilly Hudson anchored the vault lineup with a career-best matching 9.950

Emily Gaskins came through with a career-best 9.900 to lead off the Tide’s vault rotation and a career-best 9.950 on the floor exercise

Makarri Doggette tied her season-best mark of 9.950 on the uneven bars for the fifth time this season

After matching her career-best mark of 9.900 from the leadoff spot in her last six balance beam routines, Ella Burgess posted a new best with a 9.950 on Saturday

In just her fourth balance beam routine of the season, Shania Adams came through with a career-best 9.950 after tying her previous best of 9.900 during Thursday’s session

Lexi Graber has posted 12-consectuive scores of 9.900-or-better on the floor exercise this season after going 9.950 to close out the Tide’s rotation on Saturday

Griffin James posted a career-best 9.925 on the floor exercise

They will now advance to make their 38th appearance at the NCAA championships, in Fort Worth April 14-16.

Meanwhile, the baseball team took two of three from Texas A&M over the weekend, while softball split the first two against Georgia with one more to play this evening.

As you undoubtedly heard, the football team had its first scrimmage of spring camp.

Hard to glean too much from a few highlights, but let’s try:

  • #13 Jahmyr Gibbs looks smooth and fast with the ball in his hands. He is going to have a monster year.
  • #6 Trey Sanders looked to be running healthier. Everybody has to be rooting for that young man.
  • Behemoth #96 Tim Keenan III ate redshirt freshman Jaeden Roberts’ lunch on the way to attempting the murder of freshman RB Jamarion Miller, and showed off some dance moves. Perhaps he will be one to step up on the DL this year.
  • #10 JoJo Earle took a couple of souls with a ridiculous jab step.
  • #15 Ty Simpson reportedly and expectedly had a rough outing in his first college scrimmage, but he showed up on the highlight reel three times, once showing off his wheels and twice delivering the ball on time and accurately. He looks confident out there.

The offensive line is still a work in progress.

According to a person in attendance, Alabama’s first-team offensive line Saturday consisted of Amari Kight, Javion Cohen, Seth McLaughlin, Damieon George Jr. and J.C. Latham from left to right. The same source said the unit mixed up its front five several times throughout the afternoon, trying some players at multiple positions. While Alabama’s offensive line wasn’t perfect on the day, it held its own against the first-team front seven as neither side of the ball truly dominated on the day.

Good to see Kight out there competing. It will be interesting to see how this group unfolds.

Kool-Aid is becoming a leader in the secondary.

On Thursday, Battle was asked about McKinstry during a press conference. His response was telling.

“He’s coming along very well,” Battle told reporters. “Right now, he’s learning the playbook. He’s getting more and more comfortable with the scheme. And he’s teaching all the other players. He’s been teaching other corners how to play the position. So, I love the progress from him as well.”

His talent jumped off the screen as a freshman.

Last, tonight’s national basketball championship is set with North Carolina facing Kansas. Should the Tar Heels win the national title as an 8-seed, it will only further the point that we have made in these parts for some time that a single elimination tournament, that allows entry to the top 20%, is a great way to devalue the regular season and an awful way to crown a champion.

In any case, UNC knocked out rival Duke and ended the career of legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, which leads any honest Alabama fan to think about life after Nick Saban, who is only four years younger than Krzyzewski. There is a clear trend here, as Duke assistant Jon Scheyer was identified and groomed for the head coaching job, just as rookie UNC coach Hubert Davis was under Roy Williams. The idea that elite jobs only hire seasoned coaches seems to have gone by the wayside.

Lest anyone think that this trend is unique to basketball, we have a recent example in Lincoln Riley who was groomed by Bob Stoops to take over the Oklahoma job. Under very different circumstances, Ryan Day took over the Ohio State job and has been to the College Football Playoff twice. Two time participant Notre Dame promoted DC Marcus Freeman when Brian Kelly left. Kirby Smart wasn’t an internal promotion, but he had no head coaching experience when hired at Georgia and just won a national title in his second playoff appearance. Jimbo Fisher, Mark Helfrich, and Dabo Swinney were all in their first college head coaching jobs when they made their first appearance in the playoff.

So, is it possible that Alabama hires a first year coach when Saban retires?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who knows?

That’s about it for today.

Have a great week.

Roll Tide.