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Jumbo Package: Job is “not done yet” for focused Alabama squad

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Championship - Alabama vs Texas A&M Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. As you know, it was a fantastic weekend on the hardwood as Alabama claimed a SEC Tournament title and the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. The Gym Tide also fared well, closing out their season strong with a win over Boise State and they now move on to SEC Championships next weekend.

Sadly, it wasn’t a very good weekend on the diamond. Softball lost three of four and to be frank the season already looks like a lost cause headed into SEC play. For whatever reason, Patrick Murphy’s roster management this past offseason seems to have been disastrous. The baseball team fared little better, allowing 27 runs in three games to drop a series to an Ivy League squad. We will find out in short order how much of the 14-0 start was simply the product of an easy schedule.

For Jahvon Quinerly’s money, there is much more work to be done.

“This team set goals in June and we got one goal off — regular season [champions],” Quinerly said. “Another goal we set was obviously this tournament championship and then obviously we want to take it all the way and win a national championship.”

He then went on to reference his own quote:

“That would be my same quote: job’s not finished,” Quinerly grinned. “Until we win the national championship, that goal ain’t gonna change.”

That’s exactly the type of mentality that you want the players to have. If Alabama is to make a deep run in the tournament, Quinerly will likely play a big role.

As David Cobb over at CBS notes, the nonsense is going to follow the team through the tournament. In fact, just yesterday Kent Babb at the Washington Post was still peddling the idea that Miller “delivered” a murder weapon, but it doesn’t appear to be fazing the team at this point.

Criticism of how Alabama handled Miller and the aftermath of the shooting which killed Jamea Harris, a 23-year-old mother, aren’t going away, especially as the Crimson Tide prepare to head to the sport’s biggest stage in the NCAA Tournament.

Neither is Alabama. The Crimson Tide regained their on-court form in the SEC Tournament with a roster that continues to provide Oats with alternative, Alabama-friendly talking points to push back against the tidal wave of critics brought by the program’s handling of an off-court crisis.

“I think he embodies our team, to be honest with you,” Oats said of how Gurley has embraced his fluctuating role. “Unbelievable culture of guys just caring about their teammates.”

This team has forged a special bond to go with its depth of talent. Hopefully they are able to reach their full potential and bring home a championship.

Alabama historian Kirk McNair decided to try and name Alabama’s all-time SEC Tournament team.

Alabama was on the brink to make the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and conventional wisdom was that Bama had to have at least one win in the SEC Tournament in Saint Louis. The first game was against Texas A&M, a team that had defeated the Tide in the final regular season game in College Station, 68-66. Bama seemed destined for another close loss when the Tide took the ball in with seconds to play. Sexton drove the length of the court, weaving through Aggies defenders who did not want to foul the sharp-shooter, and Sexton took it to the basket for the 71-70 win. The Tide added a second win over Auburn in the tournament to earn an NCAA berth.

To be honest, I didn’t think this would be such a difficult task, and I expect others would make different selections.

Here is mine:

Reggie King, Derrick McKey, Ennis Whatley, Collin Sexton, and Brandon Miller.

Feel free to chime in with yours. It’s tough not to mention Quinerly in 2021, but you only get five.

Sal Sunseri is headed to Boulder for an on-field role.

Sunseri served as senior special assistant to Nick Saban this past season after previously coaching outside linebackers from 2019-21.

Sunseri joins Charles Kelly, who also left Alabama to become Colorado’s defensive coordinator this offseason.

Sunseri had multiple stints at Alabama working for Saban. He had also been in Tuscaloosa from 2009-11 when he served as linebackers coach.

Is Deion trying to be Saban’s successor? Seems possible, but if nothing else he’s looking for some of Nick’s culture.

Alabama QB pledge Julian Sayin is giving off Tua vibes on the camp circuit.

Alabama commit Julian Sayin showed up and exceeded our lofty expectations with a nearly flawless performance. Not only is the five-star gifted with elite arm talent, he is also a technician in every sense of the word. Rarely can a quarterback adjust to a number of new receivers over such a short period of time, but minute details like this are exactly what makes Sayin special. He has the unique ability to command a field while dropping precision passes at every level. Sayin is as advertised and should continue the great legacy of Tide quarterbacks.

You never know about quarterbacks until they have to face SEC defenses, but Julian is seen as something of a can’t miss prospect. Just case you haven’t seen his highlights, you can check some out below.

Last, the governor of Texas is already calling his shot for September.

Now some analysis,” Abbott added, venturing into his 2023 prediction.

“Texas has more returning starters than Alabama does. The quarterback that was literally running all over Alabama, Quinn Ewers, was injured early in the game. And he’ll be starting again, doing a great job.

“If he gets hurt, he’s got a pretty good backup in [Arch] Manning. I have seen what appears to be Alabama’s starting quarterback, and he’s no Bryce Young.

“So I’m gonna say it’s gonna be 27-21, Texas Longhorns.”

Reckon we’ll see, Greg.

Thats about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.