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Jumbo Package: Alabama basketball grabs SEC control with win, Auburn loss

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. It was a mixed weekend for the Tide, as the softball team managed to go 5-0 but the Gym Tide lost to Auburn while the women’s basketball team went down to LSU. The track team claimed six individual event titles on the last day of the indoor season, and on the tennis court, the 21st-ranked men’s team took down Wisconsin while the ladies beat Indiana.

The men’s basketball team bounced back with a resounding win in Baton Rouge. Nick Pringle found his groove in that one.

It’s been a rough year for Alabama forward Nick Pringle thus far. Coming into Saturday’s game, he had already been suspended twice, both times for attitude adjustment purposes.

He returned to action against Auburn but didn’t have much of an impact on the game. On Saturday, Pringle showed out, scoring 17 points and going 8-for-9 from the field.

“I’m so happy for Nick,” Oats said. “He’s been up and down and in and out of the lineup, playing no minutes, some minutes late. His attitude has been great all week. His effort in practice has been great all week. I think he’s at the place where he needs to be, mentally, emotionally. He’s here to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

Auburn spent it all on the Alabama game as usual and were subsequently blown out in Gainesville this weekend, so the Tide are now in a two-way tie for first place with South Carolina. Alabama, of course, holds the head to head tiebreaker over the ‘Cocks.

We learned that OL coach Scott Huff has indeed decided to head to the NFL with Ryan Grubb.

Scott Huff, who joined the Crimson Tide with DeBoer from Washington, is finalizing a deal to join the Seahawks staff, per NFL Network. The move coincides with Ryan Grubb taking the offensive coordinator job with the Seahawks. Grubb also had joined DeBoer at Alabama but then decided to go to the NFL this week.

Both Huff and Grubb are significant losses. Huff coached a Washington offensive line in 2023 that won the Joe Moore award, given to the nation’s top offensive line.

David Cobb over at CBS wonders who will be calling the plays on Saturdays.

DeBoer could call the plays himself, which is the route SEC peers such as Josh Heupel (Tennessee) and Billy Napier (Florida) have gone early in their tenures. But coaching at Alabama is truly akin to being a CEO, and calling plays requires a time commitment that could be overwhelming in light of everything else on DeBoer’s plate.

Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz finally relinquished play-calling duties for the 2023 season — his fourth on the job — and the results were great.

Interesting the Drinkwitz is mentioned since his OC Kirby Moore is a name that we’ve heard as a possibility.

Alabama’s secondary is set to be young but extremely talented.

Nick Saban gave Kalen DeBoer a parting gift,” Petagna said. “Saban was a guy that coached the defensive back position. Look at Alabama’s class; they got cornerbacks Jaylen Mbakwe and Zabien Brown and safety Zavier Mincey. What do all three have in common? They got a five-star next to their names. It’s the best defensive back group in the country.”

“It’s going to be baptism by fire for those three,” Ivins added. “They’re going to need them. DeBoer will have a chance to bring in some veterans in the next portal window, but these guys must be ready to go immediately. It’s a good thing. Not only are these guys five-star prospects, but they complement each other very well.”

Malachi Moore will be the steadying influence in the room, and the Tide will likely have experience on at least one side with USC transfer Domani Jackson. Holdover Devonta Smith, Tony Mitchell and Jahlil Hurley will likely figure prominently as well, but hopefully these freshmen are too good to keep completely off the field. It’s tough to depend on that, however, and I’d expect some additions through the portal in May.

Last, this was a great bit.

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

Roll Tide.