Monthly Archives: January 2012

Follow the Alabama-Arkansas basketball action right here

Which Alabama team will come out this afternoon? The late November team ranked in the top 12, or the group on a four-game losing streak?

Click here for the answers and the live Twitter feed of The Daily Bama Blog. We’ll take you beyond the television coverage of the Crimson Tide’s game with Arkansas.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind before tipoff:

Alabama lineup: F JaMychal Green, 6-8, Sr., 13.7 ppg., 6.8 rpg.; G Trevor Lacey, 6-3, Fr., 7.6 ppg., 3.6 rpg.; F Tony Mitchell, 6-6, Jr., 13.2 ppg., 7.3 rpg.; G Trevor Releford, 6-1, So., 12.3 ppg., 3.0 assists; F Nick Jacobs, 6-8, Fr., 5.7 ppg., 3.5 rpg.

Arkansas lineup: G Mardracus Wade, 6-2, So., 10.8 ppg., 2.2 rpg.; G Rickey Scott, 6-3, So., 9.8 ppg., 3.7 rpg.; G Devonta Abron, 6-8, Fr., 5.8 ppg., 4.8 rpg.; G Julysses Nobles, 6-1, Jr., 8.9 ppg., 4.1 rpg.; G Michael Sanchez, 6-8, Sr., 4.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg.

Noteworthy: Arkansas enters Coleman Coliseum with a perfect home record, but hasn’t won a true road game in five tries. Losses came at Houston, then No. 8-Connecticut, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and top-ranked Kentucky. … Arkansas’ leading scorer, BJ Young, comes off the bench scoring 14.6 points a game. … Only six of Alabama’s 20 opponents have scored more than 60 points. … Arkansas leads the SEC in both steals per game (9.1) and turnover margin (+4.8) … Alabama and Arkansas have split the series evenly the last four seasons. Home teams have won each of the last eight meetings. … Alabama seeks its 500th win in Coleman Coliseum for a second time. Vanderbilt beat the Tide 69-59 in its first attempt.

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A huge day for the Crimson Tide

Today’s a big day for the Alabama basketball team. Read what I wrote about that in today’s paper right here:

TUSCALOOSA — One by one, the Alabama men’s basketball players worked through the crowd to the target.

A few worked all the way up for a picture with legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt on Thursday evening in Foster Auditorium. It was a good night of a shared laughs and a few cell-phone pictures worth saving.

They’re trying to keep it light while facing its worst losing skid in two seasons. A 12:30 p.m., visit from Arkansas (15-5, 3-2 SEC) presents another crossroads for a team once angling towards the nation’s elite.

The No. 12 ranking of late November is a distant memory after the Wednesday loss to South Carolina, the last-place team in the SEC.

In its aftermath, Alabama coach Anthony Grant told reporters his team played “an entitled brand of basketball.” He explained those comments Friday.

Click here to read the rest for free.

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Grant: Tide needs ‘hunger’ and ‘passion’

Alabama’s four-game losing streak ties for the longest of the three-year Anthony Grant era. Not since his first season in Tuscaloosa has the Tide struggled this much.

Arkansas (15-5, 3-2 SEC) comes to Coleman Coliseum at 12:30 Saturday afternoon with an unfortunate streak of its own.

The Razorbacks haven’t won a road game all season. That doesn’t matter much, Grant said.

“For us to be successful, we have to play with a passion and a hunger. I think that’s true for any team in our league and any team across college basketball. This is an emotional game. So you have to be able to bring that enthusiasm every time you take the court. We just have to learn how to do that for 40 minutes.”

Read more about this in tomorrow’s newspaper.

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Alabama looks to extend 103-meet Iron Bowl win streak (with video)

How many rivalries are this one-sided? Alabama travels to Auburn for a gymnastics meet with quite a streak on the line. Read about freshman star Lora Leigh Frost in today’s print story:

TUSCALOOSA — Not long after sneaking out a tight meet win at Penn State on Saturday, a text message lit up the phone of Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson.

It was Lora Leigh Frost, the Decatur native and freshman who just completed her second collegiate meet. She’d had an epiphany.

“I now know I’m good enough,” the text read.

A 9.85 score on the floor exercise can do that. Frost’s score, the highest of the rotation for the defending national champions, helped Alabama nose out the hosts by .75 points in the quad meet.

The big performance earned Frost the “brick of the week” awarded by Patterson to the meet’s top performer. Inscribed on the brick: “Dreams really do come true.”

It’s fitting because Frost wasn’t a shoe-in to start as a freshman at one of the national gymnastics powers. She was recruited heavily by Ball State and considered Auburn before signing with the Tide. She’ll travel south to face the Tigers at 7 p.m., today when Alabama looks to extend its 103-meet winning streak over its archrival.

Frost will have the experience to handle the big-meet atmosphere that was a bit jarring two weeks ago.

Click here to read the rest. Then watch the video of Frost’s floor routine from Penn State.

 

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Video of Pat Summitt coaching Lady Vols at Alabama

Take a look at the night Pat Summitt spent in Foster Auditorium as Tennessee pounded Alabama, 86-56. Summitt played more of a supporting role on the bench this evening as the assistants did most of the demonstrative coaching. See for yourself.

 

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Panoramic view of crowd for Tennessee at Alabama women’s hoops

Click to enlarge.

(Click here for interactive version of photo)

There’s a decent crowd inside Foster Auditorium this evening with national-power Tennessee in town. Quite a bit of orange can be spotted in the crowd too.

And they’re the happy ones. The Lady Vols hold a 16-4 lead after four minutes of basketball.

The support for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is strong. The all-time wins leader went public with her Alzheimer’s diagnosis over the summer. Even the Alabama students who booed the Tennessee players cheered for Summitt when she was introduced.

Check back later for video.

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Four-game basketball losing streak not hurting ticket sales

Losing South Carolina, previously winless in SEC play, was arguably the low-point in the Alabama basketball season. That was last night.

Today, Alabama announced Saturday’s visit from Arkansas is sold out. Tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m., in Coleman Coliseum.

Early-arriving fans could take advantage of a free football-related opportunity. The BCS championship trophy will be on display starting at 11 a.m.

Fans can take photos with the crystal football for an hour inside the arena. Only ticketed customers are eligible.

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How much drama left for Alabama signing class?

Remember last signing day? It was an incredible mix of indecision, changing decisions, and decidedly high levels of excitement.

So, about that sequel … Expect something on the lines of “Speed 2″ if you’re looking for the action-packed thrill ride of the year.

“For the most part, there shouldn’t be a lot of drama on signing day,” said Scott Kennedy, the director of scouting for Scout.com. “You know, ho hum, another No. 1 class.”

The defending national champion Crimson Tide is a virtual lock to land the top recruiting class when scholarships are signed next Wednesday.

Alabama holds a healthy lead over consensus No. 2 Texas according to all three major recruiting services.

Click each site name for its respective team rankings:

There’s always room for some last-second craziness, but Alabama already has 27 public commitments for the 25 scholarships it’s allowed to award. We’ll address how that affects things at a later date.

Click here for more information on recruiting.

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Top-ranked kicker, Tide commit performs in clutch

In a recruiting class packed with 5-star names like T.J. Yeldon and Landon Collins, a 3-star guy named Adam Griffith is easily missed.

Griffith (Photo by Scout.com)

But the Calhoun (Ga.) High School senior is the top-ranked kicker in the country. He’s got a big leg and proved himself in the clutch.

Griffith kicked four field goals in the Class AA state title game win over Buford (home to Tide commit Dillion Lee). The 32-yarder in overtime won it. See video of the kick below.

Booting the kickoffs this season, 82 percent were touchbacks and YouTube videos show several landing behind the end zone.

“Not only does he kick the ball far, but he kicks the ball high,” said Hal Lamb, his coach as Calhoun High School. “I think that’s what coach (Nick) Saban likes. He likes height on the ball. He gets the ball high on his extra points and field goals as well.”

Read more about Griffith and the rest of the Alabama recruiting class in the coming days. Now, here’s the video of his state championship game winner.

 

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Alabama at South Carolina basketball viewing guide

This is quite a big game for Alabama, even if the Tide faces the only winless team in the SEC tonight. The 7 p.m., game at South Carolina could end the Tide’s three-game losing streak. Or it could extend it.

Check out the game on the SEC Network. Click the jump for info on that.

Alabama lineup: F JaMychal Green, 6-8, Sr., 14.2 ppg., 7.0 rpg.; G Trevor Lacey, 6-3, Fr., 7.7 ppg., 3.6 rpg.; F Tony Mitchell, 6-6, Jr., 13.3 ppg., 7.2 rpg.; G Trevor Releford, 6-1, So., 12.8 ppg., 3.1 assists; G Levi Randolph, 6-5, Fr., 6.2 ppg., 3.7 rpg.

South Carolina lineup: G Brian Richardson, 6-4, So., 3.7 ppg., 1.2 rpg.; G Anthony Gill, 6-8, Fr., 8.5 ppg., 4.9 rpg.; F Malik Cooke, 6-6, Sr., 12.2 ppg., 4.9 rpg.; G Bruce Ellington, 5-9, So., 10.9 ppg., 2.2 assists; F Damontre Harris, 6-9, So., 6.4 ppg., 5.3 rpg.

Noteworthy: Alabama is shooting to avoid its first four-game losing streak since January of 2010 at the only team winless in SEC competition. … Crimson Tide sophomore Trevor Releford has led the team in scoring in five of the last eight games while averaging 15.5 points a game. … Alabama’s 3-point shooting percentage of 28 ranks 337th of the 344 Division I teams. … Of the four major offensive statistical categories, Alabama’s cracks the top 100 only in field goal percentage (46.1) at No. 73. … Alabama has three straight wins in series with South Carolina including 79-70 win in last trip to Columbia after trailing by 14. That 2010 win ended a three-game losing skid. … Only one Alabama opponent has bettered its season scoring average against the Tide. Dayton recorded 72 points in a 12-point win over Alabama on Dec. 7 after averaging 70.4 a game.

Continue reading

See how low Alabama basketball ranks in offensive stats

There’s no denying the defensive body of work Alabama’s basketball team has on its NCAA tournament application. But offense?

It’s struggled. That’s easy to say after watching the Crimson Tide’s three-game losing streak it takes to South Carolina at 7 tonight.

But how bad is it? Consider a few of the following statistics and the national rankings they carry.

Rank … Category … avg/pct
76. ….FG percent ….46.1
338 ….3-point pct …28
134 ….Assists/game … 13.4
126 ….Rebounds/game …35.7
307 ….Possess./game … 63.6
243 ….FG attempts …….1,028

Click here if you want to see a comprehensive listing of national basketball rankings for Alabama on StatSheet.com.

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Analyst: Some coaches golf, Saban’s hobby is recruiting

Of course Nick Saban likes to tee it up and play a round of 18 here and there. But that’s not his life, said CBS Sports Networks recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.

He’s a born recruiter.

And that’s why Alabama is poised to sign the top class of incoming players once again this year. All major recruiting services rank the Crimson Tide crop No. 1 by wide margins.

“I’d say half the teams out there don’t understand it,” Lemming said. “The coach, they go out and play golf, they spend time with their family, and do a lot of off-the-field things, but they’re mediocre. I always said, show me a guy that’s a prolific golfer, a head coach, and I’ll show you a guy who doesn’t recruit well.”

Saban’s hot streak recruiting, Lemming said, compares to Pete Carroll’s run at USC. There was always a top replacement waiting when a junior went pro.

Trade Trent Richardson for T.J. Yeldon. Dont’a Hightower’s heir is Reggie Ragland and Dre Kirkpatrick will be succeeded by Geno Smith.

The X-factor comes back to Saban. He made recruiting a top priority for every assistant coach and the program is back at its peak because of it.

“If Nick leaves, there will probably be a gradual decline at that school,” Lemming said. “That’s usually what happens with the retirement of great coaches and someone who follows them up. So as long as he’s healthy and happy, Alabama is going to be in the national title picture almost every single year.”

Read more on recruiting in the next week leading up to signing day next Wednesday.

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Former Pro Bowler returns to Tide as coach

Former Alabama offensive lineman Chris Samuels will be back on the Tuscaloosa practice field this spring and fall. This time, the former Pro Bowler will be a coach.

The Washington Post reported today he’d be a graduate assistant working with the Alabama offensive line. Most recently, Samuels was the offensive coordinator at Blount County High School. He’d been a coaching intern with the Redskins in 2010 after his nine-year career ended.

“They’ll pay for me to finish my degree, and I’ll be able to learn from some great coaches over there at Alabama. …It’s just been a blessing for me,” Samuels told the Post. “It’s a huge opportunity for me. I learned a great deal about football from all those years of playing and being around a lot of great coaches. But a lot of players don’t realize it’s a lot different playing football and coaching football.”

In his nine years in a Redskin jersey, the Mobile native was selected to six Pro Bowls as an offensive tackle.

Samuels won the 1999 Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman in the nation while making first-team All-American honors.

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Take a video tour of Tuscaloosa tornado damage nine months later

We had a few photos of the tornado-damaged neighborhoods in Tuscaloosa earlier this morning. Now you can see the video tour through Alberta City, Holt, and Forest Lake.

 

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Revisiting before/after photos from neighborhoods destroyed in April tornado

For those of you new to the site, I had been taking a monthly tour of a few specific Tuscaloosa neighborhoods destroyed by last April’s tornado. Then football season happened and I started slipping.

Well, I got back to it yesterday afternoon. Take a quick tour around Tuscaloosa with new panoramic photos.

First, here’s a look at Fifth Avenue in Holt. It’s the neighborhood I first visited three days after the storm to chronicle the efforts of Tide athletes helping with recovery efforts.

Click here for a 360-degree panoramic view from the Holt neighborhood.

Remember you can click each picture to enlarge it.

Before

April 30

May 25

June 28, 2011

Aug. 22, 2011

Sept. 29, 2011

Jan. 23, 2012

Here’s a series from Forest Lake

May 25, 2011

June 28, 2011

Aug. 21, 2011

Sept. 29, 2011

Jan. 23, 2012

From the other side

May 25, 2011

June 28, 2011

Aug. 21, 2011

Sept. 29, 2011

Jan. 23, 2012

Now into Cedar Crest.

June 29

August 21

Sept. 29, 2011

Jan. 23, 2012

Here’s two more shots from a spot I didn’t find until September.

Sept. 29, 2011

Jan. 23, 2012

Finally, here are a few shots I got yesterday that don’t have companions.

Forest Lake on Jan. 23, 2012.

Overlooking Holt on Jan. 23, 2012.

Click here for all of the posts related to the tornado.

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