Daily Archives: February 2, 2013

Tide gymnasts score season high but fall at Georgia

ATHENS, Georgia — No. 5-ranked Alabama suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, falling at No. 8 Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum 197.500-196.950 in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,924.

Kim Jacob paced the Crimson Tide (3-1, 3-1 SEC) by scoring a 39.250 to win her fourth straight all-around. She shared top honors on the floor exercise with junior Diandra Milliner. Alabama’s team total was its highest score of the season despite a sub-49 score on the uneven bars.

“We didn’t perform to the best of our abilities tonight,” Tide head coach Sarah Patterson said in a news release. “We got a little behind the eight ball on the uneven bars, and they were on fire on vault. When that happens, we have to really buckle down on vault, and while we did a good job, we didn’t nail all our landings.”

Alabama scored a season-low 48.95 on the uneven bars. The Tide was led on the bars by junior Sarah DeMeo’s 9.875.

A low score wasn’t the only outcome of the Tide’s rotation through the uneven bars. Senior Ashley Sledge was pulled out of the lineup after straining her shoulders on a handstand.

“We took her out after the uneven bars,” Patterson said. “We’re very protective of her shoulders and when she finished bars and was holding them, I knew we’d hold her out the rest of the way.”

The Tide scored a 49.375 on the vault behind 9.9s from sophomore Kaitlyn Clark, senior Marissa Gutierrez and Milliner. It was the Tide’s second highest vault total of the season.

Alabama had their best rotation of the night on the floor exercise, scoring a season-best 49.475 behind career-high 9.95s from Milliner and Jacob and a 9.9 from senior Marissa Gutierrez.

“I’ve said this before, from the time that coaching staff was hired, they had this meet circled in red on their calendar,” Patterson said. “We came in with a target on our backs.”

Next, Alabama will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on No. 1-ranked Florida on Friday at 6 p.m. The Crimson Tide returns home Feb. 15 to take on the Auburn Tigers at 7:30 p.m.

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So many trophies, so little space

The Bryant Museum made this cute video of what happens when you’ve got more trophies than space.

It’s about a minute long, and any Alabama fan will enjoy it.

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Vanderdoes apparently enjoying his trip to Tuscaloosa

Alabama has an big visitor today, and he apparently is having a good time. Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes of California is posting on Twitter how much he is enjoying his trip.

Vanderdoes is a 6-foot-3, 310-pounder from Placer (Calif.) High. He is ranked by Rivals as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation. He visited Notre Dame last weekend and Southern California the weekend before. UCLA also is in the mix for his services.

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Alabama ends 23-year drought at Vanderbilt

Alabama overcame a 13-point deficit in the final seven minutes to beat Vanderbilt in Nashville’s Memorial Gymnasium for the first time since 1990.

The Crimson Tide scored a 58-54 win, despite trailing 51-40 at one point. Alabama didn’t lead until Trevor Lacey‘s 3-pointer put the Tide head 56-54 with 56 seconds to play.

“It was a growth moment for our team,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “Coming out of half, we understood this could be the most important 20 minutes of the game.”

Lacey finished with 17 points, including nine during that game-winning 18-3 run to close out the game. Senior guard Andrew Steele finished with a season-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

“Our biggest problem has been when we go into those scoring droughts,” Lacey said. “We had that today. Some guys were missing some point-blank shots, getting frustrated, not defending. Coach Grant told us to stay the course. We just stayed the course and kept working.”

Alabama (15-7, 6-2 SEC) did it without leading scorer Trevor Releford, who scored four points and didn’t play the final four minutes. Grant said Releford got hit near his eye, and a TV replay showed Releford grabbing the side of his head after a battle for a loose ball.

The rally began when Nick Jacobs hit a basket, drew a foul and made the foul shot. That cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 51-43 with 6:31 to play. After getting the ball back, Steele sank a 3-pointer to trim it to 51-46.

Eventually, Alabama earned a 53-53 tie, and after a Vanderbilt foul shot, the Tide missed two chances to go ahead. Lacey’s basket fix that, putting the Tide up for good.

Afterward, Grant praised Steele for his contribution Saturday. Just a year ago, Steele thought his career was finished and he was working as a student assistant for Grant. When Steele was cleared to play 13 months ago, Grant allowed him to return to the team, and since then, he has given the Tide a boost off the bench.

Steele missed seven games this year with a sports hernia, and the Tide was 2-5 in those games. Alabama is 12-2 when Steele plays.

“Can’t say enough about Andrew’s leadership,” Grant said. “In the first half, he was talking to the guys and getting us back.”

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Report: Another five-star prospect picks Tide

Orangebloods.com is reporting five-star defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has picked Alabama, despite having been committed previous to Texas.

Robinson is from Arlington Heights High in Fort Worth, Texas. He stands 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, and Rivals.com rates him as the No. 4 defensive tackle prospect nationally.

This gives Alabama 23 commitments, and that includes Handley High offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman, who appears willing to delay enrollment to January and not sign Wednesday.

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Courtney Upshaw flips car in commercial

Former Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw, now a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl, made a commercial a few months ago for Gamma Labs PTF in which he flips a car. It’s a cool ad and worth the 31 seconds it will take to watch it.

The company has posted that Upshaw flips the car as part of his workout regimen with the help of Gamma Labs PTF.

Just one question: Is flipping cars part of “The Process” Upshaw learned at Alabama from Nick Saban?

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Upshaw goes from national title to Super Bowl

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) battles with Kansas City Chiefs guard Ryan Lilja (65) to recover a fumble earlier this season. Upshaw won the race. (AP photo by Colin E. Braley)

Courtney Upshaw (91) battles with Kansas City Chiefs guard Ryan Lilja (65) to recover a fumble earlier this season. Upshaw won the race. (AP photo by Colin E. Braley)

The Baltimore Sun has written a feature story about how Ravens rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw is playing in the Super Bowl a year after helping Alabama win a national title.

“Roll Tide,” he told the newspaper, grinning, when asked last week about playing for another championship. “Nah, it’s a great feeling, man, to have the opportunity — especially as a rookie — to be playing for the Super Bowl. I won those championships in college. Now I’m in the pros, and I’m looking forward to trying to win the Super Bowl.”

Click here to read the story.

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Former Tide assistant acknowledges inappropriate relationship with student at Texas

Texas assistant coach Major Applewhite was involved in an incident with a student four years ago. Applewhite served as Nick Saban‘s offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2007. Here’s the Associated Press story:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite acknowledged Friday night that he was disciplined by the university for an inappropriate relationship with a student during the Longhorns’ trip to play in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2008 season.

In separate statements and a document released from Applewhite’s personnel file, Applewhite and athletic director DeLoss Dodds said the former Texas quarterback had his pay frozen in 2009 and was ordered to undergo counseling. Applewhite also was warned that a repeat offense would have more serious consequences.

In his statement, Applewhite, who is married and one of the most popular assistants on Mack Brown‘s staff, said he was embarrassed by the incident. Neither Applewhite or the school released further details.

“It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter,” Applewhite said. “Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved by the university four years ago. Through counsel, I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us.”

Gene Powell, the chairman of the Texas Board of Regents, and system Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said they learned about the discipline “a short time ago” and their reaction was “great disappointment and sadness.”

“At our direction, the General Counsel to the Board has posted notice of a special called meeting of the Board on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd, so that the Board can be fully briefed on issues related to this matter in executive session,” Powell and Cigarroa said in a joint statement.

Dodds called the incident “inappropriate,” but noted it was also something that happened between consenting adults.

Dodds said the university’s legal office looked in the matter.

“We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives,” Dodds said. “I believe the appropriate discipline was taken in this case.”

Texas women’s track coach Bev Kearney resigned in January as the school was in the process of firing her for having a relationship with one of her athletes in 2002. In 2011, the university paid $400,000 to a former administrative assistant who complained of sexual harassment by Cleve Bryant, a former top athletic official in the football program.

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Cam Newton praises his coach — Mike Shula

Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is heaping plenty of praise on his coach, Mike Shula, who preceeded Nick Saban at Alabama.

Newton just finished his second year with the Carolina Panthers, and Shula was his quarterbacks coach. Shula recently was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Click here to read the piece. Here’s a taste:

He also said his relationship with Shula was “unbelievable,” and credited the former Alabama coach with helping his development the second half of last season. After a turnover-plagued start to 2012, Newton accounted for 19 touchdowns, with only four turnovers, over the final nine games.

He had a 94.7 quarterback rating during that span, and broke Jake Delhomme’s team record by going 176 passes without an interception.

“I think a lot of credit goes to him with me honing in to a lot of things that he’s been coaching me up to do. I don’t think it’s going to be any different,” Newton said.

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Alabama vs. Vanderbilt, basketball game information

Alabama forward Nick Jacobs (15) and Andrew Steele (22) after the Tide beat Arkansas on Thursday. (AP photo by Vasha Hunt of AL.com)

Alabama forward Nick Jacobs (15) and Andrew Steele (22) after the Tide beat Arkansas on Thursday. (AP photo by Vasha Hunt of AL.com)

When: 3 p.m. today

Where: Memorial Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn.

Records: Alabama 13-7, 5-2 SEC, Vanderbilt 8-11, 2-5.

TV: SEC Network.

Alabama lineup: G Trevor Lacey, 6-3, So., 12.2 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 3.6 assists; G Trevor Releford, 6-0, Jr., 15.9 ppg., 2.6 assists; F Levi Randolph, 6-5, So., 8.1 ppg., 3.8 rpg.; F Rodney Cooper, 6-6, So., 10.6 ppg., 4.1 rpg.; C Moussa Gueye, 7-0, Jr., 1.5 ppg., 4.4 rpg.

Vanderbilt lineup: G Kendren Johnson, 6-4, So., 14.8 ppg., 3.7 rpg., 3.2 assists; G Kevin Bright, Fr., 6-5, 6.6 ppg., 5.7 rpg.; G Dai-Jon Parker, So., 6-3, 6.1 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 2.1 assists; F James Siakam, So., 6-7, 2.3 ppg., 2.3 rpg.; F Rod Odom, Jr., 6-9, 9.3 ppg., 4.0 rpg.

Noteworthy: Alabama’s RPI according to ESPN.com is 63rd, while Vanderbilt is No. 138. … Clay Matvick and Joe Dean will call the game for the SEC Network. … Releford leads the SEC in free throw shooting (.854), is fourth in field goal percentage (.495) and sixth in scoring. … Alabama is getting 60 percent of its scoring from its sophomore class, which includes five players. … Releford needs four points to pass Jimmy Hollon (1970-72) for 43rd on the school’s all-time scoring list. Releford has 1,077 points, while Hollon had 1,080. … Alabama has won 12 of 20 jump balls, including seven when Gueye was jumping at the center circle. … The Tide has lost 11 straight games when playing the Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium. The last Alabama victory in Nashville came Feb. 3, 1990, when Wimp Sanderson coached the Crimson Tide to a 65-56 victory. … Vanderbilt’s SEC wins have come at home over Auburn and on the road at South Carolina.

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