Category Archives: basketball

Releford on watch list for point guards

Alabama point guard Trevor Releford at the SEC media day.

Alabama point guard Trevor Releford at the SEC media day.

Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford was named to the watch list for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, which was released on Tuesday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

This is the second second season Releford was placed on the watch list. The award  recognizes the top point guard in men’s college basketball each year.

Releford, a preseason first-team All-SEC players, goes into his senior year as the SEC’s active leader in points (1,299), assists (298) and steals (194) and is the only current player in the conference to have scored 1,000 points in his career.

As a junior, Releford led the Crimson Tide with 14.9 points and 2.1 steals per game, while also connecting on a team-best 40.7-percent from beyond the arc. The Kansas City native finished with 70 steals a year ago, which ranks third best in program history, on his way to becoming the program’s all-time steals leader.

Men’s hoops at SEC media day

Alabama coach Anthony Grant talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama coach Anthony Grant talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

BIRMINGHAM — Being the home team for the day, the Alabama men’s basketball team drew a crowd at the SEC media day Thursday.

Coach Anthony Grant gave the rundown of the team,  talked SEC decisions and about opponents Arkansas and South Carolina. Check out the the video of the first half of his media session below.

Highlights include junior guard Levi Randolph out indefinitely from his knee injury suffered last Saturday at practice, but surgery is not expected at the moment.

“The good thing is we don’t think it’s any structural damage,” Grant said. “It’s just some bone bruising that is going to take time to heal.”

“Levi is doing good,” point guard Trevor Releford said. “He’s taking it day by day and doing rehab right now. He’ll be ready.”

Junior forward Dakota Slaughter was awarded a scholarship to bring the team up to 12 of the 13 scholarships allowed a year. Two players, however, are ineligible from NCAA transfer rules.

Grant is looking for JC transfer guard Algie Key to make a big impact, and he’s relying on his key returners such as forward Nick Jacobs, guard Rodney Cooper, Releford and Randolph to carry the team.

“We have a lot of guys I’m excited about,” Grant said. “We have better guards on the team. I’m excited about the makeup of our team and the challenge in front of us.”

Releford said the offseason conditioning helped him lose 10-plus pounds to be better prepared for the season. Jacobs is another player who made use of the offseason program with about 15-20 pound lost.

“You’ll see Nick a lot different,” Releford said. “He’s in good shape. His body changed. He’s more of an offensive threat. I expect more from him.”

The season starts off Nov. 8 in Dallas against Oklahoma, and there’s a home exhibition game against West Georgia on Nov. 4. The players are scrambling to be prepared, but feel the European trip with five games played in August helped them get ready earlier.

“Practice is going good,” Releford said. “Everybody is buying in and working hard. It’s very competitive. I think every day we are taking steps forward as a team to be where (Grant) wants to be.”

Check out more of what Releford had to say Thursday in the below video.

Women’s hoops at SEC media day

Alabama coach Kristy Curry talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama coach Kristy Curry talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference NCAA college basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

BIRMINGHAM — Not much is expected of the Alabama women’s basketball team under new coach Kristy Curry. And that’s not a knock her, she has a big rebuilding project.

The Crimson Tide was picked to finish last in the SEC in the preseason media poll that came out this week.

Curry, however, was upbeat during SEC media day Thursday morning. She has her players working hard to begin the rebuilding.

There are eight new players, and she has top-scorers Daisha Simmons and Shafontaye Myers back with five other returners.

“The next big step is chemistry with a whole new coaching staff and eight new players,” Simmons said. “We don’t know each other. Right now is getting to know each other and jelling together.”

Curry must turn around a culture of a team that went 13-18 last season and finished tied for last in the SEC with a 2-14 record.

“Coach Curry has been great,” Simmons said. “Off the court we can talk to her about anything at any time. We can text her and she’ll respond. On the court she has been pushing us every day and getting the best out of us. Everybody responded great. We are already buying into what she wants to do and working hard every day.”

So can this team surprise people?

“I don’t tell anyone to expect anything,” Simmons said. “I’ve been focused on the team and what we need to do. We can’t predict the future. We just have to work hard every day. Style of play, we definitely want to push it. We run every day.” 

Check out more of what Simmons had to say Thursday in the below video.

SEC men’s hoops poll

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) is fouled by Dayton forward Devin Oliver (5) during the first half. (AP photo by Robert Sutton of The Tuscaloosa News)

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) is fouled by Dayton forward Devin Oliver (5) during the first half. (AP photo by Robert Sutton of The Tuscaloosa News)

Kentucky was predicted to winSEC men’s basketball championship this season in voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members, and Alabama came in sixth.

The Wildcats, who are the overall preseason favorite for the ninth time since the 1998-99 season, tallied 21 first-place votes while Florida earned five first-place votes and Tennessee received one vote.

Here’s the full poll:

Preseason Media Poll                Pts

Kentucky (21)………………………….. 371

Florida (5)………………………………. 353

Tennessee (1)………………………….… 320

LSU………………………………………… 270

Missouri………………………………….. 262

Alabama…………………………………… 257

Ole Miss…………………………………… 216

Arkansas……………………………….… 197

Texas A&M………………………………. 139

Vanderbilt………………………………. 125

Georgia……………………………………. 119

South Carolina………………………..… 108

Mississippi State……………..………..… 59

Auburn…………………………………….. 39

First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Here’s the preseason all-conference team: 

First Team All-SEC

Trevor Releford – Alabama, G, 6-0, 190, Sr., Kansas City, Mo.

Julius Randle – Kentucky, F, 6-9, 250, Fr., Dallas, Texas

Johnny O’Bryant III – LSU, F , 6-9 , 256 , Jr. , Cleveland, Miss.

Marshall Henderson – Ole Miss, G, 6-2, 177, Sr., Hurst, Texas

Jordan McRae – Tennessee, G, 6-6, 185, Sr., Midway, Ga.

Second Team All-SEC

Scottie Wilbekin – Florida, G, 6-2, 176, Sr., Gainesville, Fla.

Patric Young – Florida, C, 6-9, 240, Sr., Jacksonville, Fla.

Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, F, 7-0, 244, So., Olathe, Kan.

Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, G, 6-6, 215, Fr., Richmond, Texas

Dakari Johnson – Kentucky, C, 7-0, 265, Fr., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jabari Brown – Missouri, G, 6-5, 214, Jr., Oakland, Calif.

Jeronne Maymon – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Sr., Madison, Wis.

Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

SEC Player of the Year: Julius Randle, Kentucky 

Men’s hoops injury

Levi Randolph drives the ball away from an Auburn defender. Alabama scored only 37 points in a loss to the Tigers. (AP photo)

Levi Randolph drives the ball away from an Auburn defender. Alabama scored only 37 points in a loss to the Tigers. (AP photo)

Alabama junior guard Levi Randolph suffered a knee injury and will be sidelined for the next several weeks, according to an announcement by  coach Anthony Grant.

Randolph, who has started 67 of the 69 games he has played in his career, was injured during practice on Saturday afternoon. There is no timetable set for his exact return to basketball activities.

Last season, the Madison native averaged 8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 30.2 minutes per game.

Hoops, baseball notes

A view from right field at the baseball stadium.

A view from right field at the baseball stadium.

Alabama men’s basketball tickets are on sale. A ticket for all 18 home games are $264 or $172, depending where you want to sit.

Mini Plans and Single-Game tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 8 a.m.

To purchase season tickets, contact the Alabama ticket office located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, or call (205) 348-2262.

Baseball

The baseball team is in its second week of fall practice. A second scrimmage open to the public wraps up the week at 6 p.m. Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Ben Ashford, an Alabama alum, joined the coaching staff as the strength and conditioning coach. He started out as an intern with the program for 18 months.

 Women’s basketball

The  women’s basketball team started Tuesday, holding its first practice of the year at Foster Auditorium. The session focused on several areas including position work, transition, passing, shooting and rebounding.

The Crimson Tide is under the direction of Kristy Curry, who took over the program in May. She is assisted by Kelly Curry, Terry Nooner and Shereka Wright.

Alabama returns six letterwinners from a season ago, including its top two scorers in Daisha Simmons and Shafontaye Myers. There are several new faces on the Tide roster this season as well, with six freshmen and two junior college transfers.

Alabama will have one exhibition game at home on Nov. 4, against West Alabama before opening the season at Chattanooga on Nov. 8. The Tide’s first home game of the season will take place on Nov. 21, when Alabama welcomes Wisconsin to Foster Auditorium. Season tickets can be purchased through the Alabama Ticket Office, located in Coleman Coliseum, by calling 205-348-2262.

Non-football notebook

South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters (3) and Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) scramble for a loose ball. (AP Photo/2K Sports)

South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters (3) and Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) scramble for a loose ball. (AP Photo/2K Sports)

The Alabama men’s basketball season is underway as the team held its first two practices of the year at Coleman Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide’s first was Saturday with the second Monday afternoon in the basketball practice facility.

New NCAA rules for this season moved the start of team practice earlier in the fall – from 30 days prior to the first game of the season to 42 days. The Crimson Tide’s first regular-season game will be on Nov. 8 in Dallas, Texas against Oklahoma.

The Tide returns eight lettermen and three starters from last season’s 23-12 squad that finished tied for second in the SEC.

Five of the top seven scorers return from last year’s NIT quarterfinal team return, led by All-SEC and All-District performer senior guard Trevor Releford. He led the Crimson Tide last season in scoring (14.9 ppg), steals (2.1 spg), three-point field goal percentage (.407) and minutes (33.2) per game.

Women’s soccer

Alabama junior forward Pia Rijsdijk was selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. It marks the first offensive player of the week award of her career and her second weekly award after being named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the week of Oct. 24, 2011.

Rijsdijk had a big part in leading Alabama to two home victories over Vanderbilt and Tennessee last weekend. She scored three goals, including the game-winner against the Volunteers.

Rijsdijk recorded her first goals of the year in the win over Vanderbilt on Friday night, finding the back of the net two times to help lead the Tide to a 5-2 victory.

Volleyball

Alabama freshman outside hitter Brittany Thomas was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. In matches against Alabama State and Kentucky, she averaged 3.14 kills and 2.29 digs per set.

Thomas led the Tide with 22 kills during the week, which included team-highs in both matches against Alabama State and Kentucky. She opened the week with an eight-kill performance in a 3-0 win over the Hornets. Against No. 18 Kentucky, Thomas notched her sixth double-double of the season with a match-high tying 14 kills to go along with 10 digs.

For the season, Thomas is third on the team with 3.24 kills per set. She is second on the squad with 2.64 digs per set and leads the club with 15 aces. Thomas has played all 55 sets for the Tide this season, and is the only player on the roster to play all six rotations in every match.

Men’s tennis

Both Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura won their opening singles matches at the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships on Monday to advance in the qualifying draw.

Women’s tennis

One day after completing the Furman Fall Classic, Mary Anne Daines and Erin Routliffe are headed to the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The qualifying round will begin on Tuesday, followed by the main draw, which starts on Thursday.

Hoops NIT schedule set

My first view of Coleman Coliseum.

My first view of Coleman Coliseum.

The Alabama men’s basketball team was selected as the No. 3 seed and will serve as one of four host teams for the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off, announced Tuesday afternoon by the NCAA.

Joining the Crimson Tide as Regional host will be top-seeded Arizona (West Region), No. 2 seed Duke (East Region) and No. 4 seed Rutgers (North Region).

The South Region, which will be played in Coleman Coliseum, features Georgia State, McNeese State and Stillman College.

The event begins Nov. 18 with Georgia State taking on McNeese State at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Tide squaring off against Stillman at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

The losing teams of the first day will square off Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m., with the winners meeting at 7 p.m. (ESPN3).

The winner from that contest will then earn a trip to the semifinal round, which will be held in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27. The consolation and championship games will be played Nov. 29.

The remaining teams don’t advance to New York will play third and fourth-round doubleheaders Nov. 25 and 26 on the campuses of the three highest remaining seeds.

Women’s basketball schedule

Kristy Curry is rebuilding the women's basketball team.

Kristy Curry is rebuilding the women’s basketball team.

 

Date Opponent Location Time
Nov. 4 West Alabama (Exh.) Tuscaloosa, Ala. 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 at Chattanooga Chattanooga, Tenn. 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 17 at Duke Durham, N.C. 1 p.m.
Nov. 21 Wisconsin Tuscaloosa, Ala. 7 p.m.
Nov. 25 Alabama A&M Tuscaloosa, Ala. 7 p.m.
Nov. 29 at St. Mary’s! Moraga, Calif. 4 p.m.
Nov. 30 vs. Cal State Fullerton! Moraga, Calif. 2 p.m.
Dec. 4 UT Martin Tuscaloosa, Ala. 7 p.m.
Dec. 8 Houston Tuscaloosa, Ala. 2 p.m.
Dec. 17 Jacksonville Tuscaloosa, Ala. 11 a.m.
Dec. 20 Troy Tuscaloosa, Ala. 7 p.m.
Dec. 28 vs. Princeton Charlottesville, Va. 11 a.m.
Dec. 29 at Virginia/vs. Coppin State Charlottesville, Va. 11 a.m./1:30 p.m.
Jan. 2 Kentucky* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Jan. 5 at Texas A&M* College Station, Texas TBD
Jan. 12 Ole Miss* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Jan. 16 Auburn * Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Jan. 19 at South Carolina* Columbia, S.C. TBD
Jan. 23 at Kentucky* Lexington, Ky. TBD
Jan. 26 Georgia* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Jan. 30 at Florida* Gainesville, Fla. TBD
Feb. 2 Tennessee* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Feb. 9 at Missouri* Columbia, Mo. TBD
Feb. 13 at Arkansas* Fayetteville, Ark. TBD
Feb. 16 Texas A&M* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Feb. 20 Mississippi State* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
Feb. 23 at Vanderbilt* Nashville, Tenn. TBD
Feb. 27 at Auburn* Auburn, Ala. TBD
March 2 LSU* Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBD
March 5-9 SEC Championship Duluth, Ga. TBD

! Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic (Moraga, Calif.)

# Cavalier Classic (Charlottesville, Va.)

* Southeastern Conference game

Alabama hoops schedule

Alabama coach Anthony Grant. (AP photo by Al Behrman)

Alabama coach Anthony Grant. (AP photo by Al Behrman)

ESPN and the SEC announced its men’s college basketball regular-season schedule for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Regional Television produced games on the regionally syndicated SEC Network.

Here the Alabama games with dates, times and TV:

• Jan. 7 vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)

• Jan. 11 at Georgia, 3 p.m. (ESPN3 and SEC Network)

• Jan. 15 vs. Mississippi State, 7 p.m. (ESPN and SEC Network)

• Jan. 18 at Missouri, 1 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)

• Jan. 23 vs. Florida, 6 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2

• Jan. 25 vs. LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

• Jan. 29 at Auburn, 7 p.m. (ESPN3 and SEC Network)

• Feb. 1 vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

• Feb. 5 at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN3 and SEC Network)

• Feb. 8 at Florida, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

• Feb. 11 vs. Ole Miss, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)

• Feb. 15 at South Carolina, 3 p.m. (ESPN3 and SEC Network)

• Feb. 20 at Texas A&M, 6 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)

• Feb. 22 vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

• Feb. 26 at Ole Miss, TBA (ESPN3)

• March 1 vs. Auburn, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)

• March 4 at Kentucky, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

• March 8 vs. Arkansas, TBA (ESPN3)

Crimson Tide links and notes

Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal works with his linemen during warm-ups for the NCAA college football team's scrimmage Saturday, Aug, 10, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo Vasha Hunt)

Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal works with his linemen during warm-ups for the NCAA college football team’s scrimmage Saturday, Aug, 10, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo Vasha Hunt)

Check out the latest links of interest related to Alabama sports.

ESPN wonders who can beat the football team here. Like mentioned in my previous blog, depth will be tested with so many players hurt and coming back from injury.

The Crimson Tide will depend on younger players. They are talented, but a lack of experience could be a problem.

Another tipoff for a men’s basketball game was announced as part of a special ESPN Super Tuesday game. The Crimson Tide plays at Kentucky at 8 p.m. on March 4. More on it here.

Golfers doing the Walker Cup team here, and tennis players are named all-stars here.

And another bowl game is just what the world needs, but at least it’s in Alabama. Read more here.

 

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier works with quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) during the Crimson Tide's 19th 2013 Season Spring NCAA college football practice, a scrimmage, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo Vasha Hunt)

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier works with quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) during the Crimson Tide’s 19th 2013 Season Spring NCAA college football practice, a scrimmage, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo Vasha Hunt)

Men’s hoops loses last European game

The men's basketball team during a timeout of the European trip.

The men’s basketball team during a timeout of the European trip.

The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to Rouen, 76-72, on Saturday afternoon in Paris. It was the final game of the Crimson Tide’s European tour that saw the team go 3-2 on the 10-day trip.

The contest was close throughout with nine ties and five lead changes. Rouen hit 10 3-pointers, including two late in the game, to secure the victory.

The Tide led 60-58 early in the fourth quarter, however, Rouen outscored Alabama 15-7 in the next 6:44 and led 73-67 with 2:48 left.

Nick Jacobs (14 points and 7 rebounds) and Rodney Cooper (14 points and nine rebounds) combined for 28 points and 16 boards.

Levi Randolph added 12 points and six rebounds, while Retin Obasohan went for 11 points off the bench.

The team is set to depart early Sunday morning and will return to Tuscaloosa on Sunday afternoon.

Men’s hoops team drops first game in Europe

The men's basketball team warms up before loss to Bolougne.

The men’s basketball team warms up before loss to Bolougne.

The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to Boulogne, 100-70, on Friday in Paris, marking the first defeat of its  European tour. The Tide falls to 3-1 on the 10-day trip.

Boulogne, which finished last season 26-11 in the Pro B Division of the French Professional League, controlled the game from the start, as it jumped out to a 12-2. Boulogne used stifling defense in the first two quarters, essentially shutting down the Alabama offense.

The Crimson Tide was outscored 27-13 in the first quarter and trailed 55-23 at intermission. Alabama picked up its game in the second half, outscoring the French team, 47-45, in the final 20 minutes.

Senior guard Trevor Releford led the Tide with 25 points on 8 of 16 shooting. Junior guard Rodney Cooper finished with 16 points and five rebounds. Freshmen center Jimmie Taylor led Alabama with eight rebounds.

Boulogne was led by former Georgia Tech standout Zack Peacock, who finished with 24 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Tide finished the game shooting only 37 percent from the floor and 36 percent from beyond the arc.

Alabama will close out the  European tour when it meets Rouen on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. local time (8 a.m. CDT).

Another hoops victory

Alabama is having fun on its European trip.

Alabama is having fun on its European trip.

The Alabama men’s basketball team won its third straight game on the European trip with a victory over the Antwerp Giants on Tuesday.

Junior guard Levi Randolph scored 22 points, while sophomore guard Retin Obasohan added 12 in front of his hometown fans.

Junior forward Nick Jacobs collected a team-best 11 rebounds and three blocks to go along with six points. It was his second consecutive double-figure rebounding game.

Junior guard Algie Key had a solid game, finishing with eight points and team highs of six assists and four steals. Junior guard Rodney Cooper added 11 points and three steals in the win.

The Crimson Tide trailed 18-14 early in the second quarter, but went on a 12-0 run to open up a 26-18 lead. Alabama went on to outscore Antwerp 27-14 in the second quarter and lead 41-30 at intermission.

Alabama defeated Meppel (Netherlands) 85-68 on Saturday and won 86-79 over Gembo (Belgium) on Monday.

The team will travel to Paris on Wednesday morning and play on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. central) against Boulogne.

In other basketball news, the tipoff time of the Big 12/SEC Challenge home game against Texas Tech will be at 8 p.m. on Nov. 14 and be broadcast on ESPN2.

Hoops team wins again

The Alabama men's basketball team playing in Europe.

The Alabama men’s basketball team playing in Europe.

The Alabama men’s basketball team used a 13-4 run late in the fourth quarter to down Gembo, 86-79, on Monday night.

With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 2-0 on its European Tour, which includes an 85-68 victory over Meppel (Netherlands) on Saturday night.

The decisive run was sparked by three three-pointers that turned a 73-73 contest into an 86-77 game with 1:31 remaining. Senior guard Trevor Releford scored eight of his game-high 24 points during the spurt, including a pair of threes. Releford also added a team-high six assists and a pair of steals.

Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan, a native of Antwerp, Belgium, finished with six points, three assists and three steals. He played in front of approximately 100 of his friends and family.

Junior forward Nick Jacobs added a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, including scoring 12 points in the second half. Junior guard Rodney Cooper collected 11 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Shannon Hale added six points and eight boards.

The Tide will have a quick turnaround as it plays the Antwerp Giants II on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. local time, noon central.