Tag Archives: South Carolina

Star Series: Two baseball sophomores honored

Alabama catcher Brett Booth rounding third base to score one of Alabama's 15 runs in the Sunday 15-1 victory over Tennessee. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama catcher Brett Booth rounding third base to score one of Alabama’s 15 runs in the Sunday 15-1 victory over Tennessee. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Each week for the duration of the Alabama baseball and softball seasons, Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson will track outstanding individual performances with the Star Series. Three players from each team will get 1-star, 2-stars and 3-stars with a running season tally.

Baseball

After splitting the midweek series with Memphis, Alabama won the first SEC series of the season against Tennessee, two games to one. The Tuesday loss is recapped here, while the Wednesday win is recapped here and here.

Click here to get a special report from Morgan Upton from the Friday game and click here to recap the rest of the series, mostly Alabama’s 15-1 win on Sunday.

3-Star Player: Right fielder Ben Moore. Moore was 8-19 from the plate, sporing a .421 batting average in the five games. Moore put up a superb .500 on-base percentage in the five games and .579 slugging percentage, with three of his eight hits being for extra-bases. Moore also stole four bases and had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

2-Star Player: Starting pitcher Charley Sullivan. Sullivan started the Tennessee series off by pitching a complete game three-hitter to push Alabama to a 12-1 win Friday night. Sullivan struck out seven batters and walked just one.

1-Star Player: Catcher Brett Booth. Booth led the team with a .455 batting average for the five games of the week (10-22 from the plate), with three RBI and five runs scored. Center fielder Georgie Salem almost had this spot with seven RBI in five games, but the batting average almost 100 points less than Booth’s was too much to overlook.

Season Tally:

Ben Moore: 6 stars

Brett Booth: 4 stars

Georgie Salem: 3 stars

Cary Baxter: 3 stars

Austen Smith: 3 stars

Kenny Roberts: 3 stars

Mikey White: 2 stars

Jon Keller: 2 stars

Charley Sullivan: 2 stars

Jake Hubbard: 1 star

Ray Castillo: 1 star

Softball

The Crimson Tide swept the week 3-0, taking to the road to beat South Carolina 6-4 on Friday, 5-3 on Saturday and 7-6 on Sunday.

3-Star Player: Second baseman Kaila Hunt. Hunt led the tema with both a .600 batting average and a 1.000 slugging percentage against the Lady Gamecocks. In her six hits in 10 at-bats, she had one double and one home run, totalling with two RBI.

2-Star Player: Left fielder Kayla Braud. Braud led the team with five runs scored in just three games while batting .33 (4-12). Braud had three RBI and was 3-3 in stolen base attempts.

1-Star Player: Center fielder Haylie McCleney. McCleney batted an even .300 (3-10) in her three games against the Lady Gamecocks, including a double, a triple and three RBI. McCleney stole on base and sported a slugging percentage of .600.

Season Tally:

Haylie McCleney: 9 stars

Kaila Hunt: 7 stars

Jackie Traina: 6 stars

Kayla Braud: 5 stars

Danielle Richard: 4 stars

Andrea Hawkins: 3 stars

Keima Davis: 1 star

Danae Hays: 1 star

Full Story: Two key runs pace Alabama in win over South Carolina

Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with five assists and also contributed nine points, three rebounds and two steals in the win. (AP photo)

Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with five assists and also contributed nine points, three rebounds and two steals in the win. (AP photo)

Here’s the story Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson sent for print publication in Sunday editions across the state, with press conference video at the bottom.

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One day before a pivotal home game against South Carolina, Alabama coach Anthony Grant said he did not care that his team was averaging only 54.25 in its last four games, but that his team had won four out of its last five.

Grant got both a win and improved offense in Alabama’s 68-58 win over South Carolina.

“Today’s game, to me, was a game of spurts,” Grant said. “I didn’t like the way we finished the first half, but I thought we came out with better energy in the second half.”

Alabama had two big scoring runs in the first half that built an insurmountable lead: one 12-0 run to give Alabama a 17-4 lead with 12:37 in the first half and another 14-1 run to make for a 23-point lead with 5:55 left to go in the first half. Alabama knocked down five of nine three-point attempts in the two runs.

“We were able to, in the first half, penetrate and create help and they did a great job of moving the ball around,” Grant said. “I thought we had great looks. Even the ones that didn’t go in, I thought we had great looks and it was good to see our guys be aggressive.

“We had a spurt there where we were able to get the crowd back in the game and flip the momentum.”

Trevor Lacey led the Tide with 17 points, six of which coming from behind the three-point line. Redshirt freshman guard Retin Obasohan also added two three-point baskets and ended with eight points, nearly a career-high.

Lacey also contributed four assists, one below junior guard Trevor Releford for the team lead.

“My teammates are always on me about shooting more,” Lacey said. “I just like getting my teammates involved in some looks. I just try to let the shots come to me that I feel comfortable with.”

Alabama’s defense was an instigating force, also, forcing 18 turnovers. Sophomore guard Levi Randolph led the way with four steals, while Lacey, Releford and forward Nick Jacobs all had two each.

“We expected them from a defensive standpoint to really get after it and we knew we had to bring that energy, too,” Grant said. “We felt like we could have success with the press and certain halfcourt situations if we locked in and did it right.”

The win puts the Crimson Tide alone in second place in the SEC and making believers out of the competition.

“They’re in it, they aren’t going anywhere,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said, a longtime friend of Grant’s. “A team that plays the kind of defense they play, with the unity and passion they play, they’re in it.”

Quick Story: Alabama runs away from South Carolina

Alabama kicked South Carolina while it was down, running away with a 68-58 win. South Carolina (12-13, 2-10 SEC) lost its sixth game in-a-row while Alabama (17-8, 9-3 SEC) won the first of a two-game homestand.

Alabama held its second-largest halftime lead of the season at 35-24, led by Trevor Lacey’s 10 first half points on 4-7 shooting. The Crimson Tide took a 13-point lead with 12:37 left in the first half on a 12-0 run in which the Gamecocks were held to 0-5 shooting and committed three turnovers. Another 14-1 run in 3:51 left Alabama with a 23-point lead and 5:55 remaining until halftime.

The last 3:30 of the first half saw the Gamecocks put together a 11-0 run, seven points from Bruce Ellington, to cut the deficit to 11. Ellington ended the half with a game-high 11 points and ended the game with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Nick Jacobs tallied all 10 of his points in the second half, also adding two rebounds, both offensive, in the second half to end the game with four.

Alabama’s next game will be in Coleman Coliseum against Mississippi State (7-16, 2-9 SEC) on Wednesday. Alabama won the last meeting between the two 75-43 in Starkville.

Levi Randolph led the Tide with 18 points and Nick Jacobs contributed a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds. Lacey and Trevor Releford also scored in double-digits. Mississippi State’s only double-digit scorer was Fred Thomas off-the-bench. The Tide won the second half 45-21 by shooting 67.9 percent from the floor.

A few recruiting notes for your Monday

Since there is nothing more important than recruiting and signing day, here are a few headlines to keep the hunger at bay.

Check out this story (LINK FIXED) from ESPN’s Bruce Feldman about No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney and the decision he faces between Alabama and South Carolina. In the story, he talks about sending calls from Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier to voicemail after the thrill wore off from getting calls from the big-name coaches. Interesting stuff.

On the Clowney front, every story about him says he will not sign Wednesday with the rest of the country. He could wait 11 more days and announce on his birthday, Valentines Day (or Christmas for whoever can nail down this guy).

The other big names to keep an eye on Wednesday belong to Isaiah Crowell, running back from Columbus, Ga., and Cyrus Kouandjio, offensive back from Maryland.  Both are top-5 guys who will announce Wednesday.

Click here for extra Daily Bama Blog insight on Twitter. Click here for all Alabama recruiting stories.

Bama beats South Carolina by 10

The Alabama basketball team — namely its defense — sent South Carolina home with a 57-47 loss. Here’s what’s important:

  • The 47 points scored by the Gamecocks was the fewest they’ve scored in six seasons.
  • The visitors shot 28.6 percent from the field — the lowest for an Alabama opponent from the SEC since at least the 2001-02 season.
  • The Tide is now 2-0 in the SEC for the first time in nine seasons.
  • Alabama outscored South Carolina 40-18 in the paint.
  • Alabama shot three 3-pointers.
  • It made none of them.
  • Good night.

Click here for extra Daily Bama Blog insight on Twitter.

Who wins the SEC Championship?

I will step outside the Alabama beat tomorrow when I join the delegation of writers, editors and photographers in Atlanta for Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.

There isn’t that same kind of anticipation for Auburn and South Carolina this December as there was for last year’s rematch between Alabama and Florida. But it’s still the SEC title game. There aren’t many events that compare.

That said, bowl bids for Alabama depend on the outcome in the Georgia Dome. An Auburn win likely means a trip to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando and a South Carolina wins means the Outback Bowl.

Rehashing, evaluating 10 keys to season

Before the season, I put together a genius list of the 10 keys to Alabama’s football season. Now that we’re at the bye week eight games into the season, let’s see where they stand.

1. Forget the past. It’s hard to evaluate this one since it is more abstract and less tangible.
2. Waste no time. The Tide did a good job of starting fast by navigating the first portion of the schedule without a loss until going to South Carolina.
3. Keep Julio healthy. Alabama was half successful on this one, but it didn’t seem to matter much when Jones broke his hand and then hauled in a school-record 221 receiving yards two weeks later.
4. Stay out of trouble. No issues there. Nobody’s been arrested or suspended so far.
5. A wildcard must emerge. There hasn’t been one as prominent as Mark Ingram was last year, but safeties Robert Lester and Will Lowery came out of obscurity to make an impact in the secondary. C.J. Mosley has also played a big part in the defense as a freshman linebacker.
6. Kick it long, straight. They’ve kicked it longer and straighter than I may have expected in August. The young kickers/punter have done a fairly good job of not playing the Tide out of any wins while maturing along the way.
7. Beware of the traps. Not so good on this one. In the preseason preview, I warned of the danger lurking in Columbia. Turns out, I was right.
8. Embrace the media. Hmm….
9. Fast-tracked maturation. Another hard one to evaluate, but it hasn’t been a disaster.
10. Be innovative.The offense hasn’t always stepped out of the box, but it did an excellent job using the “Wildcat” to set up the pass from Marquis Maze to Michael Williams in the Florida win.

Stay tuned to see how the Tide will navigate the final four games of the regular season and how it relates to this master list.

Gameday video from South Carolina

Here it is, the full experience from the South Carolina Fairgrounds where South Carolina knocked the Tide off its pedestal with a 35-21 loss.

From the drive in, to the pregame pageantry, the closing moments, cops handcuffing bloody college students, Nick Saban’s postgame news conference and D.J. Fluker’s exit on crutches. Here you go.

Tide falls to No. 8, behind Auburn

Both major polls are out and the Crimson Tide have been officially passed by Auburn according to the Associated Press and the coaches in the USA Today panel.

The Tigers moved to No. 7 in both after moving to 6-0 on Saturday night while the previously top-ranked Tide fell to South Carolina and tumbled all the way to No. 8.

The USA Today poll is the only one that really matters since it factors into the BCS formula and the AP’s doesn’t. Read more to see both polls in their entirety.

Continue reading

Wow, who saw this coming?

Alabama was on the ropes a few weeks back in Arkansas. But today, it looks like the Tide is in even more danger of blowing its win streak.

A late touchdown but missed extra point puts the deficit at 21-9 after South Carolina out-Alabama’d Alabama. They took advantage of missed tackles, and a turnover to jump up by 18.

And like Florida did a week ago when it outgained the Tide in spite of losing by 25, Alabama has a 178-159 advantage in total yards.

The differences? The Tide’s 15-play empty drive in the second quarter, and South Carolina’s recovery of McElroy’s fumble on the Tide 43 that set up the third touchdown drive.

That and Alshon Jeffery’s long frame that hauled in two touchdown passes thanks in large part to his size.

We’ll see what happens after the break, but the Gamecocks get the ball to start the third. Does the Tide have that second-half magic again?

One S.C. writer really likes Gamecocks' chances

A bold statement

Don’t kill the messenger. I just wanted to pass along this photo of the front of the sports page at The State newspaper here in Columbia. Apparently, there is some hometown optimism heading into tomorrow’s game.

To read the entire column by Ron Morris that appears below this hardly modest headline, just click here.

Julio Jones practicing Wednesday

After taking it easy for the past two days, Julio Jones is back running routes at Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

During the brief media viewing period that just wrapped up, Jones was catching passes with his fellow receivers. He was sitting out during these drills in the previous two practices this week.

Hopefully, we’ll get another update this evening. Watch him practice for yourself in the video below.

Saban: Julio is improving

The injured knee of Julio Jones has limited his practice time this week, but Nick Saban said he’s hopeful the Crimson Tide wide receiver will get a little more work in today.

Saban said he’s d0ne a little in practice Monday and Tuesday and should get more work in Wednesday. During the media viewing periods the last two days, Jones didn’t run routes with the other receivers.

The injury Saban called a bruised knee on Monday could be unpredictable.

On the positive side for Jones, he’s a quick healer who has dealt with nagging injuries in the past.

The Monday headlines from Tuscaloosa

It’s Monday afternoon again. Time for a quick rundown of the top news in the universe revolving around Alabama football.

  • First, the housekeeping. Courtney Upshaw was named SEC defensive player of the week after collecting seven tackles (four for loss) against Florida. Chance Warmack picked up offensive lineman of the week.
  • On the injury front, Nick Saban said Julio Jones bruised a knee Saturday and would be day to day. A MRI revealed no major damage. Chris Jordan also earned the ambiguous “day to day” tag by pulling a hamstring.
  • Quarterback Greg McElroy got his final application off Sunday for the Rhodes Scholarship that he’s been working on for some time now. More to come on that.
  • CBS again exercised its right to delay a decision on game time and television assignments for Alabama’s home game with Ole Miss in two weeks. Kickoff possibilities range from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (central) and could air on one of three ESPN outlets.

GameDay heading to Columbia

For the second time this season, ESPN’s popular College GameDay television show will originate from the site of a Crimson Tide game.

The king of all networks announced today that its traveling road show will head to Columbia on Saturday for the Tide’s visit to South Carolina. I guess that’s huge news.

The circus came to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11 when Penn State came to town and the Tide took care of the Nittany Lions 24-3.

Come back later for the full video from Saturdays’ Florida game.