Monday, September 16, 2019

Predicting the season- game by game

Penn- We can't lose at home to a bunch of nerds! W
FAU- Lane Kiffin isn't walking through that door! W
@ Rhode Island- you don't travel to nowhere RI and expect to come out the victor! L

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SEC Schedule Released

The conference released its basketball schedule on Tuesday. The league office didn't do our guys any favors. In the first four games of league play, Alabama will travel to Florida and Kentucky as well as host Mississippi State and Auburn. All four teams are likely projected NCAA Tournament teams this season. Kentucky and Florida are expected to be favorites to win the league when the preseason polls are released. Click here for the full schedule. The season opener is 56 days away.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

James Rojas Out For Season With Knee Injury

It wouldn't be an Alabama basketball offseason without some bad news, and this one is a doozy. Juco All-American James Rojas, who just got to campus in August, has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the 19-20 season. Rojas was likely going to be a rotation player this season, and maybe more than that as he brought a high ceiling with him to Tuscaloosa. With the season sixty days away, I believe the team can adjust to this loss, but it sucks for James. He will have two seasons of eligibility when he returns next season.

While Nate Oats wants to play at a quick pace with much of the focus on the perimeter and scoring easy points in transition the loss of Rojas still hurts the interior depth for the team, which was already a question mark entering the season. Rebounding is a particular concern; an area where Rojas likely would have helped. Not to mention he's a guy that could run the floor and shoot. It's a tough loss. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Non-Conference schedule released

Most of these we already knew

Nov. 5 vs. Penn
Nov. 11 vs. Florida Atlantic
Nov. 15 @Rhode Island
Nov. 19 vs. Furman
Nov. 27 vs North Carolina (Battle for Atlantis)
Nov. 28 vs. Michigan/Iowa State (Battle for Atlantis)
Nov. 29 vs TBA (Gonzaga, Southern Miss, Seton Hall, or Oregon) (Battle for Atlantis)
Dec. 6 vs. Stephen F. Austin
December 14 @ Penn State
December 18 @ Samford (BJCC in Birmingham)
December 21 vs. Belmont (Huntsville, AL)
December 29 vs. Richmond
January 25 vs. Kansas State

A few thoughts:  It's a good thing we have the excitement of a new coach to bring in the fans, because that home schedule is atrocious.  It's interesting that Samford is listed as an "away" game.  In previous years the Birmingham game has been a home game.  I assume this means that it will count as a road game for NET purposes, but it will not be included in the season ticket package. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Schedule News: Alabama vs Samford in Birmingham

I want to start this post by encouraging you to check out a new website devoted to Alabama basketball, Crimson Crossover. In recent years, I've seen a growing presence on social media in fan support for Alabama basketball and I try to show support for those fans at this website and beyond. With that in mind, add Crimson Crossover to your favorites; and, if you're into social media, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook. They even have a Youtube site where they will post game highlights. Their website, which just launched yesterday, will include articles and a forum for fans to discuss hoops. And there's likely more features they will debut in the weeks and months ahead. So go check them out asap.

In fact, it was Crimson Crossover that broke this bit of schedule news yesterday. Alabama will play Samford in Legacy Arena in Birmingham this season. It's not the marquee game that we've seen Alabama play in Legacy in recent years, but I've never been shy about stating my opinion that Alabama should play more in-state programs (yes, including UAB). What I would really like to see is an event similar to the Crossroads Classic in Indiana where four teams from the state (Alabama and Auburn obviously vs two others) play each other in back-to-back games. While the Alabama version wouldn't match Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue and Butler squaring off, I do think it would be a fun event for hoops fans in the state. I'll have more to say about Samford when I do the schedule preview, but if you can't wait for that, head over to Crimson Crossover for an early preview.
 
At this point, your guess is as good as mine when the non-conference schedule will be released. With the Samford news, we now know eleven of the (presumably) thirteen non-conference games.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Schedule News: SEC/Big 12 Matchups Set

It's not official, but several media outlets reported on Tuesday that the matchups for the 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge are set. The event will take place on January 26. Assuming these reports are true, Alabama will host the Kansas State Wildcats. The Wildcats finished the 18-19 season with a 25-9 record and were top 20 in KenPom's final ratings. K-State head coach Bruce Weber coached Kira Lewis this summer in the FIBA U19 World Cup.

The other games in the event:

Kentucky at Texas Tech

Tennessee at Kansas

Baylor at Florida

Mississippi State at Oklahoma

Missouri at West Virginia

Oklahoma State at Texas A&M

LSU at Texas

Iowa State at Auburn

TCU at Arkansas

Friday, July 12, 2019

More Schedule News: Battle 4 Atlantis Bracket Released; Richmond Added To Schedule

DJC has already mentioned this in the comments section of the previous post but, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to write a bit more about this news. After all, schedule news is almost as fun to me as the games themselves.

The bracket for the Battle 4 Atlantis was released on Thursday. Along with the Maui Invitational, this has become the premier early-season event in college basketball. That Alabama will participate in both events in the next two seasons is great for the program.

Alabama's first opponent in The Bahamas will be a little basketball school by the name of North Carolina. Perhaps you've heard of them. Alabama will play the Tar Heels on Wednesday, November 27 at 1:30 PM CT. Win or lose, this is a great opportunity for our guys. If you're good enough to play D1 basketball, these are the kind of games you want to play. The trip to The Bahamas is a cherry on top. The entire event will be played November 27-29 so free up your Thanksgiving calendar now. The other matchup on this side of the bracket is Michigan/Iowa State. The matchups in the bottom half of the bracket are Gonzaga/Southern Miss and Seton Hall/Oregon.

CBS Sports Jon Rothstein also tweeted on Thursday that Alabama will host the Richmond Spiders from the Atlantic-10 conference this season. The previous meeting between the schools was in 2017 in Tuscaloosa in the first round of the NIT. If you remember, the Spiders thoroughly outplayed Alabama in that game, winning 71-64. One of three first round NIT losses during Avery Johnson's tenure, but I digress. Unfortunately for Richmond, the two seasons since have been rough as the program has only won a total of 25 games in that span.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Schedule News: Alabama Adds Penn to Non-Conference Schedule

Following CBS' Jon Rothstein on Twitter can be a chore at times (those of you who follow his account know what I'm talking about), but I have to give the guy credit for being a constant source of college basketball news during the summer. Today, he reported that, via a source, Alabama will open the 2019-20 season hosting the Penn Quakers from the Ivy League. And yes, the Quaker Oats jokes came fast and furious.
   
The Quakers finished the 18-19 season with a 19-12 record, but no postseason. The program is preparing to enter its fifth season under Head Coach Steve Donahue, whom you may remember built Cornell into a strong mid-major (three straight NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance). He guided the Quakers to an NCAA appearance in 17-18; and while they didn't make the postseason in 18-19, they did have quality wins over the likes of Miami, Villanova and Temple. I haven't studied their roster for the upcoming season so I have no idea how good they're expected to be. But given Penn's historical success in the Ivy League, combined with Donahue's leadership, I'm guessing they'll be picked to finish high in that league.

Without pulling up the schedules, I'm pretty sure this will be the first meeting between the two schools since they met in the 1995 NCAA Tournament. That was a great game, Alabama won 91-85. Antonio McDyess led the team with a 39 pt, 19 reb effort.

Here's what we know about the non-conference schedule so far:

Penn (season opener)
Battle 4 Atlantis (Gonzaga, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa State, Oregon, Seton Hall and Southern Miss)
at Rhode Island
at Penn State
Stephen F. Austin
Belmont (Huntsville)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Let's Go Crazy, Let's Get Nuts: SEC Picks in June

Hello again. Sure, the college basketball season is five months away (I promise not to weep). But now that NBA Draft and (most) transfer decisions have been made, I thought it would be fun to post my way-too-early SEC picks. I encourage anyone who reads this post to do the same in the comments section.

In recent years we've seen the SEC make improvements in basketball. That continued last season when the league sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament. Five of the seven teams won their first round games, and four of the seven made it to the second weekend. I'm sad to report that Auburn made the Final Four, the first in the school's history. If one measures success on NCAA Tournament results (and most fans do), the SEC had a very successful 2018-19 campaign. And yet the league still finished a distant fourth - behind the Big 12, Big Ten and ACC - in Ken Pomeroy's conference rankings.

With so much talent leaving the league for the NBA Draft, it will be difficult for the SEC to move into Pomeroy's top three rankings this season. The league likely won't be as top-heavy as it was last season (LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee finished a combined 46-8 in league play), but the league expectation of seven or eight teams in the tournament should remain. Let's get to the picks:

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Bama v. Belmont in 2019 Rocket City Classic

It was announced today that the Tide will take on the Belmont Bruins in Huntsville on December 21.  Attendance has been a bit down at the Huntsville games the past couple of years, but with this being a mid-major program that's had a lot of recent success, located just a little over an hour away in Nashville, and the game being on a Saturday, I expect there will be some renewed interest in the game this season.