Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Open Practice to the Public Scheduled for Aug. 2

The men's basketball team will host a free open practice for fans on August 2nd from 6-7 p.m. CT. Avery will be mic'd up during the practice, and will take questions from the fans afterward. Fans are allowed to sit anywhere in the arena. According to the official site, "further details and promotions surrounding the event will be announced at a later time."

My hope is DJC will attend this event and provide an eye-witness account; however, any readers who do attend the practice, please share your thoughts here.

Regarding the games in Canada: The University of Ottawa confirmed via their twitter account that the game vs Alabama on August 10th will be live streamed via OUA.tv at 6:30 ET.




No idea about the other two games vs McGill University and Carleton University. I will update this post if they are being streamed.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Non-conference schedule released!

Merry Christmas everybody! The non-conference schedule has been released!




As I've previously said, I think this is one of the tougher non-conference schedules we've seen in many years. It covers the bases that you want for a non-conference schedule: a good mix of home, road and neutral site games vs quality opposition. My only criticism is that I would have pursued a different opponent for the Huntsville game. You and I know how good Bob Hofmann and Mercer can be, but I'm not sure it's a great draw for the casual fan. I was hoping we might see a mid-major with a little more name recognition, such as a Murray State, Middle Tennessee, etc. Then again, the Huntsville crowd for the game against Arkansas State last season was one of the better crowds we saw all season so it's possible the good folks of Huntsville will turn out regardless of the opponent.

The December slate is absolutely insane. Our guys kick off the month against a quality mid-major in Louisiana Tech, back-to-back home games vs UCF and Rhode Island (both potential NCAA tournament teams), a road trip to Arizona, the Huntsville game against an always tough and well-coached Mercer team, and the game in Birmingham vs Texas (and potential #1 pick Mo Bamba). That schedule will put hair on your chest.

I will write up a preview of each opponent as we get closer to the start of the season. Buckle Up!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Summer SEC Predictions

It's early July. Not exactly the most exciting time for fall sports fans. Football is 8 weeks away, basketball recruiting gets back into full swing this week, and the Alabama team will be taking its Canadian trip next month. But for the hardcore college basketball fan, November seems very far away. To cope, we fans compile way-too-early predictions for the coming season. In an effort to combat an uneventful Sunday evening, I thought I'd post my early SEC predictions for next season. I'm hoping to start a dialogue with this post so I encourage all readers to share your predictions in the comments below.

1. Florida - An experienced team that made an Elite Eight run last season is my favorite to win the league title this season. A collection of proven veterans, up-and-comers, and potential impact transfers certainly help the Gators look the part.

2. Kentucky - Maybe Cal's most inexperienced team of his career, but, as always, ultra talented. Question marks abound, but I've got too much respect for the program that Cal has built in Lexington to pick them much lower than this.

3. Alabama - Avery has put in the work to raise the profile of the program, engage the students and alumni, and create expectations even among the most casual Alabama basketball fan. Top 10 recruiting classes will do that. In my opinion, Avery's tenure from this point forward will be graded based on this season. It's now or never for a team with Top 25 potential. 

4. Texas A&M - I will likely go back and forth with my prediction of A&M until November; Do I pick them 4th or higher? Tons of experience and talent return for the Aggies, including a guy who was a likely lottery pick in this past NBA draft if he had chose that path. The point guard issue has also been addressed for a team that won 16 games last season despite having no true point guard on the roster.