Saturday, April 28, 2018

Offseason Post #3

The offseason rolls on with all the speed of a glacier, but the news never really stops in college basketball. The Alabama coaching staff are currently attending certified events evaluating players, extending offers, etc. Let's review what's happened in recruiting over the past week.

1] Before we turn to the future, let's focus on the past. Former Alabama guard Justin Coleman transferred from Alabama two seasons ago, landing at Samford. Now a graduate, Justin decided to spend his final year outside his home state of Alabama. His landing spot: Arizona. That's right, when Arizona visits Alabama later this year on December 9th, Coleman will have the opportunity to face his former school. To my knowledge there were no hard feelings when Justin left, but I would guess that will be a special game for him, be it in Tuscaloosa or Birmingham.




2] Ar'Mond Davis has found a landing spot after transferring from Alabama. He will spend his final year of eligibility at UC Santa Barbara. I think this is a good move for Ar'Mond. Santa Barbara is a good basketball program, and my understanding is the campus is gorgeous. I hope Ar'Mond's college career ends on a high note.

3] In the last post I mentioned Alabama had offered Dmitry Ryuny, a 6'7, 190 lb forward currently enrolled at Birmingham's Central Park Christian. In that post I was unsure if he was a 2018 or 2019 recruit. I can now confirm that he is a 2018 recruit. This is interesting to me because the roster is currently full from a scholarship standpoint. The fact that the staff would offer Ryuny suggests they anticipate another departure. There's also the possibility that Avery Jr. will not be on scholarship this season, which would open up a spot for Ryuny. There are no favorites to land Ryuny's signature at this time, but he did take an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa this past week.




4] While Ryuny would be a late pickup for the 2018 class, the staff is focusing most of their attention on what is shaping up to be an all-important 2019 class. In-state prospects Trendon Watford, Kira Lewis and Jaykwon Walton are the top targets in the class, but the staff have started expanding their offers outside the state. Let's take a look at the players that were offered this past week.

Jaylin Williams is a 6'6, 190 lb forward from Nahunta, Georgia. 247 ranks him as a top 100 recruit (83). Other notable schools recruiting him are Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Xavier. Georgia is the early favorite.

Drew Timme is a 6'9, 210 lb forward from Richardson, Texas. 247 has him ranked just outside the top 100 (108). Other notable schools recruiting him are Gonzaga, Baylor, Georgia Tech, and Creighton.

Ismael Massoud is a 6'8, 190 lb forward from Bronx, New York. He's ranked in the top 125 at 247 (124). The other notable schools recruiting him are Georgia Tech, Florida State, Rutgers, and Xavier.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Offseason Post #2

I will admit, I'm enjoying the offseason a little bit. I miss college basketball, but it's nice not to feel responsible to write new content every few days like it is during the season. The grind is real, folks. Anyway, let's focus on a few offseason developments.

1] Obviously, the big news this week was Braxton Key's decision to transfer.







I can't say this comes as a surprise. Transfers have become normal in college sports, and Braxton was at the top of my own list of Bama guys that I thought may transfer. It was a tough season for Braxton. He suffered a knee injury, missed ten games, was rushed back into action (my opinion), and never seemed to find a comfort zone. I think he struggled with his health, his role on the team, and his confidence in dealing with both. I can only speculate but my guess is he looked at the roster for next season and there remained a concern for him about where he would fit in. I do hate to see him go. At full health, Braxton is a very good player, versatile on both ends. The school that lands him will be very fortunate, assuming he can get back to full health. I hope nothing but the best for him.

2] Prior to Braxton's announcement, the team was one over the scholarship limit. The question now is will there be another guy(s) leaving? If recruiting is any indication, the coaching staff may be expecting further changes. Earlier this week the name Dmitry Rivny started popping up on social media.




I'll be honest: I had never heard of Rivny prior to this week. He's Russian. He's only been in the United States for six months. There's also some confusion what class he's in, 2018 or 2019. The tweet I included lists him as 2018, but what little I could find online about him via articles at Bama Mix Tape and HoopSeen suggests he's part of the 2019 class. He's listed as a 6'8 small forward, athletic, with the ability to shoot the deep ball. My guess is the tweet was wrong, and Rivny is part of the 2019 class, which is the next big class for the Bama coaching staff.

3] Recruiting never stops, and the Alabama coaching staff are already looking well into the future. This past week, they offered Keshawn Murphy, a 6'7 forward from Birmingham in the 2021 class. Yes, 2021. In that HoopSeen article I linked above, the author writes "Murphy used this event as a coming out party. Many are not aware of his talent and potential right now, but that will change in a matter of time. There will be plenty of high-major programs involved when it’s all said and done. In fact, excluding the 2019 big three of Trendon Watford, Kira Lewis, and Jaykwon Walton, Murphy may be the best long-term prospect in the state of Alabama. He’s that good and he’s only going to get better.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Braxton Key is transferring

He had a good freshman year, but I don't think he ever fully recovered from his knee injury last season.  I wish him the best of luck wherever he lands. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Grading the season and NBA draft boards

I've been meaning to write a summary of the season in my eyes, but the day job has gotten in the way. I'll reflect now and divide the season into 4 quadrants

Quadrant 1- OoC play
Grade C+

Biggest win was over Rhode Island in what was a very ugly game. The OU win was great at the time... then we saw what OU was and it no longer had the power it did. The worst loss was an inexplicable loss at the hands of U C(an't) F(inish). The beatdown Texas gave to us in Birmingham should be mentioned, but I mostly wiped that memory out. In between was a good showing at Zona and 3 on 5 show vs Minnesota (which turned out to be not such a good loss). Overall I was a bit disappointed in this part of the season

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Annual Season Wrap and State of the Program Manifesto

First, a couple of recent news items.

1) Collin Sexton held a press conference and declared for the NBA Draft.
2) Greg Byrne confirmed that we have hired a firm to evaluate options of renovating Coleman Coliseum or building a new facility.  While nothing has been decided yet, he indicates they are leaning toward a large scale renovation. (I'll have much more on this later)
3) Riley Norris announced he will take advantage of his medical redshirt and return for another season.

Make yourself comfortable and join me after the jump...