Thursday, August 30, 2018

Alabama Will Play In The 2019 Battle for Atlantis Tournament

It's being reported that Alabama will travel to the Bahamas next season (2019-20) to take part in the Battle for Atlantis, one of the best early-season events in college basketball. The event will take place at the Imperial Arena in Nassau. Other teams reportedly in the event are Gonzaga, Seton Hall, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Iowa State and Southern Miss. That sound you heard was a cry of joy from Bobby.



Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WAAAAY too early schedule prediction... and commentary

Nov. 6 SOUTHERN- Should be a MAULING- W
Nov. 11 APPALACHIAN STATE- another MAULING- W
Nov. 15 vs. Northeastern ESPNU Charleston, S.C. 1 p.m.- They're not even purple Vandy- W
Nov. 16 vs. Virginia Tech/Ball State Charleston, S.C.- last time VA Tech beat us Dubose was the coach- W

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Schedule Is Now Complete: The SEC Releases Basketball Schedule

Alabama's 2018-19 schedule is now complete with the unveiling of the SEC schedule on Friday. Alabama will open SEC play on Saturday, January 5th when the Kentucky Wildcats come to Coleman.




This could be the best overall group of teams we've seen in the league in many years. Someone has to finish at the bottom of course, but I don't think there will be many nights off in the league this season, home or away. From an objective standpoint, it should be a fun season. From a fan standpoint, expect a lot of nervous pacing and shoddy fingernails.

Three of the first five games for Bama will be on the road (at LSU, at Missouri and at Tennessee) with Kentucky and A&M the home games in that span. That's a tough opening stretch, and how Alabama handles it could dictate the rest of the season. The trip to Baylor will be sandwiched into conference play so that will be yet another difficult game. On the back end of the schedule, Alabama will finish with three of the final five at home (Vandy, LSU and Auburn) with always tough road games at South Carolina and Arkansas.

74 days to go. Buckle up!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

RIP RPI, Hello NET. NCAA announces new criteria for selecting post season tournament

Nothing but NET. I generally like this but, we'll have to see how it plays out.  Much like the RPI, it will heavily factor in wins, losses, strength of schedule, and give more weight to road and neutral site wins, but it adds some advanced analytic components.  It does NOT give any more weight to late season games. 

The new factors include margin of victory, and offensive and defensive efficiency.  Credit for margin of victory is capped at 10 to prevent teams from needlessly running up the score.  I have mixed feelings about this, as often times there's not a huge difference between an 8 point loss and a 2-3 point loss when teams get some garbage free throws at the end, etc.  It will also be interesting to see how the efficiency metrics are weighted.  Presumably, a team will perform better in those areas against a weaker schedule, so this may lessen the importance of top quadrant opponents somewhat. 

I would be interested to see how this system would have made the final selections different in the past few years.  Hopefully the coaches were all made aware of these changes prior to finalize their schedules.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Alabama Grants Jared Butler Unconditional Release

Alabama announced today that Jared Butler, a 4-star top 100 prospect in the class of 2018, has been granted an unconditional release. There was no comment from Alabama regarding Butler or the university's reasons for granting the release, but there were rumors floating around this summer regarding Butler's health that, if true, make this move by both parties an unsurprising one.

Since there was no official statement, I won't repeat the rumor out of respect for Jared and his family. For what it's worth, Butler did not participate in preseason workouts with the team this summer. In light of this news, the decision by Kira Lewis to reclassify to 2018 makes more sense. I'm sad to see Jared leave. He was a very good high school player that I believe, if healthy, will be a very good college player. Best of luck to Jared in the future.

That future will be at Baylor. In an amusing twist, ten minutes after Alabama announced Butler's release, Baylor announced that Butler has committed to the Bears for this upcoming season. If Butler is medically cleared to play at Baylor this season, the game in Waco on January 26 will have some drama.

Some bad news on the recruiting front: CJ Walker, a top 50 prospect in the class of 2019, had been a top target for the Alabama staff. Unfortunately, Walker released his final five schools on Sunday and Alabama didn't make the cut. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Coleman Coliseum Renovations part of $600 Million Facilities upgrade

The University unveiled plans for the "Crimson Standard" initiative today, which will include upgrades to Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum, the Mal Moore building, as well as the softball and golf facilities.  Obviously we will be focusing on the Coleman part of this.  Here is a video, skip to :38 second mark for the Coleman renditions:



Here are some more pictures and info from the Crimson Tide Foundation.

Finally here's an article from TideSports.com and a timeline.  Follow me after the break for my thoughts


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kira Lewis Reclassifies To 2018; Commits To Alabama

Big recruiting news on Friday as in-state prospect Kira Lewis (6'3, 160 lbs, Hazel Green, AL) reclassified to 2018, and committed to Alabama. The addition of Lewis improves Alabama's 2018 class to 24th in the 247 team rankings.




Alabama fans on social media (and elsewhere) are obviously excited about this news. Lewis was considered a top target - maybe THE top target - for the staff in 2019. Now, not only does he commit, but Alabama gets him a year early. His arrival will also serve a very real need at point guard with the departure of Collin Sexton.

Lewis will enroll immediately so he should be available when the season tips off on November 6th. Garrett Tucker of Hoopseen wrote a quick story about Lewis in the aftermath of his commitment. Click the link to check it out. 

Here are some recent highlights of Kira at the Adidas Gauntlet Finals in Los Angeles.


Sunday, August 05, 2018

Colton Houston Breaks Down The Non-Conference Schedule

Colton Houston, the director of basketball operations at Alabama, recently appeared on Wimp and Barry Sanderson's radio show, Inside the Locker Room, on Tide 102.9 to discuss the non-conference schedule as well as other topics. It's an interesting conversation.


Friday, August 03, 2018

Top 100 Prospect Jaylen Forbes Commits To Alabama

Avery Johnson picked up a second commitment in the class of 2019 on Thursday when Top 100 prospect Jaylen Forbes committed to the program. Forbes is a 6'5 guard from Florence, Mississippi. 247 rates him as a 4-star prospect and the 2nd ranked player in the state. There's a long way to go with this recruiting class, but you have to be encouraged as a fan so far with two top 100 prospects already on board.




I like what I've seen of Forbes so far. You have to take highlight videos with a grain of salt, but if he shoots the ball as well as he does in the video below, he'll have a chance to play early and often. He's got the length that Avery seems to prefer in his guards, and looks the part physically.