Monday, October 26, 2020

An omen for pre-season basketball tournaments?

ESPN decided to pull the bubble format in Orlando. This is kinda big as I assume this may filter down to other tournaments (Maui in Asheville).

Link

I actually hope they cancel the Maui in Asheville debacle and just push us (and the other 6 teams) to 2022.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Highly Ranked JUCO Prospect Commits to Bama

  Alabama added it’s 3rd commitment of the early period today with the addition of 4 star Wing Langston Wilson. Wilson is a 6’9 freakishly athletic F with huge upside.The addition of The nation’s 2nd ranked JUCO prospect moves Nate Oats’ first full recruiting class up to 13th in the country and there are still some major targets out there for the Tide. 

  Several aspects of Wilson’s game stand out on film. Outside of having an NBA ready physique, Wilson possesses a high basketball IQ and a relentless motor-two major factors that Oats and staff covet amongst recruits. Wilson joins Jusaun Holt and JD Davison as Tide pledges for 2021. When asked about his future teammates, Wilson stated that Davison had a major hand in recruiting him to Alabama and now both will make an effort to help add C Charles Bediako and G Caleb Houstan to an already stellar class. 

  The addition of Bediako or Houstan would take Alabama all the way inside the top 3 in class rankings. The addition of both elite prospects would place Bama at number one in most outlets.  

Friday, October 09, 2020

Gregg Marshall under scrutiny at Wichita State

I am sure some of us are doing a "HA-HA" right now about this... and you can't blame us. Marshall did use Bama for his pay hike (and a smart move at that) so there is to be some butthurt from our fanbase.

SI link

According to what is published ol' Gregg seems to have a bit of a temper. Note these are allegations, but generally speaking where there's smoke there's fire so I am inclined to think there is some truth to this. Probably not 100%, but enough to make WSU dig a bit deeper.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Nation’s Top PG Commits to Bama

  One short week after Alabama landed 4 star F Jusaun Holt, Coach Nate Oats has reeled in a crown jewel for the 2021 class with 5 star PG JD Davison. Davison is the top Point Guard prospect in the nation for many outlets and is the state’s top rated overall player. He’s been described as the state of Alabama’s best high school prospect since Demarcus Cousins. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. 

 Alabama was the first program in on Davison’s recruitment and Antoine Pettway’s efforts have paid dividends over a half of a decade later. Davison averaged 34 PPG and 12 RPG while leading Calhoun High School to the state championship last year. He also managed to hit the game winning 3 at the buzzer to earn the title in the championship game itself. An extremely athletic PG, Davison has garnered comparisons to the likes of Russel Westbrook, John Wall and others. He reminds me a bit of Ja Morant with the finishing ability of someone like Derrick Rose. He doesn’t quite have the initial explosiveness of Westbrook...yet. If his outside jumper remains consistent enough to make opposing defenses honor it, Davison will find himself getting to the rim early and often in Tuscaloosa. 

 The impact of landing JD Davison is huge for multiple reasons. His commitment gives the Tide the 25th ranked class for 2021 at the moment. There is the obvious talent he brings on the court, of course. The potential domino effect of his commitment is something to watch, however. Five stars tend to attract other five stars and Davison was quoted today as saying he hopes to play with Caleb Houston and Charles Bediako. This will be something to look out for, but Alabama has landed itself a good one already with Davison. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Jusaun Holt Chooses Bama

  Nate Oats and company picked up The Tide’s first commitment of the ‘21 class with 4 Star F Jusaun Holt out of Georgia today. Holt is a 6’7 Wing that should fit in well within Oats’ system in Tuscaloosa. The one thing that stands out about Holt’s game is his motor. He gives a high level of effort on both sides of the court, which is a characteristic that Oats and his staff covet as they continue to work to establish a new culture on the hardwood in Tuscaloosa. 

  Defensively, Holt will remind Bama fans of Herb Jones after he comes on campus and gets stronger under the guidance of Coach Snowden. He’s capable of guarding positions 1-4 and isn’t afraid to rebound. 

 Offensively, Holt will bring yet another lengthy shooter that will allow the Tide to spread the floor and create mismatches while playing fast. He can get hot from 3 quickly and features solid handles for a 6’7 Wing. A very solid foundation to what could be a stellar  ‘21 class. 

Thursday, September 03, 2020

UPDATED- More Maui Invitational news... pack your bags for Asheville (Cherokee)?

UPDATE- It's official
Cherokee Casino bubble

Per Jon Rothstein on the twitters. Was sent to me by MS (gracias as I don't use twitter).

I hope that the schools affected are booked for 2022 instead of getting a shirt that reads, "I played the Maui Invitational in a NC Casino!"

More than likely be a bubble so seems like the closest you can get is outside the casino watching on a monitor.

Monday, August 31, 2020

John Thompson- dead at the age of 78

They say this happens in 3s... former Georgetown coach John Thompson passed away.
Link

Thompson paved the way for many other black coaches getting a deserved shot at running a program.

My memories are from the opposition side as I was a St John's Redmen fan growing up... the rivalry between those 2 schools in the 80s was amazing especially when they met in the Big East Tournament.

In the 80s and early 90s if you were a big man you wanted to go through Georgetown as the chances of making it in the NBA (and thriving) were exponentially better if John Thompson coached you (Ewing, Mutombo, Mourning).

John Thompson like Lute Olsen put their schools on the college basketball map. 

We lost another piece of basketball past... rest well coach.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Lute Olsen- dead at the age of 85

From ESPN

I actually consider him one of the greatest coaches of all-time. He literally built a program in the desert and unlike UNLV, Tucson is FAR from a destination vacation. Having been there (3 years ago) I can say Tucson is the semi successful place it is today thanks to Lute Olsen. Without him being there, Tucson (and the University of Arizona) is community school level.

Unlike Jim Calhoun (who I have an unhealthy dislike for), Lute did not have the fertile talent pool to build from. Their stories are similar in regards to building a national program though.

He lived a long time... and his contributions to the school, city, and state will be remembered for the next 100 years. RIP Coach.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

LSU's Will Wade... about to be canceled

Not really shocking if you have followed this the past 3 years, but it is odd that a talent rich area like the NOLA area would need "encouragement."

The investigation involving LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade's alleged bribery of recruits may conclude within an independent group designed to handle complex NCAA infractions matters.

No notice of allegations has yet been sent to LSU. The notice could spell the end of Wade's successful but controversial three-year tenure coaching the Tigers. 

An independent panel could make that ultimate decision if LSU's case enters the Independent Accountability Resolution Process — a system formed in response to a Condoleezza Rice-led commission on college basketball.

Link

Don't think he survives this 2nd look... and he probably shouldn't, but maybe COVID might put up enough of a distraction for him to stay under the radar.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Update: Maui Invitational- I suggest opting out

LINK to the latest news (same as previous post link).

Let me summarize:

- 14 day quarantine through end of September.
- Don't expect to be able to leave your hotel... even less think about inter-island travel
- Good luck renting transportation
- Most beaches/bars closed

That does not sound like a fun time does it? Let me make it worser...

Schools scheduled to play from what I understand have been told to fill the gaps if they can. Meaning... the likelihood of this tournament happening on the Island is slim and none and slim left town.

I fully expect conferences to release limited schedules... in conference games only. Which isn't actually bad if the SEC goes to a 26 game schedule where everyone plays each other 2x... but I will miss the non-conference match ups we get in November and December.

Hawaii seems okay with bankrupting their state so if they are good with that... it is what it is.
When they open back up in 2022 (sarcasm... maybe) they might have to pay the airlines stipends to get people back.

I went ahead and canceled my flight there... while not refundable at least I get the full value back in my account to use elsewhere.

I feel bad for the tourism industry there... 


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Maui Invitational update- from Hawaii tourism

Some of you might be looking to see us play in Maui. Right now... not sure if that happens.
Use this LINK for continued updates. I will summarize below as of 8/4/2020.

If you travel to Hawaii you are required to do a 14 day quarantine. Since this tourney is 3 days that will scare off most from going. Originally this was lifted in July with the requirement of a COVID negative test 72 hours before arriving, but due to rise in Rona numbers in the lower 48 it was extended to August 31st.

What does this mean? I'll bullet point some thoughts:
- Don't book a hotel or condo right now. Chances are you can't anyways
- Flights are dirt cheap there with no change fees. 
- Flight is not refundable, but the full cost will be credited to whatever airline you are flying with for a future trip.
- Assume flights you see now may not be the same as airlines are canceling flights like crazy. Which means you may be booked on a different flight than you purchased.

Any positives? 

From a financial standpoint Hawaii is bleeding money. Tourism is at a halt and they depend on tournaments like this to generate big revenue. They say the Maui Invitational generates over $25 million... and the Diamondhead Classic brings in similar #s. The tourney committees will do what they can to protect that... so they are holding out hope for full capacity.

My thoughts... we are around 3 months from this and right now I don't see how this happens. Hawaii is a little bit different than most states and while the economy needs the $, the state does not see it that way. I suspect in the next 6 weeks this tournament will be canceled and all 7 teams (plus host) will be rescheduled for 2022.

FWIW- if things somehow open up there I plan on being at the tournament. If not... guess I will have to vacation elsewhere.

Monday, August 03, 2020

John Petty Returns to Tide

 Coach Oats and staff were the recipients of some very good news today when Alabama SG John Petty Jr informed the team of his plans to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return for his senior season. The 6’6 “flamethrower” had been scouted as a potential late 2nd round pick but not necessarily a lock to be drafted. One has to think that this is the right decision if John is able to continue his trend of improving his game every season. It was just a season ago that Petty averaged over 14 PPG while also leading the team in rebounds as a guard. 

 The statistical improvements have been obvious but it’s also hard to ignore the intangibles that Petty brought to the team last season. One might argue that when Bama was at its best, it was Petty setting the example with vocal leadership and aggressive defense even when his shot wasn’t falling. Petty already has a year in Oats’ system and his experience will help improve the roster beyond the extra depth he provides. The Tide’s projected starting lineup will now raise a few eyebrows in the SEC as Petty’s NBA Level talent will likely join the likes of Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackleford in the backcourt, and fellow seniors Herbert Jones and Jordan Bruner in the frontcourt. If the Tide manages to find chemistry quickly...it could be a legitimate contender to win the SEC. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Jaden Quinerly Joins Tide as a Walk On

 The Tide have added yet another addition to the 2020 roster in the form of 6’1, 170 lb. walk on PG Jaden Quinerly. Jaden is the younger brother of current Bama PG, Jahvon Quinerly. While Jaden doesn’t quite have the reputation of his older brother, he still managed to put up some very respectable numbers as a member of Ramsey High in New Jersey. The younger Quinerly averaged just over 13 PPG and 4 APG in his senior campaign while finishing in the top 5 in the state of New Jersey in recorded steals for the season. Jaden may not possess the offensive acumen of Jahvon but his game sports very little wasted effort and he has a relentless motor on defense. He had received some interest from high majors but never quite got the offer he was hoping for. He’s an intelligent kid, and a gym rat so don’t be surprised if he develops more offense to add to his motor and finds a way to contribute for the Tide at some point during his career in Tuscaloosa.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Tide Inks nations #9 Class

 With yesterday’s official signing of 6’11 French F Alex Tchikou, Alabama likely wraps up its 2020 class. Coach Oats and staff’s first recruiting class is one that will likely be remembered, especially if the program lives up to the lofty expectations that will inevitably come from signing such a class. Tchikou joins fellow lengthy Wings Keon Ambrose-Hylton and Darius Miles as well as Guards Joshua Primo and Keon Ellis. Stretch F Jordan Bruner rounds out the additions to the upcoming season as a transfer from Yale. One of Coach Oats’ goals is to have 5 guys that can stretch the floor at the same time. This class will likely fill that need and also improve the overall talent level of the program in general. Development is key, however, and while the excitement surrounding the class is justified...it’s hard not to remember that scary golden rule of Alabama basketball. Having said that, it certainly seems that the work ethic of this current staff is setting itself up to be a fail safe.

On another note, Ivy League representatives informed their schools today that the remainder of their sports are cancelled for 2020. This likely puts a hold on the series with Yale that was set to begin this season.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Drive by updates- schedule, Bracketology, etc.

Looks like we will play in Brooklyn for the NCAAT according to Joe Lunardi :)

Other notes:
- USA, USA... as South Alabama will play us this season in Tuscaloosa (and in 2022). We will make the trip there in 2021
- We open with Jax State on Nov 10th... assuming we have a season. Which IMO is 50/50.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mo Williams to Bama.... State

Congrats to Mo... hopefully he can parlay this gig to bigger and better things down the road. Good hire for Alabama State.

Link

Monday, May 11, 2020

Updates- schedule becoming clearer, other news

It's official... Bama plays Clemson in Atlanta. In hoops.
This is part of the 8 team gathering of sorts at Philips... uh State Farm Arena on Dec 12th. Auburn, LSU, and Miss St slated for it as well.

Galin Smith is in transfer portal. Not unexpected... good luck to him.

Looks like Furman and Vermont are also on the schedule for 2020-21 according to Jon Rothstein. I don't do twitter, but I'll add his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/Jon.Rothstein/) in case you want to keep up with that sort of thing. I'm not big into social media so most of these things fly by me....

If this season actually tips off we have a pretty solid non-conference slate... not too tough, not cupcake city either.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Updates- Kira still leaving, transfer destinations, etc.

Kira Lewis has decided to stick in the NBA Draft and is hiring an agent. Most project mid to late 1st round. Good luck.
John Petty is still eligible to return, but I doubt he will as he can get paid overseas.
Here is a link to a list of early entries across college basketball.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Buy or sell- SEC edition

I dabble in the stock market so I figured why not bring some of that lingo to all 14 SEC teams. I am going to rate them from Sell, Underperform, Hold, Overperform, and Buy going into next season... and give reasons why.

Alabama- Hold
  Mediocre describes the program. I don't see a trend either way yet.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Last 10 (this one is 11) years continued- SEC conference records by team

As we enjoy being confined to our living quarters for the most part until the end of April or later... here's some more stats you can use to make arguments with:

2009-10 through 2019-20 conference records: