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:

Sunday, April 12, 2020

SEC hoops success: last 10 years

Since most of us are locked down due to coronamania, I found some time to some data digging. This "episode" highlights how many times each team has made the NCAA Tournament. I used a starting point of the 2010 NCAAT (2009-10 season) to make it 10 years.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Late to party... new commits

In the midst of coronamania, some good news I am sure most fans already know... Darius Miles is Bama bound!

Too small of a write up to snippet pieces so click the link and support the reporting arm of AL.com

Link here

MSmilie is more of the recruiting guru of this board, but he has decided to step away (we thank him for the many years of hard work and info) so myself and DJC will try to fill his big shoes the best we can.

Hopefully by the start of the season we can stop wearing masks in public...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Al.com article- notes from conference call

Some of the stuff in here we kinda already knew, but being we are deprived of ALL SPORTS we should take ANYTHING and be happy about it. Snippets below... full link here

- Kira Lewis and John Petty will go through the NBA draft process, per Oats. They’ll go through workouts, get feedback and then make a final decision on whether to turn pro. “Based on feedback that they get, they both may leave," Oats said. “We’re planning on possibly not having either of them back."

— Oats is excited about having Jahvon Quinerly next season. “A lot of you saw Quinerly in practice and, shoot, he was really good,” Oats said. “Some days, he was the best player in practice.”

Click the link and read it all...

I was planning on seeing OUR Yankees in Milwaukee in a couple months, but coronamania messed that up! MLB season probably won't start until mid June so I'll be bored silly for the next few months (as many of you are already).

Take care and be safe.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Wrapping up a season that ended with no end. 2019-2020 Recap and State of the Program Manifesto

For many of us, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  Spring is upon us, the weather is warming up in cooler locales, the days are longer, the sun is shining, baseball is ramping up, and our favorite sport is in the midst of its championship season.  We put money in tournament pools, we take off work to watch games and compare brackets, and when Alabama is involved (which sadly has not been very often in recent years) we put our whole lives on hold to at least watch, if not travel to, those games on little notice.  It's fun and exciting.

Obviously, none of that is happening this year.  There is no NCAA tournament, or sports for that matter, as the world is facing much larger issues.  Most of us are working from home if we are fortunate enough to be working at all.  Instead of watching the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, we're all following the news and watching "infection curves" and "mortality rates."  I think there's some value to trying to maintain some sense of normalcy during chaotic times, so I'm stepping away from the news this afternoon to recap the season and give my thoughts on the current state of the Alabama basketball program, as I do at the end of each season.


Thursday, March 12, 2020

COV-19 Alabama-0- SEC Tournament Cancelled

All power 5 conferences have cancelled their tournaments.  It is very likely that the season is over.  I would not be surprised at all if the NCAA tournament is cancelled, and I will be shocked if the NIT happens.

I know a lot of people have strong feelings on this, and this is an area where there is some overlap between government policy, politics, and sports, but I will remind everyone to please adhere to Bobbyjack's "no political comments" rule. 

All I will say is that I encourage everyone to stay informed, follow CDC guidelines, and I hope everybody stays healthy and safe.  I'll try to post basketball related news as things are announced, and once the season is officially over I'll get to work on my annual end of season recap and state of the program manifesto.

Until then, Roll Tide.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

SEC Tournament Preview


Due to time constraints this week as well as a lack of emotional investment, I'm not going to do a full preview for the Tennessee game or any additional games Alabama may play in Nashville. Instead, I'm going to just write a quick preview of the tournament itself. At the end, I'll include some picks.

But first, it's a fair question to ask: will there be a tournament this week that fans can attend? Nashville has reported its first case of the corona virus, and with that report comes the possibility that the event (as well as other conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament itself) could limit the number of spectators at the event, if not bar fans completely. The SEC has stated that it's monitoring the situation. This coming on the heels of the tornado in the area is less than ideal. My gut feeling is that the tournament will go off without a hitch, but never underestimate the power that panic holds over large numbers of human beings.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Tide Throws in the Towel against Tigers, Mizzou 69 Bama 50

Alabama wrapped up the regular season with a 16-15 (8-10) record thanks to an ugly loss to Missouri.

Mizzou controlled the tempo from the start, and it was an ugly, slow-paced defensive battle.  I guess if you are looking for a bright side we played pretty good defense for the first 30 minutes.  We even played a fair amount of zone, and that was effective against a poor shooting Mizzou team, but we struggled to rebound out of it.   Neither team could go on a run and it was a close game with the Tigers leading by 1 at halftime.  It remained neck and neck until about the 10 minute mark, but Mizzou ran out to a 9 point lead and we had no response, as the Tigers just gradually pulled away for the rest of the game.

All of the issues we've been complaining about off and on all year showed up in this game.  We had 18 turnovers, were out-rebounded 42-27, and gave up 48 points in the second half.  We were only 4 of 25 from 3 point range.

It's fair to question if Oats has lost this team.  They certainly didn't respond well to having their effort called out after the Vandy loss.

Kira scored 18 but also had 7 turnovers.  Shack had a solid game, relatively speaking with 13 points and 5 boards.  Galin had 10 points and 4 boards.  Outside of those 3, we didn't get much effort from anybody else.

Up next, post-season eligibility is on the line in the SEC tournament.  We are the 9 seed and will play Tennessee in Nashville at noon.  You can watch it on the SEC Network.

 

SEC tournament predictions

DJC will probably put up a post game post on the Misery game so stay tuned.

My guesses on how the SECT will go. Bracket is here

Day 1
UGA over Ole Miss
Vanderbilt over Arkansas

Day 2
Tennessee over Alabama
UGA over Florida
aTm over Mizzou
SC Lite over Vanderbilt

Day 3
Kentucky over Tennessee
Miss St over UGA
Auburn over aTm
SC Lite over LSU

Day 4
Kentucky over Miss St
Auburn over SC Lite

Day 5
Auburn over Kentucky


I think with a run to the semis, SC Lite gets the SEC a 6th bid to the NCAAT. I also can see Miss St sneaking in.
Adding to this... I think the seeds will go like this:
Kentucky- 3
Auburn- 4
LSU- 7
Florida- 9
Miss St- 11
SC Lite- 12 (probably play in game)

Friday, March 06, 2020

Game Preview: at Missouri


If you're going to torpedo your NCAA at-large chances, you may as well do it with style. Alabama (16-14, 8-9; KenPom: 53; NET: 51) did that by losing at home to a Vanderbilt team that entered with just one conference win. It was Alabama's fourth home loss in the month of February/March, something that is becoming a Crimson Tide tradition. The final game of the regular season comes (mercifully?) on the road this Saturday when the team travels to play the Missouri Tigers (14-16, 6-11; KenPom: 104; NET: 94). Game time is 1:30 P.M. CT, and will be televised on the SEC Network.

My Two Cents: I don't believe Nate Oats took this job lightly when he was hired, but Tuesday night may have been the first time it dawned on him what an uphill battle he's in for to change the culture of this program. His frustration and disappointment during the game and after was palpable. Comments he made about players in his press conference needing to get into the gym to improve (as well as captured audio during the telecast) was a window into the state of things. Sure, we can critique some of the coaching decisions (and I will certainly share my opinions after the season wraps up), but it appears that the staff are going through the usual first year problems that arise when some guys buy in, and others do not. You throw in the additional struggles with injuries this season - more than any team in the league - and perhaps we shouldn't be surprised how this season has progressed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Slamming the Door on Tournament Dreams, Vandy 87 Bama 79

First of all, my condolences to the tornado victims in Nashville, and congratulations to the Vanderbilt basketball team for staying focused, playing an awesome game, and getting a great win for their city.  You all know I've never been too fond of the Vandy basketball program, but I think we can all relate to what they are going through. 

The loss drops Alabama to 16-14 (8-9) and ends all hope for an NCAA at-large tournament bid.  We are now more realistically on the NIT bubble. 

We came out flat and Vandy set the tone, scoring on their first two possessions.  Beetle got hot in the first half, and we answered to take a 6 point lead about midway through the first.  It was an up-tempo game, and we did a fairly good job of protecting the basketball, but the defense was atrocious throughout, and Vanderbilt shot the lights out.  We went nearly 6 minutes without scoring from the field, and Vandy reclaimed the lead at 42-35 going into halftime.

We trailed by as many as 10 in the second half before Shack finally started scoring to get us back in the game.  We were never able to go  up by more than a single possession, and another nearly 5 minute drought from the field combined with more terrible defense allowed Vandy to put the game away in the final 3 minutes.

The scoring droughts on offense are going to happen from time to time, especially when you rely on the 3 so much.  It seems with our lack of depth and pace of play, we lost our legs late in the game and thus the 3s stopped falling.  At some point we have to make some defensive adjustments.  I know Petty being out presents some major matchup problems for us, but Herb should have been matched up with Lee much more than he was.  Kira and Shack could not guard him. When we finally did put Herb on Lee, they ran a simple high ball screen with their 5, and we inexplicably switched on it every time.  I get that he wasn't that great of a 3 point shooter coming into the game and maybe they were more concerned with the dribble drive, but after he's made 3 or 4 in a row, you need to defend him, and neither G nor JD are capable of doing so at the perimeter.  The third or fourth time in a row that happened was with about one minute remaining and pushed their lead from 4 back to 7 and essentially put the game away.  I admit, I may have had a little bit of a meltdown at that point, so if you were sitting within earshot (which is to say within about a 5 block radius of the arena) I apologize for the profanity.

Coach Oats was as angry as I've seen him all year.  During one timeout in the first half he slapped the seat of a chair, and while I couldn't make out what he was saying, we could clearly hear his voice over the music in the PA system.  He was mic'd up, and apparently the broadcast picked up him saying "soft as $h!t, that's what it is, you don't care about anybody but yourself."  Based on the positioning, I think that was directed at Alex.

Outside of Kira, Beetle, and Herb, we did not get the best effort from everybody while Vanderbilt played inspired basketball.  Alex is scheduled to have surgery on his hip after the surgery and I think the injury is bothering him more, as he has been noticeably slower over the last couple of weeks.  I was really disappointed in JD being a non-factor against much less competition after putting up a double-double in the last game.

On the positive side, Kira had 30 points, 8 assists, and only one turnover.  Beetle had 24 points on his senior night but had 5 turnovers.  Shack bounced back from a bad first half to end with 18 points.  Alex and Herb both had 8 rebounds. 

The crowd was disappointing considering it was an ideal tip-off time with a lot on the line.  I would guess there was no more than 6,000 there and they were mostly taken out of the game for much of the night.

If either Ole Miss beats Mizzou or LSU beats Arkansas tonight, we will avoid having to play on Wednesday of the SEC tournament.  If that's the case, I would rest Herb, Alex, and JP against Mizzou and focus on getting everyone rested and healthy for Nashville.  Assuming either Ole Miss or LSU wins tonight, it's probably in our best interest to lose Saturday and get the 10 seed in the SEC tournament.  An 8 or 9 seed will put us on the Kentucky side of the bracket.

Up next, we wrap up the regular season at Mizzou, game time is 1:30 pm Saturday on the SEC Network.