Thursday, August 30, 2007

Your Hunter Johnson Inside Update

Here is my practice report from to day (Wednesday).

The team practiced for a little over 2 hours this afternoon. Here are a few notes:
-Coaches are really emphasizing taking charges this year. Every time a player takes a charge in practice, the entire team claps and pats the charge-taker on the back. And this isn't just a golf clap. It gets loud. Coach G even stopped practice one time because guys weren't being loud enough after a charge.

-Aggressive man-to-man defense is being emphasized. Team-defense and help-side assignments are still a priority, but the guys have really been getting in each others faces on defense.

-We are using a new philosophy in our 2-3 zone. The assignments have changed a little. It's too complicated to describe on here, but it looks good and should be an improvement.

-The coaches are putting in a few new offensive sets which utilize spreading out the court and running the fast break. I am not going to give anything away, but it is very similar to how UNC runs the fast break.

-We are still running the high post some. I don't think we will run it the majority of the time, but we will still run it at times. Freshman Justin Knox is an ideal high post guy, and I imagine we will run it some when he and Richard are in the game, with Knox at the high and Richard at the low.

-Alonzo Gee is a beast. We all knew this, but he is taking it to a new level. He looks to have lost a little weight and seems to be a lot quicker off the dribble and on the defensive end.

-Rico Pickett is looking good. I don't see him as a guy that is going to score a lot of points for us this season, but he is a very good distributor. He is very athletic, one of the most athletic guards we have had in a long time.

-Justin Knox has also looked good. He is experiencing some growing pains relative to learning the offense, but has still looked good. He is an excellent shot blocker and has a very good mid-range jumper.

-Of the freshman, Senario Hillman has definitely impressed me the most. He is the most athletic player we have had here since Gerald Wallace. His leaping ability is incredible. He is very quick and looks like he is going to be a really good defender. On the offensive end, he has ridiculous handles, reminds me a lot of Kennedy Winston. He is very good at creating off the dribble. Right now, he is kind of a streaky shooter, but when he is on, he doesn't miss. If he works on his shot a little bit, he could end up being one of the best we've had come through in a while.

From what I can gather, these guys seem to be the guys who will start this weekend in Canada:

G Hollinger
G Torrance
G Riley
F Gee
F Hendrix
with Senario as the first guy off the bench.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here is the entire basketball schedule:

Tue, Oct 30 Crimson/White Game Tuscaloosa 7:00 p.m.
Mon, Nov 05 North Alabama (Exhibition) 7:00 p.m.
Fri, Nov 09 Troy 7:00 p.m.
Tue, Nov 13 @Mercer (Macon, Ga.) 6:30 p.m.
Mon, Nov 19 Belmont 7:00 p.m.
Fri, Nov 23 Southern Mississippi 7:00 p.m.
Wed, Nov 28 @Texas A&M 8:00 p.m.
Sat, Dec 01 Southeastern Louisiana 1:00 p.m.
Wed, Dec 05 Georgetown at Birmingham (BJCC) 6:00 p.m. ESPN
Sat, Dec 08 Nicholls State 6:00 p.m.
Mon, Dec 17 Wofford 7:00 p.m.
Wed, Dec 19 Texas Pan American 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Dec 22 Missouri State @Las Vegas, Nevada 7:00 p.m.
Sun, Dec 23 Purdue or Iowa State @Las Vegas, Nevada 9:30 p.m.
Sat, Dec 29 George Washington 6:00 p.m.
Tue, Jan 01 Clemson 3:30 p.m. FSN
Fri, Jan 04 Chicago State 7:00 p.m.
Tue, Jan 08 Florida ESPN
Sun, Jan 13 @Arkansas LFS
Wed, Jan 16 @Georgia
Sat, Jan 19 Mississippi State LFS
Sat, Jan 26 Auburn LFS
Tue, Jan 29 Tennessee ESPN
Sat, Feb 02 LSU LFS
Wed, Feb 06 @Mississippi State
Sat, Feb 09 @Kentucky 12:00 p.m. LFS
Wed, Feb 13 Ole Miss 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Feb 16 @South Carolina 6:00 p.m. FSN
Sun, Feb 24 @Auburn CBS
Wed, Feb 27 Arkansas LFS
Sat, Mar 01 @Ole Miss LFS
Wed, Mar 05 @LSU
Sat, Mar 08 Vanderbilt 6:00 p.m.

SEC Tournament
Thu, Mar 13 - Sun, Mar 16 N/A at Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Dome)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Here's Our SEC Schedule

This also is courtesy of our buddy Hunter Johnson.

SEC Schedule:
Tue Jan 8th Florida(ESPN)
Sun Jan 13th at Arkansas(LF)
Wed Jan 16th at Georgia
Sat Jan 19th Miss. St.(LF)
Sat Jan 26th Auburn(LF)
Tue Jan 29th Tennessee(ESPN)
Sat Feb 2nd LSU(LF)
Wed Feb 6th at Miss. St.
Sat Feb 9th at Kentucky(LF)
Wed Feb 13th Ole Miss
Sat Feb 16th at South Carolina(FSN)
Sun Feb 24th at Auburn(CBS)
Wed Feb 27th Arkansas(LF)
Sat Mar 1st at Ole Miss(LF)
Wed Mar 5th at LSU
Sat Mar 8th Vanderbilt

Some thoughts:
Six of our last nine are on the road. The last time we played in Starkville on a weeknight was in 2003. At least we aren't playing them on Senior Day for the 3rd year in a row. This is the first time I remember us playing on a Sunday(that wasn't the last weekend of the year) and we are doing it twice. The toughest stretch I see is the five games in the beginning of February, with road trips to Starkville and Lexington, at home against Ole Miss, and then road trips to Columbia and Auburn. If we found a way to win 3 or 4 of those games, I would be a really happy camper.

EDIT (bamahoops)- Full Schedule

A Practice Update

This Practice Report provided by our friend, UA student Hunter Johnson:

Coach has been installing some new offensive schemes, with the most notable being the UNC Secondary Break, which is designed plays for fast break situations. Look for us to run this after the majority of missed shots by the opponents. It is a really good way to spread the floor and wear teams down. This is what I am most excited about. Also, we seem to be running a lot more of the 3-2 offense as a base offense. I went to the first 3 practices and didn't see us run the high post one time. However, I hung out with some of the guys on Friday night and they said we have been running it some in the last few practices. On defense, intensity has been a major point by the coaches, both in man and zone. The coaches installed a new philosophy for our 2-3 zone which I think is going to work really well. As for the players, Gee has been dominated the scrimmages. In a 48 minute scrimmage on Saturday, he put up 48 points. He also seems to have lost a little bit of weight. The newcomers all look pretty good. Rico and Senario are the most athletic guards we have had in a long time. Rico is a great passer, but I don't know how much of a scoring threat he will be right away. I think that will come in time. Senario is a freak athlete, probably the best pure athlete we have had since Wallace. His leaping ability will create opportunities for him to block some shots, even though he is only 6'1. Right now, he is more of a slasher and not a shooter, although the players told me he shot the ball better this weekend. His ability to create off of the dribble is something we have never really had at shooting guard.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

SEC basketball news

1) Auburn released their 2007-08 schedule. They got a pretty slacker non-conference schedule (even the great Jeff Lebo admits that) with WVU in Birmingham, Xavier at home, and George Washington in the BB&T Classic.

2) LSU prepares for a Canadian trip... eh. Maybe they'll catch Nickelback in Toronto and down a few Moltsons. They also released their 2007-08 schedule (scroll down to see it).

3) Other schedules released: South Carolina, Vanderbilt. I'll repost them all when the season gets closer.

I probably can put together most of our schedule by looking at the other SEC schedules released, but to be honest I'd rather not right now. From what I gathered 6 of the last 9 are on the road so if we're to have a chance at the big dance we got to start off SEC play at 5-2 or better.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More surgery for Ronald Steele

They say it's minor surgery, but to be honest I think something's up. What 'it' is I have no idea.

TUSCALOOSA -- Ronald Steele admits he will be a little nervous today.

"Nobody wants to have surgery," he said.

Steele, Alabama's senior point guard and team leader, will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today. Doctors James Andrews and Lyle Cain decided on the procedure after examining Steele on Tuesday night

Steele had surgery to repair cartilage in both knees in April. While recovering for the upcoming season, Steele's left knee began bothering him. The surgery has been described as minor, and Alabama coach Mark Gottfried remains "very confident he'll be ready to go when we start the season."

Steele scheduled for surgery

JaMychal Green Commits To Alabama

Coach Mark Gottfried is perhaps on the verge of signing the first Top 5 recruiting class in the history of the University of Alabama's storied basketball program. Green is the third highly regarded high school senior to give his verbal commitment to Alabama. Coach Gottfried and staff are reputed to be hoping to sign one of two highly regarded centers. I'm pulling for the young man out west, but perhaps one of them will hope on board soon in an effort not to be left behind.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Non-basketball- the Michael Vick saga

I'm sure everyone and their mothers know that Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges. What some don't know is the NAACP is hoping the NFL doesn't ban Vick. I can go with that... since Leonard Little killed someone driving drunk and got back into the league. What bothers me is the excerpt below.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The head of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP said Wednesday that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has made mistakes but that they should not cost him his football career with the NFL.

NFL star Michael Vick has accepted an offer to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in a dogfighting case.

Vick is expected to plead guilty Monday to federal conspiracy charges in an illegal dogfighting operation.

R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said his organization does not condone dogfighting or any other illegal activity, but he told reporters that Vick should be given a chance to redeem himself.

"In some instances, I believe Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he would've killed a human being," White said. "The way he is being persecuted, he wouldn't have been persecuted that much had he killed somebody."

White said he believes Vick will cut a deal rather than roll the dice on a trial and take a chance on being found guilty, but "whatever he's done wrongly, he needs to pay for it.

White also said he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable.

The rest can be read here.

Notice the bold... maybe R.L. didn't know that Vick supposedly executed dogs by electrocution and drowning. While I don't get hunting, I've never heard of a hunter torturing a deer or rounding them up to fighting them.

I don't get these guys sometimes...

Sprewell news (not good)

Turns out he had his boat repossessed. Maybe he should've taken the $$ in Minnesota.

It wants the yacht, "Milwaukee's Best," sold to pay off the $1.3 million it says is remaining on the loan. Sprewell has guaranteed the loan personally, a contract filed with the court shows. He could not be reached for comment on the repossession.

A Milwaukee native, Sprewell, 36, played for 13 years in the NBA. He was known for a slashing style, steely intensity and a fierceness that sometimes got him in trouble - most notably when he was suspended during the 1997-'98 season for choking his coach.

Sprewell last played in 2004-'05 for the Minnesota Timberwolves. At the beginning of that season, he spurned the team's offer of a three-year, $21 million contract extension.

In the midst of Sprewell's acrimonious negotiations with the club, a reporter with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis asked him if he would be interested in playing out the final year on his existing contract, trying to win a title and then becoming a free agent.

"Why would I want to help them win a title?" the paper quoted Sprewell as saying. "They're not doing anything for me. I'm at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed. Anything could happen."

Poor guy

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Recruiting flashback

I don't follow recruiting, but I do find it interesting to see how it turned out a few years later. Today is a review of the 2005 class.

1) Richard Hendrix- he turned out well.
2) Yamene Coleman- the jury's still out on him. Asssuming his issues with the improper use of a student card go away I think he'll be ok.
3) Alonzo Gee- a freshman impact, a sophomore dud. I look for him to have a rebound season.
4) Ray George- who? CMG and the staff tried and tried to get him in, but in the end he wasn't bright enough to figure it out.

Overall, not bad... 2 of the 4 are starters and the 3rd (Yamene) could be a good cog off the bench.

I know this deserves it's own post, but Andrew Steele committed to Alabama. I know nothing about his basketball skills (read 1st sentence in this post), so I'll reserve judgment on him until I see him play college ball.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gottfried comments on Pan-Am games experience and Mercer added to the schedule

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried said his stint as an assistant coach for the USA team in the Pan-American Games was “a great experience” even though the American team did not win a medal in the event.

Team USA, composed entirely of collegiate players, went 3-2 in pool play in the Games, which were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We lost our first two games and that knocked us out of the medal round,” Gottfried said. “Then we came back to win our next three. I thought by the end of the tournament, we were playing as well as any team down there, but we had already been eliminated from medal play.

Gottfried said the team was still growing accustomed to the international rules and style of play in its early games.

“There is definitely a transition involved,” he said. “I think if we had been together as a team and had a chance to play a little more before we went to Brazil, we might have done better in the first two games.

“It was still an outstanding experience. All of the players were really great young men. Roy Hibbert [from Georgetown, a team that Alabama will face in December] was really a presence at 7-foot-2. D.J. White [from Tuscaloosa] played really well.”

From Cecil Hurt

If you scroll down to the bottom of the article (in case you glanced it over) there's a mention of the basketball team playing at Mercer.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some SEC basketball schedules released

Florida, Ole Miss, and Tennessee have released their 2007-2008 basketball schedules. Links to them below:

Ole Miss

Tentative Georgia schedule

Tennessee's non-conference schedule is pretty stout with Xavier, Gonzaga, Memphis, and the Legends Classic tournament, Florida's schedule is surprising easy with Ohio State being the only big name on the schedule (Temple sucks right now), and Ole Miss has the San Juan Shootout and a bunch of cupcakes. Actually, the San Juan Shootout isn't all that impressive.

I'm sure most have seen this already, but I'll post it here anyways... Dukie V released his all Rolls Royce team last week. Steele and Hendrix made the cut. I'm sure both of them were yelling, "IT'S AWESOME WITH A CAPITAL 'A' BABEE!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Random SEC basketball stuff

1) LSU is playing in the 2007 Maui Invitational to be played November 19-21. Their first opponent is Oklahoma State and it will be on TV (all the games in this tournament are).

2007 Maui Invitational Schedule

Nov. 19
Game 1: 1:30 p.m. - Marquette vs. Chaminade
Game 2: 4 p.m. - LSU vs. Oklahoma St.
Game 3: 8 p.m. - Princeton vs. Duke
Game 4: 10:30 p.m. - Arizona St. vs. Illinois

Nov. 20
Game 5: 12:30 p.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6: 3 p.m. - Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7: 6 p.m. - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 8: 8:30 p.m. - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Nov. 21
Game 9: 1 p.m. - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 10: 3:30 p.m. - Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8
Game 11: 6 p.m. - Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6
Game 12: 9 p.m. - Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

Duke and Marquette should be the best teams there... although Illinois might give the Dukies a game.

2) Georgia is also going to Hawai'i, except they get stuck in Honolulu for the Rainbow Classic.

Here's the pairings for the tournament. I admit I know nothing about Hawai'i basketball so I'm going to say UGA is probably the favorite (as St John's is still rebuilding).

3) Ex-Kentucky player Randolph Morris pleads not guilty to driving like a madman (reckless driving). You remember Morris from his early declaration to the NBA and his magical reinstatement thanks to a "found" fax on Tubby Smith's desk some 6 months later. Anyways, nothing too serious here, but it's the slow season.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Justin Tubbs Named To Freshman Academic All-SEC Honor Roll

I had to post this since he is an engineering major.... :)

Justin Tubbs, a guard on the University of Alabama basketball team, is among the 499 freshman student-athletes the Southeastern Conference named Thursday to its 2007 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. Making the honor roll required freshmen to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and be on scholarship or a letter winner. The list includes athletes from every sport. Tubbs, a Trussville native, is majoring in engineering at Alabama and was a member of the National Honor Society while at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

He played in 28 of Alabama’s 32 games this past season as a freshman, averaging 3.2 points and 9.6 minutes a game. He scored a UA first-year best 13 points in 11 minutes against Alabama State, shooting a perfect 5 of 5 from the field. Tubbs’ freshman highlights also included scoring 10 points at Mississippi State and 10 points against Southern Miss, and he had four steals in Alabama’s home game against Arkansas.

Friday, August 03, 2007

NIT Season Tip-Off announced

I guess they changed the name as I knew it as the pre-season NIT... which is waaay more important than the NIT.

Ohio State, which was ranked No. 1 entering the NCAA tournament and went on to lose to Florida in the title game, will be one of the four early round hosts for the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Syracuse, Washington and Texas A&M will be the other first- and second-round sites for the 16-team tournament, it was announced Thursday.

Ohio State, which has to replace freshmen Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook, who were all first-round NBA draft picks, will play Wisconsin-Green Bay on Nov. 12, with Columbia playing Delaware State in the other game. The second round will be Nov. 13.

Also on Nov. 12-13 at Syracuse, Siena will face the host school while Saint Joseph's faces Fairleigh Dickinson.

The other early rounds will be Nov. 13-14.

New Jersey Tech will be at Washington with Utah playing High Point in the other game, while Oral Roberts is at Texas A&M with Texas-El Paso playing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the other game.

The semifinals and finals will be at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21 and 23.

The AP report on

I figured I shouldn't go a week without posting something basketball related so there.