Monday, August 31, 2009

For those that "tweet" Alabama basketball has an account

I don't use it and probably won't, but some of you might like this sort of thing.

It took me a long time to give in to Facebook.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ESPN SEC Preview

Got this link from an email. Thanks.

• JaMychal Green, Alabama: Green was a double-digit scorer (10.3 ppg) as a freshman. He, like every other Tide player, had to deal with a tumultuous season as Mark Gottfried was forced out during the SEC season. Phillip Pearson did a solid job as an interim coach and now new coach Anthony Grant has taken over. Green is the type of anchor inside Grant needs to flourish. He has the skill set to be a 15-and-10 type performer. If Green can deliver early and often, the Tide could surprise.

Read the rest here

Katz has us finishing 4th in the West. I could see that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Former UA Player Ray Johnston going on tour with band

Cut and paste below...Ray is a good guy, check them out if/when they come to your city.

The Ray Johnston Band Fall Tour 09 featuring: Keith Anderson, Bobby Sparks, William Barnes, Cooper Appelt, & Jeff Randall.

Ray and the Band will be hitting the road in late August and Mark Cuban's HDNet network is following along to film a 10 episode "docu-series" about Ray and the group. The tour starts now, and the show will debut on Sunday nights in January.

Most of dates are still being worked out, so this list is only partial. If your area isn't on this list, then stay tuned, it should be soon.

Check the website for more confirmed dates:
Aug 25 Georges-Fayetteville, AR (arkansas bar)
Aug 26 "747"-Norman, OK (ou bar)
Aug 27 Library-Oxford, MS (ole miss bar)
Aug 28 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama bar)
Aug 29, SAE House, Auburn, AL (SAE, SIgma Nu, KA party)
Sep 1 Bogies-Baton Rouge
Sep 4 TCU Frat Party-Coppell, TX
Sep 5 Watermark Launch Retreat Private-Tyler, TX
Sep 12 Private Party-Wedding-Dallas, TX
Sep 15 Rabbs Steakhouse-Ruston, LA
Sep 19 Tour De Fleurs 10k-Dallas Arboretum-Dallas, TX (5000 people plus)
Sep 19 Private Party-Wedding-Frisco, TX
Oct 8 Library-Oxford, MS (olemiss)
Oct 10 Library-Oxford, MS (olemiss vs bama)
Oct 14 Delta Gamma Party-Ole Miss
Oct 15 Alabama Frat Party-Tuscaloosa, AL
Oct 16 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama)
Oct 17 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama)
Oct 18 Chutewei Plantation Private Friends and Fam Party-Elmore County, AL
Dec 5 Andrews Upstairs-Atlanta, GA

More info:

Ten-part series to focus on the band's leader, Ray Johnston, his battle with cancer, and his new challenge to build success for the band


DALLAS (July xx, 2009) -HDNet is proud to present a ten-part series presenting the journey of cancer survivor and former Dallas Maverick Ray Johnston and his band as they travel across the country trying to make it in the music business.

The band's journey is only a part of the story, however. The larger part of this behind-the-scenes series is the uplifting story of the band's leader, Ray Johnston and his heroic battle with leukemia.

"Ray's story is more than amazing," said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. "It is truly inspirational. We're honored to be a part of Ray's journey and we're very happy that he agreed to share his travels with our viewers. He has faced every challenge in his life with dogged determination - both before and after cancer. This story, following the band on their road to success is no different."

Due to hard work and endless practice, Ray Johnston found himself living his dream as an NBA player when his life would change forever.

Johnston, a walk-on at the University of Alabama, was a 24 year-old loan officer with Mavericks season tickets, when he was discovered by a scout at the 2004 Hoop-it-Up tournament in Dallas. Johnston's ensuing tryout won him a spot on the Mavericks' summer league team, making him teammates with the likes of Josh Howard and Devin Harris.

All of that changed when a bump on the shin from a pickup game led to surgery - and a coma. All because of the leukemia no one knew he had - a rare form of the disease known as acute promyelocytic leukemia. During this battle with this deadly disease, Johnston would be shocked back to life, twice. His lungs collapsed, five days apart, with an irregular heartbeat in between. His kidneys failed twice and blood clots in his brain led to seizures.

But, after successfully beating leukemia, not once but four times (Johnston is now in remission) he is pursuing a new dream, traveling across Texas, the Southwest and the Southeast with The Ray Johnston Band. Some of the band's performances will be fundraisers for The Ryan Gibson Foundation or TRGF." ( is a Dallas based non-profit organization that supports leukemia research throughout the U.S. Ryan Gibson, like Ray Johnston, had a passion for finding a cure for leukemia. Now, through the talent of he and his band, Ray will be spreading the word about the importance of leukemia research as well as raising funds for TRGF.

Ray Johnston, and his group of talented musicians will also record their first album in early August at Palmyra Studio in Palmer, TX.

"I realized my dream of making it in the NBA because I was determined, knew my strengths, and had the best talent around me," said Johnston. "As this documentary will showcase with the band, it's the same deal here."

"The Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries" is set to air this January on HDNet. Times and dates are to be determined.
The Ray Johnston Band

In 2008 former University of Alabama and Dallas Mavericks basketball star Ray Johnston was recovering from his battle with Leukemia when he decided to put all of his energy, efforts, and passion for music into a new band and full-time career in the music business. Johnston met world-renowned saxophonist Keith Anderson while playing acoustic gigs around Dallas, and after forming a fast friendship and and musical connection, they began assembling different groups of musicians into what finally became The Ray Johnston Band. "I realized my dream of making it in the NBA because I was determined, knew my strengths, and had the best talent around me," said Johnston, "it's the same deal here." And indeed it is. The band is packed with seasoned musicians featuring G.R.A.M.M.Y. winners, sidemen for Kanye West, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, Kirk Franklin, Roy Hargrove, and alums of the prestigious music programs at Berklee College of Music and University of North Texas. In the year that they have been together, the Ray Johnston Band has already been included in the House of Blues "Tomorrows Headliners" series, served as a backing band for Erykah Badu, performed on ESPN radio, and performed for 5,000 people at this year's Tour de Fleurs 5k in Dallas.

One of Ray's favorite scriptures is "A cheerful heart is good medicine for the soul, a downcast spirit dries the bones," and he is a living testament to this fact. This attitude carries over into his high energy, feel-good, happy music, and into every other area of his life as well. As he continues to fight his ongoing battle with Leukemia, he is making the best of it by spreading awareness about the disease and by helping raise research funds through The Ryan Gibson Foundation. Ray's story and example are so inspiring that an old friend from his Mavericks days, Mark Cuban, decided to film a 10 episode "docu-series" on Ray and his band for Cuban's HDNet television station. "Ray's story is more than amazing," said Cuban. "It is truly inspirational. We're honored to be a part of Ray's journey and we're very happy that he agreed to share his travels with our viewers. He has faced every challenge in his life with dogged determination - both before and after cancer. This story, following the band on their road to success is no different."

Ray and his band (featuring: Keith Anderson, Bobby Sparks, William Barnes, Cooper Appelt, and Jeff Randall), recorded their debut album "Sweet Tooth" at legendary Palmyra Studios in Texas in August, and it is set for a September 09 release in conjunction with the group's Fall Tour. HDNet filmed the recording session, and the film crew will follow the band on the road this Fall. So, be looking out for "Sweet Tooth" on iTunes and the radio, go check the band out live in a city near you, and get ready for "The Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries" on HDNet starting Sunday nights in January 2010. As Ray often likes to say, "Smile Hard!" And you should...cause it's gonna be big fun.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Alabama 2009-2010 basketball schedule released

Wait a darn minute. We normally release this a week before the season starts. Maybe we do have someone that cares aboutr basketball in our athletic department.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama 2009-10 men's basketball schedule features thirty contests, including 17 dates at Coleman Coliseum as announced Saturday by first-year head coach Anthony Grant.

In addition to the 16-game Southeastern Conference slate, Grant's first schedule at UA begins with 14 non-conference games and a trip to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the Old Spice Classic Nov. 26-29. Ten of the Crimson Tide's games are currently scheduled for national television broadcasts.

Alabama's scheduled non-conference foes made six postseason appearances last year and averaged 17 wins with four recording 20 or more victories. The SEC schedule features six opponents that advanced to postseason play a season ago.

"We were able to put together a schedule of very challenging non-conference opponents to prepare us for league play," said Grant. "We've got a variety of styles of play and levels of competition that will test our team early."

After a pair of home exhibition contests against Montevallo and Augusta State on Nov. 4 and 10, respectively, the Tide opens the season in earnest on Nov. 14 when defending Ivy League champion Cornell visits Tuscaloosa. On Nov. 20 the Tide will welcome Providence to Coleman Coliseum.

The Tide closes out November by traveling to Orlando to face NIT runner-up Baylor in the first round of the Old Spice Classic Nov. 26 on ESPN2. The Tide's second game at the tournament will come against either Florida State or Iona on Nov. 27 followed by an opponent to be determined on Nov. 29. Potential foes include, Creighton, Michigan or Marquette. All games at the Old Spice Classic will be carried on the ESPN family of networks.


MLB ballpark ranking this year- 1 new

A link from last month (so I don't have to copy/paste).

I made the trip to Bank O..., uh Chase Field in Phoenix last week. A few notes:

1) Thank goodness they have a retractable dome. It was 108 degrees at 6PM PST.
2) The ballpark is one of the nicer ones I've been to.
3) I wasn't impressed with the food selection or the seating setup (seems too far away from the action).
4) Their jumbotron is huge and unlike most ballparks, they actually dedicate most of it to stats. Good move.
5) The Phoenix light rail puts you about 1/4 mile from the park. Can't beat that.

So my new ballpark rankings for the ones I've been to this year...
1) AT&T Park (SF)
2) Chase Field (Ari)
3) Coors Field (Col)
4) Turner Field (Atl)
5) Rogers Centre (Tor)
6) Oakland-Alameda Coliseum (Oak)

I'm hoping I get to 3 more before the end of the season. I wish I had a better pic from inside Chase Field, but I forgot my digital camera so all I had was the Iphone.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Memphis Forfeits Final Four

Memphis received 3 years probation, has to give back money from the NCAA tournament, and must return their Final Four Trophy, all because Derrick Rose apparently never took the SAT. With the NCAA's history of closely monitoring the Kentucky program, and Calipari there now; I would be concerned about these types of issues if I were a Wildcat fan. Anyway, here is the link to the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SEC Television Schedule set

From the Tuscaloosa News

at LSU, Saturday, Jan. 9, 4 p.m.
v. Vanderbilt, Wednesday Jan. 13, 8 p.m.
at Arkansas, Saturday Jan. 16 at 12:30 p.m.
v. Tennessee, Tuesday Jan.19, 6pm
v. Mississippi State, Saturday Jan. 23, 11 a.m.
v. LSU, Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.
at Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 30 at 3 p.m.
v.Florida, Thursday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m.
at Ole Miss, Saturday, Feb. 6, 5 p.m.
at Kentucky, Tuesday, Feb. 9
v.Arkansas, Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.
at Georgia, Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m.
at Mississippi State, Wednesday Feb. 24, 8 p.m.
v. Ole Miss, Saturday, Feb.27 1 p.m
at South Carolina, Wednesday, March 3.
v. Auburn, Saturday, March 6 at 12:30 p.m.

Also, the Purdue game on Dec. 12 has been set for a 3 p.m. tipoff according to Purdue's official schedule.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's xCMG up to these days and LSU in the NIT Tip-off

Where's xCMG
TUSCALOOSA -- Mark Gottfried has lined up another coaching gig, and will be back on the sidelines directing young players before the end of the month.

He'll just need security clearance to do it.

Alabama's former basketball coach is preparing for his third trip to the Middle East as a part of Operation Hardwood. From Aug. 17-25, Gottfried and other college coaches will visit U.S. military bases around Baghdad and possibly other areas in the region. While there, they will direct groups of soldiers in an eight-team basketball tournament.

"It's real competitive," Gottfried said with a laugh. "You'd think the coaches are all coaching at the Final Four. And the players, these young soldiers, they're getting ready. They're representing their base. We have different bases, and they select a group of players to represent their base."

Gottfried previously made two trips to Kuwait during his tenure with the Crimson Tide, which ended in late January, when he was asked to resign before the end of his 11th season.

Things have slowed down for Gottfried since then. In many ways, he's home again, courtesy of the family's move to Orange Beach.

Read the rest here.

You know, I think he'll be a pretty good analysis for ESPN. He has better credentials than most of them (minus Lavin and Bilas).

LSU in NIT Tip off
They open with Larry Bird's alma mater.

BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Tigers will face Indiana State of the Missouri Valley Conference in a first-round game of the 25th anniversary Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off on Monday, Nov. 16 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The pairings were announced today by C. M. Newton, the chair of the NIT Selection Committee.

The Center will be the site for the South region of games with the third seed in the 16-team event. The other game that will take place in Baton Rouge involves Western Kentucky, who was second in the 1986 NIT Season Tip-Off from the Sun Belt Conference, against Milwaukee (formerly Wisconsin-Milwaukee) of the Horizon League. Western Kentucky is the fifth seed in the tournament.

The times and any possible television has yet to be announced.


I think LSU is going to struggle this year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Non-Conference Schedule - Florida - 2009-10

Florida has released their non-conference schedule . Highlights include games withFlorida State, Syracuse, Xavier, N.C. State and a possible match-up with Michigan State in the Legends Classic.

Piecing together the Alabama non-conference schedule [Updated]

As an example of how productive I've been in the office today, I did a little research of schools who have released their non-conference schedules to try and get an idea of who Alabama might be playing next season that we did not already know about.

Here is the schedule so far. If I missed one, please add it. Maybe we can piece this thing together before the athletic department finally gets around to releasing it.

11/14 - Cornell "The Cornell Basketball Blog" listed Alabama as Cornell's opening opponent.
11/17 - Jackson State
11/26-11/29 - Old Spice Classic [vs Baylor]
12/2 - North Florida
12/12 - Purdue
12/16 - Samford
12/19 - Kansas State
12/23 - Mercer [Uh oh]
12/30 - Tennessee State
1/4 - @ Toledo

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Non-conference schedule- Arkansas 2009-10

Are they trying to join the Big 12? With 3 games against Oklahoma, Texas, and Baylor they might be...


A pretty stout non-conference schedule when you add in Louisville.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Pairings for the 2009 Old Spice Classic released

Alabama will play Baylor in the first round of the 2009 Old Spice Classic being held Thanksgiving weekend (November 26-29) in Orlando at the Milk House located at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Other first round match-ups include Creighton vs. Michigan, Marquette vs. Xavier, and Florida State vs. Iona. You can click here to read the release and see the bracket. The tournament will be aired on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Should Alabama advance past Baylor, they would play the winner of the Florida State/Iona game.

Baylor underachieved a year ago, but do return a nice core of players and have a top 20 recruiting class coming in. They're deep, talented and, despite last year's underwhelming season, I do believe Scott Drew is a good coach. He was able to salvage the season somewhat by guiding the team to the NIT Final where they lost to Penn State. The team plays fast and, in my opinion, a little too loose at times, but their talent level is undeniable. If they come out on fire, Alabama could find themselves in another game such as the one with Oregon last year in Maui.

Other tournaments with SEC schools:

Puerto Rico Tip-Off:

Dayton vs. Georgia Tech, George Mason vs. Villanova, Indiana vs. Ole Miss, Boston University vs. Kansas State

Maui Invitational:

Maryland vs. Chaminade, Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt, Colorado vs. Gonzaga, Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Charleston Classic:

Tulane vs. Miami, UNC Wilmington vs. Penn State, South Florida vs. Davidson, La Salle vs. South Carolina

Monday, August 03, 2009

Grant lands his first 2010 commitment

It's only a verbal commitment at this point, but Charles Hankerson, a 6-foot-5, 210 lb, shooting guard from Miami, Florida (something tells me coach will do well in the Sunshine State) told that he is coming to Alabama. Other schools in the mix for Hankerson include Auburn, South Florida, Tulane, Virginia, Central Florida and Rice, all of whom have made offers to Hankerson. Hankerson averaged 20.7 points as a junior at Coral Reef High School in Miami. Scout and Rivals currently have him listed as a three-star rated player, though both sources say his stock is rising. He seems like a good kid. I look forward to seeing him play. If anybody has further information on Hankerson, please share it.

Hankerson told ""The biggest factor for me was my relationship with Coach Grant. He has been recruiting me for a long time and we have a great bond between us. I understand what he wants from a coach perspective and he understands my strengths and weaknesses as a player. I'm relieved to have recruiting over with because now I can focus on ball. I'm already a full qualifier so I can work on my game and enjoy this last year of high school."