Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Devonta Pollard Update

There is now a light at the end of the tunnel also known as Devonta Pollard's recruitment. ESPN's Dave Telep has tweeted that Pollard will make his decision at 6 PM ET on Friday. The four schools believed to still be in play for his signature are Bama, Texas, Georgetown and Missouri, though I also believe his delay in announcing has been due to LSU making a late run, thanks to the addition of assistant coach, Robert Kirby. Kirby was the chief recruiter of Pollard while at Georgetown and Mississippi State before that. 

It looks like back to divisional play in SEC Basketball

Also, basketball coaches are close to finalizing an 18-game schedule that would put teams back into divisions. The coaches dropped division last season.

Full link

Link mostly talks about a 4 team CFB playoff which is long past due. Normally I side with conference champs, but the ACC and Big East champs would probably finish 6th in the SEC.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alabama In Play For 4-Star Power Forward

Montrezl Harrell, a 4-star power forward in the class of 2012, has Bama listed among his final four schools that he is considering. Harrell was recently signed to play at Virginia Tech. He was released from his LOI after Seth Greenberg was fired (in hindsight, that was a really bad move by Virginia Tech).

Harrell, a 6'8, 215 lb player from North Carolina, is described by as a physical player around the rim with "freakish" athleticism. The other schools that remain on his list are Cincinnati, Louisville and Florida.

There's no doubt that Alabama can use a player of his type. As of right now, Bama only has three true post players returning next season, and Harrell would provide much-needed depth and athleticism. If Coach Grant and his staff are able to land Harrell along with Pollard, the concerns about the 2012 class will quickly evaporate.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Virginia Tech Transfer Eyes Alabama

This could turn out to be nothing, but Virginia Tech transfer Dorian Finney-Smith has listed Alabama among the seven schools that he is considering. Finney-Smith, a 6'8 192 lb forward, was a five-star prospect coming out of high school and was one of the highest-rated prospects the Hokies program had ever signed. He produced solid numbers (6.3 pts, 7.0 reb, 1.9 assts) in his freshmen season, but with the termination of Seth Greenberg, has decided to seek greener pastures. He will have to sit a year per NCAA transfer rules, but could be yet another great addition to the 2013 class. 

The other schools in the mix are Florida, Marquette, Georgetown (surprise!), Iowa State, Villanova and Texas. Florida appears to have the early inside track as Finney-Smith was heavily recruited by the Gators coming out of high school.

No news on the Devonta Pollard front. Obviously his recruitment is going to continue past today's late-signing deadline.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jimmie Taylor commits to Alabama

This news is coming late tonight, but it's good news. While most of us are waiting to see if Bama will land someone (Devonta Pollard) for their 2012 class, the 2013 class received a bump tonight with the news that Jimmie Taylor - a 6'10, 210 lb center from Greensboro and currently a top 25 nationally ranked recruit - has verbally committed to Alabama. Taylor becomes the second verbal commitment in the 2013 class, joining Shannon Hale.

Taylor chose Alabama over the likes of Georgetown, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. As a junior, Taylor earned 1st team All-State honors at the 3A level. The best part of Taylor's game at this stage is his rebounding and shot-blocking ability( he averaged 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots per game last season to go along with a 9 point scoring average). He's described as very athletic and most recruiting services list him in the four-star range. There's a ton of upside with this kid and he has a chance to be a great player. This is a really nice commitment for the program. And it's always a good thing to reel in the best players in the state.

The late-signing period for the 2012 class ends on May 16th so hopefully there will be more recruiting news in the days ahead. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SEC Scheduling for 2012-2013

So, with the 2011-2012 season behind us, now is the time to begin discussing something that has had little attention to this point: creating the SEC schedules for the 12+2 SEC schools for this coming season. As frustrated as we all get over how late SEC schools release schedules, it should be safe to say that this trend can only get worse for this upcoming landmark season for the conference. We are already coming off of a season with the enacted removal of the Eastern/Western Divisional Standings, while maintaining the existing regional scheduling. The only thing that seems certain at this point is moving from a 16-game to an 18-game SEC schedule. So, with the upcoming SEC meetings in the next month or so, the following additional questions should be answered:

1. Do we revert back to the Divisional Standings? (By going to 14 teams, this may be on the table again for all we know)
2. Do we still maintain the existing regional scheduling? (i.e. Alabama plays all of the Western teams twice while playing each Eastern team once? That is the equivalent of (6*2)+7=19, so something has to give.)
3. Do we rotate in the West and have Bama play all but one Western team twice and each Eastern team once to make the math work out?
4. Do we rotate in the East and have Bama play all of the Western teams twice and play all but one of the East teams once to make the math work out?

Also, when it comes to the conference tourney, they also have to choose between these two likely scenarios:

5. Playing a 14-team tournament (you can pull this off having only the top 2 teams get byes, and having 6 Thursday games instead of the current 4 games.
6. Ditching the bottom 2 teams, maintaining the existing post-season format. (Knowing that conference expansion is all about the $$$, I'm thinking this may not go far, but what do I know?)

There may be other scenarios that is on the table that we do not yet know about. As you can see, it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm treating this as an open dialogue, so feel free to post your thoughts.

Roll Tide!