Sunday, May 29, 2016

Way Too Early SEC Predictions

Now that the deadline for the NBA Draft has passed and we know the players that are returning to their respective programs, I thought it would be a good time to make early predictions for next season. I encourage all of our readers to chime in with your predictions as well. Anything that encourages discussion is always welcomed here.

In my opinion, when I look at the teams next season on paper, I don't see a serious contender to Kentucky. The Wildcats are going through a golden age under Calipari while the conference as a whole isn't. In the last five years, there have been three separate seasons in which the league has only sent three schools to the tournament. The other two seasons in that span: four and five teams. The league schools have made nice coaching hires, and recruiting has improved, but the overall success as a result of these developments has been slow. These days, it's hard to consider the SEC as a power basketball conference with a straight face. It's vital that the league can somehow get three or four additional teams with Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in an effort to begin altering perception of the league in basketball.

Here are my way too early predictions for next season.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

ESPN/The Undefeated Publishes Article Examining C.M. Newton's Impact On SEC Basketball

Andrew Maraniss has written a great article detailing C.M. Newton's trailblazing career as a basketball coach in a time of segregation. Well worth a read. You can find the article here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SEC/Big 12 Challenge Matchups [Updated]

CBS Sports is reporting that sources have told them the matchups for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge are in place. Alabama is out of the event for the third straight season. It struck me as strange, but Travis Reier of 247 Sports mentioned in a post he wrote this morning that a two-year cycle was implemented last season so that all participating teams would receive home and road games. That would explain why the same four teams - Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina and Mississippi State - were left out of the event.

Anyway, here are the matchups. The Big 12 has routinely kicked the SEC's tail in this event, and will be the heavy favorite to do so again.

Texas at Georgia
Baylor at Ole Miss
Kansas at Kentucky
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Florida at Oklahoma
Auburn at TCU
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
LSU at Texas Tech

Edit- (bobbyjack) From CBS Sports

Monday, May 16, 2016

Returning players

I figured I'd put it on paper (innernets) what we have coming back of note.
Note- I make no assumptions about how good or not good the "newbies" will be this season.

Shannon Hale
Dazon Ingram
Riley Norris
Jimmie Taylor
Donta Hall
Brandon Austin

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bama Lands Ohio State Transfer

I step into a theater for two hours to watch Captain America and Iron Man work out their differences, and Avery Johnson and his staff land a new commitment. Daniel Giddens, a 6'10, 228 lb Center, has committed to Alabama after one year at Ohio State. Giddens visited the Alabama campus twice, which was a positive sign that he would decide to come to Alabama. Giddens, a native of Marietta, Georgia, was rated a 4 star recruit coming out of high school. In his lone season at Ohio State, he averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He will sit out one year per transfer rules, and will have three years of eligibility beginning in the 17-18 season.

Giddens cited his relationship with John Pelphrey as a major reason for coming to Alabama so that hire is already working out for Coach Avery. Like Donta Hall, Giddens strengths lie primarily on the defensive end at this time. Both players need to develop offensively, but, if nothing else, the addition of Giddens will make for a potent 1-2 defensive presence along with Donta Hall in the 17-18 season. Assuming Giddens wraps up the 2016 recruiting cycle for the Bama staff, his commitment is a fine capper to the 2016 class. The future's bright, folks. Roll Tide!

Here is a "mixtape" of some of Giddens' senior year highlights at Oak Hill.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Grad Transfer Commits to Alabama

It appears the Bama 2016 class has added a new player. It's not official yet, but and 247Sports are reporting from sources that Morehead State graduate transfer Corban Collins (6'3,190 lbs) has committed to Alabama following a weekend visit to Tuscaloosa. Collins will have one year of eligibility and can play immediately. Other schools considered were Mississippi State and Central Florida.

Collins, a combo guard, began his career at LSU in the 2012-13 season before transferring to Morehead State. In two years at Morehead he averaged 9.9 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.1 rpg and 1.1 spg with shooting averages of 39% FG, 38% 3-pt (42% in 15-16) and 75% FT. He was named to the 2nd team All-OVC team last season.

Collins is a good addition to the team. He can play the 1 or 2, was a good 3 point shooter last season, is a willing passer, and looks the part physically on film. At the very least he will add quality depth at the guard position. If you wish to follow Corban on social media, his Twitter is @CorbanCollins_3.

Avery Johnson was hoping to add at least two players in the late period so there may be more recruiting news in the days ahead.

UPDATE: Daniel Giddens, a Ohio State transfer, is in Tuscaloosa today visiting the campus. Giddens (6'10, 228 lbs) is a former 4 star recruit from Georgia. In his lone season in Buckeye land, he averaged 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg in 18 minutes per game. Giddens will have to sit out a year, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2017-18 season. He is considered one of the top 10-12 available transfers, and would be a nice addition to the roster despite having to sit a year. He was recruited out of high school by Anthony Grant, and I was bummed when he committed to Ohio State. When I read that he was transferring, I hoped the Bama coaching staff would contact him.

UPDATE II: Daniel Giddens returned to Tuscaloosa for an official visit on Saturday (May 14th). With Giddens making two visits to Tuscaloosa, it leads one to assume that Alabama has a good shot at landing the 6'10 Ohio State transfer.