Friday, April 18, 2014

Hiring and firings- Coaching Carousel 2014

We mentioned the SEC ones in the previous post and comments... here is a tally of moves so far.

Haith was a horrible hire for Mizzou and I bet they are thanking Tulsa for taking him from them. Mizzou's AD obviously noticed the attendance issue this season there... a place that normally sells out (or close to it) and probably put the bug in Haith's ear to look around kinda like Trent Johnson did at LSU a few years back.

Tennessee can't be happy as now they are competing with Mizzou for a marquee head coach. Add to that UTK isn't in a good financial situation I suspect they find one 'on the cheap' while Mizzou grabs a mid-major coach to easily replace Haith.

Finding a coach 'on the cheap' isn't necessarily a bad thing... probably more value in grabbing a top assistant for a HC job than bringing one in from a mid-major... something we will probably do when the time comes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cuonzo Martin to leave UTK for Cal job?

I guess all of the rehire Bruce Pearl talks got tiresome. Is Anthony Grant a candidate now?


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

What do you think about Northwestern unionizing and the reaction from the NCAA pres?

Article about NU getting the right to unionize.
Coach urges Northwestern players to not join union.
NCAA president opposes union (shocking).

My 2 cents... I like where this is heading. While I am not generally a fan of unions, in this case with college athletics I am. The term "student-athlete" hasn't been applicable in over 20 years with the revenue the universities generate through TV deals, selling of jerseys, etc. I'm kinda liking this whole bogus model being blown to pieces and having something more fair to the athletes in its place (and let's be honest, most of them wouldn't be in college if given the choice).

Obviously there is a slippery slope here. Not all DI schools make money on college sports (football and basketball) so there will have to be a dividing line between the revenue generators and ones that actually have student-athletes which from my understanding is being talked about now within the NCAA (which only happened because the Northwestern union was allowed).

I wish the NFL and NBA would do more as far as farm leagues to accommodate those kids that don't want to be in college at all. The NBA does have the NBDL, but is sorely underutilized. Basketball also has international leagues (dozens of former Bama players are out there) to hone their skills. Neither are million dollar jobs, but it's a decent paycheck doing something they love and an avenue to possibly make it to the big leagues (see Alonzo Gee).


Monday, April 07, 2014

Projecting the Schedule

College basketball will come to its conclusion tonight when Kentucky faces Uconn in the national title game. Following that game, it will be a long seven months before the greatness of college basketball returns. Sadly, Bama fans started looking forward to next season weeks ago after Alabama lost to LSU in the SEC tournament. Next season looms large for Bama basketball as Anthony Grant and his staff will be under the microscope from start to finish following a 13-19 season and the traumatic effect on a percentage of the fanbase following the hire of Bruce Pearl at Auburn. Despite the support from Bill Battle for Anthony Grant this offseason, you get the feeling it's do-or-die next season for this coaching staff.

Despite the pressure, I'm looking forward to next season. While the loss of a player like Trevor Releford will certainly sting, I think this Alabama team has a chance to be much more balanced next season assuming attrition, injuries, etc, remain at a minimum. There will be a nice mix of returning players, impact newcomers and a freshman class with a lot of promise. Add it all together and I'm hoping we will all be on the same team as fans next season come March.

While the schedule won't be officially released until well into the summer, we are able to begin piecing it together based on comments made by Anthony Grant at his recent press conference as well as the scheduling format used by the conference to project the league schedule. Here's what we know so far:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Attrition and Injuries

It's already been discussed in the comments below, but in case anyone missed it.  Carl Engstrom and Algie Key will not return.  Shannon Hale broke his foot and is out 4-6 weeks.

We've been hearing for a while that Carl was going to return home after the season.  I appreciate his effort and his time here.  He was finally starting to show some significant improvement before his injury in late 2012, but it became obvious he was never going to be an SEC caliber regular big man.  With the influx of guards coming in, the Algie Key news is not surprising.

As for Shannon, injuries are never good, but this is probably the best time for it to happen. Hopefully he will be fully recovered by the time November rolls around.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Got legs to it... Grant a candidate @ USF

I've commented on this before... I still think it is probably in everyone's best interest something happens.

By the time UNLV announced a two-year contract extension for Rice on Saturday night, by the time it looked like a successfully executed leverage move, Harlan already had long turned his attention to other candidates.

Potential USF targets include Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg, New Mexico coach Craig Neal, Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, Florida assistant John Pelphrey and Florida State assistant Stan Jones.

Another name to consider is Alabama’s Anthony Grant, who once was a key member of Billy Donovan’s Gators staff and interviewed for the USF job in 2003. Grant has head-coaching experience at VCU, where he defeated Duke in a 2007 NCAA tournament game, and Alabama, where he has gone 99-71 in five seasons.

But this season, the Crimson Tide slipped to 13-19 – the most defeats by an Alabama basketball team in 45 years – and AD Bill Battle felt compelled to give Grant a written vote of confidence. Grant, who was Jeremy Foley’s choice as UF replacement in 2007 when Donovan flirted with the NBA’s Orlando Magic, makes $1.9-million per season.

Rest is here

Friday, March 28, 2014

Riley Norris Leads Alabama Boys To 3rd Straight Victory in Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game

Alabama signee Riley Norris (#2 in the photo) from Albertville turned in an outstanding all-around game to help Alabama’s boys defeat Mississippi for the third straight year in the 24th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game played Friday night at Jackson State University’s Lee Williams Athletics Assembly Center.

The box score shows that Norris had 16 points on 4 of 9 shooting, 2 of 6 from 3pt range. He was also 6 of 11 from the FT line....not so good. However, he pulled down 9 rebounds and had 3 assists. Alabama's other in-state signee, Justin Coleman, was not on the Alabama roster for this game.

The star of the game was Kentucky signee Devin Booker from the Mississippi team, a 6-6 guard, with 31 points, a record for the AL-MS series.