Thursday, May 31, 2007

Billy Donovan to become new Magic coach?

I can't say I'm surprised. He's done all he can in the college game. The rumored 6 years/$6 million per sounds like a waste of money to me for a college coach as history hasn't been kind to them in the NBA, but hey... it's not my money. I guess that's whay he said no to Kentucky.

Donovan going to Orlando?

Also, the great Karl Malone is now the director of promotion and strength and conditioning coach at La Tech. Man we could use him in Tuscaloosa. I was never a fan of his, but respected his game. Could you imagine Malone teaching Hendrix how to properly throw a stray elbow or how to effectively block out? :)

CBB academic review, latest underclassmen to declare, and NBA mock draft link

Basketball News link

- NCAA to review academic issues facing basketball. With Dan Guerrero (UCLA A.D.) overseeing this I think some positive changes can be accomplished.

Latest underclassmen entry list

- There's like 100 names fighting for 30 guaranteed contracts. I predict Isiah Thomas will select the great Tack Minor with their 1st round pick. :) I'm not a big NBA fan anymore, but I do know what Isiah has done as the Knicks GM is borderline criminal. Anyhoo... here's your link.

- For your viewing pleasure... a NBA mock draft. They have Jermareo going to Golden State with the 36th pick.

Your song of the day:
Frank Sinatra- My Way

Monday, May 28, 2007

Torrance and Jemison getting experience in China

The Reach USA team’s tour plays its final game on Saturday, again against Zhe Jiang. Reach USA will have played eight exhibition games within eight days, four each from two CBA teams, most games in a different city each night. Players include Torrance and Jemison from Alabama, LSU’s Garrett Temple, Auburn’s Prowell and Rasheen Barrett, Lipscomb’s Ard, Mississippi State’s Brian Johnson and Paul Stoll from Texas Pan America. In their seven games so far, Jemison has averaged 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds and Torrance has averaged 14 points and 5.0 assists. Both will be sophomore on the Crimson Tide’s basketball team this fall.

Tide players tour China

This has been going on for a couple of weeks. I'm glad rolltide.com is reporting on it. Now maybe they'll update the bios of the basketball team. Maybe not (check Hollinger's bio for verification). They should let Alias write his bio for the site.

It seems that Torrance and Jemison have made a good showing for themselves out there... hopefully this experience helps them come next season. I fully expect both of them to be major contributors on our team next year.

Tide basketball commercial wins an award. Now I have to google this to verify it was an actual commercial. Ok, it's not on youtube... if anyone has this email it to me please.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Leflore has 11 hoops players sign with colleges

This just shows that Otis Hughley is one heck of a coach.

Leflore Rattlers

I figured I would put post this since it is rather slow at this time, especially when the decent news reflects on Brandon Hollinger's alma mater. I knew Alias would go and "scout" Hollinger when he played at Leflore.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oh yeah... CMG selected to Pan-Am games staff

“I think it’s just a tremendous honor,” said Gottfried who has coached Alabama to some of the program’s greatest moments in basketball, the 2004 Elite Eight, the 2002 Southeastern Conference Championship, a No. 1 national ranking, five NCAA tournament appearances and three NIT trips in nine seasons as Alabama’s head coach. “To represent your country is such a privilege, and to be around the best players in the nation as well is going to be a lot of fun. I’ve always respected USA Basketball. I have been a fan of international play, and I am extremely excited about this opportunity.”

We all know is a slick ploy to check out Brazilian babes in thongs

Congrats to CMG... that's a big honor. Maybe he can pick Jay Wright's brain while he's down there.

The above snippet from the article bothers me a little. Who in their right mind boasts about 3 NIT appearances? That's like the football program touting their 2 Independence Bowl berths this century. What?

Alias Answers!

BH posted below about the absence of Basketball coverage in the State of Alabama. As he indicated, that was one of the primary reasons I wanted to participate in this effort. If there were people out there who really knew what they were doing and were earning a living bringing us information about Bama Basketball, then this site would be unnecessary.

Instead, we have become so relevant that we have provoked insults from M$U fans. I suppose the API group will come here to insult us too, once they learn of the existence of electricity and computers. I've also seen posts on other fan sites stating that this blog is perhaps THE best source for information on Bama Basketball. Way to go, BH and H'ville!

This time last year I would have been scouring web sites and contacting students to find out what I could about our new and returning players. But I have to confess that CMG's performance last year took so much wind out of my sails that I don't really want to pay attention to basketball again until we start to get reports from the "volunteer" off-season workouts and Rec Center pickup games. Until I see some evidence of real improvement (not just these trumped up reports on new recruits like we've received on everybody
from Lucky Williams to M. Riley) will I put myself emotionally at risk.

For the remainder of the summer the European Pro Cycling Tour is a much more entertaining waste of my time. I am enjoying learning more about the sport, interacting with the fans, and interacting with the riders and commentators. (Yes, some of them actually do respond to inquiries from novices like me.)

So someone please give me a call when you think it's really time to pay attention again. Maybe CMG will learn something about coaching while he's with that group in Brazil this summer. I sure hope so.

That's all I can share in public. Keep those cowbells clangin'!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kentucky looks to duck the Minutemen

Did Kentucky hire Gillispie or Tommy Tuberville? The Wildcats are going to buyout the game at $50,000 because they don't want to play 5 road games. Awwww! Poor Wildcats scared of the big bad Minutemen. What a load of crap.

The kicker is not only is UK weaseling out of a return game with UMass, they're snubbing their nose at a former player (Travis Ford- coach at UMass).

Link to article is here.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Random SEC notes

- John Pelphery says that his Arkansas players are out of shape. If him and his staff get them into shape I say they're the preseason favorite to win the SEC.

- Gators and Billy Donovan close to contract extension... maybe. Rumors of him flirting with the Orlando Magic job are out there. Interesting. IMO he'd be a fool to leave the college game, but then again he's pretty much accomplished all you can in college basketball.

- Patrick Patterson picks Kentucky. I guess Gillispie is already doing better than Tubby Smith has on the recruiting side. I'm passing this along as I know nothing about him... or follow recruiting.

- South Carolina boots Mike Jones. No official reason why, but chances are it's academics. Dave Odom is getting tough on his players and now has the team refocused on winning the NIT again.

- LSU's mascot (the animal not the human) dies. The tiger was 17. I wonder how many tigers are left in the world. Nevermind.. I got my answer... I think. That's a shame.

General thoughts on the lack of Alabama basketball coverage...

... by the Alabama media. The funny (sad) thing is I can read more about the Alabama basketball team from the AJC (Atlanta) or some of the dedicated basketball websites (links to your right) than from the local media. Don't believe me... look at this link and note the last article written.

Subscription websites for the most part give at best token coverage. The exception to that is bamaonline.com. They do the best job of the big Alabama boards at basketball coverage. You normally get more basketball info from the users on the other sites. While I realize that football talk drives Crimson Tide subscription sites, I think some of them are missing the boat by giving basketball "token" coverage.

Who's to blame for this? Is it lazy beat writers? A poor PR department? A lack of effort from the head coach to promote the game in the state? Or is it all of the above? I go with all of the above... ranking them in the order of my questions.

College basketball is big time in most parts of the country... while I'm not delusional enough to say it can be as big as it is in North Carolina and Kentucky, basketball can be more than something to fill in the time between football season. IMO this is a promotion failure by the University. It obviously doesn't help that the basketball team stunk it up last year, but still... you'd figure someone would be reporting on what changes (or lack of changes) are in store for next season.

I started this website a little over a year ago with the intent of giving folks a place to find articles about Alabama and their opponents as well as some semi-educated commentary from Alias, Hville, and yours truly. I think between the 3 of us we do ok. Actually, I'll be a little bold... we do better than ok.

Note- this is a multi-day compilation post so if it sounds scattered... well, it probably is.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pro Cycling Current Events

Since Bamahoops requested this, here is an introductory post in cycling. With the Bama Spring football season in the books, and the baseball team doing...well, average, there is not much to talk about Bama related. Sure, the softball team is good, but I do not believe in being a bandwagon kind of guy.

Normally, Bama basketball fans would be talking about the off-season conditioning and the incoming Freshmen, since there would normally be on-campus sightings of these guys this time of year. Since the coaching staff stunk up the season as bad as they did, these two things have become the un-spoken subjects. Thanks, Coach Gottfried, our basketball team is officially irrelevant. Because of that, I am going to speak about my second fancy: professional cycling.

There are many reasons why I like cycling. It has history, with some cycling events such as Liege-Bastogne-Liege dating back to 1892. Most non-circuit events has an ever-changing scenery, with a rolling caravan of bicycles, camera crews on motorcycles, judges, and support vehicles. The events go through gorgeous coastal towns, scenic Alpine and Pyranean mountains, and the Belgian Ardennes forests. Also, it is the ultimate physically and mentally challenging sport. To get through a 3 week stage race, you need luck, skill, physical and mental toughness to crack 188 (22 teams x 9 riders per team) other riders. I got hooked with Greg Lemond and Andy Hampsten in the 80s and with the age on the internet, I can now watch live racing on the other side of the globe.

Anyway, the current event occuring now is the Giro d'Italia, or the Tour of Italy. Today was Stage 3, so there is essentially 2 and a half weeks remaining. For the stage maps and the mountain profile, click here Giro Profile
Cyclingnews.com also has live reports daily, beginning in the morning, since they are 6 hours ahead in Italy. I recycled this email from Alias, but essentially it is a scouting report for riders you can keep up with:

Here are the riders to look out for.

Paolo Savoldelli – Astana (plus his teammate, Eddy Mazzoleni, is good in the mountains for help)

Gilberto Simoni - Saunier Duval - Prodir (plus his teammates, Iban Mayo and Leonardo Piepoli, are both good in the mountains for help)

Damiano Cunego - Lampre – Fondital (plus his teammates, Paolo Tiralongo and Francisco Vila, are both good in the mountains for help)

Stefano Garzelli - Acqua & Sapone (possibility, and he is a previous winner, but is now on a much smaller team, so may not have much help)

Emanuele Sella - Ceramica Panaria - Navigare (decent rider, but is on a small team, may win a stage in the mountains)

Ivan Parra - Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone (decent rider, but is on a small team, may win a stage in the mountains)

Pietro Caucchioli - Crédit Agricole (plus his teammate, Patrice Halgand, is good in the mountains for help. They will also go for sprint stage wins with Hushovd.)

Yaroslav Popovych - Discovery Channel (plus his teammate, José Luis Rubiera, is good in the mountains for help)

Danilo Di Luca – Liquigas (plus his teammate, Franco Pellizotti, is good in the mountains for help)

Davide Rebellin – Gerolsteiner (good for maybe a stage win, but will not do well in the mountains)

Robbie McEwen - Predictor - Lotto (good for maybe a sprint stage win or four, but will not do well in the mountains)

CSC seems to have a team set up for stage wins only. Fabian Cancellara (time trial), David Zabriskie (time trial), and Juan José Haedo (sprinter) may win a stage or two between them

Alessandro Petacchi - Team Milram (his entire team is built around him for sprint stage wins)

Salvatore Commesso - Tinkoff Credit System (plus his teammate, Evgeni Petrov, is good in the mountains for help. They will also go for sprint stage wins with Mikhail Ignatiev.)

Paolo Bettini - Quick Step-Innergetic (Current World Champion. His entire team is built around him for sprint or slightly uphill stage wins)

As for Michael Rasmussen, he has already said he is testing his form for the Tour and will likely quit before the end. He broke his femur late last year and is struggling.

Regardless, it’s easy to be a fan of Zabriskie. The guy is a character, a very dry comedian that is funny.

The riders who I think have a legitimate chance to win it all are Savoldelli (won it twice), Simoni (won it 3 times), Cunego (won it once), Di Luca, Caucchioli, and maybe Piepoli.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Seton Hall gets a new home, Calapari article, and other stuff

The Meadowlands (AKA- Continental Airlines Arena) has the ambiance of a wake so this is good news for the Seton Hall Pirates. The bad news is now they're in Newark (not far from their campus, but still... Newark is a dump) and they share it with the NHL's New Jersey Devils.
Seton Hall to share home with NJ Devils

John Calapari is using the formula that worked at UMass at his current job. Makes sense. Bold prediction on my part... Memphis will play for the National Title in 2008.
Calapari using familiar formula for success

Since this is the slow season for college hoops talk, from time to time (like once a week max) I'll put up some MLB stuff. I supposedly have press passes (I'll know more in 2 weeks) to all the Atlanta Braves home games so I might get more insight than what you normally read. Again, we shall see how it works out and how often I can make it to Turner Field.

If Alias and Hville are up to it... maybe they can educate us on cycling. My thoughts about cyclists are simple... you're not an automoblie... don't ride like you own the lane. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

ESPN's best teams of the last decade

ESPN ranks the top teams of the past decade

Joe Lunardi is on crack... not having the 2004 UConn team on his list is almost criminal. Then again, his bracketology picks haven't been so hot the past couple of years.

My top 10 the past decade:
1) UConn 2004- they crushed our hopes of a Final Four.
2) Florida 2007- lost more games than they should've, but dominated when it counted.
3) North Carolina 2005- Loaded with talent... Illinois picked the wrong year to face them.
4) Illinois 2005- went undefeated to the last game of the regular season if memory serves me right.
5) Kentucky 1998- Tubby's 1st year.
6) Syracuse 2003- Carmelo's only year.
7) Maryland 2002- a team of destiny... Dixon and Blake got Coach SweatsALot his 1st title.
8) Michigan State 2000- they played in the most boring Final Four eva!
9) Duke 1999- Even though UConn beat them in the championship game, they would've won 3 of 4 against the Huskies.
10) Stanford 2004- early exit in tourney shouldn't diminish their remarkable season.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Next year's hot coaches... Pearson at #5 under assistants

5. Philip Pearson, Alabama: If Ron Steele hadn't been injured all season, the Crimson Tide would have fared much better — and Pearson would have already earned a head gig. It should happen next year.

Link from Fox Sports
I know Pearson's name was talked about for the South Alabama job so I guess this might have legs. We shall see.

Other stuff:
- Iowa State loses 2 scholarships. A raw deal if you ask me as the Cyclones lost 6 players due to a coaching change. You're the best Myles Brand.
- Latest and greatest early entry list. I noticed the great Tack Minor declared... he's sure to be a lottery pick.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

3 point line moved back and contract extensions

This is long overdue... maybe we'll see more fundamentals in the game (read the return of the mid range jumper) next year. Maybe a foot will detract centers from taking ill-advised outside shots.
3 Point line pushed back

Other news:
Rick Pitino signs a 3 year extension with Louisville. Really, this means absolutely nothing... he can leave Louisville at any time. Chances are he won't at his new base salary of $2.25 million per, but you never know.

Mike Brey also gets an extension... for 2 years. With him I suspect he'll bolt for greener pastures if he has a good tournament run with the Irish. I don't think he's anything special as a coach so I predict he'll be in South Bend until they fahr him.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Diploma Mills in trouble and various college basketball news

The NCAA is going to heavily scritinize diploma mills. I say it's about time... it's really not hard to get into college if you have a "marketable" athletic skill.

In case you missed this... Jeffrey Jordan (son of Air) plans on attending Illinois. Man does he have some expectations to fill. Hopefully the press won't constantly compare him to his dad.

Memphis has really beefed up their non-conference schedule. They have to as Conference USA is a joke. Regardless... Calapari isn't ducking anybody.

From rolltide.com, Buck Johnson heading to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. I remember him best with the Houston Rockets.