Happy Friday everyone. It’s been an ugly weekend for the Tide. Gymnastics lost in Lexington, the men’s basketball team played by far their worst game of the season only to be blown out in Norman, and the women’s team provided the only relative bright spot by beating a South Carolina team that generally destroys everyone inside of 13 stayed.
Nate Oats was clearly not happy with the defense in the game, pointing out that the Tide didn’t respond well to being the hunted.
Whether he was surprised by the defensive performance that earned 93 points…
“Yeah. I mean, we were fifth in the country in terms of defensive efficiency that game. It wasn’t a typical performance from us. But our effort has to get better. We knew Sherfield was good. We have the game plan didn’t follow well on Sherfield. I think the starting group obviously wasn’t good to start two games in a row now. And they were making shots. You have to give them a lot of credit. Sherfield goes 4-of-5 from three. You see Look at our team. We went 13 of 21 at the free throw line. Sherfield has 80 percent from three and we’re 62 percent at the line. He was obviously locked in, ready, and you could see it.
“Teams will be ready to play against us. Now, of course, our ranking will fall after suffering such a defeat. But back then we were number two nationally. They stormed the ground after the game. The team will be ready, the fans will be ready, everyone will be ready. Our boys weren’t used to finishing second in the country so late in the year before. I don’t think they realize that we’re going to get the A game for everyone. Yes, our defense was nowhere near where it needed to be to play in this game.”
The fact that an opposing fan base stormed the court after defeating Alabama tells you everything you need to know about where this program currently stands. Nate is right that all the hype the team and Brandon Miller in particular have received will give opponents a little extra motivation. The team didn’t react well on Saturday. We’ll see how they can adapt in the future.
Nick Saban spoke at the Alabama Football Coaches Association meeting late last week, and his comments about NIL have spread like wildfire.
“Someone with one of the best corners in the nation (in high school) came up to me and asked if we would pay them $800,000 to have the player sign here. I told him he could find another place to play,” Saban said, according to Baker High School coach Steve Normand. “I don’t pay a kid a bunch of zero money before they’ve earned it.”
Normand added that Saban thinks the NCAA “needs more ways and means to control it because it’s getting out of control.”
Saban later added that he had already lost 10 players, including one starter, to the portal.
“One of them wanted $500,000 and for us to get his girlfriend into law school in Alabama and pay for it. I showed him the door,” Saban is said to have said.
Though he didn’t name names, the latter is almost certainly Javion Cohen. His girlfriend’s social media bio states “future lawyer”. She’s a grad from Alabama who, one can only assume, hasn’t made it through to Capstone law school yet. Saban certainly has campus appeal, but Javion certainly didn’t think Nick could easily get anyone into law school.
A former defensive analyst from Alabama has returned to Tuscaloosa.
Long, a Vestavia Hills native, was part of the Alabama program from 2013-2016 as a walk-on defensive player. In 2017 he was a student assistant trainer before becoming a research assistant from 2018-20. In 2021 he worked as an analyst before joining the Ducks.
He has long played or worked under former Alabama defense coordinators Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, Tosh Lupoi and Pete Golding.
The NCAA delayed a vote on expanding or even removing the cap on the number of field coaches outright. If it passes as expected, analysts can engage significantly more than they currently do. Or, more specifically, being able to get more involved than they currently indicate.
Chris Low was asked about Jeff Lebby’s candidacy for the open offensive coordinator position, and his answer is what anyone who’s been paying attention to that program would say.
“Lebby, that’s pretty much the offense he’s running,” Lowe said, referring to the high pace. “He didn’t ride some of the stuff we saw them under (Steve) Sarkisian and Bill O’Brien. It was a go, go, go the whole time. Make no mistake, if you’re Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator, don’t come in and run your offense. You run his offense and you’re sort of the guy with your version of how you run his offense, and that’s never going to change.
“So yeah, I think Lebby would certainly be on that list.”
We’ll see who’s the guy who has the willingness and ability to come in and adapt to Alabama’s scheme and culture.
Sounds like the mobile space has another elite QB prospect in the 2025 class.
“Not only is the guy extremely talented and he can make all the shots, but the great intangible thing about him is how he not only competes but also handles the clutch moments in the game,” Kelly told AL.com after the offers from Auburn and Ole Miss Last Month. “It’s from the chart. I really think he’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be.”
Lacey, who is two years into high school, said he doesn’t have a schedule to make a college decision. “I’ll find out how it goes,” he said.
The kid is only a sophomore and already has offers from several SEC schools and the state of Florida. He’s one to keep an eye on.
Most recently, Jalen Hurts will become the first Alabama QB to start in a Super Bowl since Ken Stabler. The San Francisco 49ers’ elite defense gave him a hard time yesterday, but they made enough plays to pull it off.
“You want to play the big games” Hurts said. “But a lot of it – all of that – boils down to the details. Attention to detail, football IQ and the fundamentals to do the right things – whether you want to keep the clock ticking or not, want to catch the ball quickly or the knowledge of situational awareness.”
DeVonta Smith was asked after the game where he and Jalen got their mentality from, and it seems the Philadelphia reporter wasn’t expecting that answer.
This one will go down in history with Jonathan Allen’s “Bama Does”.
That’s it for today. Have a nice weekend.