15 February 2010
During this time were there isn't a lot of real news coming from the football program, we'll try to give you the bullet points from the athletic department as a whole in weekly posts like this one.
Click through to get all of your athletic department news:
*** It looks like William Vlachos might be held out of contact during spring drills. He's recently had surgery to fix a fracture in his foot, and it's unlikely that he'll be good to go in just over a month. This will give an opportunity to several guys in the spring that they otherwise might not have gotten - most notably senior David Ross, redshirt freshman Anthony Steen and early enrollee true freshman Chad Lindsay. All three of those guys will also be in the mix to replace Mike Johnson at left guard, but they are all candidates for the center position.
*** Over the weekend athletics director Mal Moore indicated that the expansion to the south end zone of Bryant Denny Stadium is on schedule to be completed by July 1. Since Bama won't actually need the seats in that end zone until September 4, that gives the builders a little bit of wiggle room.
*** The A-Club announced the endowment of a scholarship in Mal Moore's name. That's a great honor for Coach Moore, whose legacy at Alabama continues to be rewritten.
*** The men's basketball team picked up a huge win against Arkansas on Saturday. This win won't get Bama into the "bubble watch" for the NCAA Tournament, but it does stop a losing streak and will hopefully give Bama some momentum heading down the stretch.
*** The women's basketball team had a rough go of things at Georgia, losing 76-47. That's certainly not the way that Wendell Hudson wanted to build off of the win over Auburn, and things won't get any easier with Tennessee coming up next for the Tide.
*** The gymnastics team put and absolute whipping on the Florida Gators on Friday night. The final score was 197.425 - 196.600, which is comparable to two touchdown win in football, or a 20 point win in basketball. The big score from the Tide could put the team back at the #1 spot in the national rankings when those are released.
*** The softball team dropped two of three to #9 ranked Missouri over the weekend. Each team won a game 9-0, and Missouri picked up a close 2-1 victory in the first game. Bama isn't likely to lose many games this season, so losing two right off of the bat has to be considered a bit of a disappointment for Patrick Murphy and crew. Missouri is a quality team, so there's certainly no shame in dropping a series by a total of one run. Even still, I'm guessing Bama will take out their frustrations on South Alabama on Tuesday afternoon.
*** The men's tennis team dropped a tough match to #5 ranked Baylor. The Tide should still retain their top 20 ranking, and they'll have a big match coming up this week at Oklahoma.
*** The women's tennis team had no trouble dispatching Georgia State as they get ready to head out to Oregon for a big match next weekend. By the way, if you're wondering, women's tennis coach Jenny Mainz is second to only Sarah Patterson in terms of tenure as a head coach at Alabama.
*** The track teams sent split squads across the nation to compete in several events, and the men's and women's teams had a combined six athletes notch NCAA Provisional Qualifying times. Those times greatly increase the chances of those individuals qualifying into the NCAA Championships. The more athletes you have competing in the NCAA Championships, the better chance you have of scoring points at that meet, which likely increases your chances of a higher finish. The track teams have a week off before the SEC Championships at the end of the month.
The big things to watch for in the coming week:
*** The football program will be hosting its 2nd Junior Day. These are big events for the program, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Bama come away with a potential commitment or two. Texas came away with an astounding 14 commitments from their recent Junior Day, but don't expect the Tide to have that type of weekend.
*** The men's basketball team has Wednesday off, but will play a road game at Georgia on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs are the last place team in the SEC East, so Bama could potentially pick up a big road win. It won't likely mean much as far as postseason play is concerned this season, but these guys need to experience a win or two. You've got to learn how to win before you can expect to do it consistently.
*** The Bama baseball team will kick off the Mitch Gaspard era against South Alabama on Saturday afternoon at 2:00. It's been a decade since Bama last made an appearance at the College World Series, and Gaspard is looking to get Bama back to Omaha.
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