Monthly Archives: June 2010

Finally! A new poll question

After allowing the last poll question to fester on the blog for well over a month, I present a new one with an added feature. Feel free to leave comments on this new one if the mood strikes you.

Enjoy, but play nice.

<div><a href=”http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpview/648539-263528″>Click Here for Poll</a><a href=”http://www.questionpro.com&#8221; title=”online survey”>Online Survey</a><BR><a href=”http://www.surveyanalytics.com/conjoint&#8221; title=”Conjoint Analysis”>Conjoint Analysis</a><BR> | <a href=”http://www.micropoll.com&#8221; title=”Polls”>Polls</a><BR> | <a href=”http://www.contactpro.com&#8221; title=”email marketing”>Email Marketing</a><BR><BR> | <a href=”http://www.ideascale.com/&#8221; title=”crowdsourcing software”>Crowdsourcing Software</a><BR><a href=”http://www.micropoll.com/akira/MicroPoll?mode=html&amp;id=263528″>View MicroPoll</A></div>

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Saban statue likely delayed

In case you missed it, here is the Associated Press story about the delays facing the new Nick Saban statue scheduled to go up outside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Remember when A-Day was discussed as the unveiling date?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A statue of Alabama football coach Nick Saban might not be ready in time for the Sept. 4 season opener against San Jose State.

Thad Turnipseed, the Crimson Tide’s director of athletic facilities, said the unveiling might have to wait until midseason in order to get it just right. The statue will honor Saban for the program’s latest national title.

“We’re about 65 percent there,” Turnipseed said. “Nobody’s rushing it. Basically it’s ‘stay tuned.’ Hopefully we can do it before the season starts, but we can’t push it.”

A memo presented to the board of trustees in June proposed that the statue be unveiled between Aug. 13 and Aug. 20.

The four previous Tide coaches to win national titles all have statues in the plaza area outside the stadium: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul W. “Bear” Bryant and Gene Stallings. The same Oklahoma-based company, MTM Recognition, that did the first four is producing the Saban monument.

Turnipseed said the first two submissions — 3D photos of a clay model of the Saban statue — were rejected partly because the face and hair weren’t right. Saban, wife Terry, and Alabama athletic director Mal Moore will soon be presented with a third version.

“I don’t see this third time being 100 percent right,” Turnipseed said. “So they’ll go back and change it again. So now if you’re into the first of August before you’ve got anything you like, it still has to be cast. It takes four weeks to be cast. That’s why I don’t like the Aug. 20 date.

“I might be shocked. We could get it back and everybody loves it, we cast it and it’s all here.”

Turnipseed said he’s the picky one, not the Sabans.

“Mal, Nick and Terry are making the call,” he said. “I don’t want people to think Nick, Terry and Mal have been picky. I’m the one that’s controlling the schedule based on getting it right.

“They’re saying, ‘Thad, don’t rush. Just get it right.’ There’s no timetable in our mind. There never has been.”

The $50,000 project will be paid for by the Crimson Tide Foundation.

And now, Kige Ramsey makes his return to The Bama Blog video of the day with a trilogy off hilarity. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Torrance blames heart issue for going undrafted

Here is the story on Torrance’s draft issues and his signing with the Miami Heat’s summer league team:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama point guard Mikhail Torrance believes a heart condition kept him from being selected in the NBA draft.

Torrance told The Birmingham News and Mobile Press-Register on Monday that he has signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat and will play for the franchise’s Summer League team.

Torrance says the heart condition was “the only reason” he wasn’t drafted last week. Torrance says he was diagnosed before last season with athletic heart syndrome, a condition where the heart is slightly bigger than normal due to prolonged exercise.

Torrance says Alabama team doctors cleared him to play and told him the condition was common.

He led the Crimson Tide in scoring and assists, averaging 15.6 points a game.

Joe Kines’ daughter killed in car accident

Alabama athletics director Mal Moore just released a statement about the tragic accident that killed the daughter former Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines.

Read about the accident here and here.

Moore’s statement:

“All of us at the athletic department were devastated to hear the news of the accident involving Susan Kines Langston. It is a terrible tragedy for Joe and Rubye and our hearts go out to them and their entire family. Our prayers are with the Kines and Langston families during this difficult time.”

Follow the SEC basketball coaches teleconference

It might be something. It might be nothing, but I’ll be listening and participating so to pass along any important information from the SEC basketball summer teleconference beginning now.

We’ll see if John Calipari gets questions about the Eric Bledsoe issue or what Anthony Grant has to say about the upcoming season.

Just follow the action on the twitter feed below.

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Tide basketball picks up international big man

It looks like Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant will get a little help with his absence of big bodies.

According to BamaOnLine.com, 7-foot-1 Carl Engstrom of Sweden committed to play for the Crimson Tide next season. 

Take a look at this video of Engstrom to see how the big guy runs the floor. Not too bad for a 7-footer. With Grant’s fast-paced style, big men must be able to move like this.

Check out more footage of the newest member of the Tide here, here and here. It would helped if you spoke Swedish.

Mikhail Torrance goes undrafted

Once again, view mock drafts with caution.

Contrary to the eight I referenced yesterday, Mikhail Torrance was not among the 60 players selected in Thursday night’s NBA draft. Two of these experts actually said he’d be the 18th overall selection.

Ouch.

Time for a vacation, or maybe a new career path if picks are that far off.

It had to be a disappointing night for Torrance, who I have to say was an impressive kid in the year I covered him at Alabama. Always polite, he’s one that you hope see succeed in life.

Now he’ll have to fight extra hard for a roster spot in the summer leagues. Stay tuned for that.

Follow the draft on Twitter

The Bama Blog will post periodic updates on Thursday’s NBA draft on its official twitter site.

Just go to twitter.com/dailybamablog for all the updates you’ll need as you follow Mikhail Torrance’s shot at being a first-round pick.

This just in: The Washington Wizards chose against Torrance and went with John Wall as the No. 1 overall pick.

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Alabama gets three ESPY nominations

The Academy Awards and the Grammys can’t generate the kind of excitement of ESPN’s celebration of the sporting world. Right?

Regardless of how you feel about the network, you might be interested in four of the nominations for the ESPY awards. The awards ceremony is July 14.

Best team:
Chicago Blackhawks
Connecticut women’s basketball
Alabama football
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Saints
New York Yankees

Best coach/manager:
Geno Auriemma, Connecticut women’s basketball
Joe Girardi, New York Yankees
Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke men’s basketball
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Nick Saban, Alabama football

Best college male athlete:
Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin hockey
Mark Ingram, Alabama football
Evan Turner, Ohio State basketball
John Wall, Kentucky basketball
Garrett Wittels, Florida International baseball

Best upset:
Frankie Edgar over B.J. Penn, MMA
Hawaii softball upsets No.1 Alabama, NCAA softball
Northern Iowa shocks No. 1 Kansas, NCAA men’s basketball
Y. E. Yang stuns Tiger Woods, PGA Championship

Freeze-dried turf not frozen yet, still for sale

The ongoing saga of the freeze-dried turf continues without any new developments. Still, the yet-to-be-frozen grass from Bryant-Denny Stadium remains posted on the Steiner Sports website even though the company does not have possession of the said turf.

A quick phone call to Crimson Tide Sports Marketing on Wednesday revealed nothing much has changed since our last conversation. The field is still in tact, and with temperatures well into the 90s, ice is the last thing on anyone’s mind in Tuscaloosa.

Bryant Bruce, the corporate sponsorship coordinator for CTSM, said the school still intends to sell the turf once its ready and it plans to do it the legal way. That means putting the grass up for bid which won’t likely happen until July.

Still, Steiner advertises it on its site as if it was the owner, just as it has since January.

Granted, this isn’t Watergate, but still an interesting situation to pass the summer months.

And now, to maybe help deal with the heat wave, I present The Bama Blog video of the day.

Mikhail Torrance in the mock drafts (links)

Here is the table that should run with my story in Thursday’s papers. Only this one includes links to the full mock draft websites. We still haven’t discovered how to do that in print, but stay tuned.

Yannis Koutroupis, hoopsworld.com: 18th (Miami Heat)
Steve Kyler, hoopsworld.com: 18th (Heat)
Alex Raskin, hoopsworld.com: 27th (Nets)
Sports Illustrated: 27th pick (New Jersey Nets)
Sam Smith, NBA.com: 28th (Memphis Grizzlies)
NBAfanhouse.com: 29th (Orlando Magic)
Yahoo Sports: 45th (Minnesota Timberwolves)
NBAdraft.net: 46th (Phoenix Suns)
Draftexpress.com: 47th (Milwaukee Bucks)

Torrance working his way up mock drafts

Mikhail Torrance wasn’t exactly known as a lottery pick when his finished his senior year at Alabama in March.

Give a few months, and the hype is growing behind the ex-Crimson Tide guard.

Now, there’s a chance Torrance could land late in the first round in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Dan Barto, the director of pro basketball training at IMG Academy, worked with Torrance and helped shape his improved stock. Barto said his pupil could go as early as the 18th pick to the Miami Heat.

Read more tomorrow about Barto’ impressions of the soon-to-be-pro and what he expects Torrance will do once he lands on an NBA roster.

Saban opens up in Sporting News interview

There are several ways of looking at Nick Saban’s sit down with the Sporting News on sale right now. There is no link to provide to the full interview since the magazine does not publish its content online right away.

But bits and pieces are leaking onto the web.

See this this and this.

The Q & A includes the always juicy topic of Saban’s departure from the Miami Dolphins. One Yahoo! Sports writer thinks this is a strategic move for what he thinks could be the next step in Saban’s nomadic career.

It is, after all, the middle of summer on the football calendar, so we need something to talk and write about. From my experiences, I’d say it is hard to read too much into the comments, but you just never know sometimes.

And now, for the Bama Blog video of the day, enjoy some more international flavor.

JaMarcus Russell wears Tide gear?

He’s from Mobile, played at one of Alabama’s chief rivals, but JaMarcus Russell wasn’t wearing LSU purple and gold to a night of watching boxing.

According to the Associated Press, the former No. 1 pick by the Raiders wasn’t the most popular spectator at the WBA supermiddle weight title match between Andre Ward and Allan Green on Saturday night in Oakland.

Here’s the final two paragraphs of the AP account:

The fans in Oakland liked almost everything they saw in the fight, except for an appearance by former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The fans booed Russell as he walked to his seat in the eighth round, still upset over three failed years as Raiders quarterback that ended with his release last month.

Russell, wearing an Alabama Crimson Tide hat and jacket, was booed again loudly as he left the arena after the fight.

Have a nice Fathers Day. Enjoy the rest of the U.S. Open.

The Bama Blog: World Cup remix

AP photo by Hassan Ammar

Although The Bama Blog is not following the World Cup very closely, certain aspects of the event are no doubt entertaining.

So, with that in mind, check out this alternative view of the blog. (It’s best viewed at work with the volume pretty loud)

Bookmark it. Enjoy it. Pass it along to your friends and have a nice weekend.

Viva vuvuzela!