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Alabama Baseball Loses To Arkansas

The Alabama Crimson Tide had a mixed bag of play over the weekend when the hosted eighth ranked Arkansas at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Razorbacks won on Friday night by a 12-3 score before the Tide bounced back for a 10-0 whitewashing on Saturday. With the series on the line the Hogs bounced back and dispensed of the Tide 10-2. Bama falls to 19-6 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. Arkansas improves to 20-4, 5-1 in the SEC. The Hogs are a legitimate College World Series contender, with talent up and down the roster.

Game One: Lost 12-3

Friday night matched Arkansas ace Isaiah Campbell against the Tides Sam Finnerty. Both have been outstanding all year, but with different styles. Campbell is a big, strong, downhill thrower at 6’4” 235 pounds. In 30 innings entering the game he had walked only four batters and struck out 44. Finnerty is a savvy, veteran, and relies more on guile than on overpowering stuff. While Campbell touches mid 90’s with his fastball, Finnerty is more likely to sit around the 88-91 mph with his fastball.

In his two seasons as the Tide’s Friday night Finnerty you can almost always count on five to seven solid innings, with the team still in the game when he exists. On Friday night the Razorbacks had a different idea. Sophomore right fielder, Heston Kjerstad, a Freshman All American last season, touched Finnerty for a first inning home run to give the Hogs an early 1-0 lead. Things fell apart in the top of the second inning when Arkansas used five singles, a double, and a hit batter to plate six runs and put the game out of reach early. Finnerty was hit for two more doubles and one run in the third, before gutting his way through the fourth inning before leaving, on the wrong end of an 8-0 deficit.

In the bottom of the fifth the Tide looked to make a game of it when they loaded the bases on a John Trousdale single, a walk to Kolby Robinson, and a single by Kobe Morris. A long fly out by Joe Breaux ended the threat. Casey Cobb relieved Finnerty and ate four important innings up, saving the bullpen for the rest of the series. In his final inning of work, Cobb gave up a two run home run to Jacob Nesbit to stretch the lead to 10-0. Freshman Dylan Smith pitched the ninth for the Tide and was touched for two runs on three hits.

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Avery Johnson reportedly out as head coach at Alabama

Avery Johnson, who spent seven years as an NBA head coach with the Mavericks and Nets, is no longer the head coach at Alabama, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. Johnson had reportedly been negotiating a separation agreement with the university since Thursday, and a deal was announced today.

Johnson was mentioned as a possible replacement for Tyronn Lue in Cleveland when Lue was let go in October. Johnson mentored Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton during his lone year with the Crimson Tide and may have interest in renewing that relationship in the NBA.

The Cavaliers have said they will search for a long-term head coach once the season ends, and it’s not clear if current coach Larry Drew will be considered for the job.

Johnson spent four years at Alabama, compiling a 75-62 record with one NCAA Tournament appearance. He is 254-186 as an NBA head coach and took the Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006.

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Alabama Basketball: Greg Byrne has complicated options in coach search

Alabama basketball is at another crossroad and Greg Byrne is faced with a complicated set of options in hiring the next head coach. Alabama basketball fans want Athletic Director Greg Byrne to hire a game-changer for the Crimson Tide. A coach who can transform Alabama basketball from a currently NCAA Tournament also-ran to a frequent Sweet […] Alabama Basketball: Greg Byrne has complicated options in coach search - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Nick Saban talked new faces and a missing one

After the first spring practice for Alabama football, Nick Saban talked about all the new faces and the glaring absence of one much-needed player. Alabama football fans have to wonder how badly will the 2019 Crimson Tide be snakebit again. Last season it was an abundance of injuries at outside linebacker. The 2019 season is […] Alabama Football: Nick Saban talked new faces and a missing one - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Saban says Alabama is lucky to have Sarkisian

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban took issue with the criticism offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has faced for his brief time with the program during the 2016 season.

Sarkisian was initially hired as an analyst on staff but was elevated to offensive coordinator before the CFP National Championship when Lane Kiffin left abruptly to become the head coach at Florida Atlantic. Alabama lost to Clemson 35-31 in the title game after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half.

Not long after, Sarkisian surprised many when he left for the same position with the Atlanta Falcons. He was fired following the end of last season, and Saban brought him back to replace Mike Locksley, who became the head coach at Maryland.

Nick Saban came to newly hired assistant coach Steve Sarkisian's defense Friday, saying Alabama is lucky to have a guy who the Arizona Cardinals wanted as their offensive coordinator. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

"He did a really, really good job when he was here, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he did before he came here as an offensive coach," Saban said of Sarkisian, who was head coach at USC from 2014 to 2015, after Alabama's first day of spring practice on Friday. "And I don't think it's fair to criticize when he takes over a job one week before a game and has to go try to implement something because of the circumstance we were in.

"If you go look at the body of work at the Falcons, they were sixth in offense or whatever, so there has to be some level of expertise to allow them to do that. The players that I spoke to there really thought he did a good job and was a good coach."

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Spring Practice kicks off in T-Town

Alabama football hit the practice field for the first time Friday and based on who did and did not take part, and at what position, there is interesting news. On Friday, the revamped Alabama football staff put the 2019 Alabama Crimson Tide through practice session No. 1 of the spring season. Due to the school’s […] Alabama Football: Spring Practice kicks off in T-Town - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Alabama Basketball: Tide B-Ball fans should be happy about one thing

College basketball is under duress from a widening FBI investigation. As a result, the NCAA is forced to act. Alabama basketball coach, Avery Johnson has kept the Tide clean. Probably not many Alabama basketball fans are closely following the FBI investigation into college basketball. The Crimson Tide program has not been implicated in any wrongdoing. Former […] Alabama Basketball: Tide B-Ball fans should be happy about one thing - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Six Tide players could surprise this spring

As Alabama football Spring Practice begins, look to these six lesser-known players to step up and elevate themselves into key roles for 2019. With only 13 starters returning on offense and defense, Alabama football offers many opportunities for lesser-known players to earn key roles. The six Crimson Tide players discussed below could make a big step […] Alabama Football: Six Tide players could surprise this spring - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Emmitt Smith's son EJ Smith lands offer from Alabama

Emmitt Smith was one of the most dominant running backs in NFL history, and his son EJ Smith is following in dad’s footsteps.

The four-star running back out of Jesuit High School shared on his Twitter account Wednesday that he received an offer from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Emmitt’s son has also landed scholarship offers from big-time programs like LSU, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and USC.

Ranked the 96th overall player (247Sports Composite) for the 2020 recruiting class, Smith sure does look the part of a dynamic playmaker.

Clearly, the biggest programs in the nation are following his progress closely. It won’t be long before EJ Smith is doing his thing on national television every Saturday.

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Alabama WR Henry Ruggs reportedly ran 4.25-second 40

Henry Ruggs won’t be among those entering the NFL draft this April, but next year when he comes out of Alabama, his blazing speed will have him on everyone’s radar.

According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Ruggs wowed NFL scouts during ‘Bama’s pro day, which took place on Wednesday.

“I’ve heard that NFL scouts timed Ruggs, who had 11 touchdown catches for the Tide last season, in the 4.25 range in the 40-yard dash,” Zenitz wrote.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that these scouts were hand-timing the runs on Wednesday, and that the NFL Scouting Combine uses laser timing. Regardless, that’s a crazy 40, and his speed shows up on tape regularly, too (like this).

Last year as a sophomore, Ruggs hauled in 46 passes for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft loaded with Tide first-rounders

In a way too early 2020 Mock Draft, nine Alabama football players are slated as first-round selections. The NFL first-round record is six. Why are we discussing Alabama football players and the 2020 NFL Draft? Normally a Mock Draft so far out would not get much attention. If current projections hold true for the 2019 […] Alabama Football: 2020 NFL Mock Draft loaded with Tide first-rounders - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Breaux & Gentry Shine: Alabama baseball takes two mid-week games to move to 12-2

Coach Brad Bohannon and his Crimson Tide baseball team improved to 12-2 this season with victories on Tuesday, over the Birmingham Blazers , and Wednesday over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

Although happy to claim the wins, Bohannon was not entirely pleased with his team’s performance. Both games should have been out of reach early, but late inning woes led to angsty victories. Birmingham scored two in the top of the ninth, and had the tying run aboard before Jeremy Randolph shut the door on the Blazers. The South Dakota State team showed a ton of fight to score three times in the ninth to tie the Tide at four each. The teams battled through 14 innings before Bama could plate the winning run. Alabama defeated Birmingham 4-3, and prevailed over SDS 5-4 in extra innings.

Game One: Won 4-3

Birmingham brought a 9-3 squad to town on Tuesday to battle the Tide. The game was originally scheduled for 5 p.m., but because of the cold snap that hit the state, was moved to 3 p.m. Bama has only played four games this season at the originally scheduled time because of weather.

Left-hander Garrett Rukes got the start on the mound for the Tide and pitched three outstanding innings, allowing three singles, with no runs, no walks, and three strikeouts over his 40 pitch stint. Bama dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when John Trousdale led off with a double, advanced on a Jeaux Breaux single, and scored on an RBI fielders choice by Brett Auerbach. Tyler Gentry singled Auerbach in for the other run in the frame.

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Alabama Basketball: Latest NCAA Bracket updates show beat Hogs or NIT

Alabama basketball teeters on the edge of the NCAA Tournament Bubble cliff with toes on the ground and heels hanging over the edge. On the day after another Alabama basketball collapse, the Crimson Tide is hanging on to a possible NCAA at-large bid. So say credible bracketologists or some of them anyway. Maybe a better […] Alabama Basketball: Latest NCAA Bracket updates show beat Hogs or NIT - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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10 NFL draft prospects who boosted their stock at the Combine

The NFL Combine, fairly or not, can make or break a player’s draft stock. A bad workout can send someone hurtling, but a good one can turn a Day 2 pick into a first-rounder and a top-20 pick into a top-10 selection.

Which prospects stood out the most in Indianapolis this year? Here are ten players who helped themselves significantly with their on-field showings at the NFL Combine.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Murray did not work out at the NFL Combine, but he didn’t really need to. He has bigger hands than Baker Mayfield and measured up at 5-foot-10 and 1/8. It’s nitpicking over size, but Murray seems to be tall enough. The question at this point is not whether he’ll be picked in the first round, but instead whether he’ll go first overall. He certainly seems to have solidified his standing just ahead of Dwayne Haskins as the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board, even if his interviews led to some negative reviews.

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Major-conference tournament sleepers

There's still a little time left before college basketball's Championship Week, a pleasant prelude to the NCAA Tournament.

By now we know who the favorites are in the major conference tournaments: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. But what about the underdogs, teams on the bubble or those squads we still can't quite figure out? All have shown glimpses of being worthy of an invite to the Big Dance at some point this season but still likely have some work left to be done.

The college basketball postseason is one of the most exciting times of any sports season, and the conference tournaments get it all started. So here's a look at 10 major-conference sleepers or under-the-radar programs that might be poised for a deep or surprising run in their respective tournaments.

Alabama
The Crimson Tide are an NCAA Tournament bubble team at the moment, so a nice run during the SEC Tournament would reinforce their case. Alabama already has wins over Kentucky, Mississippi and Mississippi State, so it should not be intimidated by anyone. Plus, the Tide have an impressive one-two scoring punch in Kira Lewis Jr. and Donta Hall. Don't forget: It's also easy to get motivated to play for coach Avery Johnson, meaning Alabama is certainly a team to watch in the postseason.

Baylor 
It looked as if the Bears would be in trouble when big man Tristan Clark suffered a season-ending knee injury in early January. However, Baylor is 10-4 minus Clark, with wins over ranked Texas Tech and Iowa State. The Bears overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Texas in overtime this week, so it's possible they can be a factor in the Big 12 Tournament — especially, if 6-foot-7 swingman Mario Kegler stays hot.

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Likely top-five pick Quinnen Williams needs finger surgery after combine

Alabama product Quinnen Williams is almost certainly going to be selected in the first five picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. However, this week the defensive tackle won’t do the bench press at the combine due to a finger injury that will require surgery afterward.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared this news on Wednesday afternoon.

In no way should this negatively affect Williams’ draft stock. His power on the gridiron is well-documented.

The former Alabama star could potentially be selected as high as No. 1 or No. 2 overall if the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers stand pat and don’t trade down.

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Updated roster weights for Tide players are telling

Alabama football has published its annual roster update and the listed weight changes for some players are strong clues to their 2019 contribution. The newly updated Alabama football roster shows weight changes for quite a few players. The changes are in both directions with added and lost weight. Not every change is significant but several […] Alabama Football: Updated roster weights for Tide players are telling - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Tagovailoa favorite to win Heisman next season

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Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won't be sneaking up on anyone this year.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has opened odds on the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner with Tagovailoa as the favorite at +250, followed by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at 3-1. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Adrian Martinez (Nebraska) are tied for the next-best odds at 6-1, followed by Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor at 15-1.

"It was close between Tua and Lawrence," Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at The SuperBook, told ESPN. "But we felt Tua wants to finish what he should have won last year."

Last year, Tagovailoa opened as the third favorite at 10-1 odds to win the Heisman at the SuperBook. He became the favorite in August before Nick Saban even declared him the starter, and after an incredible season was as high as a -750 favorite at some New Jersey sportsbooks heading into the SEC championship game.

But an impressive performance by Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (opened 20-1) in the Big 12 title game helped him capture the Heisman.

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Alabama Basketball: Tide with SEC road win and most important is how

The Alabama basketball road win over South Carolina was important but even bigger was how the Crimson Tide won. After the game, Alabama basketball coach, Avery Johnson complimented South Carolina. Avery said the Gamecocks played like a NCAA Tournament team. The television announcers observed the second-half felt like a NCAA Tournament game. This season Alabama basketball […] Alabama Basketball: Tide with SEC road win and most important is how - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Alabama Basketball: Tuesday afternoon NCAA Brackets update

Alabama basketball clings precariously to a possible NCAA Tournament bid. Check out the latest projections from the top Bracketologists. They are all must-wins now as Alabama basketball has no margin for failure. A win tonight in Columbia, SC would boost the Tide’s chances. it would have another added benefit. If the SEC is to get […] Alabama Basketball: Tuesday afternoon NCAA Brackets update - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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