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Alabama basketball to compete in 2020 Maui Jim Maui Invitational

The Alabama men's basketball team will be one of eight teams that will compete in the 2020 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the tournament announced Wednesday morning. The event will take place on Nov. 23-25 at the historic Lahaina Civic Center on the island of Maui.

In addition to the Crimson Tide, other participants in the 37th annual edition of the event include Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

"Each year, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational prides itself on bringing the best college basketball talent to the island of Maui," said Tournament Chairman Dave Odom in a release. "2020 is no different, with the Lahaina Civic Center hosting some of the game's most historic programs of all time."

This will mark Alabama's second appearance in the event. The only other showing occurred back in 2008 when UA finished with a 2-1 record, falling to Oregon in the opening round before finishing play with back-to-back wins over Chaminade and Saint Joseph's.

In fact, all eight teams in the 2020 field will be making a return appearance, including four squads from the 2008 field. In addition to Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas were among the eight teams that season.

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Nick Saban feels better about depth at wide receiver this spring

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama’s three starting receivers, as well as its top reserve, are back for the 2019 season. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will lead the Crimson Tide’s passing game, along with Tua Tagovailoa, for the second year in a row.

Alabama only lost scholarship seniors Derek Kief and Xavian Marks this offseason, but the top four players have returned for another season and so has all of its reserves at the receiver position.

Head coach Nick Saban shared exactly which young receivers have shown promise this spring.

“I think Xavier Williams has made a lot of progress. I think that (John) Metchie has shown flashes and doing things really, really well. I think Slade Bolden has made some plays, and (Tyrell) Shavers is better,” Saban said following Wednesday’s 10th spring practice. “So, I feel much better about the depth at that position than in the past, and I think that’s a good thing.

“And it also helps on special teams because a lot of those guys are good special teams players.”

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Saban satisfied with Alabama's top-two tailbacks this spring

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said he believes Alabama’s Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris will be the first two running backs off the board in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft.

That’s great for the Crimson Tide and its recent pipeline to the league, both Jacobs and Harris and the positive effect potential draft results like that deliver for recruiting graphic quotes and a lot more. But it also leaves Alabama’s current roster lacking experience for the 2019 season.

Nick Saban, however, is pleased with the next two players up at the running back position.

“I really feel like Najee (Harris) and B-Rob (Brian Robinson) are both really good players,” Saban said during his Wednesday post-practice press conference. “I think both of them have got a significant amount of experience in the past. I think they’re ready to take the next step in terms of making a really significant contribution. They both had really good springs.”

Najee Harris and Brian Robinson are rising juniors and have contributed since their freshman seasons in 2017. Last year, Harris was actually the Tide’s second-leading rusher behind the now-departing Harris, rushing for 783 yards and four touchdowns on 117 carries. The former 5-star recruit’s 6.69 yards per carry average led the team and was second-best in the SEC.

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Mocking the Crimson Tide: Alabama in the 2019 NFL Draft

With just three weeks to go until the 2019 NFL Draft, prognosticators across the country are making their mock picks. Several former Alabama players are in play to be first round picks. DL Quinnen Williams and OL Jonah Williams are unanimous picks for the first round. Most observers think RB Josh Jacobs will join them but not everyone agrees on that. And then there are a few who think TE Irv Smith Jr. could sneak his way into the Day 1 festivities. Below are a few of the top Mocks:

PickTeamRyan Wilson CBSChris Trapasso CBSR.J. White CBSPete Prisco CBSWill Brinson CBSJared Dubin CBSCharles Davis NFL.comChad Reuter NFL.comPeter Schrager NFL.comLance Zierlein NFL.comBucky Brooks NFL.com
1Arizona Cardinals
2San Francisco 49ersQuinnen Williams
3New York JetsQuinnen Williams
4Oakland RaidersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams (AZ mock trade from OAK )Quinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6New York Giants
7Jacksonville Jaguars
8Detroit LionsQuinnen Williams
9Buffalo BillsQuinnen Williams
10Denver Broncos
11Cincinnati BengalsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
12Green Bay Packers
13Miami DolphinsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
14Atlanta FalconsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
15Washington Redskins
16Carolina PanthersJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
17New York Giants
18Minnesota VikingsJonah Williams
19Tennessee TitansIrv Smith
20Pittsburgh Steelers
21Seattle Seahawks
22Baltimore Ravens
23Houston Texans
24Oakland RaidersJosh Jacobs
25Philadelphia EaglesJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
26Indianapolis Colts
27Oakland Raiders
28Los Angeles Chargers
29Kansas City ChiefsJosh JacobsDeionte Thompson
30Green Bay PackersJosh Jacobs
31Los Angeles Rams
32New England Patriots

Part 2:

PickTeamDaniel Jeremiah NFL.comWalter Cherepinsky Walter FootballCharlie Campbell Walter FootballLance Cartelli 247SportsMel Kiper ESPNTodd McShay ESPNDraftwire / USA TodayBen Standig NBCRobert Klemko Sports IllustratedVinnie Iyer Sporting News
1Arizona Cardinals
2San Francisco 49ersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams
3New York JetsQuinnen Williams
4Oakland RaidersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams (AZ mock trade from OAK )Quinnen Williams
5Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuinnen Williams
6New York Giants
7Jacksonville Jaguars
8Detroit Lions
9Buffalo BillsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
10Denver Broncos
11Cincinnati Bengals
12Green Bay Packers
13Miami DolphinsJonah Williams
14Atlanta FalconsJonah Williams
15Washington Redskins
16Carolina PanthersJonah Williams
17New York GiantsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
18Minnesota VikingsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
19Tennessee Titans
20Pittsburgh Steelers
21Seattle Seahawks
22Baltimore Ravens
23Houston TexansJosh Jacobs
24Oakland RaidersJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
25Philadelphia EaglesJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
26Indianapolis Colts
27Oakland RaidersJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
28Los Angeles Chargers
29Kansas City Chiefs
30Green Bay PackersMack WilsonIrv Smith
31Los Angeles Rams
32New England PatriotsIrv SmithIrv Smith
It seems pretty clear that Quinnen Williams will not last beyond the fourth pick.Jonah Williams looks like he will hear his name called somewhere between Nos. 11-18.Many ‘mockers’ see Philadelphia in Josh Jacobs’ future.Kiper seems bullish on LB Mack Wilson going to the Bengals in the second round (#42).Kiper projects RB Damien Harris at #54 to the Texans.The Raiders have three first round picks. They could land both Quinnen and Jacobs.
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Greg Penn sees Tide offer as a way to keep DMV pipeline going

Alabama has recruited the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area very hard over the last couple of recruiting cycles and with Greg Penn receiving an offer from the Tide recently, this Trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Penn is a linebacker in the 2021 recruiting class. He is a product of Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland,. He considers Alabama’s offer to be a dream come true.

“It is a dream come true to know I have an offer from the school I always dreamed of going to,” Penn said.

The Crimson Tide were able to grab Demarcco Hellams out of Dematha Catholic in 2019. He was joined by other DMV products: Keilan Robinson, Darrian Dalcourt and Shane Lee. The area has also produced current and former Tide players.

Da’Shawn Hand, Jonathan Allen and Terrell Lewis all have roots in the area. Penn said he feels the success the guys before him have had in Tuscalooa has Nick Saban wanting to keep the pipeline going.

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BamaOnLine Recruiting Chat

Get answers to all of your Crimson Tide football recruiting questions.

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Jumbo Package: Young wide receivers standing out this spring

Not exactly what you want to hear 2/3rds of the way through Spring camp, is it?

“I like people not to do what they feel like doing but to choose to do what they need to do to get better, and that has been very, very good all spring. Today, it could have been better. I think practice went better as we went. We need to keep working on that.”

Early in Wednesday’s practice, Saban said the players sent him a signal that the “mental toughness” and “ability to sustain in difficult circumstances” need to be points of emphasis this offseason.

The rest of Saban’s presser right here.

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Buffalo assistant, director of operations join Oats at Alabama

Nate Oats’ first staff at Alabama is slowly coming together.

Assistant coach Bryan Hodgson has been removed from the Buffalo website and has changed his Twitter profile to read “Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at The University of Alabama. #Rolltide”

“Bryan Hodgson came with me from Buffalo,” Oats said Monday. “Bryan and myself, for the most part, recruited the entire roster at Buffalo. He’s an unbelievable recruiter. We were getting Top100 players at Buffalo, so I can’t wait to see what we do down here. When you walk in with this on, you get some credibility right out of the gate playing in an unbelievable league. He’s been my right-hand man for four years. He’s coming. We’re getting the support staff put together.”

Hodgson flew to Tuscaloosa, Ala., with Oats last Wednesday and has since been recruiting for the Crimson Tide. In four seasons, Hodgson helped guide the Bulls to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances. He led the Buffalo recruiting efforts and oversaw the 2018 class that was ranked 76th nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite -- the highest ranking in program history.

Along with Hodgson, Oats is bringing his director of operations Adam Bauman to Tuscaloosa. Like Hodgson, Bauman has edited his Twitter bio to reflect the career change. Prior to his stint at Buffalo, Bauman was a video coordinator at Mississippi State from 2012 to 2015.

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Alabama DB Jared Mayden trying to lock up starting role at free safety

Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

He mentioned on Wednesday that he is not for the “Poor Me” movement when it comes practicing under tough conditions; however, Nick Saban is a huge proponent of seeing players prove they deserve a starting job on either side of the football for the University of Alabama. 

As a returning senior, Jared Mayden is one of five guys in competition to start at free safety – opposite Xavier McKinney. Mayden, a former four-star from Texas, arrived on campus in the 2016 recruiting class and has 23 career tackles. The 6-foot, 200-pound defender totaled 18 tackles last season and posted two pass breakups, one tackle for loss and one sack. 

While possesses the skill set of a hard hitter, the ability to defend pass patterns and lock on to some of the elite receivers in college football is the next phase for Mayden.

In coming behind Eddie Jackson, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Deionte Thompson, he has to show Saban and the coaching staff that he can create turnovers and generate points off the takeaways for the Tide. 

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Everything Saban said in fifth press conference of spring

ByCharlie Potter 3 hours ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama head coach Nick Saban held a press conference Wednesday evening following the Crimson Tide's 10th practice of the spring. Below is everything Saban said in his fifth press conference of the spring and only one before Saturday's second scrimmage.

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Recent Alabama practices feature opponent prep, 'Poor mes'

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban was pleased with how his Alabama team responded on the practice field Monday following the first scrimmage of the spring. Wednesday? Not so much.

“To summarize the week, I thought the players were really good on Monday,” Saban said. “We had to go inside because the field was a little too wet. Today, every now and then, as a coach you feel like people get the ‘Poor mes.’ If you know what the ‘Poor mes’ are, they’re exactly what I said. ‘Poor me, my leg hurts. Poor me, my shoulder hurts. Poor me, it’s hot out here today. Poor me, I don’t feel like practicing. To me, I’m not big on the ‘Poor mes.’

“I like people not to do what they feel like doing but to choose to do what they need to do to get better, and that has been very, very good all spring. Today, it could have been better. I think practice went better as we went. We need to keep working on that.”

Early in Wednesday’s practice, Saban said the players sent him a signal that the “mental toughness” and “ability to sustain in difficult circumstances” need to be points of emphasis this offseason.

The Crimson Tide is two-thirds of the way through its spring season and will have one more practice Friday, April 5, before returning to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its second scrimmage this Saturday.

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Practice Report: Henry Ruggs III Returns to Practice

via: Touchdown Alabama

With A-Day vastly approaching, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide look to refine their skills before the annual spring game. It never hurts to have one of your best wide receivers return to practice, but it’s never a great sign when someone new joins the black jersey unit.

Listed below are notes from practice:

-Shyheim Carter continues to practice, although mainly working with the second group of defensive backs.

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Photos: Day 10 of spring practice

ByDenon McMillan 5 hours ago

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama was back outside for Day 10 of spring on Wednesday.

Check out photos from Wednesday evening's session.

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Practice report: Notes from Alabama's 10th spring practice

Here are several observations from the media viewing portion of Wednesday’s practice.

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Keilan Robinson looks to bounce back from injury

Alabama running back signee, Keilan Robinson, posted a picture via Instagram on Wednesday with the caption, “Turning minor set backs into major comebacks. Don’t count me out.”

Robinson was ranked as a 4-Star running back coming out of St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C.,. He missed some of his senior season due to a lower body injury.

*Story will be updated.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Four-star WR Ja'Khi Douglas talks Alabama, LSU

Four-star receiver Ja'Khi Douglas discusses his interest in Alabama and LSU.

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How Tua Tagovailoa can better protect himself in 2019

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Tua Tagovailoa put together a record-breaking season in 2018. But in all likelihood, it could have been even more impressive had Tagovailoa stayed healthy the entire year.

This time last year, the stunning sophomore was dealing with a hand injury after the first day of spring drills. During the season, he sustained a lingering knee injury in Week 6 at Arkansas and an ankle injury that knocked him out of the SEC Championship Game against Georgia.

With that idea in mind, have Alabama head coach Nick Saban and new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian reworked the Crimson Tide’s offense to reduce the exposure of the quarterback?

“No,” Saban said earlier this spring. “I mean, we can seven-man protect every time and send three guys out so that they could double cover them all.”

About the answer one would expect, right?

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Alabama Baseball Loses To Troy, 8-4

A short handed Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team lost for the first time midweek on Tuesday night when they lost to Troy 8-4. The Tide is now 20-10 overall, 18-3 in out of conference games, and 8-1 in game versus in state schools. Several players were “not available for various reasons” according to coach Brad Bohannon. Most noticeable being starting outfielder Keith Holcombe, and starting second baseman Morgan McCullough. Bohannon also stated that everyone should be available for this weekend’s SEC foe, South Carolina.

Freshman Connor Shamblin started on the mound for the Tide, and had a perfect first inning. In the second, the Trojans used three walks and a grand slam home run to take control of the game with an early 4-0 lead. In his two innings of work, Shamblin allowed one hit, three walks, three strikeouts, and four runs, all earned.

Bama got one run back in the bottom of the second, but as has been the case all year, left more meat on the bone. The first three batters walked, but the Tide was only able to score once, on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carinci who started in the place of McCullough.

Wil Freeman followed Shamblin on the mound and quickly found himself in trouble. A leadoff walk was followed by an error and an RBI single for a 5-1 deficit. Freeman struck out Cole Prestegard for out one, then gave up back-to-back singles before being replaced by Chase Lee. Lee got a ground out that scored one run, and a pop up to get out of the inning. Freeman lasted 1⁄3 inning, with three hits allowed, one walk, one strikeout, three runs (1 earned) allowed.

In the third, the Tide blew a chance to cut into the lead after the first three batters reached safely, but the team failed to score. Kolby Robinson led off with a routine single, but tried to stretch it into a double and was easily out at second. The next two batters walked, followed by two fly balls to center field that would have been sacrifice flies to score runs had Robinson stayed on first. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin King led off the frame with an opposite field home run to left. That was the last Bama baserunner until John Trousdale entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and lined a solid single.

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Who will Alabama sign at QB in 2020?

ByHank South 15 hours ago

Alabama sits atop the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Ranking thus far in the 2020 recruiting cycle, a position it’s held for quite some time.

The Crimson Tide, however, is still in need of a quarterback in the class after Carson Beck backed out in the wake of both Brent Key and Dan Enos leaving the staff for other opportunities. 

Luckily for the Tide, there is no shortage of options on the table that the staff has been in pursuit of this spring.

Here, BamaOnLine takes a look at a handful of the more intriguing names at the quarterback position to track this offseason. 

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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Wright wanted to be part of the Crimson Tide family

De’Rickey Wright became commitment No. 14 for the Crimson Tide last week when he committed to Alabama over offers from LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, among many others.

“I just really wanted to go there,” the Attalla (Ala.) Etowah product said. “I didn’t want to waste any time, so I just went ahead and committed. I really didn’t have the urge to build it up and everything. I just wanted to be a part of the Crimson Tide family, so I pulled the trigger.”

Here’s a little crootin’ news to kick off Gump Day. Wright committed last week and it went way under the radar with all the hoopla surrounding the hoops program. He’s a positionless recruit at the moment, but is a 6’3” 220 pound player that can play safety, linebacker, or most anywhere on offense.

Plus he has a refreshing attitude. I don’t think this is a guy that will have much drama in his recruitment.

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