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SEC Headlines 3/16/2014

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1. Arkansas opens spring practice today.  Coach Bret Bielema: “I can’t wait. I think our kids have been chomping at the bit.”

2. Georgia’s new defensive era under coordinator Jeremy Pruitt begins with spring practice starting Tuesday.

3. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on five-star running back recruit Jalen Hurd: ”I thought Jalen Hurd really started to run like we expect him to run.”

4. Missouri defensive end Shane Ray on the plan for him and teammate Markus Golden: ”We hope to have two All-Americans, two first-round draft picks. That’s the plan.”

5. Alabama coach Nick Saban on the Crimson Tide quarterback battle: “It’s going to be a long time in us developing those players…”

6. Alabama redshirt freshman wide receiver ArDarius Stewart experimenting as a safety. Backup center Chad Lindsay plans to transfer.

7. Special teams a focus for Auburn in spring practice as the Tigers have to replace both their kicker and punter.

SEC Basketball

8. Is Alabama coach Anthony Grant the first coach on the hot seat for the 2014-2015 season?

9. Cecil Hurt: “SEC basketball, unless you are at Florida and Kentucky, is a tough world, and it chews up coaches — even good coaches — pretty quickly.”

10. Key for next Auburn coach? “You have to have some Auburn in you or it’s not going to work.”

11. Florida coach Billy Donovan on the one-and-done rule: “College basketball coaches and programs are taking on all the risks.”

12. Kentucky guard James Young on today’s matchup with Florida: “We’re glad we got them. And we’re just going to fight and leave it all out on the court.”

13. Last time Kentucky lost three times to the same team in a season?  Tennessee in 1978-79.

14. Bracketology breakdown with three SEC teams in NCAA Tournament – Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. Arkansas and Missouri among first five out.

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SEC Headlines 2/18/2014

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1. Former Alabama running back Dee Hart faces multiple charges after an arrest over the weekend.

2. Ole Miss suspended linebackers Serderius Bryant and Denzel Nkemdiche following weekend arrests.

3. Nick Saban’s dream will come true when he enters into a partnership to open a Mercedez-Benz dealership.

4. Andy Staples re-ranked the 2011 recruiting classes. Florida State was No. 1. How about Alabama and Auburn?

5. LSU has the top student section in the SEC, according to Edward Aschoff. See his ranking of the top five.

6. Every Georgia player will get a “clean slate” under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

7. Someone at Southern California called Tennessee RB signee Jalen Hurd “soft and terrible.” USC apologized on Monday.

8. South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington decided to go pro after his mother told him he’s “getting old.”

SEC Basketball

9. Florida moved up to No. 2 in the Associated Press Poll on Monday. The Gators are 12-0 in SEC play.

10. Florida coach Billy Donovan believes off-court growth has helped point guard Scottie Wilbekin on the court.

11. Here’s a look at the SEC 1-14. It’s not very pretty on the bottom.

12. Kentucky coach John Calipari: “Every game we play is to prepare us for March, and that’s how we approach it.”

13. Kentucky’s Final Four hopes “look fairly bleak,” according to Mark Story. But he says not to lose all hope.

14. Ole Miss is preparing for a big week as the Rebels get set to host Kentucky tonight and Florida on Saturday.

15. Georgia’s basketball team has improved greatly as the Bulldogs prepare to play at Tennessee tonight.

16. Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin on job pressure: “I just think as a coach you have to do your job, that’s the bottom line.”


17. Florida, Kentucky and Missouri are the only top-50 RPI teams from the SEC.

18. Florida is holding onto a No. 1 seed right now, according to Ryan Fagan’s NCAA tournament projection.

19. Missouri and Tennessee are in the “bye” section of the bubble, according to Joe Lunardi’s Tuesday update.

20. Former Northwestern quarterback Kane Colter will make his case Tuesday why college athletes are employees.

21. There’s more talk about increasing the age limit for when players can enter the NBA.

22. Oklahoma State lost its seventh straight game on Monday. Marcus Smart will return from suspension on Saturday.

23. Iowa’s athletic director said he would rather quit than figure out how to pay college athletes.

24. Athlon Sports ranks Patrick Willis the No. 1 SEC linebacker of the BCS era. See their top 10 list here.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Will Sims Help Alabama Recruit Louisiana?

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxAlabama hopes its commitment from Cameron Sims is just the beginning of a strong run in Louisiana.

Sims, who attends Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, La., is ranked the nation’s No. 6 wide receiver and the No. 9 prospect in Louisiana by ESPN RecruitingNation. He committed to Alabama this week over offers from schools like Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Southern California.

Alabama has turned its interest to Sims’ list of friends, which includes offensive lineman Cameron Robinson from West Monroe (La.) High School and safety Laurence “Hootie” Jones from Neville High School in Monroe.

Sims said on ESPN he’s spoken to Robinson about joining him at Alabama.

“Hopefully big Cam comes where I’m at,” Sims said. “We talked about it a lot. Hopefully he can come be with me at Bama nation. Big Cam, you need to come with me.”

There’s reason to be optimistic Sims can help the Crimson Tide land Robinson. The two are good friends, according to Sims, and Robinson has shown a strong interest in Alabama.

“We’re real close,” Robinson said. “I grew up with Cameron. Growing up, we lived maybe 30 seconds away from each other. He was like my little brother. We played basketball and football together growing up. I talk to him almost every day.”

Robinson, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle by ESPN, will announce his decision on Wednesday. It looks like an Alabama-LSU battle for Robinson, who has visited both schools multiple times.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune ranked Robinson behind only running back Leonard Fournette in its “Nifty 50″ in the state of Louisiana.

“Making an argument for Robinson being No. 1 is very feasible here. After all, he is at one of most valued positions in all of football, offensive tackle, and Fournette is a running back, which is generally viewed as less valuable for various reasons. Add in the fact Robinson is a tremendous tackle prospect with a rare blend of size, attitude and athleticism and you have a real race on your hands for the No. 1 prospect in the state.”

The hype surrounding Robinson shouldn’t imply Sims was offered a scholarship just to land his friend. Sims is a talented receiver who believes he can help Alabama right away.

“Seeing Amari Cooper and Kenny Bell do that, it makes me believe I can go out there and play as a freshman,” Sims said. “I can do big things like they did.”

Alabama’s class will have the potential to do big things if it continues the momentum its built in recruiting. The Crimson Tide has the nation’s top-ranked class by Rivals.

Prospects like Robinson and Harris will be key in Alabama going for another recruiting national championship. Like Robinson, Harris has strong interest in Alabama and LSU.

“Alabama and LSU are the top two for me right now,” he told Rivals. “It’s pretty much just them, but I like TCU. I don’t really know when I will make my decision. I’ll commit whenever it hits me. I talk to Alabama a lot more than I talk to anyone. I don’t know if you can say they are recruiting me the hardest, but I do talk to them more. Alabama and LSU are pretty much equal.”


Receiver Bone chooses Kentucky

The Wildcats might have pulled off a steal when they convinced wide receiver Blake Bone from Woodruff (S.C.) to commit to Kentucky this week.

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