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Local Sports Archives for 2020-10

Third Piece To The Puzzle: Langston Wilson Commits To Bama Basketball

Third Piece To The Puzzle: Langston Wilson Commits To Bama Basketball 

 

By: Drew DeArmond

 

 

 

Nate Oats and Alabama Men’s Basketball stayed red hot on the recruiting trail this afternoon with the commitment of the top junior college power forward in the country, Langston Wilson of Georgia Highlands Community College. The number two overall junior college prospect nationally has an amazing story chronicled below.

 

The diagnosis: Marfan syndrome.

A gift from God: Clean bill of health

Clearance to play basketball.

 

This has been the journey for Langston Wilson. From four years as a Basketball manager in his hometown of Philadelphia at Prendergast Catholic High School to one of the most highly-recruited junior college prospects in the 2021 cycle.

 

Marfan syndrome involves the connective tissue within the body and those who are stricken with the disorder also have abnormal heart valves, which could put someone like Langston Wilson at increased risk of heart failure that’s worsened by physical exertion.

 

First diagnosed around the age of 12, Wilson was told he shared the gene attached to Marfan syndrome with his father, Ron, who played center at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to the 1995 Big East Championship. The elder Wilson had four heart surgeries within 17 days around 2010.

 

Consequently, Langston Wilson was not cleared to play high school basketball for the Bonner-Prendie Friars during his four years of high school. It wasn’t until shortly before moving to Atlanta with his older sister, Maya, that Wilson received the news he had been praying for: medical clearance to begin playing organized basketball by his childhood cardiologist.

 

https://youtu.be/MWbSA2QEgmI

 

Following another clean bill of health after getting a second opinion following the move to the state of Georgia, Wilson got the break he needed: 

 

After eventually getting a job at an amusement park, while playing pickup basketball (had been about three months since moving to Atlanta) Jonathan Merritt, the head coach at Georgia Highlands College, a junior college in Rome, Ga., was texted video of a pickup game by a friend.

 

Merritt watched Wilson’s raw talent mixed with NBA-level athleticism and was immediately intrigued enough to contact the Philadelphia native. The rest is history.

 

Following a freshman season in which he averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds & 1.2 blocks, Wilson’s stock shot through the roof earning him 44 offers before cutting the list to a final 10 of Memphis, Alabama, Oregon, Iona, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal State Bakersfield and Alcorn State.  

 

The 6-9 215-pounder ultimately chose Alabama due to style of play, Nate Oats’ history of success with Jucos & his relationship with Crimson Tide assistant Bryan Hodgson. Wilson joins 6-6 Georgia wing Jusaun Holt & the state of Alabama’s top prospect 6-3 point guard JD Davison to give Alabama Basketball 3 commitments with the early November signing period slated for November 11th.

 

Alabama has four seniors on the roster in John Petty, Herbert Jones & Alex Reese, along with graduate transfer Jordan Bruner. The Tide staff would like to sign 5 in the early signing period with two more names to watch being 5-stars center Charles Bediako & forward Caleb Houstan...stay tuned!

 

 

https://youtu.be/m4HZssg_V34

 

5-Star Guard JD Davison Commits to Alabama Basketball

5-Star Guard JD Davison Commits to Alabama Basketball 

 

By: Drew DeArmond

 

 

 

The recruiting roll continues for 2nd year University of Alabama Head Basketball Coach Nate Oats and his staff. The state’s top 2021 prospect five-star point guard JD Davison of Calhoun High School in Letohatchee, AL, has committed to the Crimson Tide over offers from Auburn, LSU, Kansas, Michigan & Memphis.

 

 

Mr. Basketball. A 2A State championship (3rd in school history: 2001, 2003) season for his Calhoun Tigers concluded his junior season on the hardwood after hitting the biggest shot of his basketball life. Davison’s stat line vs heavily favored Barbour County: 34 points, 10 rebounds & 6 assists. A legend was born. Watch it unfold here:

 

 

https://youtu.be/kE3f2rgGgFw

 

 

Gerald. Wallace. A name Alabama Basketball fans remember in the Yellowhammer State. Awarded Mr. Basketball out of Childersburg High School in addition to Naismith National Player of the Year after his senior season at Childersburg High School. 

 

In 2000-01 helped lead Mark Gottfried’s Crimson Tide during his only season in Tuscaloosa to 25 wins & the NIT Finals before embarking on a 15-year NBA Career following a first round selection (25th overall) by the Sacramento Kings. 

 

The late Robert “Rah Rah” Scott was instrumental in his recruitment, which led to a resurgence in Alabama Basketball. 

Nate Oats and Antione Pettway, a huge part of the Crimson Tide (Elite Eight 2004) since his playing days are on the cusp of leading the program in Tuscaloosa back among the elite in College Hoops.

 

 

Davison, 6-3 180, is the most athletic prospect this state has produced since 2000. That year arguably the nation’s top prospect inked with Alabama. And while the electric 6-7 Gerald Wallace left his mark on hoops in the Yellowhammer State, the Uber explosive rising senior from just outside Montgomery is more advanced skills-wise at the same stage with even bigger upside as a top 10 national talent.

 

 

 

Read his scouting report from the Director of the Nike Elite Stars Scott Whittle, who has seen him develop into a possible future NBA lottery pick:

 

“JD Davison is a Russell Westbrook in the making. A strong finisher at the rim who can score at a high level and make plays for others with his passing ability. Freakishly athletic lead guard who possesses a high basketball IQ and makes great pick & roll reads. As he continues to develop and improves on his perimeter shooting I would not at all be surprised to see him as an NBA lottery pick whenever he decides to enter the draft.”

 

 

Following a top-12 class in 2020, the Alabama staff has begun building what could be the start of a top 10 group with the commitment of state of Georgia wing Jusaun Holt last weekend & now THE TOP PROSPECT in the state of Alabama in point guard JD Davison of Calhoun High School. Going forward if Alabama can add 5-star Canadian center Charles Bediako, former HS teammate of current Crimson Tide freshman Keon Ambrose-Hylton now prepping at IMG, along with combo guard Wesley Cardet of Orlando, Florida, WATCH OUT....SEND IT IN: 

 

 

https://youtu.be/R5xfP6DUv6Q

 

 

 

UNA Falls to Liberty in Season Opener

LYNCHBURG, Tenn.  – Liberty scored three touchdowns in the second half to break open a 7-0 game and go on to a 28-7 win over North Alabama at Williams Stadium.  

 

In the season-opening game for the Lions and UNA’s first game against an FBS opponent since 1997, the Flames sacked UNA quarterbacks six times and forced three turnovers on the way to the win.  

 

Liberty improved to 3-0 on the season, while UNA is 0-1.  

 

UNA’s lone score came with 5:40 left in the game as Parker Driggers scored on a five-yard run out of the wildcat formation. Sam Contorno’s PAT made it 28-7. The TD was setup by an interception by K.J. Smith that gave UNA the ball at the Liberty 12-yard line.  

 

UNA had three previous trips into the Redzone but had come away scoreless with a turnover and two missed field goals.  

 

The late UNA score helped the Lions avoid being shutout for the first time since 2010. UNA has now scored in its last 110 consecutive games and the Lions have not been shutout in their three seasons on the FCS level.  

 

UNA finished with 247 yards to 357 for the Flames. The Lions rushed for 63 yards and passed for 184.  

 

North Alabama quarterback Blake Dever was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after being hit on a targeting play against Liberty. He did not return.  

 

Rett Files went 15-of-24 for 156 yards in his first serious collegiate action. He was intercepted twice.  

 

“They came out in the second half and got after us a little bit,” said UNA head coach Chris Willis. “There were about five glaring plays, with turnovers and some crucial penalties that really hurt us. They wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game but it would have kept us in it.  

 

“The main thing is we have our first game under our belts and we can go back and break it down on film and go from there,” Willis added. “I was pleased in a lot of areas, but we’ve got to be able to put the ball in the end zone. I liked our team’s attitude, even in the fourth quarter. They were wanting to go down and get a touchdown and they were able to do it.  

 

“We also have to eliminate mistakes. You can’t play an FBS team, especially one of this quality, and help them with turnovers and have a chance,” Willis said.  

 

The game was scoreless midway through the second quarter when Liberty had its first scoring opportunity. With a third down call at the North Alabama nine, UNA’s Wallace Cowins broke through and tackled Liberty’s Demario Douglas for a three-yard loss, forcing a field goal attempt.  

 

LU’s Alex Barbir then had his 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright to keep the game scoreless at the 9:50 mark of the period.  

 

Liberty was back deep in UNA territory moments later following a turnover. With UNA facing third-and-three at its own 27, Parker Driggers gained first down yardage on a run from the wildcat formation but fumbled and the Flames recovered at the UNA 40. Six plays later, Douglas caught a seven-yard TD pass from Chris Ferguson for the game’s first score. Barbir added the PAT to make it 7-0 at 6:12 of the second quarter.  

 

On the following possession, a 47-yard pass from Rett Files to Andre Little put UNA at the Liberty seven-yard line, but on third down, Files was picked off in the end zone by Anthony Butler to end the threat with 3:57 left in the first half.  

 

UNA had another scoring opportunity before the half, but after moving the ball to the Liberty 30-yard line, Files was sacked on third down. The Lions managed a 51-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the half but Joe Gurley’s kick was wide left.  

 

Liberty scored on its opening possession of the second half to make it 14-0. A 46-yard Joshua Mack run moved the ball into UNA territory and Ferguson then hit D.J. Stubbs with a 12-yard scoring pass with 13:16 remaining in the third quarter. Barbir’s PAT made it 14-0.  

 

On the ensuing Liberty possession, the UNA defense had stopped the Flames back at their own 25, but a personal foul on a third down sack gave LU the ball back. The Flames then drove 51 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. A 30-yard Sheldro Louis run moved the ball into UNA territory and the Flames eventually scored on a two-yard pass from Ferguson to Brody Brumm.  

Barbir’s PAT made it 21-0 at 5:37 of the third quarter.  

 

Liberty then made it 28-0 with 14:23 left in the game on a five-yard TD pass from Johnathan Bennett to Chris Barrett.  

 

Files led a 10-play, 62-yard drive to the Liberty 17-yard line but a 34-yard field goal attempt by Gurley was wide left with 7:26 left in the game.  

 

 

 

 

#2 Alabama Rolls to 52-24 win over #13 Texas A&M

Click on the Link To Hear Nick Saban: 

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide won its 19th-consecutive home opener with a 52-24 victory over No. 13 Texas A&M on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. UA moves to 2-0 on the season, while the Aggies dip to 1-1.

 

The Tide offense shined, collecting 544 total yards of offense in the win. Redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones finished 20-of-27 for a career-high 435 yards and four scores. Sophomore John Metchie III led the receivers with a career-best five catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Jaylen Waddle added another five receptions for 142 yards and a score. Senior running back Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for a game-high 60 yards on 10 carries, while fellow senior Najee Harris recorded two rushing touchdowns and 43 yards on the ground.

 

On defense, Alabama forced a pair of turnovers, which included a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by redshirt junior Daniel Wright and another interception in the end zone for freshman Malachi Moore. Sophomore Christian Harris racked up 10 tackles and a quarterback hurry, while sophomore Jordan Battle added nine tackles and a pass breakup. 

 

How It Happened

FIRST QUARTER

·        09:19 – UA | Mac Jones connected with John Metchie III for a 78-yard yard touchdown to get the Crimson Tide on the board first. The drive lasted 1:18 and took three plays to go 80 yards following the missed field goal attempt from Texas A&M.

·        03:58 – UA | Najee Harris capped off a seven-play, 66-yard drive with a six-yard rush to give Alabama its second touchdown of the game. The drive lasted 3:14.

·        01:13 – TAMU | Ainias Smith caught a 47-yard pass from Kellen Mond late in the first for the Aggies. The drive consisted of five plays that went 75 yards over 2:45.

 

SECOND QUARTER

·        14:44 – TAMU | Texas A&M evened the score with a 17-yard touchdown reception from Mond to Ryan Renick. It was the first play of the drive following a 23-yard interception return from DeMarvin Leal. 

·        9:07 – UA | Alabama took the lead back as Harris carried the ball in for a two-yard score at the end of a seven-play, 66-yard drive that lasted 2:34.

·        6:19 – UA | Daniel Wright intercepted Mond and returned 47 yards for the score and Alabama’s first non-offensive touchdown of 2020.

·        0:22 – UA | The Tide’s fifth touchdown of the game was scored on a two-yard pass from Jones to DeVonta Smith. The drive was just shy of a minute, lasting 0:59, with eight plays for 64 yards. 

 

THIRD QUARTER

·        09:03 – TAMU | Seth Small’s 29-yard field goal completed the 12-play, 40-yard drive for the Aggies that lasted 4:59.

·        7:24 – UA | Jones tossed to Jaylen Waddle for 87 yards and Alabama’s third receiving touchdown of the day. The drive went for 1:39 and consisted of three plays for 75 yards. 

 

FOURTH QUARTER

·        10:14 – UA | A 27-yard field goal from Will Reichard finished off the Tide’s first drive of the final quarter. The 10-play, 68-yard drive lasted 5:32.

·        07:25 – TAMU | For the second time in the game, Mond connected with Smith, this time for the 14-yard score to end a seven-play, 75-yard drive (2:49).

·        05:33 – UA | Jones once again found Metchie III down field, resulting in a 63-yard touchdown for the final score of the contest. The drive lasted 1:52 and went 75 yards across four plays. 

 

Up Next

Alabama takes to the road once again, this time traveling to Oxford to take on Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Crimson Tide and Rebels are scheduled for a 5 p.m. CT kickoff at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with the game airing live on ESPN. The matchup will be the 68th meeting between the two schools with UA holding a 55-10-2 (52-11-2 NCAA) all-time advantage in the series.

 

– UA –

 

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