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January 28, 2013

NOTEBOOK: Grant says foul should have been called

After Saturday's 54-53 loss at Tennessee, Alabama coach Anthony Grant said he would "have to look at the tape" before commenting on the game's final play, when UT defender Jarnell Stokes appeared to make contact with Crimson Tide shooter Trevor Lacey. There was no official's whistle on the play.

Grant was asked prior to a Monday speaking engagement in Birmingham for his revised view.

"I thought it was a foul," he said.

However, Grant added that "if we take care of ourselves (in the game), it doesn't come down to a foul."

Madden returning
for Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks, who come to Coleman Coliseum on Thursday, will have one of their key players back in the lineup after a one-game suspension.

Razorback coach Mike Anderson said Monday that Ky Madden, who did not play in Arkansas' loss Saturday at South Carolina, will play against the Crimson Tide. Madden, a 6-foot-5 sophomore swingman who was considered one of the nation's top recruits two years ago, averages 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. The suspension was Madden's second of the season.

Madden's struggles have been one issue for Arkansas. Another has been road play. Like Alabama, Arkansas is 12-7 overall, but the Razorbacks are 0-6 away from Fayetteville.

"We want to play an exciting brand of basketball, but wanting to do it and doing it are two different things," Anderson said Monday. "We're inexperienced. We need all our pieces, and when Ky wasn't there we didn't have all the pieces."

Basketball recruiting
update

While Grant is obviously involved with the ongoing season, he has also been active on the recruiting trail. Last week, the Crimson Tide coach was spotted at a junior college tournament in Florida, a prep tournament in Norcross, Ga., and a high school game in New York City, where he watched 6-1 guard Jon Severe of Christ The King High School.

Alabama signed two inside players in the November signing period but has room for at least two more signees in the spring.

Myers hits her stride

Junior Shafontaye Myers has found her shooting stroke in her third season with the UA women's basketball team, averaging 12.3 points per game, more than the average from her previous two seasons combined.

Myers has been particularly hot from 3-point range in Southeastern Conference play, connecting on 44 percent of her attempts for an average of 3.4 3s per game. Prior to conference action, Myers was hitting 26.3 percent of her shots from beyond the 3-point line, averaging 2.7 per contest.

Alabama (12-8 overall, 2-5 in SEC play) will visit Georgia on Thursday.

Jumping and vaulting

Alabama All-America high jumper Krystle Schade of Sunrise, Fla., notched her third consecutive victory of the indoor season, and pole vaulter Alexis Paine set a school record last weekend at the Indiana Relays.

Schade's event victory marked the sixth individual event win of the competition by Alabama athletes at the meet that featured competitors from more than 30 schools from across the nation. Schade cleared the winning height of 6 feet, 11⁄4 inches. In the women's pole vault, Paine, of Mobile, set a school record with a clearance of 13-51⁄4 on the way to a third-place finish.

Fleshner makes USA squad

Former Alabama diver Aaron Fleshner, a Tuscaloosa resident from Spring, Texas, is one of 26 divers selected to the Olympic Performance Squad.

The Olympic Performance Squad includes those divers who best exhibit the skill and determination it takes to become 2016 Olympic Team members. Fleshner was part of the U.S. national team in 2010 and 2011.

Botha undefeated in dual play

Crimson Tide men's tennis player Jarryd Botha has gotten off to a commanding start in his senior season, posting a 5-0 record in dual-match play. Combined with his fall record of 12-4, the Cape Town, South Africa, native has already surpassed his win total from a year ago by six victories.

Women's tennis advances

With wins over Memphis and No. 20 Clemson last weekend, the ninth-ranked Alabama women's tennis team advanced to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships for the first time. The Crimson Tide will be one of 16 teams competing in Charlottesville, Va., on Feb. 8-11, for the tournament title.

Guarachi wins award
Alabama women's tennis senior Alexa Guarachi has won the 2013 All Sports Association Collegiate Award and will be recognized at the All Sports Association's annual banquet Feb. 8, but she will be in Virginia for the team's competition at the ITA indoor event.

Guarachi entered her senior season ranked No. 13 in the nation in singles and No. 2 in doubles with junior Mary Anne Macfarlane. Guarachi is a two-time All-SEC first-team selection.

Guarachi has collected 93 career singles victories, third in Alabama history. She and former doubles partner Courtney McLane hold the record for most wins by a doubles team with 69 over three seasons.

Guarachi was also recognized by the All Sports Association in 2009, winning the organization's amateur award.

UA gymnasts ranked fifth

The University of Alabama gymnastics team held steady at No. 5 in the national rankings after its 196.575 to 194.8 win over the Kentucky Wildcats last Friday.

The Florida Gators claimed the top spot, followed by Oklahoma, Michigan and UCLA. The Georgia Bulldogs, whom Alabama will face Saturday, jumped one place to No. 8.

The Crimson Tide fell four spots to No. 6 on vault but rose three to No. 3 on uneven bars. After counting a fall on balance beam, Alabama slipped four places to No. 8 on that apparatus, but it rose four on the floor exercise to No. 9 after posting its best score of the season.

Individually, junior Diandra Milliner ranks seventh on vault, while senior Ashley Priess is seventh on uneven bars. Junior Kim Jacob, who won her third all-around in as many meets last Friday, ranks fifth on floor exercise. Jacob is 14th nationally in the all-around.

Alabama will face Georgia at 3 p.m. Saturday in Athens, Ga.



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