By Stan J. Griffin: January 24, 2015

With Anthony Grant's Alabama basketball team and Bruce Pearl's Auburn Tigers entering Saturday's battle of archrivals both sporting identical 2-3 Southeastern Conference marks, and both coming off frustrating losses, the showdown in Coleman Coliseum had a particularly crucial tone to it, if not one of grim desperation.
And in a game in which the Crimson Tide had to withstand a great deal of adversity, including the ejection of point guard Ricky Tarrant with just over eight minutes left, Alabama was able to use a late tip-in by Rodney Cooper to slip past the visiting Tigers 57-55 before a loud and energetic crowd of 15,383.
Alabama, which broke a three-game losing streak, improved to 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEC while the Tigers fell to 10-9 and 2-4 in the SEC.
“I am proud of our guys and it was a heck of a win, " said Grant. "There was a lot of adversity for us tonight during the course of the game but our guys were able to keep their poise and stay focused and they did a great job finishing the game with a 16-4 run (Seniors Levi Randolph and Cooper) and really our whole team made plays down the stretch. I am so proud of the effort we got tonight out of everybody. It was a great team win and our guys showed great character, a lot of toughness, and resiliency for the win. It was really a gutty and gritty win.”

By Stan J. Griffin: January 23, 2015

After struggling last week in a loss at Arkansas, especially on the balance beam, Dana Duckworth's University of Alabama gymnastics team was no doubt hoping that a return to the energy and electricity of a Coleman Coliseum crowd would help get it back on track Friday night as it faced No. 1 Florida.
And in the latest edition of a Southeastern Conference rivalry that continues to grow, the No. 7 Crimson Tide returned to its winning form, knocking off the defending national champions 197-400-196-800 before a loud and supportive crowd of 13,778.

“I’m so proud of these ladies,”  Duckworth said. “They worked so hard this week. They worked on mental toughness. We worked on our discipline, our focus, our energy and it showed.”

In Rotation 1, the Crimson Tide tallied a 49.500 on the vault, and Alabama was led by the 9.975 of senior standout Kaitlyn Clark and also a 9.9 by freshman Mackenzie Brannon. Sophmore Katie Bailey, Junior Lauren Beers and senior Kayla Williams added 9.875s.  Florida (2-1) also tallied a 49.500 on the vault.


By Stan J. Griffin: January 23, 2015

There is no doubt that many television and radio personalities spend years carefully crafting and cultivating public personas, and images that often turn out to be radically different from who they genuinely are as human beings.

With Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN) personality Chris Stewart, however, the person that you hear on his daily radio show or University of Alabama game broadcasts, or see on various Crimson Tide-related shows such as The Nick Saban Show, is very much the same individual you experience even when he is not on the air.

And the 44-year-old native of Fairfield does not try to hide the fact that he grew up bleeding Crimson, and still does to this day.

This is easily evident in the voice of the University of Montevallo grad during an especially electric Crimson Tide victory or a particularly crushing Alabama defeat.

Stewart, who attended high school at Central Park Christian, has over 25 years of broadcast experience going back to his college days. The husband of Christy Stewart and the father of three who has displayed his skills on outside networks such as ESPN Regional and Fox Sports South, he has a labor of love relative to UA athletics  that includes wearing many hats for CTSN.

He is the sideline radio reporter during University of Alabama football games, the television host for Saban's weekly show, is in his 13th year of serving as the radio play-by-play announcer for Tide basketball, will be entering his 16th season of serving as the radio broadcaster for UA baseball, serves as host of Tide TV This Week, serves as host of the Anthony Grant Show and the Dana Duckworth Show, and will be serving as the host of Hey Coach through the end of the current academic year.  And if he was not busy enough, he has also been known to call a little prep football on Friday nights.

By Stan J. Griffin: January 23, 2015

Add yet another standout to Nick Saban's star-studded University of Alabama 2015 recruiting class.
Thursday evening saw the Crimson Tide pick up a commitment that is huge in a number of ways as four-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD opted for the Crimson Tide over schools such as Ohio State and the home state Maryland Terrapins.
The 6-foot-6, 272-pound Prince who suited up for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, is considered the fourth-best offensive tackle in the country according to

By Stan J. Griffin: January 23, 2015

Anthony Grant's University of Alabama basketball team basically has no time to dwell on a heartbreaking  93-91 overtime loss at Arkansas Thursday night as the Crimson Tide gets set to play its second game in three nights.
Alabama (12-6 overall, 2-3 in Southeastern Conference play) returns to the friendly confines of Coleman Coliseum Saturday night as it hosts Bruce Pearl's archrival Auburn Tigers (10-8, 2-3 SEC).
The game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., and the contest is a sellout although it can be seen on the SEC Network.