Friday SEC Notebook

By Capstone Report

Richard Hendrix looks to be a late first round or early second round NBA draft pick, according to consensus mock drafts from NBA experts. Hendrix is listed as the 40th overall pick by CollegeHoops.net, NBAdraft.net, and the 29th pick (a late first round pick) by draftexpress.com. Hendrix was not listed on the latest mock draft from insidehoops.com.
NBC Sports lists Hendrix as the 22 pick, which would send the forward to the Orlando Magic. (H/T Bama Hoops)

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Recruits due on campus early
Nick Saban said 2008 recruits could be in school by June, the Mobile Press-Register reported.

“It’s the intention of every one of our freshmen that we recruited that they will come in early if they can get certified academically through the (NCAA) Clearinghouse in time,” Saban said Thursday night. “That’s the philosophy that we’d like to use.”

The same story also confirms recent speculation that Destin Hood could forgo playing at UA if he is drafted high enough in the Major League Baseball draft June 5-6.

“It’s starting to head that way,” his father Dewayne Hood said Thursday. “If he’s drafted right, he’s probably going to play baseball.”

USC upgrades facilities while APR burns
South Carolina is spending millions of dollars on facility upgrades, and the program is has kicked into high gear, according to GamecockCentral.com. One important phase for the Gamecocks is the academic enrichment center. USC needs the academic help, but it isn’t academics on the mind of USC’s leadership:

“The academic enrichment center is going to be as good as there is in the country,” Hyman said. “It’s going to be the heart of the athletic department. This will help us recruit all student-athletes from every program as much as anything we do. It will have a major impact.

“Recruits want to see an across-the-board commitment. Male athletes are looking for bells and whistles. Female athletes look at it from a different perspective. They’re more of a sense and a feel and relationships.”

At least we know USC has a commitment to playing SEC football. They’ve put academics in its place—it is just a tool to land the next five-star.

Who can be an Alabama fan?
Tide Druid ranted about the arrogance of some Auburn fans who say derisively that Alabama’s fan base is composed of many non-alumni. As if this somehow lowers the “quality” of the fans.

The Druid deconstructs the argument, and then examines why all alumni feel a special love for their schools.

I would like to know how much different the level of connection a alumnus feels for their University compared to Auburn alumni. Isn’t every university special for their current and former students? And if not, then I would like to know why the “Auburn Experience” is so much better. Every time I’ve asked, I’ve gotten cookie cutter answers that usually involve “well, it’s hard to describe” or, “you wouldn’t understand. You just have to go there to get it.” To me, that is a tell-tell sign that you can’t identify any quality that makes your school better than the others, because deep down you know that everyone feels a deep sense of pride and connectivity with their alma mater.

I’d recommend The Druid or anyone else who wants to know about the Auburn Experience, purchase the definitive book by Phillip Marshall. It is an oversized coffee table book published in December 2004. It features more than 300 slick pages of stories and photographs of many of Auburn’s greatest traditions, teams, players and coaches in every sport. The book is available for $20, plus $5 shipping and handling. For orders of multiple books, there will be just one $5 charge for shipping and handling. Send check or money order made payable to Phillip Marshall to The Auburn Experience, P.O. Box 968, Auburn, AL 36831.

Saturn V one of the 7 Wonders of America
The Alabama built Saturn V rocket was named one of the 7 Wonders of America by Good Morning America, al.com reported. “A panel of experts was tasked by “Good Morning America” to help choose the 7 Wonders of America. The morning show began unveiling one “wonder” each day this week and will be filming in Huntsville Monday morning to announce the Saturn V on display inside the museum’s new Davidson Center for Space Exploration as the sixth wonder, said Al Whitaker, a spokesman for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.”