Gottfried exhales

That sound you hear coming from Mark Gottfried? It’s relief. Gottfried may have received a stay of execution thanks to Ronald Steele’s knee. According to reports from the NBA camp in Florida, Steele continued to favor his knee during workouts. It made his return a necessity.

ESPN.com’s Andy Katz said Gottfriend announced Steele’s return Saturday night.

However the scouting report on Steele holds some good and bad news.

Steele played for the first time in five-on-five competition since March. He looked slow at times, especially defensively. His numbers were solid, though, with 12 assists, two turnovers and three steals in three games. But he didn’t receive a ton of buzz.

It is clear Steele needs more rehab time to be ready for SEC play. The Steele injury goes into the list of yet another athlete injury mishandled by the University of Alabama.

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Softball wins nightcap
Alabama stayed alive in the WCWS with a late night win over Louisiana-Lafayette, 3-1. The Tide won thanks to the pitching of standout Charlotte Morgan. Morgan went the distance tossing 92 pitches enroute to a her seventh complete game of the season. Morgan’s record improved to 18-2.

Baseball loss
Costal Carolina scored seven runs in the eighth to defeat Alabama’s baseball team 13-10.

Birmingham News SEC Preview
For those of you reading your morning papers before church, or while sipping coffee, you’ll notice the Birmingham News released its annual SEC preview. It seems different this year. If I remember correctly, the annual SEC preview was usually in its own tabloid; however, this year it is in its in the standard sports section. (Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I feel almost certain this is different than most year’s preview.)

The News preview contains its annual ALL-SEC preseason team. The team contains two Alabama players on the first team, Tackle Andre Smith, and Safety Rashad Johnson. On the second team ALL-SEC squad was Alabama’s Antoine Caldwell.

The preseason predictions from the league’s SID’s has Georgia and Florida 1 and 2 in the SEC East, and LSU and Auburn 1 and 2 in the SEC West. I tend to agree with that order, but I’ll post my predictions a little later in the summer. I’ve still not sorted out how I feel about the quarterback situation in Baton Rouge. Of course, there is a little quarterback situation in Auburn too—so maybe I’ll stick with my gut and say LSU wins the West. We’ll see. But certainly the prediction of LSU is realistic. They’ve got a great defensive line, and a pretty good offensive line too. With those two important cogs, it makes it easier to play quarterback for your team, and harder for your opponent. Sounds like a recipe for winning.

One last thing, Charles Goldberg has a good story on the changes in the SEC this season. He examines the 11 new coordinators and six new quarterbacks.