JAYLEN MCCOLLOUGH // Tank has a good experience in Tuscaloosa

Not only were several top 2018 prospects at the recent Alabama Champions Cookout, but the class of 2019 was also well-represented at the event. One of the elite 2019 prospects in attendance was Powder Springs-Hillgrove, GA safety Jaylen ‘Tank’ McCollough.

“It was a good experience,” says the 6-1, 190-pound McCollough, who also camped at UA earlier in the week. “It was great being around the coaches and the other recruits. It was good getting to know some of the other recruits. It was just good to get back to Tuscaloosa. I’ve been there so many times now that I’ve lost count.”

“I had a really good conversation with Coach Saban. He mainly just talked about the next two years for me in high school and the importance of me staying on the right path and continuing to take care of everything in school and doing the right things.”

“I really like how Coach Saban runs the program,” McCollough says. “He holds the players accountable. I like the discipline they have in their program.”

McCollough had an outstanding sophomore season in 2016. He finished with 105 tackles and three interceptions. He’s projected by most as a safety in college.

“Coach (Derrick) Ansley likes that I could play everywhere in the secondary,” McCollough says. “He says that I can cover and tackle. He also likes my football IQ. Coach Ansley thinks that he could mold me into the next Minkah Fitzpatrick.”

McCollough already ranks among the nation’s most heavily pursued 2019 prospects. He has several big-time offers, including ones from Alabama, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and Michigan,  among others. It’s still very early, but FSU and Georgia are expected to be among the Tide’s main competition for McCollough.

“I don’t think my decision is too far off — maybe the end of the year or next summer,” McCollough says. “I’m getting close to be at the point where I want to start wrapping it up.”

McCollough plans to make visits to games this fall to Alabama, FSU and Georgia. McCollough runs a 4.46 40. He is from the same high school that produced Kenyan Drake to Alabama.



Bama Cruises Past McGill, 96-57, in Canadian Tour Opener

The Alabama men’s basketball team cruised to a 96-57 victory Monday night against the McGill Redmen in the first game of the Crimson Tide’s Canadian Tour. Freshman John Petty led Alabama with a game high 22 points, including connecting on 6-of-8 shots from beyond the arc en route to the 39-point win.

Junior guard Ar’Mond Davis collected 14 points off the bench, while sophomore forward Daniel Giddens and freshman guard Collin Sexton both added 13. Including Giddens, the Tide’s six newcomers combined for 57 of the team’s 96 points on the night.

“Overall it was extremely positive,” head coach Avery Johnson said of the result. “We had unbelievable energy throughout the game. Our guys moved the ball and we made some shots. I thought we played really good defense. We clamped down on them defensively, so I am pleased with the overall energy and passion that we played with.

“In the first half, I thought we did a great job with our pace. We set great screens and our guys had great spacing on offense, which allowed John to hit some shots. In the second half, we got really sloppy. That gives me something to talk to the team about and show them some video. We have really good kids on our team who want to play the right way. We had some correctable mistakes tonight and we can learn from those.”

The Tide got off to a slow start as McGill opened the game on an 11-2 run. However, it was all Alabama from that point on. A three-pointer by Sexton jump-started a 36-2 run that saw the Tide score 18 straight points. In all, Alabama’s run spanned two quarters and lasted a total of 11:57. UA would go on to lead 51-28 at the half.

The second half was more of the same, despite Sexton spending most of the stanza on the bench with foul trouble.

Leading 66-42 with 4:45 left in the third quarter, the Tide went on a 16-2 run over the next 7:10 to increase its lead to 82-44 with 6:35 left in the game.

Braxton Key added eight points and a team-high five boards, as every Alabama player who saw action scored at least two points.

“We wanted to give everybody a chance to play,” Johnson said. “We had a chance to spread out the minutes because we are playing three games in four nights. We want to try and impose our will against teams. We were a little sloppy and need to take better care of the basketball, then we will have chances to score even more points.”

The Tide finished the game shooting 60 percent (34-of-57) from the field and 56 percent (14-of-25) from the beyond the arc, while holding the Redmen to just 33 percent (19-of-58) shooting from the floor and 23 percent (7-of-30) from deep. Alabama owned a 34-25 advantage on the boards, while its reserves outscored McGill’s bench, 43-17.

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