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New Tide rolls for 'Bama
Barry McDermott
January 29, 1973
Black may or may not yet be beautiful at the University of Alabama, but it is bountiful for sure now, turning an old conference inside out
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January 29, 1973

New Tide Rolls For 'bama

Black may or may not yet be beautiful at the University of Alabama, but it is bountiful for sure now, turning an old conference inside out

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Meanwhile a wayward tourist might have assumed the town of Auburn had adopted "17-16" as its motto. This and other graffiti alluding to Auburn's football victory over Alabama last season were plastered all over the city. Alabama faithful countered by telling Auburn jokes to all who would listen. Sample: "An Auburn man with a frog on his head walked into a doctor's office. Said the frog: 'Doc, can you take this wart off me?' "

As it was, Auburn was looking at Douglas' ribs for most of the night. He blocked 12 shots, and the Crimson Tide broke open the game in the second half. "I quit coaching so much and let them play," kidded Newton, who had worried at halftime because his team held a slim five-point lead. "I thought our coaching sort of handicapped them in the first half. We kept quiet in the second."

Hudson finished with 10 points. Cleveland, only a sophomore, scored 15 and played both guard and forward, and Odums finished with 20 and seven assists. Nicknamed Flash, Odums played defense as if he were a store detective after a woman wearing a hat with a dangling price tag.

The first seven players on the team are from Alabama, a state which once had the reputation of producing basketball players who had the reliability of a motel soft-drink machine. Now Newton reaps the best of a good crop, although he rues two prize dishes that got away, Allen Murphy to Louisville and Clarence Jones to Memphis State. Right now the talk around Tuscaloosa is that Alabama has a good chance to recruit T. R. Dunn, a Birmingham high school player said to be the best in the state. C. M. plus T. R. might mean the NCAA.

As a recruiter Newton has some provocative lures. The team plays in the Memorial Coliseum, which seats 15,043 people, and lives in Paul Bryant Hall, the luxurious athletic dormitory featuring a fountain and flaming torches at its entrance. At the training table the gladiators eat steak. "Once in awhile we have lobster or stuffed flounder," says sixth man Paul Ellis. "But the neat things are the bathrooms; they have heated tiles so your feet don't get cold in the morning."

Now that Alabama has eliminated its cold feet, all of its worlds are closer together. Nicely. Even law and order is a winner. Last week someone broke into the Alabama equipment room and stole a basketball. He got the only ball in the room with a leaky valve, leaving the thief as disappointed as Robert Shelton. The Wizard says he'll never go to another game—but those white sheets aren't in anymore in Alabama, anyway.

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