Hendrix considered frontrunner as SECís freshman of year
Richard Hendrix won the Southeastern Conference freshman of the week honors for his play in Alabama's wins over Vanderbilt and Ole Miss last week.
Which is all well and nice for the Athens High grad. But since it's his second such honor this year, it brings up an important debate: Will Hendrix be the league's freshman of the year?
So far, there are less than a handful of serious contenders. They include Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon, who has won freshman of the week honors three times, and Tyrus Thomas, the LSU sensation who's won it twice.
Gordon has the contenders bested in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game in league play. Thomas is just behind at 10.9 points per game and Hendrix averages 9.8.
Hendrix leads the pack in rebounding, averaging 9.2 rebounds per game. Thomas is behind at 8.2, and Gordon is at 8.1.
But Hendrix has some intangibles going for him in that he's a counted-on player for a contending team, and his play has gotten better as the year has progressed. Thomas has slacked a bit, and Gordon is playing for a team that is toast, tournament-wise. Sold out: Want to see Alabama's showdown with Tennessee on Saturday in person? Too bad. Tide ticket office representatives said Monday that the game is sold out, Alabama's first sellout in the renovated Coleman Coliseum. It's not that bad: Losing two out of three to Winthrop during the weekend put Alabama's baseball team in decent company, since Miami did just that last weekend. Monday's 4-3 Tide loss sealed Winthrop's series win.
Winthrop is ranked No. 27 in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, directly behind Ole Miss and South Carolina. A cold start: Alabama's softball team also opened its season in frigid temperatures during the weekend in Tuscaloosa.
But the Tide's softball fortunes were better than that in baseball. Alabama won all five of the games it played in its own tourney, over Eastern Kentucky, Mississippi Valley State (twice) and Marshall (twice).
Sophomore first baseman Dani Woods hit .615 for the weekend, including two home runs and eight RBI.
For her efforts, she was named the league's player of the week.
Alabama plays at a tournament hosted by Florida Atlantic this weekend.