#37 Alabama Crimson Tide: College Basketball 111 in 111


alabama-dance-team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Alabama Crimson Tide suffered through their share of ups and downs last season before being a one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament.  Despite having a young, thin roster, Anthony Grant should have ‘Bama in the upper half of the SEC standings and back in the Big Dance.

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Last Season: 5th, 9-7 in SEC, 21-12 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 5th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Nick Jacobs (So)/Carl Engstrom (Jr)/Moussa Gueye (Jr)
F: Devonta Pollard (Fr)
G/F: Levi Randolph (So)/Rodney Cooper (So)
G: Trevor Lacey (So)/Andrew Steele (Sr)
PG: Trevor Releford (Jr)/Retin Obasohan (Fr)

Gone: F/C-JaMychal Green, SF-Tony Mitchell, G-Ben Eblen, G/F-Charles Hankerson (transfer-Wyoming)

2012-2013 Outlook:
The M.O. of the Tide under Grant’s tutelage has been the hard nosed defensive play and full court style of getting after it.  That was the key to their success last year as they struggled to score the basketball and putting points on the scoreboard will once again be a concern especially without JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell.

It is time for Trevor Releford to emerge as the true leader of this team and take on more of a scoring load.  He didn’t quite make the expected improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore campaign as would have been hoped but was still productive especially on the defensive end.

The talented 2011 class of Trevor Lacey, Levi Randolph, and Rodney Cooper didn’t wow anyone in their first season in Tuscaloosa but will be expected to take a step forward as sophomore.  The growth and development of this trio will be essential for the Tide to maximize their potential this year.  All three, especially Lacey, need to step up on the offensive end while continuing to use their athleticism to wreak havoc defensively.

Andrew Steele brings a sense of stability to the floor as the lone senior on the team.  He has battled injury issues throughout his collegiate career but remains a key contributor due to his versatility.  Redshirt freshman Retin Obasohan is another physical guard who will look to earn minutes off the bench as well.

Green’s absence leaves a huge hole inside and the duo of Nick Jacobs and Devonta Pollard will hope to fill the void.  Jacobs brings physicality to the frontcourt and has a decent enough low post game to give the Tide somewhat of an inside presence.  The McDonald’s All-American Pollard gave a late commitment to Grant which was a huge get since Alabama doesn’t have a player with his type of athleticism in their frontcourt.  Seven-footers Moussa Gueye and Carl Engstrom bring size and depth but not a whole lot of skill off the bench.

Because of how hard they play and the way they defend, you just cannot count out Alabama under Anthony Grant.  Depth will be a concern with only ten scholarship players on the roster and the Tide must shoot it better from three (last year they shot just 28.9% as a team.)  The bottom half of the SEC has a handful of pretty crappy teams so the Tide will be in the upper half of the standings and should head back to the tourney.

Player to Watch: Devonta Pollard
The 6-8 forward didn’t announce his college decision until June 1st when he chose Alabama over Texas, Georgetown, and Missouri, and is the lone member of the Tide’s 2012 recruiting class.  Part of the reason he chose ‘Bama was because of their style of play and with a need for athletic forwards, he should make his presence felt right away.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. Oregon State (2k Sports Classic)
11/16 vs. Purdue/Villanova (2k Sports Classic)
12/1 at Cincinnati
12/5 vs. Dayton
12/15 at VCU
12/19 at Texas Tech

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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