99 in 99: #72 Alabama Crimson Tide

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Alabama basketball

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” countdown ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power rankings order.  It will lead right into the opening tip of the season and provide you with in-depth coverage on every team.  Alabama comes in at #72 and is still a couple years away from being a real factor in the SECClick here if you missed teams #73-#99.

By: David Kay

Alabama Crimson Tide (T-8th, 6-10 in SEC, 17-15 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Jason Carter (Fr)/Carl Engstrom (Fr)
PF: JaMychal Green (Jr)/Chris Hines (Sr)
SF: Tony Mitchell (So)/Charles Hankerson (Fr)
G: Senario Hillman (Sr)/Andrew Steele (Jr)/Charvez Davis (Sr)
PG: Trevor Releford (Fr)/Ben Eblen (So)/Kendall Durant (Jr)

Gone: PG-Anthony Brock, G-Mikhail Torrance, F/C-Justin Knox (transfer-North Carolina), F/C-Demetrius Jemison (transfer-Manhattan)

2010-2011 Outlook:
In Anthony Grant’s first year as the Tide head coach, ‘Bama showed some potential.  Grant learned from Billy Donovan when he was an assistant at Florida and had success in his stint at VCU so most are optimistic about his ability to build this program back to respectability, but I cannot see it happening this season.

Alabama has two pretty big holes to fill in replacing do-it-all guard Mikhail Torrance and their physical presence inside, Justin Knox.  JaMychal Green came to Tuscaloosa with a lot of hype and has been a solid contributor thus far, but still has yet to reach his full potential and will be asked to carry a bigger load this season.  Tony Mitchell and Senario Hillman also return to the starting line-up while Andrew Steele battles back from a stress fracture in his left leg that cost him most of last season.

The point guard spot vacated by Torrance and Anthony Brock will likely be filled by freshman Trevor Releford and there is some decent depth at the guard spot in case he is unable to handle the responsibility right off the bat.  Green will be asked to play a lot of center which is a little out of position meaning ‘Bama will ideally need either freshman Jason Carter or Carl Engstrom to make an immediate impact if the Tide hope to be as stout on the defensive end as they were last year.

The good news is that Alabama plays in the weak SEC West which at least gives them a slim shot at putting together a NCAA Tournament-caliber record.  More than likely though, this program is still a year or two away from dancing.

Jamychal Green AlabamaPlayer to Watch: JaMychal Green, PF

The former McDonald’s All-American is an athletic 6-9 and uses his length to be a difference maker on the defensive end as demonstrated by his game saving block against Michigan last season in the Old Spice Classic.  However, Green is not a physical player and will likely need to play bigger than he is as the Tide lack a lot of experience down low.  Offensively, he will be asked to pick up some of the scoring load left behind by Torrance.  He has league potential and if he can improve his all-around offensive game, could potentially be a first round pick in 2011.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/19 vs. Seton Hall (Paradise Jam Tournament)
11/20 vs. Xavier/Iowa (Paradise Jam Tournament)
11/22 vs. Old Dominion/St. Peter’s/Clemson/Long Beach State (Paradise Jam Tournament)
12/4 at Purdue
12/11 at Providence
12/18 at Oklahoma State

Other 99 in 99’s:
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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