Monday, June 23, 2008 preseason top 50

Whoo Hoo we're #37. Actually they're not excited about that... and neither am I.
They have UAB ahead of us. I don't know if that's scary or sad.

I'll touch on this more as the season draws closer, but I'm not all that optimistic about our current squad's chances next season.


MSmilie said...

I hate to bet a season based on the absence of one player, but I think Hendrix staying or leaving was the deciding factor for Alabama next season. If he returned I think Bama would have been a solid pick to win the West division, particularly if Steele is healthy. However, with him gone I do believe that Bama could once again finish middle of the pack, meaning Bama might be in search of a new basketball coach.
I hope I'm wrong. After all, if Steele returns 100% then he's not only a dynamic player but he makes everybody else better. Alonzo Gee, especially, will benefit greatly from Steele's return. I don't think it's a coincidence that Alonzo's best overall year was his freshman year when Steele was healthy.
The frontcourt is a mystery. Greene is expected to be great, but the SEC has a way of deflating a player's hype very quickly, particularly if that player is the priority for opposing teams interior defense. One of the other guys - Jemison, Coleman or Knox - must step up consistently to keep the heat off Greene and let him slowly find his way at the college level. I think it could be Knox. Like Chuck Davis before him, I think this guy is primed for a breakout season.
Perhaps the biggest question mark for this team next year is who's going to be the perimeter option now that Riley is gone? I see Hollinger and Steele making up the backcourt to begin the year but I'm not sure it'll end that way.
I don't have high hopes for next year, but I am open to the possibility of a surprise. After all, CMG's teams seem to be better when expectations are low.
What are your early thoughts for next season?

bobbyjack said...

I'm like you... thinking that next season's squad is a fringe contender only because the SEC West is going to be soooooooooo weak. LSU lost Randolph, MSU lost Gordon and Hansbrough, we lost Hendrix, Arkansas lost pretty much the whole team, and Auburn is Auburn. By default Ole Miss is the favorite? That sounds odd.

I'm more worried about the frontcourt than the backcourt. Reports that Steele is still favoring his leg bother me, I don't think BH is a legitimate starter and while I'm higher than most on Torrance, I'm not sure how well he'll do playing the point with Steele in there. Hillman might be ready to break out assuming his outside shot improves (and it did as the season went along last year).

The backcourt I'm okay with assuming Jemison continues his 2nd half surge and Knox (who I think will come into his own this season) becomes an inside presence. As for Coleman... I hope he rebounds and alters shots. I know nothing of Greene so I'll reserve judgment on him until I see him playt a few games.