Friday, October 29, 2010

What are your REALISTIC expectations of Alabama basketball?

If you say Final Fours and National Championships, step on out and check crazy at the door, then come back in.

On my flight back I was thinking about it and this is what my expectations of Alabama basketball is right now, 1-3 years from now, and 5years down.

Right now- I want us to be competitive. Pull off a few upsets, steal a couple of road games, and play hard. As long as I see that I'm good with the 2010-2011 season. I'm the pessimist poster of this site concerning this season... I'm predicting 15-15.

1-3 years from now- NIT next season, possibly a low seed NCAA berth. It usually takes 3 years for a coach to install his system and I figure CAG's 3rd year will be where we see the most improvement. 2-3 years from now I expect us to compete for the SEC title and be somewhere between a 4-6 seed in the NCAAT.

5 years down the road- under the belief that CAG is here for the long term, I fully expect us to be one of the top 3 teams in the SEC, win a conference title or SEC tournament. I also expect us to play into the 2nd week of the NCAAs.

In a 10 year span my expectations for Alabama basketball is 7 years in the NCAAT (3 of those in as a 5 seed or higher), 2 NITs, and one rebuilding year. I don't think those are overly lofty goals. IMO we should at least aspire to what Wisconsin is in hoops. If we hit that watermark then we can reset our expectations accordingly.

We're not going to be Kentucky, UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kansas, Michigan St, Syracuse, or Pitt. We're a football school 1st with a fan base that'll show up according to who we play, if we're good, and if it doesn't interfere with football. It is what it is.


MSmilie said...

I think that the program is making progress, but they're probably another year or two away from being a conference contender. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and maybe even Arkansas are a little ahead of them as far as overall talent goes.

My prediction is 17-13, 7-9 conference, with a possible NIT bid if they can steal a game or two (Kentucky?) during the season and play into day two of the conference tournament.

Having written that, there are a handful of games that I currently am projecting as losses that Alabama could easily win. This team will be competitive and will find themselves in a lot of close games. If the ball bounces the right way, who knows?

One good thing about the SEC West is there is little difference between team one and team five, maybe even team six. I don't count Alabama out, but I do feel the lack of point guard experience coupled with the lack of interior depth (we will miss Jemison and Knox more than we think)is going to weigh on this team over the course of a season.

Nevertheless, I will be yelling and screaming with the rest of you hoping for the best.

Roll Tide!

Anonymous said...

yada, yada, yada

If we don't make the big dance, I'm dissappointed.

bobbyjack said...

The SEC outside of UK is pretty wide open IMO. We could finish as high as 2nd or as low as 5th in the West.

We're only 2 games apart in predictions... and one of mine is probably in St Thomas.

MSmilie said...

Bobby: If Kanter is ruled ineligible for UK, they have no shot at winning the conference. Kanter is the centerpiece of that incoming class. Also, while that incoming class is great, I don't think they're as good as last year's class. Plus, they lose Patrick Patterson who was a linchpin for that team a year ago.

Now, next year, my goodness. Kentucky should be the preseason number one. The class they have coming next season is intimidating to say the least. If they even keep a couple of guys from this year's team, they will be an early favorite to win the national title.

Both divisions are going to be evenly matched, but for different reasons. The SEC East has 4-5 NCAA tournament teams while the West simply has no clear cut power team.

Anonymous: Alabama could win the division and not make the NCAA tournament. Their non-conference schedule is 50/50 right now. None of those teams in St. Thomas are guranteed tournament teams nor is Oklahoma State who will have to replace their best player from a year ago. The only team I would say is a guranteed team is Purdue, and even they're a big question mark now that Robbie Hummell has been lost for the season. And then you factor in the West is still not up to par with the East teams.

My point being: this team could be vastly improved and not make the tournament so keep your expectations in check.

I think next year is when the SEC West begins to make a move back to respectability. Arkansas has a top 5 recruiting class coming in. Alabama has a top 20 class coming in. Barbee is recruiting well and State and Ole Miss aren't going anywhere. LSU is also bringing in some good players. With the West teams improving, the SEC could be the top conference in the country next year.

Alias said...

First I want to thank Bobbyjack for bringing MSmile on board last season. He knows his basketball and removes his crimson colored glasses (I assume he owns a pair) before he posts. Thank you both for making this blog work.

I know less about basketball or about players than the other posters here, so I'm going to defer to MSmile's prediction but add one win to it. I say we finish 18-12 and 8-8 in the conference. The biggest question mark coming into this season has to be the point guard. Eblen did not look up to the task last year, but the same could be said about most true freshmen. I'm betting Coach Grant successfully recruited to his needs in that area and that the additional off-season in the Strength and Conditioning Program will reap even more dividends than we saw last season.

The best news, from my perspective is that, win or lose, our team at least is fun to watch again. This could be an exciting year for Bama Basketball fans.

Roll Tide!

MSmilie said...

Alias: Thank you for the kind words. I do own a pair of crimson colored glasses, but I refrain from acting too familiar with the university since I did not attend school there (e.g. you will never see me refer to any Alabama program as "we". In my opinion, only former students and graduates have the right to be that familiar with their school and/or athletic programs). Having written that, I am a huge fan of the tradition and excellence of the athletic program.

I would caution against putting too much stock into my predictions. I am a huge fan of the game of college basketball and I study the teams and players from year to year. Due to that I would consider my predictions educated guesses, but they are still merely guesses. If I had any certainty in my predictions I would be pursuing another means of income, I assure you.

Last year I predicted 17 wins for Alabama. That was an easy call based on their schedule and my agreement with Grant that his team was "undersized and underskilled". This season is a tougher call. There are certainly questions at PG as you pointed out as well as other areas; however, I think this team's talent level is a little higher and the returning players have experience playing Grant's system.

Sometimes coaches are the wild card. I think Alabama has a hell of a good coach in Anthony Grant and that alone might result in a few more wins than I'm predicting. Again, the west division has no clear cut favorite. Alabama could surprise a lot of people this season. I can't wait for the season to start to find out.

finebammer said...

"but I refrain from acting too familiar with the university since I did not attend school there (e.g. you will never see me refer to any Alabama program as "we"."

m, if you live and work in the state of alabama, your tax dollars support that institution. if you buy licensed alabama gear, your wallet further supports the cause.

you have just as much of a right to call that program your's as any alum.

when someone rebutts my claim saying my contributions are "miniscule" compared to those who went to school there i say fine, give me my money back!

of course, you know how that conversation ends.

i've learned over the years that questions about expectations for the basketball program is a fruitless exercise.


because the people who could satisfy your expectations don't give a good god-damn what you expect.

that's harsh but it's factual and deep down you all know it.

it's sad, because we all know a championship b'ball program compliments championship football.

there's an outdated mentality down there that good b'ball means bad football.

over the years it's been a fight to be an alabama basketball fan.

i'm tired of fighting.

i have NO expectations. what it is.

Anonymous said...

If you're giving up at this particular point, when the future looks the brightest it has since Wimp, you qualify as a black hole, and I'm going to do my best to avoid being sucked into your vortex of doom.