Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big Cat Barber to visit Bama this weekend.

Anthony "Cat" Barber will be in Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit this weekend.  He is rated a 5 star recruit by Rivals, and is a consensus top 5 point guard in the nation for the 2013 class.  He's 6'2, 165 lbs out of Hampton, VA.  Our main competition right now is Kansas.  Things sound very good just judging by the interview below.  In fact, he doesn't rule out the possibility of committing this weekend!  To pull this caliber of player from so far out of state could be one of the biggest recruiting victories in Alabama basketball history.

I am excited about this upcoming season, but especially if we can land this Cat, 2013-2014 is shaping up to be a potentially epic season.  Assuming everyone sticks around and continues to progress, we could have a senior PG in Releford, backed up by one of the best freshmen in the country.  Pollard will have a year of experience and be a sophomore.  Lacey, Randolph, Cooper as Juniors on the wing, plus an experienced Nick Jacobs to go along with Pollard and freshman Shannon Hale down low.  If the Swede and Gueye can continue to develop, even better.  That is some serious talent, depth, and experience.

Monday, June 04, 2012

SEC Scheduling Format set

Full details here

Basically, we are going to an 18 game schedule, with one permanent rival (auburn) who we will always play twice, and rotating home/away series with 4 other schools at a time.  The tournament expanded to include play-in games on Wednesday.  In one sense, this is good for us, as we draw arguably the worst basketball program in the SEC as our permanent rival.  On the other hand, continuing to play auburn twice per year will not do our RPI any favors.

I like the format, it makes the most logical sense, but depending on how the 4 team rotations work out, somebody could really get screwed on the scheduling.  Imagine a scenario where we have 8 games against Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, and Vanderbilt while $tate has 8 games against auburn, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Devonta Pollard Chooses Alabama

The Alabama coaching staff scored a huge victory today by signing Devonta Pollard, a top-25 rated player from Mississippi. Pollard was Mr. Basketball in Mississippi and was also selected to the coveted McDonald's All-American team. The final schools in the mix were Missouri, Texas, Georgetown and LSU who made a late run at Pollard.

Admittedly, when I heard that LSU was in the final mix of schools, I felt that Pollard would sign with the Tigers due to the presence of assistant coach, Robert Kirby, who has been recruiting Pollard for several years. I am happy to be wrong in this instance.

Pollard should be able to provide an immediate impact to the team due to his versatility. Like Tony Mitchell before him, Pollard is a dynamite athlete who knows how to finish in the open floor and, like Tony, he also has the ability at 6'7, 200 lbs to play around the rim. With some question marks facing Alabama in the frontcourt next season, Pollard's ability to finish and defend around the rim will be welcomed.

Depending how things shake out, Pollard has the talent to be a starter in his first season. It will be interesting to see how Bama chooses to play him. He's a natural small forward, but Bama may choose to play smaller and play him at the 4 as they did with Tony Mitchell and sometimes Rodney Cooper this past season. Assuming the perimeter game improves and guys like Jacobs, Gueye and Engstrom continue to improve, Bama should be just fine next season.

Bama-BearCats to face off in SEC-Big East Challenge

We travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Saturday, December 1st, as part of the SEC-Big East Challenge.  Unfortunately, this falls on the same day as the SEC football championship game.

Other matchups in the challenge include:
South Carolina @ St. John's
Seton Hall @ LSU
Kentucky @ Notre Dame
Marquette @  Florida
Georgia @ South Florida
Depaul @ Auburn
Tennessee @ Georgetown
Syracuse @ Arkansas
mi$$i$$ippi $tate @ Providence
Rutgers @ Ole Miss
Villanova @ Vanderbilt.