Saturday, April 27, 2013

Anthony Grant Press Conference

 Anthony Grant held a very interesting press conference on Friday in which he discussed a range of topics including the transfers of Moussa and Lacey, Dan Hipsher, next seasons' team, Ricky Tarrant, the NBA early entry rules, the non-conference schedule and the state of the Alabama program. Check it out.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bama to play in Preseason NIT

Finally some good news to report.  Cecil Hurt tweeted today that Coach Grant said we will play in the preseason NIT along with Arizona, Duke, and others.  The preseason NIT is probably the best preseason tournament out there as far as competition and national exposure goes.  I can't wait to see what the brackets look like, and let's hope it's our only appearance in the NIT next year.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rumored SEC/Big 12 Challenge Match-ups

Let's talk about something else that doesn't involve transfers, basketball apathy and fired coaches. We're probably months before schedules for next season begin to take shape, but there is one thing we do know. The SEC and Big 12 will meet next season in a series of games making up one of those made for TV (ESPN) challenges. There will be ten games, five at the home of an SEC team and the other five at a Big 12 arena near you. The rumored match-ups have been kicking around the internet for about a week now. Again, these are nothing more than rumors at the moment so take with a grain of salt.

Missouri/West Virginia
South Carolina/Kansas State
Ole Miss/Iowa State
A&M/Texas Tech
Arkansas/Oklahoma State

The Florida/Kansas game is supposedly a done deal, with the game taking place in Gainesville. The rest of the match-ups, I'm not sold on yet. For one thing, I seriously doubt a situation would be set up in which both Frank Martin and Trent Johnson would play their former teams so soon after leaving them. If anything, I think the SEC teams should be flipped in that scenario.  I also find it difficult to believe that Vandy would not be included in this event in place of Carolina or A&M, two teams that will probably not be projected ahead of Vandy when the preseason selections are released.

There are some match-ups that are appealing, however. Alabama/Oklahoma, Missouri/West Virginia, Tennessee/Baylor, Arkansas/Oklahoma State and Ole Miss/Iowa State would be very interesting to watch involving teams with a lot of similarities. The SEC never really showed up for the SEC/Big East challenges. The Big 12 might offer the SEC a better opportunity at repairing some of its basketball image.......or provide the conference with more rope to hang itself with.  Either way, it's something to look forward to.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


In the last 21 years:

- we have advanced past the 1st week of the NCAA tournament ONE time (2004)
- have ONE SEC regular season title (2002)
- ZERO SEC Tournament Championships (Finals in 1992 and 2002)
- Since Antonio McDyess we have had ONE 1st round pick (Gerald Wallace... and he doesn't even acknowledge he had a cup of coffee @ Bama)

I'm probably as down on Alabama basketball as I ever have been. I don't see next season being a success in any of my required criteria (SECTC, SEC regular season, Top 25 finish, 2nd week of NCAAT) which probably doesn't bode well for Anthony Grant. Saying that, I think he's safe next year regardless of what happens on the court as the buyout on his contract drops to roughly $500K in 2015 (it's roughly $1.5 right now).

I'll continue to support the team despite my convictions... I'll travel to whatever pre-conference tourney we go to (provided it's a destination I would like to visit/revisit), attend one or 2 home games and probably the games @ UGA and/or UTK as my oldest really enjoys Alabama basketball.

I figure I have 30 more years left on the planet... would be nice to see us play in the Final Four once.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trevor Lacey transfers (told you it wasn't the last one leaving)


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama sophomore guard Trevor Lacey has decided to transfer from the men’s basketball program and has been granted his release, Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant announced on Tuesday.
“I enjoyed having the opportunity to coach Trevor for the two years he was here,” Grant said. “We certainly wish him the best of luck as he continues to pursue his education and his basketball career.”

My goodness... this is getting ridiculous.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wendell Hudson Resigns

We normally stick to the men's team at this blog, but this was a news item I felt should be posted (and discussed?). Wendell Hudson, who was head coach of the women's team for the last five years, stepped down today. It is the first significant decision that Bill Battle, the newly appointed AD at Alabama, has made. Battle says it was a mutual decision between he and Hudson, though it's hard to imagine Hudson was in any position to argue after a five year record of 68-87 (14-64 in conference games). The university has announced they will begin a "national search" for a new head coach immediately.

As difficult as it has been for the men's program to gain a foothold during the course of its existence, one would imagine it's been ten times harder for the women's program. Nevertheless, the women's program does have a leg up on the men in that 1994 Final Four appearance and had a sustained run of success under Rick Moody from 1992 to 1999 in which the program made the NCAA Tournament every year during that span and did no worse than the NCAA second round, including that Final Four and four straight years in the Sweet Sixteen after that. Like the men's program, there have been moments of success, but consistency remains elusive.

Fortunately, Hudson will be retained by the university in an "administrative position". How would you guys feel about Wendell Hudson possibly joining Anthony Grant's staff at some point? Do you think that is even a possibility?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alabama Leads for JC Guard, Algie Key

2-time JC All-American, Algie Key had an official visit to Alabama this past weekend. The visit obviously went well as the 6-4, 170 lb combo guard from Barton Community College (that's in Kansas, ya'll) currently lists Alabama as the leader for his signature.

Key averaged 17.6 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists this past season at Barton. The consensus opinion on him from the recruiting nerds is that he is a "slasher/distributor" type player with a good mid-range game. The perimeter game could use some work though (only 5-34 from 3-pt this past season). Key set the Barton record for free throws attempted and made so he obviously knows how to get to the line. His 6 boards a game also suggests that he isn't afraid to mix it up with the big guys in the paint. Assist to turnover ratio was 2:1 and he averaged just under 2 steals per game. He looks capable of playing anywhere from the 1-3 spot on the floor depending on the situation. Seems like he would be a good fit for Grant's system.

Key, a Georgia native, still plans to take a visit to UGA this weekend, but he's been quoted as saying he could make a decision as early as this week if he decides not to take the Georgia visit. He also mentioned that Grant told him he was the number one priority at the moment. That could mean the Jaren Sina ship has sailed. We will have to see.

Tony Mitchell named NBA D-League Rookie of the year

NEW YORK, April 15, 2013 – Fort Wayne Mad Ants rookie Tony Mitchell today was named the 2013 NBA Development League Rookie of the year as voted on by the League’s 16 head coaches. The award recognizes a first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the course of the season.

Mitchell (6-6, 216, Alabama) played in 48 regular season games, 45 as a starter, for the Mad Ants, averaging a team-high 21.9 points to go with 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 35.3 minutes while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 32 percent from behind the three-point line. His 21.9 points per game was good for second in the NBA D-League.

Full article

I'm going to bet he will be in the NBA at some point next season.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Grading the 2012-13 Alabama Basketball season

I decided to take a few weeks to write this as it's better to reflect with time. Having said that, THE TIME IS NOW!

I'm going to break this down in 2 groups: Non-Conference and Conference

Friday, April 12, 2013

Recruits Visiting Tuscaloosa This Weekend

According to various sources, there will be no less than three basketball recruits in Tuscaloosa for a visit this weekend.

Jaren Sina, a 6'2, 175 lb PG from New Jersey arrived in Birmingham today for a visit tomorrow. Ricky Tarrant, the 6'2, 190 lb PG who is transferring from Tulane will also be in Tuscaloosa for a visit. And finally, Algie Key, a 6'4, 180 lb SG from Barton County Community College will reportedly be in Tuscaloosa as well this weekend for a visit. Key is considered one of the best JC guards in the country after averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He was also a two-time JC All-American his two years at Barton. It could be a very interesting weekend for Coach Grant and his staff.

One more thing to note. Florida International is currently searching for a new head coach after Richard Pitino was hired at Minnesota. One name that has been mentioned as a possible candidate is Alabama's own, Tony Pujols. Something to keep an eye on as we head into Spring.

UPDATE:  If tweets from Releford and Lacey are any indication, it appears that Tulane transfer Ricky Tarrant is the newest member of the Alabama basketball team. He will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA rules.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Moussa Gueye to transfer. Cites style of play

Not even a day after the season is officially over and we get what seems to be a yearly surprise transfer. Again.

I suspect this isn't the last one we have...

Report from NCAA Title Game

I bought tickets last week to the Championship Game and I can say it was well worth it. The game last night restored my faith in good college basketball. 2 great teams slugged it out for 40 minutes with Louisville doing just a little bit more in the end to win it 82-76 (I didn't closely read the post so excuse typos/errors for now).

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Texas-Pan American Hires Dan Hipsher

In addition to recruiting players this offseason, Anthony Grant will now also have to recruit a new assistant coach. UT-Pan American announced today that Dan Hipsher has been hired as their new basketball coach. Hipsher has been on the Alabama staff since Grant came to Tuscaloosa. His relationship with Grant began at Dayton where Hipsher, then an assistant coach at the school, recruited Grant, and later hired Grant as an assistant at Stetson. Hipsher also coached at the University of Akron where he was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 1998. Best of luck to Coach Hipsher as he begins his new job.

I assume that Brannen or Pujols will be promoted to Hipsher's Associate Head Coach position. No names have surfaced yet regarding who will fill the vacant assistant spot. It will be an interesting story to follow for sure. Coaching turnover can be a tricky situation. Hiring a good assistant is just as important for a Head Coach as recruiting 4 and 5 star players. Hopefully the hire is made sooner rather than later so the staff is solidified before summer workouts begin.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Recruiting Update

Sadly, the college basketball season is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about. The deadline for college players to declare for the NBA Draft is April 10th. And then, of course, there is recruiting. Alabama is not expected to have any players declare for the NBA draft, but there will certainly be a lot of interest in Alabama's 2013 class after Anthony Grant only signed one player in 2012. Jimmie Taylor and Shannon Hale have already signed letters of intent, but who else is Alabama hoping to sign in 2013?  Here is a quick rundown of some of those players. If I leave anyone out, please let me know in the comments section.

With Taylor and Hale on board, and assuming no one leaves the program, Alabama has two spots open for next season. Anthony Grant seems intent on filling at least one of these remaining spots, based on comments he made following the Maryland game.  

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

PG Ricky Tarrant transferring from Tulane

He has not announced where yet, but I will be very surprised if he does not end up at Bama.  He will have to sit out a year, which works out well since he can take over after Releford leaves.  He averaged 15 ppg at Tulane, but did not do a whole lot in the game against us.  It is also being reported that forward Josh Davis will transfer from Tulane, but I have heard no indications as to where he is going.  Davis transferred to Tulane from NC State.  It would be nice if Tarrant could convince Davis to come to Tuscaloosa with him.

Monday, April 01, 2013

2013 End of Season Manifesto

Let's take one last look at this season, the state of the program, Coach Anthony Grant, and the future.  You guys know how long-winded I can be, and this is going to be exceptionally long even by my standards, so you've been warned.  I'm going to insert a jump here so as not to take up the whole front page of the blog.  Please forgive any typos, as I'm going to publish this without proofreading.