Gottfried ‘excited’ about team

It is the middle of July. Football is just about to start. But basketball was on Mark Gottfried’s mind Wednesday as he took about ten minutes of his time to answer questions from reporters about UA’s basketball program. And Gottfried is “excited.”

“We are at the point now where we know who we have, and are excited about our team,” Gottfried said. “We have the chance to be very good this year. Obviously when you say you have a chance, that hinges on a lot of things, but I think we are going to be a pretty good basketball team.”

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The roster uncertainty kept Gottfried on the edge of his seat for most of the off-season. Gottfried said the two-and-a-half month process of underclassmen testing the NBA waters is too long, and should be changed. He said it wasn’t good for the young players, and you could tell in his tone, that it isn’t good for coaches either.

“It is difficult because you don’t know for such a long period of time what your roster is going to be,” Gottfried said.

But that is sorted out. Gone from the Tide roster are marquee names like Richard Hendrix, Mykal Riley and Rico Pickett.

Gottfried bluntly said these departures created holes on next year’s squad, but he remains “excited” about the squad.

“Our guys are here working hard right now. We do have some experience mixed in with some young guys,” Gottfried said. “We are excited about getting started and seeing where we can end up.”

Helping stoke Gottfried’s excitement is a highly touted recruiting class. The Tide’s recruiting class includes JaMychal Green, a five-star power forward from Montgomery, Tony Mitchell, a four-star forward from Swainsboro, GA., Andrew Steele, a four-star shooting guard from Birmingham, and Anthony Brock, a three-star point guard from Fulton, MS.

Green is playing on the USA Basketball’s U18 team, and has been training with some top-notch young players. Gottfried said the international play experience will help Green when he arrives at Alabama.

“He’s got a head start as far as what to expect when we begin practice,” Gottfried said. “I watched the team practice, and I thought he did exceptionally well.

“He has played well there, and I think the coaching staff that is coaching that team really liked him and liked his attitude and liked how hard he played. I think this is going to be a great experience for him. He is getting great coaching with Bob McKillop, John Thompson III, and Anthony Grant.”

Gottfried expects Green to face typical freshmen obstacles when he begins college play, but said Green brings energy and a desire to win with him to campus.

New 3-pt. line
Gottfried expects the new three-point line to change college basketball, and not necessarily in a way the NCAA expected.

“The rule was intended to spread the defenses out and open up the middle of the floor,” Gottfried said. “I think the opposite may end up happening. If you are playing against a team that can’t make the new three-point shot with a very high percentage, then you are going to see defenses step back and clog up the middle.

“Where the line was before, there were so many players who could potentially make that shot, that you did have to stretch your defense out…My personal opinion is that now teams are going to start packing the defenses in.”

Gottfried sad to see Packer go
“I think (Billy Packer) has been a phenomenal asset to basketball,” Gottfried said. “He has given so much to the game—for most of us our entire lives we have listened to him broadcast the Final Four. That will be different now.”

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Add Yours
  1. 1
    Ballplay Indian

    I am going to blogjack this thread…I wasnt aware that with the abscence of Zeke Knoght, that Rolondo Mcclain was the ONLY returning starter on Bamas defense. There is no way that any of you Bammers can be excited about that. Jarrell Harris will be starting for Bama as a true freshman. He wont be the only true freshamn to start either. And I accept the fact that Bamma has a lot of young talent. But a true fresh starter is never good in the SEC. 1 returning defensive starter.. OUCH !!! Granted that Mcclain is a beast. It is going to be a long season for Bama. Defense is what wins in this conference, and Bama doesnt have one. Do any of you Alabama fans feel the same way? Who do you think will step up? I think Mcclain has an all-SEC year. The dude is a monster. I belive that Jarrell Harris wil be freshman All SEC. If not Freshman All – American. He will have the opportunity. And lastly, Does The Saban cave and put in Prince Hall? Enlighten me.

    P.S. Who gives a crap about basketball?

  2. 2

    He will not be the only returning starter. He will be the only returning starter at linebacker.

    Kareem Jackson, Rashaad Johnson, Zo, Greenwood. Not to mention alot of other guys that saw time last year,

  3. 4
    Hunter Ford

    I had lunch today with Mike Gottfried of ESPN. I’ll post a story about why and where in the next day or so.

  4. 5
    Ballplay Indian

    Michaeal beat tmc1 to the punch. Tmc1 I am highly disappointed in you. You are slipping.

  5. 6

    Gottfried likes Packer? Good grief, an SEC coach praising a man who treats the SEC like a red headed step child needs to be taken out behind the gym and flogged.

  6. 7

    Ballplay, we knew ahead of time Zeke’s probability of returning was slim to none. You made a good point, however and I can’t disagree with you at all. It’s imperative that the offense steps up their game this season.

    And Pluto, I agree with you also. Baksetball at the Capstone will only bring excitement to the fans after Gottfried is fired.

  7. 8

    Gottfried echoes the same sentiments around this time each year. Next year will only be another disappointment at the hands of Mark Gottfried and company – and his team will only falter at the hands of expectations.

  8. 9

    Mark Gottfried is Bama’s CTT. Always excited and primed for the next season….always on the cusp of the big win! Always just around the corner from greatness! Always leaving the local suckers pointing and saying….”Wait until next year!”

  9. 10

    Personally I’m as excited as Coach Gottfried. I can’t wait to go 1-7 on the road in SEC play next year, get eliminated on Friday of the SEC Tourney and then sit on pins and needles waiting to see where we’re placed in the NIT. And to see that bright red blazer! Does it get any better than that?

  10. 12

    Good point TMC. He always found a way to win (up until the recent seasons), but he never could win the big one. Now, instead of posing as a threat, we’re just a possible thorn in the side. It’s time for a change!

  11. 13
    Capstone Report » Can Gottfried turn the Tide?

    […] Mark Gottfried is “excited” about next season’s Tide basketball team, but what do Alabama’s most knowledgable fans say about Bama’s roundball prospects? We asked and Bill Ellis of five questions about Mark Gottfried, Ronald Steele and the 2008-2009 basketball season. […]

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