Capstone Saturdays: Bama Basketball

Editorial Cartoon: Bama Basketball

This Saturday as the Tide hosts the Tiggers, the men’s basketball season mercifully comes to an end in Tuscaloosa. Sure, there’s the SEC tournament to look forward to next week, but for all intents and purposes it ends tomorrow.

After all, does anyone expect this team to make a run next week?

Though basketball seemingly gets lost in all the football hooplah…and that’s when Bama doesn’t win a National Championship in football…hoops have a definite place in Tuscaloosa. But to this point, it doesn’t appear anyone knows what to do with it.

The hiring of Anthony Grant was the best “round ball” move Alabama has made in a long time. Within two years I predict he’ll take Bama deep into the NCAA tournament. But his hiring is just about the only visible positive on the horizon.

Abarn’s commitment to the building of a new facility is stomach turning because with it will come the kind of buzz Alabama desperately needs. The renovation of the cavern Alabama plays in reeked of a band aid being placed over a canon ball wound.

Still, through all the blown leads and 3-point losses this season, Grant’s leadership has shown a lot of promise. I went into this college basketball season similar to how I did the 2007 football season. I just wanted to see improvement. I wanted to see effort. I wanted to see players play hard again. I wanted to see them get back on defense after a turnover or missed shot. I wanted to see a team that got better as the year went along. And I wanted to see a coach actually…well…coach.

I think I can check all of the above off my list, though the team didn’t improve to the point where it could overcome late runs and a lack of depth. Only recruiting and basketball-ready bodies on the court can do that.

But while the baby steps Grant helped Bama take this season was nice, I want to see Alabama basketball be a contender again. Mark Gottfried Mike Shula’d our basketball program, and it’s going to take a while to fix it. But again, the baby steps taken this season are in the right direction.

But in summary, I just long for the day when “Selection Sunday” means something to me again. After all, there’s a lot of time between football seasons.

9 Comments

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  1. 1
    13andCounting

    I think Grant will do a good job. I really like the way the players played this year. I do like the up-tempo “attack” mode better than the “stand around and wait for something to happen”. I think in a couple of years we will do well. To me, Coleman is a great venue to play ball. Have you ever seen Duke’s gymnasium? It really is just a gymnasium. If you win, the recruits will come, regardless.

  2. 2
    Pluto

    I still think that his Personality – Only an Lizard has more – is a real hindrance to the Program. No Dammit. I am not suggesting that he wear a Plaid Jacket – it’s just his personality sucks. You have got to have somebody that can pimp the Program at a Football School to the Fans.
    However – the guy can Coach. He is Coaching them up. Winning will solve all the problems.
    Even his shitty personality.

  3. 3
    bamadon

    Recruit, recruit,recruit just like location,location to home sales people. Business will pickup for Bama with a great recruiting class may be next year!! RTR

  4. 4
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy far far away. FormerlyE.G. White

    Recruit. You beat me to the punch. Therin lies the problem. Unlike Nicks first slam-bam class which was an amazing #10, Anthony’s sucked, and so far the commitments for this class don’t look much better. If we don’t get an athlete like Cousins we won’t be going anywhere next year; and if we don’t get a couple of top 50’s we’ll go nowhere after that. He came here from a tradition rich Basketball school. But he wasn’t there long enough to even have a full team of his own recruits. He was a winner because he coached up the excellent athletes that were there. No doubt he can coach, but can he recruit in the SEC at a Football school? Hate to compare, but even with his more aggresive, never say die style he hasn’t come close to Gottfreids wins and only 4 points shy of the tournament finals last year. And remember coach G lost both the Steel brothers to injury. I’m optimistic, but not yet convinced. RTR!

  5. 5
    Pluto

    Yeah. I think that the Jury is still out .
    Unlike Auburn – Winning Basketball is expected now and going extremely deep in the Tournament.
    It is a Business. He would be wise to bring in a Seasoned Recruiter . I think that his personality is a real hindrance during Recruiting.

  6. 6
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy far far away. FormerlyE.G. White

    Well well well. The similarities are strange. Like Saban, Grants first year is barely over .500. Like Saban, Grant lost a close first game to the Barn and then beat the shit out of them and stopped a 6 game streak in the second one. Well well well. The seasons not a total loss after all. Maybe there’s hope for the future. Well well well. RTR! 73-61!

  7. 7
    DAMAGE INC.

    I’m just glad we won that damn thing because with the ODK Iron Bowl trophy being presented in Coleman — it would of been a shame to lose to Aubarn in our court with THAT trophy — with Nick Saban and most of the National Championship personnel there. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!! Yeah I know you barners have 3 of the last 5 in basketball — but we will reign in the future.

    Crystal bitches…

    & more to come …

    Denial hurt doesn’t it?

  8. 9
    JohnnyBoy

    It will still take some time to recruit top-tier players to Alabama from out-of-state. Heck, it’s gonna be tough to keep a few of the top in-state players. Bama just doesn’t have the track record of readying guys for the NBA. Grant doesn’t either. Not as a H/C anyway.

    But the talent he has coming in is a little better than what Godfried left. The situation is different from football as Saban was already KNOWN as a great recruiter and as a WINNER. Plus BAMA has a huge tradition and recruits knew that when those two got together, big things were gonna happen. Not so with roundball. those kids knew that when Calapari went to Kentucky, UK would be back in the Final Four in 1-2 years. They knew he’d prep them for the NBA. Makes the sell a lot easier.

    In short, Grant is a great coach and will get Bama competitive. But it is not an easy sell to recruits.

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