Basketball: Alabama’s Anthony Grant previews 2011 basketball at SEC Media Day

Anthony Grant and other SEC coaches were in Birmingham at the Wynfrey Hotel for SEC Basketball Media Day 2011. The Alabama basketball coach talked about the upcoming season, his players and even predicted the November 5 football game between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama.

The basketball team begins regular season play November 11. Grant believes Alabama needs a good start to the season as Alabama plays two games before heading to Puerto Rico for the tournament there. The tests for Alabama come early with “high level competition,” according to Grant.

“We will find out a lot about our team with the first two games—North Florida and Oakland,” Grant said. “Once we get to Puerto Rico, we open up with Maryland in a very, very tough tournament there. So, I think the competition we face those first couple of weeks will tell us a lot in terms of where our guys are and where we need to be going. Hopefully, we will be prepared to coming out of the box.”

Helping Alabama get ready for these early season games falls on the coaches, but also on the returning players. Alabama has six returners from last year’s team and five freshmen who must learn Grant’s system.

“We’ve got a nice mix,” Grant said of the six returning players and five new to college basketball players. “You also have the benefit of some of the older guys who can sort of explain to the younger guys.”

Grant said players like Ben Eblen, Charles Hankerson and Carl Engstrom must be important parts of this year’s Alabama basketball team.

Grant was asked about his expectations for JaMychal Green.

“I think (JaMychal Green) is poised to be in the conversation for best player in our league,” Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant said. “I think he is in the conversation to be among the best players in the country. I think he I that type of talent.”

Grant said he and his team is flattered by recognition from pundits, but these outside opinions aren’t going to distract the team.

And the football prediction. Will Alabama or LSU win the Game of the Century?

“My prediction is that the Tide will roll,” Grant said.

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