Grant suspensions the right move, but at the wrong time

As the Crimson Tide’s 2011-2012 basketball season careens out of control, seemingly toward the cliff, one has to applaude Alabama head basketball coach Anthony Grant for his moves to regain control of his team.

After all as it’s been said, a team will never rise above its level of leadership, and this team seems to have very little of that commodity in uniform.

Last week on the eve of the Auburn game, Grant suspended his second leading scorer in Tony Mitchell. Bama responded the following day with a sound thumping of its rival in their gym.

But Friday’s suspensions of JaMychal Green, Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele leaves some scratching their head as to exactly what is going on in Tuscaloosa. This time around Bama wasn’t so lucky, falling to an average LSU squad in Baton Rouge.

In one week Grant divorced himself from 58 of the 66 points per game his team averages per outting. You just have to wonder about the timing.

We’ve all seen that child who is out of control, whose parents have cottled him for his lifetime only to realize where it was taking them. The tantrums that were cute at two aren’t so cute at nine, but by then, with too much water having flowed under the preverbial bridge, their course is set, and it ain’t pretty.

What definitely hasn’t been pretty is this basketball season. The team that won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament, having avenged its loss against last year’s NIT champ (Wichita State), is now in serious danger of missing this lesser tournament. The bigger dance is pretty much a foregone conclusion for Bama, while Wichita State appears to be on a colision course with March Madness.

I don’t question Grant for putting his foot down. I just wish he would have done it when this team was two, so to speak. He lost this team long before the second week in February, and the attitudes and actions that got Bama to this point didn’t just emerge from the depths.

Anthony Grant has made his point, and for that he’s to be commended. I just wonder if it just should’ve been made sooner, when there was still much to play for.


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