VIDEO: C.M. Newton praises Alabama coach Anthony Grant, thinks Tide’s defense wins over Creighton

C.M Newton praises Alabama coach Anthony Grant, likes Alabama's chances thanks to a good defense, talks about the great 1976 Alabama basketball team, talks about hiring Rick Pitino at Kentucky and Vanderbilt basketball. Watch this video from WIAT.


Former Alabama basketball coach and SEC legend C.M. Newton spoke to WIAT about the Alabama basketball program. Newton praised Alabama’s basketball coach and talked about his time as a coach and athletic director in the SEC.

Newton said Grant’s work this year was “borderline miraculous” considering the discipline issues the team faced. Grant’s leadership in recruiting also drew praise from Newton. Newton said Grant has recruited quality players and people.

“Anthony has really put the stress back on the student athlete,” Newton said.

“This is a very solid basketball team right now,” Newton said.

As for the team’s chances in the NCAA Tournament, Newton said

“I don’t like who they drew,” Newton said. “Creighton is a very solid team as well. Alabama, I think, will win the game. They have too much defense.”

In the video, Newton said he thought Alabama should have been seeded higher, and the 8/9 seed is difficult since the team must play the number 1 seed in the region.

For longtime fans of Alabama basketball, Newton talks about his 1976 Alabama team. Newton said of that 1976 team, “It was the old team that I had that was good enough, I thought, to win a national championship. I had other teams that could compete for it, but that team that particular year was good enough and playing good enough.”

Newton explained how the 1976 team that was ranked seventh in the country played the second ranked team and the first ranked team two weeks in a row. The Crimson Tide won over North Carolina and then lost to eventual national champion Indiana.

“That 76 team was a tremendous basketball team and one that I am proud of,” Newton said.

Newton, the former Kentucky athletic director, discussed hiring Rick Pitino at Kentucky.

“I felt like the most important decision I would have at Kentucky was the naming of the basketball coach,” Newton said. “Rick (Pitino) was the perfect guy… He is without a doubt the best coach I’ve ever been around.”

The excellent video interview from WIAT contains much more including a discussion of this year’s Vanderbilt basketball team and his thoughts on the NCAA Tournament selection process.

6 Comments

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  1. 1
    finebammer

    i remember Coach Newton’s teams fondly and think he’s a great basketball mind and love listening to him on Finebaum.

    but he’s just wrong about alabama’s seeding. if the state of major college basketball was better, they wouldn’t be a nine seed.

    i think you’ll see more mid-majors upset at-larges this tourney than ever before.

    i don’t think mizzou will lose, but watch nichols state give them a game.

  2. 2
    Crimsonite

    I could say a lot more than I’m going too, but I’m just not motivated. First, if Alabama’s greatest Basketball coach ever, former coach of Vanderbilt, AD at Kentucky and head of the NIT Selection Commitee, thinks Alabama should be seeded higher – then there is no one qualified to disagree with him. I agree with him, and not just because I’m a Bama fan. The #4 team in the SEC is better than a 33 to 36 ranking. There damn sure are not 35 better teams than Bama. When they play as they are capable of playing they are a top 15 team. Their only problem is which team will show up. Ohio St was unanimous #1 at one time and they have the same problem. Let’s see if the Big Dance carrot that has been dangled in front on them can bring some results.

  3. 3
    finebammer

    #9 seed Bama loses to #8 seed Creighton by a point.

    Like I said, the number 9 seed was about right.

    You have to actually paid attention to Alabama basketball this year to understand that. In the end, this team was one of the better teams in the bottom half of the SEC.

    I was proud to see grant suspend the offending players mid-season and seemed to have handled the situation with wins over UT, the hogs and miss. St. But he seemed to be set on bringing back jamychal green after three suspensions. Just as soon as he started green again, alabama’s newfound chemistry went down the toilet.

    Wins over auburn and USC in the sec tourney felt like losses. Bama lost four of their last six.

    Some will drink the koolaid and proclaim success.

    Those that know better will wonder what could have been.

  4. 5
    bamabino

    I couldn’t believe Grant’s end of game clock management. Who calls a TO with 2 seconds left when you need a basket to win the game? Didn’t even give us a chance. Les Miles has a new rival SPIKE IT! Coach, SPIKE IT!

    • 6
      finebammer

      this is the most glaring of many coaching flaws this season. his clock management is frankly, hard to understand. he regularly goes into the half with t. o.’s in his pocket.

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