Mark Gottfried’s Monday mea culpa was a good sign; at least he recognized there was something wrong. That was a good beginning to fixing the problem. However, Gottfried must follow his words with actions. Here is a short and helpful list:

1. Improve the defense.
There is no excuse for defensive efforts which consistently allows opponents to score more than their season averages. Defense is about hustle, and this year’s Alabama basketball didn’t have any hustle. It was lethargic, mostly going through the motions.

2. Get the fundamentals right
Is there any doubt this team wasn’t sharp? Whether it was inconsistent rebounding or poor ball handling, the team just didn’t perform. Getting back to the basics is necessary. For most of the season, the offense was adequate; therefore, getting some work on the other elements of the game could help.

3. New assistant?
If the conventional wisdom is right and Mark Gottfried replaces an assistant, then getting someone who can boost the defensive intensity would be a good investment. Whether it is additional motivation or a new system, if there is a change, Gottfried must make the right move. His margin of error is smaller than ever.

4. New attitude
Next year’s Alabama team must have a new attitude. It must be ready to prove it is worthy of the name Alabama; it must be ready to play hard. That type of attitude alone would satisfy fans. While Alabama fans want to win, if the players were doing their best, fans would understand. With Alabama’s talent and that type of attitude, any season could be a special season.

Gottfried is a good coach, and despite the horrible 2007 season, he can still create a great legacy at Alabama. Now that he has said the right things, let’s hope the other elements to success follow.