Mark Gottfried is “excited” about next season’s Tide basketball team, but what do Alabama’s most knowledgable fans say about Bama’s roundball prospects? We asked and Bill Ellis of five questions about Mark Gottfried, Ronald Steele and the 2008-2009 basketball season.

1. Who will be Alabama ’s starting five?
BamaHoops: I think the starting 5 are:
Steele- SG/PG
Hollinger PG/SG
Jemison PF
Coleman C
I wouldn’t be surprised if Knox beats out Coleman at C/PF. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Torrance gets the nod at PG over Hollinger as he’s better suited at the position. Actually I’d like to see Torrance as the starting PG. As for Green… I think he should start out on the bench and if he’s passes Jemison during the year then so be it. IMO it’s a bad idea to give Green the starting nod over Jemison. Look at how badly it played out last year with the great Rico Pickett.

Bill Ellis of Starting five by SEC: Steele, Gee, Green, Jemison, and Nate. Look for Steele to get more minutes at the two until his knee is well. With Hollinger a better two guard than point, Steele will play point in conjunction with Hollinger in my op. Mitchell has an outside chance of beating out Jemison as the season progresses.

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2. What must Mark Gottfried do to redeem himself to the basketball faithful?
BH: To redeem himself he’ll have to compete for the SEC title. The SEC is going to be waaaay down so I expect that of this team. CMG is also going to have to make the NCAAs and have his team play past Friday of the SECT. My minimum requirements… a 2nd week run in the NCAAs, a SEC regular season title, or a SEC tournament final. If none of that happens…

BE: Redemption?  First and foremost he needs to drop the arrogant attitude that he has “restored” Bama basketball to the CM and Wimp level. Second, he needs to quit whining about losing players. Third, he needs to prove he can coach kids “up”. He also needs to apologize for the lousy job he’s done and ask the fans to allow him to do better. 

3. Can he do it?
BH: We shall see… review his track record and make your own conclusions.

BE: I hope he can, but I have always believed the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. If redemption is found in superior records the answer is no.

4. With the importance of guard play, has the year off hurt or helped Ronald Steele?
BH: I think the year off hurts more than it helps. He’s got to get back into playing shape. Saying that, if he’s 100% healthy (there’s questions about that), he’s a five game difference in our record.

BE: Clearly, Ron needed the time to heal. He will be better in that regard. Lost playing time can only be recaptured by play. Look for a fairly slow start. That would be an improvement from last season however.

5. If we want clues to Alabama ’s future, what should we be looking for when practice starts and during the first few weeks of the season?
BH: I wouldn’t take much from practice, but the 1st couple weeks of the season should mold our rotation. We should go at least 9 deep with no player logging more than 32 MPG. The Maui Invitational should give us an idea how we stack up against some of the better teams in the country. If we’re lucky, we could win 3 out there and receive a beatdown from UNC… worst case is playing Chaminade for 7th place. My guess is somewhere in the middle.

BE: Good question – I’d be interested in two things: Is the defense improved and how does the Tide fair in the early signing period. I know several top notch guys who have Bama on their list but are unconvinced that MG will be around.

I expect a five hundred type year unless Green breaks out which is unlikely given his limitations

10 thoughts on “Can Gottfried turn the Tide?”

  1. We’ll have another mediocre repeat season. I’m fed up to the point where I don’t care to discuss basketball any longer until Gottfried receives the ax. He’s the Mike Shula of basketball, only without the misfortunes of NCAA sanctions.

  2. before the predictably stupid “who-cares-about-basketball” comments come, i want to say great column, cap. thank you.

    gottfried’s goal has to be make the big dance. regardless of his team’s performance beyond, mal’s not going to fire him if he makes the dance.

    bill’s right imo. winning cures a lot of ills but mark’s got some work to do with the fan base. i’ve said it before, i’ll say it again, he’s lucky to still have this job. he should have been fired the moment after ron’s need for knee surgery was made public, period. events since have proven my attitude correct.

    despite the predictable in-the-tank press coverage for mark, he’s:

    hired kobe baker to replace tom asbury (that worked out real well, didn’t it???)

    had his wife go into the stands at a game and berate a man who led the charge to get him the alabama job.

    engaged in an orchestrated campaign of pathetically obvious spin control to retain the job.

    done a crappy job of coaching his team since the ’03 – ’04 elite eight fluke.

    personally, i think mark gottfried’s become too divisive a figure for him to effectively lead the program forward. regardless of how the conference stacks up nationally, mark’s coaching against the big boys. kentucky’s kentucky. billy donovan’s won two national titles. bruce pearl’s got tennessee headed in the right direction. (i personally think pearl could have won the sec west with gottfried’s team last season) hell, dennis freakin’ felton won the sec tournament and made the dance last freakin’ season!

    mark gottfried, in ten years, has never won the sec tournament.

    a large segment of the fan base (myself included) have tuned out mark gottfried. i’m personally sick of listening to him. i didn’t attend any games last season and won’t this year. it hurts. i’ve been a fan of alabama b’ball since coach bryant was with us. i’ve followed this team to madison, wisconsin.

    but i’ve reached the point of frustration that i believe my attendance sends a message. that message being that i approve and endorse what mark gottfried’s doing.

    nothing could be further from the truth.

  3. I’m afraid what little faith I had in Gottfried is long gone. I got into the Alabama basketball fad in 2005. Since then my interest is slowly fading.

    Gotfried seems like a nice person, but you know his wife’s outspokenness isn’t entirely just her. You wouldn’t have to guess he’s the puppet master pulling the puppet’s strings, and the puppet is his wife.

  4. I think the best thing for everyone involved is to give Gottfeid the ax.
    Bama has outgrown Gottfreid and Gottfreid has outgrown bama. The situation has gotten stagnant for everyone involved.
    I think that Gottfreid would do better with a fresh start at another school.
    And that it is time Bama got serious about its basketball program and got a marquee coach.
    By the way Good column!

  5. anyone remember the year we made it all the way to number 1 in the polls and steadily dropped after that climactic ranking? that’s vintage mark gottfried coaching for ya. if he can make it to number one, he should be able to maintain that position instead of dropping severely. if he can blow alabama tech out in one game, he should do so in the second game. his erratic coaching skills will not be tolerated next year. it’s win big or go home.

    count this as my signature:

  6. We have a solid list of starters, but can and will Gottfried capitalize on their ability and utilize their ability properly, as a coach?

    My hopes are at a bare minimal right now.

  7. The answer is no. Some way or another, he will find a rare way of losing with all star talent, and that is a fact. UA desperately needs a coach of Billy Donovan’s caliber. Imagine what a coach of his caliber could do with the talent Gottfried is throwing away.

  8. The problem is we’ve likely passed up the coaches of his caliber in recent years. The question now is who is worthy of replacing Gottfried? Could it be UAB’s current head coach?

  9. Mike Davis would be a perfect replacement. He has an amazing track record and he’s doing a splendid job at UAB – UAB of all programs! And he’s also a UA alumni.

    We could definitely use a guy of his stature.

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