Last night’s 58-57 loss in the NIT closed another painful chapter in Alabama basketball history. Ironically, it’d be the second year in a row that the Tide’s season was ended in the post-season by that score. (Creighton last year in the NCAA’s, Maryland this year in the NIT).

The mood among the Alabama fanbase in regard to the basketball program is somewhere between mixed to disappointed to encouraged. Making the NCAA Tournament at Alabama should be a yearly goal. But according to analyst Jimmy Dykes on a Birmingham radio show this morning:

“If Carl Engstrom doesn’t get hurt this year for Alabama, Alabama would have been an NCAA Tournament team.”

Bama lost the 7-foot center to a knee injury in December.

Still, with youth all over the floor and only one senior (Andrew Steele), Alabama finished fourth in a 14-team Southeastern Conference field, and did not lose a league game on their home floor.

Next season, assuming Engstrom and everyone else (including the head coach) is back, Bama appears, on paper, to be in a good position to take the next step. The Tide needs forwards to move forward, and securing bodies on the post will be Anthony Grant’s top priority. News of Tulane point guard Ricky Tarrant’s plans to transfer and sit out Trevor Releford’s senior season is encouraging.

Still, until Alabama makes a yearly habit of making the NCAA field of 68, talk of moving forward is nothing but talk.

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

4 thoughts on “What’s next for Bama hoops?”

  1. I was at the NIT game last night and the attendance was very good. The fans were really excited and loud. It would be great if every game at Coleman Coliseum were like that. If Alabama could become a consistant winner in basketball the fan support would be there. Alabama fans want a winning basketball program like the other sport programs we have. How long has it been since an Alabama basketball player was drafted into the NBA. Richard Hendrix was the the last one I remember.

    1. The sad thing is, if the University would handle ticket sales the way they did to NIT games, Coleman would come alive like that more often. But the problem is Tide Pride. It’s a great program, but some policies need to be looked at to ensure blue bloods with little enthusiasm for basketball aren’t the core of who shows up to “the basketball contests.” They are welcome, obviously ($$$), but there’s a reason Duke’s crowds are so raucous. Even Auburn has the right idea. Coleman Coliseum too often sounds like a funeral home.

      To answer your question, Bama hasn’t made noise in the NBA in a while. I think we’re all starting to hunger for change. Maybe not in coaching (yet), but results.

      1. the tide totals program is killing basketball recruiting. when any coach brings recruits to a game at coleman and it sounds like a morgue, then they go to the o-dome or cameron indoor or rupp, well where do you think they’re gonna go?

        c. m. fought this, wimp, hobbs, gottfried.

        annually top flight talent leaves the state to go elsewhere.

        grant makes big money. (in the top 20 in the nation money) but it’s not fair to any coach to put up the recruiting obstacles that athletic dept. does.

        the empty seats on tv are absolutely embarrassing. the ones that do show sit on their hands and complain about anyone who might get in their way by voicing support.

        dear AD Bill Battle, get the football flunkie mafia out of that gym!

  2. I think Coach Grant is a great coach and given time he will prove this to be true but he needs to recriut hard this year and contonue to develop the current players.

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