Coach: Anthony Grant (3 season at Alabama 62-39) Overall 139-64, 6 years
2011-12: Record 21- 12 overall, 9-7 in SEC (5th)
Starters Returning (3) Trevor Lacy. Trevor Releford, Levi Randolph
Preseason Tournament: 2K Sports Classic
Top Non-Conference Games: at Cincinnati, at VCU, at Texas Tech
Transfer Out: Charles Hankerson (Wyoming)
Early Departure: Tony Mitchell
Last season Anthony Grant got the Crimson Tide back to the NCAA tournament somewhere they hadn’t been since 2006. Alabama loses their two best players but the return about everyone else and bring in one top recruit. One thing for sure Grant gets the team to play defense. Crimson Tide fans won’t be ready for basketball until football season is over but the Tide should be battling for an NCAA tournament berth.
The strength of this team will be the backcourt. Leading the way will be point guard Trevor Releford (12 ppg). Releford does a little bit of everything for the Tide; he led them in assists and steals last season. While at excels at attacking the rim he needs to improve his three point shooting. Joining him in the backcourt is senior Andrew Steele (6.6 ppg). Like Releford, Steele is a very versatile guard. With the depth at guard the Crimson Tide will use a 3 guard lineup. Look for Trevor Lacey(6.5 ppg) to also start. On a team that really struggles to shot the three he is their best shooter. The top option off the bench will be Levi Randolph (6.5 ppg). He will probably start a ton of games also. Also a top option off the bench is Rodney Cooper (5.1 ppg) and Retin Obasohan.
The problem for this team will be in the frontcourt as they really only have 4 bodies here to work with. Leading the way in the frontcourt will be Nick Jacobs (6.1 ppg). Jacobs a highly touted freshman showed flashes last season and low for a ton more production this season with more playing time. Joining him in the frontcourt is 7-footer Carl Engstrom (1 ppg). The Swede should be a very good at blocking shots and rebounding. Don’t be shocked to see freshman Devonta Pollard in the starting lineup at some point. He is a McDonalds’ All American something you don’t see that often at Alabama. Moussa Gueye (1.5 ppg) is another 7-footer that will provide depth but he has injury problems.