#23 Alabama Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #23
Conference Rank:  #4 SEC

Alabama Team Page#23 Alabama Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Alabama Basketball Tickets

Alabama will look to take some strides this season.  Anthony Grant has put together a decent program in his five seasons in Tuscaloosa.  Unfortunately, they have missed the big tournament in two of the last three seasons.  This particular team returns a bunch of starters from last year’s squad.  The good news for Grant is that a lot of these guys got better as the year progressed and developed into studs.  Trevor Releford will lead the way in another competitive season in the SEC.

2012-2013 record:  23-13, 12-6
2012-2013 postseason:  NIT
Coach:  Anthony Grant
Coach Record:  86-52 at Alabama, 162-77 overall

Who’s Out:
Guard Trevor Lacey and center Moussa Gueye are no longer at Alabama.  Lacey transferred to NC State after the 2012-2013 season.  He will be a big loss in terms of production.  He was the second leading scorer (11.3 points per game) and second on the team in minutes last year.  More than anything he was the team facilitator with 3.2 assists per game.  Gueye will be a big loss in terms of size.  He was not a prolific scorer, but the 7-footer led the team in blocks.  They are now left with only one player on the roster 7’0” or taller.

Who’s In:
Carl Engstrom, a 7-foot Swede, will step in to replace Gueye on the inside.  He hardly played last year.  His experience will have to increase on the fly.  Still, he is expected to have a bigger role since he is the biggest of the big men on the roster.  Players like Nick Jacobs and Retin Obasohan will receive more minutes this season as well.  Grant has three incoming freshmen in this year’s class, one guard and two forwards.  All three are offensively strong players.  They averaged 13 points or more per game at their respective high schools.  Look for one or more of them to provide a spark if Alabama needs one.

Who to Watch:
Releford was sensational at times last season.  Eyes will be on him to see if he takes the next step this season.  Most of the offense will run through him, so he will need to keep his shooting percentage up.  He shot over 47 percent last season, including 40 percent from three-point range.  He is a reliable foul shooter that has an eye for the ball on defense.  He was second in the SEC in steals.  Also, Engstrom’s ability to man the middle will be important.  He will be evaluated closely early in the season.

Final Projection:
Alabama has won 20 games for three consecutive seasons.  That has not happened in nearly two decades.  Grant is obviously an up-and-coming young coach that seems to really connect with his players.  The trajectory for Alabama is certainly upward considering they return some really solid players to a squad that won 23 games.  In a conference with well-established Kentucky and Florida, it will be difficult for Alabama to break through to any sort of conference title.  They should still win a few games against some good squads.  A similar record should be expected this year; however, they certainly have the talent to make it back to the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Trevor Releford, Senior, Guard, 14.9 points per game
Rodney Cooper, Junior, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Levi Randolph, Junior, Guard, 8.1 points per game (2011-2012)
Nick Jacobs, Junior, Forward, 7.6 points per game
Retin Obasohan, Sophomore, Guard, 3.9 points per game

By the numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.0 (276th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.4 (17, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (198, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (64, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (243, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.5 (192, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.2 (154, 3)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (200, 10)
Assists Per Game: 10.6 (307, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (114, 5)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#95 Devonta Pollard

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruiting:
#73 Jimmie Taylor
#108 Shannon Hale


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