Looking at the Alabama roster heading into the 2012-13 season, there was a lot to like. Trevor Lacey is an excellent scorer, Trevor Releford could be one of the top point guards in the league, and sophomores Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper provide athleticism and length on the wing. Add in a solid low post presence in Nick Jacobs, and there was a lot to build around.
There however was one glaring hole, the forward position, specially the type of guy that can play both on the wing and inside. That is where five-star prospect Devonta Pollard comes in. Pollard is the type of combo forward who Grant loves. Grant wants to get up and down the floor and play at a fast pace, and that requires big and versatile forwards who can play multiple positions and create matchup problems.
Pollard fits that role exactly. Given his height, long arms, high level athleticism, and skill from the mid-range Pollard has the ability to play the small forward and power forward positions for the Crimson Tide.
This is important because Alabama really had no one on the roster before Pollard's decision that could fill that role. Cooper and Randolph are more perimeter players while a guy like Jacobs can play some power forward, but is mostly a low post bruising type of player.
With this, Pollard can come in right away, play big minutes, and maybe most importantly not be asked to be a savior. Pollard is an understated kid. While he is no doubt confident in his ability, he is someone who is quiet and would prefer to fit into a team than be a focal point in terms of publicity and pressure, at least early on in his career.
At Alabama Pollard will have that ability to grow within the program, be a part of what is shaping up to be an excellent team, and also at the same time just be asked to play his role while he is getting adjusted to everything.
With Pollard now in the fold, Grant and his coaching staff are loading up in the frontcourt. Pollard and Jacobs will be joined in 2013 by four-star power forward Shannon Hale as well as four-star center Jimmie Taylor. With those two 2013 pledges joining Pollard and Jacobs, the Crimson Tide will have one of the best young frontlines not only in the SEC, but potentially in the country.
Grant has been charged with the task of bringing the Crimson Tide back to the NCAA Tournament, and with a few strong recruiting cycles in a row, it is looking like he will do that. In a solid three year recruiting run for Grant, this decision by Pollard could end up being the biggest of them all.