|Maurice (Mo) Williams||1038||16.4||40.9||31.7||83.8||113||114|
New Players (rankings from PrepStars)
Akini Atkins 6-8 Freshman #112 ranked
Jemareo Davidson 6-10 Freshman #70 ranked
Shawn Taylor 6-10 Freshman #58 ranked
(1) Lots of raw talent, especially in the persons of Winston (6-7), Thomas (6-4), Brock (6-8), Davis (6-8), Atkins, Taylor, and Davidson. Winston still has the potential to become a star at the shooting forward position although his freshman year was a disappointment. He will be backed up by defensive specialist Lucky Williams (6-7).
(2) Considerable height, including two 6-10 freshman plus two 6-8 sophomores and a 6-8 freshman.
(3) The team is likely to function better as a unit this year. Kennedy Winston will be present from the beginning. Mo Williams won't be hogging the ball and jacking up unwise three-pointers. More players will see considerable playing time.
(1) Team morale? Alabama is coming off of an underachieving season (17-12) in which they started out with nine consecutive wins and then crashed. The Tide had been expected to win the Western Division and go to the NCAA, but had to settle for a trip to the NIT and a loss to Indiana in a first-round game.
(2) Who will run the team? Seniors Antoine Pettway (6-0) and Demetrius Smith (6-3) don't have much experience at the point, but Pettway did average 2.4 assists per game last year.
(3) High and low posts? Freshmen Jemareo Davidson and Shawn Taylor are the main candidates to handle the low post position. Sophomores Evan Brock and Chuck Davis didn't log many minutes last year at the high post, where freshman Akini Atkins will also contend for time. 6-7 senior Reggie Rambo never has played much.
(4) Outside shooting? Earnest Shelton (6-3) and Emmett Thomas, the shooting guards, each failed to find the range with much consistency last year.
(5) Coaching? Coach Mark Gottfried certainly didn't enhance his reputation by his performance last season and has come in for a lot of criticism from Alabama fans.
Overall Prospects for 2003-04
This is a team of question marks. It could easily come unglued and have a disastrous season, especially after last year's disappointment. On the other hand, there will be a lot more opportunity for the young players this time around. The Tide is expected to compete with Mississippi for fifth and sixth places in the Western Division, but should edge out the Rebels in the standings. A post-season bid seems to be a long shot.