SEC BASKETBALL PREVIEW: The Alabama Crimson Tide

VeeMan, VandyMania's resident men's hoops expert, gives an in depth preview of the 2002-03 Alabama mens' basketball team. This is the first in a series of previews of all 12 SEC basketball teams.

Returning Players

Name                 MIN   PPG   %FG  %3P  %FT  REB AST

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Erwin Dudley Sr     1092   15.2  55.6 ---  67.8 313 42

Maurice Williams So 1089   10.5  38.2 26.7 85.7 134 153

Kenny Walker Sr     812    9.2   30.0  --- 80.3 193 10

Terrance Meade Sr   784    8.4   39.5 33.1 66.7 107 30

Amtoine Pettway Jr  683    6.5   49.3 40.8 80.9 61  58

Demetrius Smith Jr  504    2.9   35.5 26.7 71.4 52  39

Earnest Shelton So  446    6.1   35.7 33.1 72.0 49  23

Travis Stinnett Sr  228    3.3   33.3 30.4 85.7 21  23

Reggie Rambo Jr     189    2.3   46.4 ---  37.9 70  3 

 

Players Lost

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Rod Grizzard       1077   14.1   42.3  77.2 27.8 213 62 



New Players

Evan Brock 6'8" Freshman

Chuck Davis 6'8" Freshman

Emmett Thomas 6'5" Junior

Kennedy Winston 6'7" Freshman

Lucky Williams 6'6" Freshman 

Strengths

(1) Plenty of medium range height (Dudley, 6'8", Walker, 6'9", Rambo, 6'7", and all four of the newcomers). Dudley and Walker are strong rebounders.

(2) SEC player of the year in 2002, Dudley; Maurice Williams top freshman of 2002 and best point guard in the SEC.

(3) Solid experience and talent at point guard and on the wings (Maurice Williams, 6'1", Meade, 6'2", Smith, 6'3", Pettway, 6'0", Shelton, 6'3", Stinnett, 6'0"). Pettway arrived as a walk-on, but was a major contributor last year.

(4) Alabama comes off of successful 2001-2002 season (27-8, 12-4 in conference play), and Mark Gottfried has established himself as a solid SEC head coach.

(4) Free-throw shooting last year was strong (24-18, 75%).

(5) #35 ranked freshman class, according to PrepStars, with Winston #69, Davis #91, Brock #168, and Thomas in the top 100 JUCOs. 

Weaknesses

(1) Outside shooting was average or below last year (20-6, 30%).

(2) Absence of Grizzard may make their style more predictable, although he takes with him 100 turnovers and a tendency to take bad shots and not hit them.

(3) No one bigger than 6'9". 

Keys 

Winston, who was State of Alabama Player of the Year (33.2 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 7.5 asp), needs to step up and take Grizzard's place on the wing. Shelton and Meade should shoot better from the outside. 

Near Certainties 

Dudley and Maurice Williams are about the steadiest and most effective players around. 

Prospects for 2002-2003 

Alabama is expected to finish in the top 10-15 in the nation. Most experts will select them to finish first in the SEC West. Look for them to be in the NCAA tournament with a high seed. 




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