The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball season is quickly approaching, with the Tide hosting an exhibition game against Stillman College on November 6th. The season gets officially underway on November 9th as Alabama hosts South Dakota State as part of the 2K Sports Classic. With the season so close, BamaHammer writers John Mitchell, Nick Jones, and Chris Dodson are previewing each of the ten players on scholarship for the Crimson Tide. Make sure you keep up with the previews as a new player will be previewed each day.
Here’s the schedule:
10/29: Retin Obasohan
10/30: Devonta Pollard
10/31: Rodney Cooper
11/1: Trevor Lacey
11/2: Nick Jacobs
11/3: Levi Randolph
11/4: Carl Engstrom
11/4: Moussa Gueye
11/5: Trevor Releford
11/5: Andrew Steele
Depth in the post has been a major concern for the Crimson Tide since Anthony Grant’s arrival in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s lack of size in the frontcourt has been a liability and could continue to be unless they are able to get a bigger contribution from Swedish junior Carl Engstrom.
The Swedish Hammer, as I’ve taken to calling him, has hopefully made major strides in his progression and is ready to give Anthony Grant some meaningful minutes in 2012-13.
The 7-foot-1, 285 pound Engstrom averaged one point and two rebounds per game in eight minutes of action. A 7-point, 7-rebound performance against Tennessee in February with JaMychal Green and others still suspended was Engstrom’s highlight of the season.
He showed some improvement last season over his freshman season, but still has a long way to go before he can legitimately be counted on. The hope is that he made some big strides this offseason. At the very least, Engstrom should have learned a little more about how to use his size effectively on defense and on the glass.
Alabama doesn’t need a lot out of the Swedish Hammer on the offensive end, but he could make an impact this season if he rebounds well and uses his length to affect shots in the paint.
Engstrom has shown some ability to score on the inside, but he needs to add polish to his post skills and learn how to make moves without traveling, which has been a problem for him over his two years in Tuscaloosa.
Look for Engstrom to take some sort of step forward in his progression this year, and he could see 10-15 minutes a game this season depending on his offensive improvement. If Engstrom can play well, it will greatly improve Alabama’s depth in the frontcourt.
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