Although the 2012-2013 campaign ended in disappointing fashion for Alabama on multiple levels, many Alabama basketball fans had high hopes looking towards the 2013-2014 season.
Only two full months into the offseason and those high hopes seem to be dwindling fast, if they remain at all.
Moussa Gueye got the ball rolling in early April after announcing that he would be transferring from Alabama due in part to Anthony Grant’s coaching style and other factors. Now granted, Gueye wasn’t the most dominate big man in the SEC last season, but he grew up throughout the year and was able to make some big plays down the stretch in the SEC and NIT Tournaments. Not to mention his imposing 7-foot stature in the paint.
The next offseason blow came in late April as Trevor Lacey also announced he would be departing from Alabama’s basketball program. Fans and the media were left in the dark for several days until Alabama head coach Anthony Grant indicated that Lacey’s parents played a big part in the decision. “Probably about two weeks ago, his mom and dad came in and met with me and expressed a desire for him to have that option to transfer,” Grant said. “So I talked with them and expressed where we was in terms of the opportunities he has here and where he was in terms of his overall development.”
As true sportsmen we must wish these two the best of luck in their future endeavors. Moussa Gueye has already found his new home. He committed to play for Valparaiso earlier this month. Trevor Lacey has yet to make a decision on his future home, but has reportedly visited NC State and several other schools.
The latest and one of the most surprising twists came only a week ago when forward Devonta Pollard was arrested on conspiracy to commit kidnapping charges. Details are still limited and Pollard’s status with the team is unknown, but it is reasonable to suspect that he won’t be with the team in 2013-2014. Devonta Pollard will face federal charges that carry extremely unforgiving sentences. If convicted, Pollard could face from 20 years to life in prison. Anthony Grant has yet to comment on this development.
So, will we look back next spring and consider the 2013-2014 season as the season that could have been? Obviously, it’s too early to make a judgement call, but it’s hard to be optimistic.
After an offseason plagued with major ups and downs, it’s important to remember that Alabama did have a couple major victories to mention. Anthony Grant was able to pick up a commitment from one of the state’s top big-men, Jimmie Taylor, from Greensboro, Alabama. Although Taylor is a bit on the small size for an SEC big man at 6-foot-10, he shows a lot of promise on the offensive end of the floor and could provide some major help down low in a position that lacks depth.
Alabama also received a commitment from Tulane transfer Ricky Tarrant. The sophomore point guard announced in April that he would be transferring to the university of Alabama. The former in-state talent averaged 15.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in his final season with the Green Wave. Although Tarrant will have to sit out the 2013-2014 season, his experience and talent should be a welcomed addition after Trevor Releford’s departure.
The book has yet to be written on the Tide’s 2013-2014 season, but one thing is for sure, the future is a lot more uncertain than it was two months ago. Many believe that this year will be extremely important for Anthony Grant’s future in Tuscaloosa. Will this offseason’s developments buy him more time or conjure up talks of his lack of control? Only time will tell.
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