The University of Alabama men’s basketball team announced its 2014–2015 non-conference basketball schedule on August 8. Although several headline matchups are carryovers from last year, there were a few unexpected teams added to the lineup.
Alabama basketball limped to a 13–19 (7–11 SEC) record last season and many believe that Alabama’s extremely difficult non-conference schedule was a limiting factor to the team’s success on the court.
With Anthony Grant coaching for his job and one of the best point guards in Alabama history gone to play professionally, this is a pivotal year for the Crimson Tide.
Grant’s first losing season as a head coach wasn’t well-received, to put it lightly, but an easier non-conference schedule and some promising returning talent could allow the Tide to rebound from a horrendous season a year ago.
Alabama finished the 2013–2014 regular season with the seventh toughest schedule in the nation, thanks in part to early season matchups against Duke, UCLA and Wichita State. Although the Tide will see several tough opponents in the early going this year, it should be smoother sailing into conference play in 2014–2015.
Join us as we preview the Crimson Tide’s 2014–2015 non-conference schedule over the next 13 days.
January 2 – vs. North Florida
The North Florida Ospreys’ (16–16, 10–8 A-Sun) biggest claim to fame in basketball might be the conference they play in. The Osprey’s play in the Atlantic Sun with Cinderella teams like Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast.
The Ospreys do return their top scorer from last season in junior guard Dallas Moore. Moore averaged 12.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game last season.
Although the A-Sun has been known for upsets in the past, this should be a pretty easy victory for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama will look to improve against the Ospreys before kicking off the conference schedule against Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa on January 6.
Look for the Crimson Tide to get some deserving bench players some playing time and possibly see some of Alabama’s touted freshman hit the floor for extended minutes.