Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports
With the Alabama basketball season over, it’s time to look back at the season that was in Tuscaloosa. For starters, we are going to review each player, and for the ones coming back, we’re going to let you know what they need to improve on in 2013-14 in order for the Crimson Tide to live up to their potential next season. We are going by class, so we’ll start with the freshman, then the sophomores, juniors, and then finish it up with the lone senior.
Here’s the schedule:
4/2: Retin Obasohan
4/3: Rodney Cooper
4/4: Trevor Lacey
4/5: Nick Jacobs
4/6: Levi Randolph
4/7: Carl Engstrom
4/8: Moussa Gueye
4/9: Trevor Releford
4/10: Andrew Steele
Little was known about Tide redshirt freshman guard Retin Obasohan from Antwerp, Belgium coming into the season. The only action Obasohan saw during his redshirt season was in preseason scrimmages, so there wasn’t any expectations for him coming into the 2012-13 season in Tuscaloosa.
Obasohan wasn’t even in the rotation early on in the year, and rarely did he log meaningful playing time as he often only saw the floor when the Crimson Tide had a game well in reach. An injury to Andrew Steele gave Obasohan a chance to show what he could do, and he didn’t disappoint. He was without a doubt the most improved Alabama player over the course of the season.
13.0 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.9 APG, 37 FG%
Early on, Obasohan made his mark as a tenacious perimeter defender. He hounded the guy he was guarding every second he was on the floor. If his man went to the bench, then he went with him. His defensive prowess and his hustle earned him additional minutes as the season wore on, and he began to develop his offensive game little by little.
He showed flashes of his ability early in the season by scoring 13 points in mop-up duty against Lamar. But it really wasn’t until halfway through SEC play that Obasohan began to break out off the Crimson Tide’s bench.
After logging double digit minutes in just 8 of Alabama’s first 22 games, and getting DNP’s in five of those games, Obasohan saw double digit minutes in 9 of the final 11 games of the season. And he earned every single minute of playing time he recieved.
He continued playing great defense culminating in a five steal performance in a 64-56 win over Mississippi State at Coleman Coliseum on February 20th. His offense came around as well as he scored at least 7 points in six of the season’s final 9 games.
He showed a nice shooting touch from the free throw line late in the year, and the ability to knock down open looks from the outside. Obasohan also has superb athletic ability that led to some highlight dunks.
He really played his best basketball in the NIT, particularly in the Crimson Tide’s two wins. He scored 9 points in the win over Northeastern and followed that up with 14 points and 6 rebounds in the win over Stanford.
Obasohan’s improvement over the course of the season should have fans feeling very excited about his future in Tuscaloosa.
Must Improve: Finishing at the Rim/Ball Handling
Obasohan’s elite athleticism affords him chances to get to the rim nearly at will. The only problem this year was that more often than not, Obasohan couldn’t quite finish some looks at the basket. If he can start finish those plays at the cup, then he is going to take a tremendous leap from his freshman to sophomore season.
He also needs to work on his ball handling as he looked a little insecure at times with the ball in his hands in the backcourt. He had 10 more turnovers than assists this season, and the game at times looked to be moving a little too fast for him.
That’s expected out of a young player, and another full offseason working on his game should do wonders for the emerging star.
Anthony Grant and staff should pat themselves on the back after this outstanding recruiting find. Obasohan wasn’t heavily recruited, but I can guarantee you a lot of college coaches are kicking themselves for not pursuing him.
His potential is through the roof, and if he keeps progressing at the rate he did this year, then he is going to be a bona fide star for Alabama Basketball.
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