Alabama Basketball: SEC Preseason Projections released


The SEC released its preseason media polls for basketball on Tuesday, just one day after the first AP and Coaches Polls of the season were officially released. Alabama Basketball, who came in at no. 24 in both national rankings, is projected to finish fifth in the SEC in 2023-24.

A year after going 31-6 and winning the league outright with a 16-2 conference record, Bama slots in behind Tennessee, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Kentucky in terms of projected order of finish. The Crimson Tide is also one spot ahead of Auburn in the projections.

The four teams expected to finish higher than Alabama Basketball were also ranked accordingly in the national polls. Projected SEC champion Tennessee is ranked 9th in the AP Poll and 10th in the Coaches Poll, followed by Arkansas (14/14), Texas A&M (15/19), and Kentucky (16/16). Auburn, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Florida received votes in both polls but were ultimately unranked.

Although preseason projections don’t mean much, they can give fans a good idea of what the media expects from Alabama Basketball. Though the Crimson Tide will have the talent to compete with anybody in the country, chemistry could be an obstacle. Only three significant contributors return from last season’s team, which will be made up by a disproportionate amount of newcomers, including freshmen and transfer additions.

Coach Nate Oats has been outstanding throughout his career at the art of roster reconstruction and building a high-functioning team, and he will have another project ahead of him this season.

In addition to its projection in the standings, Alabama Basketball had two players named to preseason All-SEC teams.

Transfer forward Grant Nelson was named to the first team after averaging 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks for North Dakota State last season. Returning guard Mark Sears received second-team honors after posting 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists for the Tide in 2022-23.

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In addition to these two, I expect other players such as sophomore wing Rylan Griffen and transfer guard Aaron Estrada to have big seasons for Bama hoops.